Afternoon Update: Sometimes in the dizzy world of Bridgeport politics, it’s the person who delivers the oath of office that matters.
A whole bunch of city pols–City Council members, Board of Education as well and city sheriffs–will receive the oath of office tonight in City Hall. I took a peek at the lineup. State Rep. Auden Grogins, the blonde banshee from Black Rock, is scheduled to swear in her former partner on the City Council Pat Crossin who’ll be taking a seat on the BOE. I see that Judge of Probate Paul Ganim will deliver the oath to City Councilman Carlos Silva.
But the one that intrigues the most is Democratic Vice Chair Dottie Guman delivering the oath to all elected officials of the 131st District including sheriff and District Leader Mitch Robles and City Council member Leticia Colon who’ll be leaving her legislative seat for a spot on the BOE.
The nine-member BOE will conduct its organizational meeting on Dec. 14 to select officers. Mayor Bill Finch would like to see ally Leticia as president controlling the BOE’s budget which makes up roughly one third of the city’s nearly $500 million spending item. Nice to have a friend in that position.
Hizzoner and his political benefactor Dottie, the Mother Goose of the party, haven’t been best of buds over a variety of issues since the mayor took office two years ago. Mitch is a power player in city politics. Did he reach out to Mother Goose to deliver the oath to his entire district because he wants to send a message to the mayor? Or did he reach out because he wants to schmooze her support for Colon as BOE president?
One can never really tell.
News release from Mayor Finch
Mayor Finch Hails Passage of New Zoning Rules, Map
Mayor Bill Finch today hailed the passage of the City’s regulations and map as a huge step in moving development forward in the City.
“This represents a lot of hard work on the part of many City staffers and volunteer board members to get the Zoning Map and regulations approved. The new map, coupled with our approved Master Plan of Development will enable us to attract investors, businesses and new residents who will be appreciative of the work we’ve done to move Bridgeport into the 21st century,” said Mayor Bill Finch. The Mayor also thanked all Bridgeport residents for their valued input into the process through their attendance at public hearings.
“Bridgeport, because of its location at the nexus of rail, bus, ferry, train and two major highways, is poised to take advantage of the next wave of development that is mainly transit-oriented, and less dependent on the automobile. We are encouraged by the trends we see in the marketplace, and the interest of investors in the City of Bridgeport,” said Mayor Finch.
More than four years ago, the Urban Land Institute, after a comprehensive review of the City’s development standards and zoning regulations, issued a report detailing the need for a comprehensive overhaul of the City’s zoning regulations and Master Plan. A consulting firm was hired to update the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy and the Master Plan, visionary documents that provide the framework for development both downtown and throughout the City. The Master Plan addresses the six pillars of development – downtown, jobs, neighborhoods, education, infrastructure and environment. The Zoning Map and regulations provide the enforcement tool for the concepts that are incorporated into the Master Plan.
The new Zoning Map and regulations will go into effect in January 2010.
So after years of lawyers stalling, stonewalling, legal arguments, motions to dismiss, appeals, more appeals, millions in flock contributions and excuses, could it be we’ll finally see 12,000 pages of documents addressing man-of-the-cloth abuses against children, for decades, under the leadership of Bishops Walter Curtis and Edward Egan?
“The diocese intends to comply with the court order regarding the release of the documents,” says Joseph McAleer, the spokesman for Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport.
The diocese paid roughly $30 million in settlements to keep the allegations under the sheets until several Connecticut newspapers said hold on a minute, what gives?
McAleer says the documents, scheduled for release today, amount to old news. Really? Then why block it for seven years? From The Hartford Courant. For more www.courant.com
“Claims are claims. Allegations are allegations.”
Those six words uttered by retired Cardinal Edward M. Egan during two depositions neatly sum up his approach to handling the burgeoning priest sexual abuse scandal that he inherited when he took over the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut in the late 1980s.
In 448-pages of depositions that Egan was forced to give as part of 23 lawsuits against seven priests that eventually were settled, the Bishop showed little compassion for the alleged victims and instead argued with attorneys that only a “remarkably small number” of priests have ever been accused of wrongdoing.
“These things (sexual abuse complaints) happen in such small numbers. It’s marvelous when you think of the hundreds and hundreds of priests and how very few have ever been accused, and how very few have even come close to having anyone prove anything,” Egan said.
“Claims are one thing. One does not take every claim against a human being as a proved misdeed. I’m interested in proved misdeeds.”
Egan’s depositions taken in 1997 and 1999 were supposed to remain sealed forever when the diocese settled the cases in 2001. The Courant obtained copies of them in 2002 and published several stories about them. But on Tuesday for the first time the documents were made available to the public after a seven-year court battle by the Bridgeport Diocese to keep them secret.
Egan’s depositions are among 12,600 pages of documents released Tuesday including personnel files of well-known pedophile priests such as Laurence Brett, who the Courant tracked down in 2002 living in St. Marteens while still being paid a stipend by the church, and Raymond Pcolka. The documents also contain depositions from the hierarchy of the diocese, including Egan’s predecessor Walter Curtis, who not only acknowledged keeping secret files on priests but also that he deliberately destroyed alleged complaints of sexual abuse against some of them because the complaints were “antiquated.”
A Chat With Michael Fedele
Our friends from www.doingitlocal.com caught up to Lieutenant Governor Michael Fedele regarding his gubernatorial plans. See here: doingitlocal.com/video/gallery/LT-Gov-Fedele-Makes-It-Official.
I Was Worried
Thank goodness. For a second there I thought Yahooy and Anna might be caught up in this mess. Whew! From the Connecticut Post:
MILFORD – Two Bridgeport women will be arraigned Dec. 15 on prostitution charges after they were caught up in a prostitution sting operation using ads on craigslist.com, according to police.
The women were arrested in separate incidents Friday night at the Mayflower Motel on Woodmont Road.
Charlie Says …
The Gallery at Black Rock is proud to present Charlie Walsh 2.0, a first Anniversary Celebration.
Charlie Walsh will show a new group of works on paper at The Galleries First Anniversary celebration on December 3rd 2009. An Opening Reception will be held from 6pm until 9 pm on that day.
Charlie’s drawings and watercolor/pastel work celebrate the banal and the bizarre aspects of daily life, using a style uniquely his own, Walsh infuses elements of cubism and surrealism with a pared down graphic sensibility.
The mostly pen and ink drawings seem to highlight the odd and often comical way the artist perceives life. The artist will display never before seen work much of which has been done in the past year.
The Gallery at Black Rock is celebrating its first Anniversary by coming full circle with an exhibit featuring our premiere showing artist. Eileen Walsh Gallery owner admits to being highly partial to Walsh’s work being that he is her father. “The public really responded well to his work last year and I think the new work is going to be even more exciting. It has been a wonderful and event filled year in the Gallery and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than this” said Ms. Walsh.
The Show will run concurrent to a holiday artisan gift boutique at the gallery. All work will be available to bring home for holiday gifts.
The opening reception for Charlie Walsh 2.0 will be Thursday December 3rd from 6 until 9 pm. The work and giftware will be on display at the gallery until January 7th 2010.
**Don’t Forget Bridgeport’s Holiday Gift Trail
Anniversary blog: blackrockart.wordpress.com/