Lavernoich, Long-time City Development Official, Heading To Trumbull–‘Consummate Professional’

Ed Lavernoich, Bridgeport’s deputy director of economic development, is leaving the city after 25 years of service to become director of development for the Town of Trumbull starting May 1. Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst made the announcement Monday afternoon.

Lavernoich served in a number of development functions for the city on behalf of several mayors through the years. Lavernoich is not a city pol. He’s your classic government professional who knows how to survive the slings and arrows of city politics. He’s highly regarded by ex-city mayors and development directors. In Trumbull he’s heading into new suburban territory and joining several other former city officials now working in Trumbull including John Marsilio, the city’s former director of Public Facilities who has the same role with Bridgeport’s neighbor.

In his new role, Lavernoich may well be sitting across the negotiating table from Bridgeport officials with whom he is familiar on a number of regional issues. As a city development official Lavernoich was the point person for several key recent developments downtown including Phil Kuchma’s Bijou Square and redevelopment of the mixed-use Arcade.

As the news began reaching city employees late Monday afternoon, many agreed Lavernoich will be missed in the development department. As one pointed out, “He’s a professional who knows the development process better than anyone.”

“I can gush about this guy all day,” former Mayor John Fabrizi said of Lavernoich. “He has a passion for his work. He was a hard worker. Trumbull’s gain is Bridgeport’s loss.”

Mike Freimuth, Bridgeport’s former development director, says Lavernoich “is the consummate professional, gives his opinion and insights behind closed doors, always technical/economic and balanced within the realities of the moment and then attempts to carry out the mission of the political types … he understands the motivation and operations of the private side (be it a small business or a large land developer) and can operate within the sometimes chaotic idiosyncrasies of the public side … a rare combination and one the city will miss.”

Lavernoich will be paid $95,000 a year from Trumbull. He also qualifies for a Bridgeport government pension.

News release from Herbst:


Deputy Director of Bridgeport Planning and Economic Development Department to begin with the Town of Trumbull on May 1st

TRUMBULL — First Selectman Timothy M. Herbst today announced the appointment of Edward Lavernoich as the Town’s new Director of Economic and Community Development. Mr. Lavernoich succeeds Deborah Cox as the Town’s director. Mr. Lavernoich is currently Deputy Director in the Office of Planning and Economic Development for the City of Bridgeport. During his time in Bridgeport, Mr. Lavernoich has served 6 mayoral administrations and has been promoted five times. Mr. Lavernoich is also currently the Executive Director of the Bridgeport Redevelopment Agency, and has served on numerous boards and commissions related to economic development.

“When I interviewed Mr. Lavernoich for this position, three words immediately came to mind in assessing his candidacy–honest, experienced and hard working,” stated First Selectman Herbst. “If you look at some of the most successful economic development in Bridgeport, it was due in large measure because of Ed’s efforts,” stated the First Selectman. “Ed has been able to navigate through a whole host of challenges and deliver on the Bijou Square Redevelopment, the Arcade Redevelopment, the West End Industrial Park, as well as high quality residential redevelopment that has occurred throughout downtown over the last few years. As we seek to grow Trumbull’s tax base in a responsible manner, we will need a person leading our economic development efforts with a proven track record of getting things done. Mr. Lavernoich is that candidate.”

Completed in 2011, the Bijou Square redevelopment involved a 6 million dollar renovation of historic buildings to be converted into retail and residential. The project also included a 25 million investment in new construction, which resulted in 84 new residential units and 10,000 square feet of retail space downtown. Also completed in 2011 was the redevelopment of the downtown Arcade. The Arcade revitalization was a $20 million dollar adaptive reuse project, which included a historic atrium restoration. The project integrates residential units with 64,000 square feet of commercial space. The West End Industrial Park project involved the remediation of several industrial properties and created a revitalization corridor representing 4 new buildings and 210,000 square feet.

The First Selectman stated that this type of creative approach was necessary to move Trumbull forward and indicated that this was the primary consideration in selecting the new Economic and Community Development Director. “In order for Trumbull to grow its tax base and bring businesses into our Town, we must look to not only develop, but also revitalize and redevelop,” stated the First Selectman. “The Bijou Square redevelopment and the Arcade Redevelopment demonstrate that Ed has the professional acumen to think of creative solutions in redeveloping underutilized areas. We need to start thinking creatively and coming up with an alternative land use plans that will allow Trumbull to grow, while still maintaining our rich character. This type of approach will bring a fresh perspective to Trumbull as we seek to revise the Town’s Plan of Conservation and Development.”

