Let’s Crash The Mayor’s Party, Plus: Paging The White Shadow

Wow, I wish I had $13K to throw a shindig, a little afternoon delight for city employees as his honor Bill Finch is doing today at City Hall Annex.

But why stop at catering by Vazzy’s and a warehouse of poinsettias? Bring on the lobster baby, and prime cuts of Kobe so we can get a little surf and turf action going. And hey, maybe throw in a few bottles of Lafite for district leaders and town committee members on the payroll. (I wonder if Joe squirreled away a few bottles.)

Yes sir, that’s the way I’d do it, in the best Bridgeport tradition. And don’t forget a few shooters of juniper. We need a little first-class gin as well.

Yes sir, what did Yahooy say about Finch’s primary campaign more than a year ago? A chicken in every pot! Forget the chicken, let’s stuff holiday socks for all: lamb chops, Cornish hens, filet mignon, parmigiano reggiano, luscious bottles of Amarone. Yes indeed, no Philistines at this party. Just the best for a city trying to stave off a financial review board. Makes me wanna get back on the city payroll. (Don’t worry, the electorate is safe.)

Hey, we’re not as extravagant at our OIB parties, but don’t forget we’re gonna have a throw-down at Two Boots on Fairfield Avenue downtown next Wednesday Dec. 17 at 5:30. Come on by for a little gourmet pie. We can all reminisce about the future.

Keeley’s Shadow

So, what’s the deal with last week’s layoffs? Thanks to the OIB posters that have provided some info. I’ve requested details from City Hall, so hopefully we’ll hear something, but they don’t exactly do backflips when they hear from me.

It sucks to lose a job at any time, let alone the holidays, but it sounds like it will be a growing club.

The city’s legislative delegation in Hartford received an earful Tuesday night from a cross section of community interests at Mount Aery Baptist Church at an event organized by the Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition.

Whether veterans such as State Rep. Chris Caruso and State Senator Ed Gomes, or legislative newcomers Auden Grogins (house) and Anthony Musto (senate), the new session that begins January isn’t going to be any fun. There will be lots of meowing. That noise you just heard was the door slamming in Hartford every time someone has a funding request. Why wait for the last minute?

One speaker touched on a subject that school administrators would love to resolve: teacher instability. The professional life expectancy in city schools isn’t exactly as long as suburban longevity among teachers.

Maybe that’s why outgoing State Rep. Bob Keeley, defeated by Grogins in an August primary, could be a nice fit as a city teacher, a position he’s been trying to line up. Keeley’s a lifelong resident, student of neighborhood diversity, and former city hoopster that competed against the city’s best. (I wonder what Bob’s vertical jump is today?)

As OIB friend Tom Kelly says, Keeley would be the White Shadow. What is the proportion of 50-year-old white male teachers?

Former Mayor John Fabrizi and Keeley could have a nice competition registering (of age, of course) new voters. I mean once it’s in your blood …



  1. Maybe the WHITE SHADOW are the Whites who are actually the only ones safe from layoffs. They are politically connected and that holds more weight in city employment than seniority does. Phil White has worked in the benefits office for less than 2 years and a veteren worker was laid off before he was. This is just WRONG! And Tom White was saved because the council just needs him so bad … yeah right. The council did fine for all the years that they had no legislative office.
    Spending is still going on throughout the city. The Party on Thurs will cost over $13 grand of the taxpayers money. Must be nice to play with people’s money and lives Bill Finch … how do you sleep at night?

  2. And why do so many offices have more than one deputy director? Comptrollers just hired Dawn Norton from WICC to take Mike Lupkas’ place. How come that wasn’t in the news? Why does Comptrollers have two dep directors? I hear Public Works has too many dep directors also. Too many chiefs not enough indians.

  3. Memo to Jim Himes and Bill Finch from the desk of “The Oracle of Omaha Steaks”.

    Dear Jim and Bill,

    I would like to extend my help to the City of Bridgeport.
    My investment company, Berkshire Hathaway, holds a medium-rare stake in Bushwick Metals in Bridgeport. My suggestion for the City of Bridgeport and Congressman-Elect Jim Himes is the following.

    The City of Bridgeport has extra space at your City Hall Annex, aka the Taj Mahal. There is plenty of space that was once occupied by the Police Department when renovations were taking place at your Congress Street HQ.

    Mr. Finch should offer Mr. Himes this space at a market-rate price. I believe the space has State Street access and Congressional constituent parking could be on State Street where the police used to park. It could help form a Government Center synergy between Muni and Federal offices. FBI and Federal Courthouse building are within a two-minute walk from Annex.

  4. UpData:

    GMAC (General Motors credit arm) is 51% owned by Cerberus Capital Partners, a private equity hedge fund that would benefit from any upcoming bailout. Whatever happpened to “creative destruction” as espoused by Joseph Schumpeter, the economist of yesteryear ?