Mr. Lavernoich expressed enthusiasm about joining the Town of Trumbull. “I’m excited to get started and participate in the update of the Plan of Conservation and Development. I am also excited to work with an impressive Economic and Community Development Commission, and to join the strong professional team that First Selectman Tim Herbst is assembling,” stated Mr. Lavernoich. “I see great opportunity for Trumbull to grow its business base,” stated Mr. Lavernoich, “Our challenge will be in promoting economic growth without compromising the essential character of a wonderful community.”

Mr. Lavernoich received a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) from the University of Connecticut, a Masters of City Planning (M.C.P.) from the University of Rhode Island, and a Master of Science (M.S.) in Financial Management from the Graduate School of Business at Fairfield University. He received certification as an Economic Development Finance Professional from the National Development Council in 1988. Mr. Lavernoich has frequently provided testimony before the Connecticut General Assembly on issues affecting economic development.

A lifetime resident of Connecticut, Mr. Lavernoich currently resides in Beacon Falls with his wife and daughter.



  1. Well we lost another good, dedicated employee who knew what he was doing. Our loss is Trumbull’s gain. Good Luck, Ed.

    Finch and company managed to lose another great employee. These bastards just don’t get it. Hey Bill, how about letting Trumbull take over the upper East Side?

  2. Sorry Timmy and Andy, but in my opinion Trumbull’s loss is Bridgeport’s gain.
    There has been no economic development in the past four years. B’port at least saves money on his outrageous salary.
    Unless the Finch-ster has already moved someone in there.

  3. Ed is a consummate economic development professional recognized locally and nationally. His departure is a huge loss to the City of Bridgeport; both in institutional memory and the pulse of all of the major developments including the myriad of moving pieces in the Steelpointe Harbor development. I wish him all the best.

  4. The Steelpointe Harbor Development?????????
    Nancy, that proposal was an abomination since day one. And all of the moving pieces were put in place as an accommodation to the developer and not to the city or the taxpayers.
    And Lennie to your question above, if all Mr. Lavernoich was expected to be was a technician who put into place the plans and efforts of his bosses, then I agree with Grin, overcompensated.

    1. Bob, the problem here lies strictly with the council. They are the ones who could have put a stop to steal point. I know you have fought this but got no support from most of the other council members.
      Ed got tired of working for incompetents. I mean, what do you do when your boss who heads economic development’s claim to fame is he advertises for pole dancing lessons? As far as I am concerned we lost a real professional.

  5. *** Great “professional guy” who maybe should have been development director at one point during his career while working for the city of Bpt, no? Anyone who has had any type of city development dealings with Ed has recognized his patient dedication to detail and open-minded attitude with everyone (pro or con) on economic development matters. This city employee is definitely one of the non-political workers who knows his job and does it well; No doubt, Bpt’s loss is Trumbull’s gain. I wish Ed “good-luck” and nothing but the best for him, his family and the town of Trumbull. *** CHEERS! ***

    1. A crude and unwarranted comment. Have you ever spoken a kind word about anyone? Why not start here by giving Mr. Lavernoich his just dues? The man is a dedicated and experienced professional, he did the ground work but never received credit for it. I wish him all the best in his new position that he so readily deserves. It’s time for him to be the frontrunner, not the man in the shadows.

  6. Big loss to the City of Bridgeport. Ed was the stabilizing force in OPED through several administrations. Like many other true professionals, he is getting away from the crazy!!! Good luck, Ed.

  7. Bob and Grin,
    I agree with Mojo; Ed and the staff have to get all the steps done. They don’t make policy. They don’t set the terms of a deal. As for who is responsible for growing the tax base; job creation and economic development; don’t pin that on the staff and cry foul. Go look at the Charter; it splits the responsibility under the Mayor. Take a good look at the responsibilities of OPED and LUCR. Separate. It falls back on the Mayor and Chief Admin. In my opinion Ed is a terrific professional. He is more than ready to direct Trumbull’s economic development efforts under their Economic Development Commission. I wish him all the best. Trumbull is focused with a top-notch team.

  8. Good luck to Ed … here’s a guy who spent his career being hamstrung by the political flies who had no idea as to how to develop Bridgeport. Without any direct authority he has learned how to navigate the treacherous waters of politics. Don’t blame Ed for the morass known as Bridgeport. Blame the multiple leaderships for the past 50 years who have milked this once vibrant city dry.

  9. There are a few people in city hall who are competent, capable people … and who are a pleasure to work with. With Ed’s departure, the few are even fewer.
    Congratulations to Trumbull for its good fortune.


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