    What some people call “private equity” I call a public bailout.

  5. Assessments: Just to go off-topic for a minute. New assessments are out and I received mine this afternoon courtesy of the PO.
    My assessment went up $25,000 over what it was. Well this and the mil rate should give Finch and his robber barons a ton of money to play with.

  6. Wondering

    Even though the revaluation is based on property values as of 9/30/08, and we are in a very volatile market can the reval under statute be delayed one year?

    Once again commercial properties are going to be the beneficiary of zero or negative appreciation.

  7. Local Eyes

    Cerberus Capital as a private equity company also owns Chrysler. Under the Auto bailout they would be required to post warrants in order to receive auto bailout money.

    Cerberus does have a position in GMAC. However, GMAC does not qualify for banking bailout money as they do not have the $30 billion in capital requirements. Requirement deadline is 5:00 pm Friday.

  8. Why are so many bloggers and city employees up in arms over the gestapo tactics used by Finch et al in the saga of layoffs and givebacks? Ever try to stop a steamroller? Well, the mayor, council and dtc are not listening. Sure there are too many deputies, and they all owe allegiance to someone. We’re in a recession and have little money to spend yet we have directors, dept heads, asst’s and deputies. Why is Alan Wallack still on the boe payroll when the new schools are up and running? Construction services is obliterated yet director Art Harris is still on the job? Why is Joe Jambriska treasurer and Anne Lenz in tax collection? She used to do both. Just how many temps are still in the system? How many grants people? How many grants for that matter?

    Finch needs to target double-dippers and cronies and has little time to do it. It’s disgusting to let the people go who make little in wages and just before the holidays.

    How dare he throw a party to boot? Employees should boycott it and donate the food to the soup kitchens in the city.

  9. Hey Warren All U Can Eat Buffet
    I think I used to buy those Hathaway shirts down at the Warnaco discount store in the South End. Always good prices. Did you work there?

  10. Someone told me that Vazzy’s has agreed to charge the city the same amount as they charged Fabrizi last year. Shouldn’t it be less if there have been all of these layoffs?

  11. Between the newspaper ad, decorations and this Christmas Party, I am absolutely amazed. That’s over $20,000 that the City could have used somewhere. It’s money that could have prevented a layoff. I must be missing something–maybe Finch and his clan make so much that they no longer recognize what struggles the regular employee goes through to make ends meet, all the while expecting more and more furloughs.

    Keep spending money irresponsibly, go ahead–continue to break the back of your employees.

    Enjoy your Party–Don’t choke on the fruitcake.

  12. The most pathetic thing with the city Christmas Party is it will demonstrate for all the extreme excess space that is in that forsaken building! Sell City Hall Annex, Bill. Move back to City Hall. If we are to believe that there have been all of these layoffs then there should be plenty of room to move your crew in. Office space in this city’s government is like a sponge and water. Extra space gets absorbed by the remaining executives just so that they can have bigger offices for their bigger egos. Out, out damn spot!

  13. Grin Reaper

    I used to work there and then go upstairs and get three shirts to the wind up at Barnaby’s.

    In Bridgeport we used to have Shirt Sales! Now all we have are “Short Sales”!

  14. *** All the Unions that represent city workers should tell all members to not only boycott, but organize a picket @ the Xmas Party for a couple of hours to bring media light to the layoffs before the Holidays. I’m sure many of the laid-off workers would be willing to show for a couple of hours, etc. The unions can play ball with the city but it does not mean they have to like it! ***

  15. In response to the re-val notices and the City Hall Christmas party and newspaper-ad nonsense:

    Mr. Mayor, can you spell

    T-A-X  S-T-R-I-K-E ?

    What about you, fellow Bridgeporters? How much more extortion and extravagant government are you willing to tolerate?

    How many incompetent, do-nothing suburban cronies in the public school system and City Hall do we have to continue to support? They should be fired and their asses sent packing–along with Mario Testa and Bill Finch!

    How long can we sit back and swallow tax increase after tax increase when City Hall is full of incompetent, do-nothing cronies–most from the suburbs–sucking on the Bridgeport patronage tits of our whore City Hall and Democratic Town Committee?

    How dare this scumbag administration even think about a tax hike in this economic climate?

    We must not remain cowering Bridgeport sheep any longer. It is time to say, “No!” to any new city property taxes. All of the fat in City Hall and the public school adminstration must go! There are too many “assistant”-this and -that positions and too many “directors” of -this and -that in the school system … There are millions of dollars worth of useless Assistant Superintendent positions alone. The Superintendent of schools is the most useless of all of the public-school deadwood!
    Too many millions of Bridgeport tax dollars going to the public school system with nothing to show for it!

    We shouldn’t lay off any street cops (or firemen), but even the PD has deadwood. Just what services does “Community Services” provide anyway? How many people “work” in that “hideout” on Old Town Road? There must be at least 20 police cars there all day, on a daily basis.

    And what the f--- is Gene O’Neil doing on the payroll?
    What the f--- does that dinosaur do except run errands and carry out orders from Mario?

    This is it folks! If this tax hike goes through in this economic environment you can kiss the middle-class in this city goodbye forever. For that matter, you can probably kiss the city goodbye forever!

    Enough is enough! It’s time to “tar and feather” a bunch of “City Hall” people and “run them out of town on a rail!”

    Resign now, Finch!


  16. OIG Bloggers and Lennie, be sure to read the article regarding the holiday party in today’s CT Post. The party is costing us $13,500, the full-page ad in last week’s Post cost more than $6,300 and the holiday decorations for the annex and city hall cost $2,700. Enough already, somebody do something. I can’t even eat breakfast–I am so very upset and disappointed. What a blatant waste of tax dollars!!!

  17. A holiday party is very thoughtful. However, couldn’t you have asked each employee to bring a covered dish??? And others to do some baking? Oh, I have to go find a real good solid bone to chew on–I am really ready to attack!

  18. The Mayor and his cronies remind me of the aristocrats pre-French Revolution who were totally out of touch with reality. To paraphrase Marie Antoinette, “Let them eat fruitcake!”

  19. Let’s see about $22k total for Decorations, Food and newspaper ad. Can someone tell me what this moron and his band of misfits is thinking?
    We know that all of the ass-kissers will be there telling the Grinch what a great thing he did. These will be the same people that ARE NOT getting laid off. I am sure our all-time favorite “The Greeter” will be there blowing smoke up the mayor’s ass.
    I take it by lack of response that everyone is happy with their reassessment. I talked to a friend that lives in a condo on Park Ave and her assessment went up $100K. This new assessment and subsequent slight mil increase is what Finch is banking on in his third year to get him reelected. We will see 2 years of tax increases and then lo and behold there will be a surplus and a tax reduction or a zero increase. My friend figured her taxes out and she stated that she presently pays $7,500 in property tax; with the new assessment and no mil increase she will be paying $12,000 in property taxes.

  20. I forgot what is the cost for employees who attend his party during work hours. We are paying their salaries and they are not working.
    I am not blaming the employees I am sure in some instances they are being ordered to attend. How would it look if the mayor threw a $13K party and no one attended.

  21. Wondering, it would show class, lots of class! And it would say to the mayor that you are out of touch with reality and that you are alone, all alone! Enjoy your party Mr. Mayor–it may be your last.

  22. *** Can there really be the spirit of Xmas @ a P/R holiday employee party? With everyone that still has a job running behind the Mayor & Woods with fake smiles and Xmas greetings, “Humbug”! ***

  23. Ok, let me get this straight. We the taxpayers are paying $85,000.00 for a PR, press person to spend over $20 grand on parties, decorations and an ad that could have been a press release. That $100K could have saved 2 real jobs. You should have let people go 2 hours earlier instead, it would have had no cost and the City loses a few man-hours. Like most employees aren’t shopping on-line anyway. Clean out your own house Finch. Junkyard dog I liked your practical solution of having a pot luck or better yet trade Carroll’s TV for some catering.

  24. Sloop John B
    The employees will leave early on Christmas Eve. The whole city shuts down around 10:00. Supervisor will be out of there by noon but no one will say that it’s a half day otherwise police and fire would have to be paid OT.

  25. *** B.O.E. Admin. loses new teachers after 2 to 3 yrs. to other cities, towns, etc. They get there OJT in Bpt. schools and get picked up by other schools with better pay, fewer students & a better chance of advancement in the future than Bpt. Our school system prefers to fill advancement positions with outsiders instead of from within by claiming that not enough staff has the needed credentials to get the positions. This is just one of many reasons Bpt. does not keep many good potential new teachers; just look @ how many older good teachers that have been in the system about 35 yrs. or more still teaching the same curriculum more or less! No incentives for advancement, lousy contracts, crowded classrooms, school crime, disrespectful students & parents, truant students that can barely read & write, Admin. that ignores teachers needs or complaints, etc. And education outsiders that think that by throwing more money @ the problem, is really going to fix it anytime soon! The best act the BOE has done in a long time was aproving the 1st- to 8th-grade uniform requirement for all Bpt. public schools. Each school student should be much easier to identify due to their school colors & school mascot patch hopefully. Other than that, the school system still has a long way to go! ***

  26. XMAS PARTY …

    IF Finch and his staff had a BRAIN, they would have reached out to the Business community and have them along with the many food establishments in this city sponsor the party …

    But this was probably TOO MUCH WORK for the 8 employees in the Mayor’s office and 10+member CAO office … They must be overworked, when they actually show up to work …

  27. Oh my! I have chewed up all my available bones–I need to scrounge around the yard for more to take me through the weekend. I’m trying to hold back the attack dog in me.


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