Let’s Throw A Party

So, the Clintons reported that they have earned more than $100 million since leaving the White House. What are we doing wrong? Let’s write some books, make some speeches and throw our money to major donors for major investment deals.

Don’t feel sorry for John McCain. His wife Cindy is heiress to her father’s stake in one of the largest beer distributorships in the country, with a net worth of a cool $100 million. That’s a lot of suds.

Obama’s a mere pauper by comparison. The good news for Barack is that he’s raised the most money.

Hey, everyone, enjoy the weekend. OIB had more than 1,000 page views each of the past three days. I’m going to announce a party soon to thank everyone. Invites to all OIB followers. Even you, Yahooy! I leave you with a few releases from the camps of Congressman Chris Shays and Mayor Bill Finch.

Shays Outlines Observations on 20th Trip to Iraq
Washington, D.C. – In a letter to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, others in the Bush Administration, and Congressional, military and Iraqi leaders, Congressman Christopher Shays (CT-4) outlined 14 observations and 20 recommendations based on his 20th trip to Iraq since April 2003. In the close of this letter, Shays points out:

There has been noticeable progress in Iraq, especially as it relates to security. We need this forward momentum to continue. We have also seen some progress from Iraqi legislators. Although I believe they should and could be doing more, we must remember we have asked a great deal from a country and its leaders who have limited experience with democracy. We should give them as much time as practical to work out their differences.

Timelines are essential.  Some Iraqis feel we will never leave, while others believe we will leave too soon.  Establishment of timelines will let both extremes know we will leave when Iraq is stable and able to maintain its own security, but not stay with such a large presence indefinitely. A timeline for US troop drawdown is important to help motivate the Iraqi Government to take bolder efforts to stabilize its country. Our forces should continue to be reduced, with minimal exception, by approximately 5,000 troops per month until we reach a level of 50,000 to 60,000. This reduction rate is safe and responsible and our best hope for success.

Shays also renewed his recommendation of June 2007 that the Iraq Study Group be re-engaged and have the opportunity to present new assessments and conclusions to the American public and the president-elect by the end of the year.

City Hall news releases:

Bridgeport’s City Council meeting on Monday at 7 p.m. will include a presentation from the Bridgeport Police Department’s Neighborhood Enforcement Team (NET) about what they’ve accomplished since their inception and how their work affects quality of life issues in the City. The NET team will also be announcing a new program for Bridgeport.

Councilman Angel DePara and the following City Council members: Maria Valle, Michelle Lyons and Tom McCarthy, arranged the visit with the Mayor’s Office.

UR Home

The City of Bridgeport and Mayor Bill Finch will host a press event to promote the UR HOME program on Tuesday, April 8, 2008 at 9:00am. The Mayor will introduce the program at the City Hall at 45 Lyon Terrace, after which representatives from Blake Financial, LLC will be available to give out information to the public from 9:30am-1:00pm at the City Hall and from 2:00pm-5:00pm at the City Hall Annex at 999 Broad Street.

The UR HOME Program, conducted through the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA), assists homeowners in purchasing a house by lending 100 percent of the purchase price plus closing costs at a reduced rate as well as a $20,000 to $25,000 forgivable grant to repair or improve property. Participants’ primary employment must be with the City of Bridgeport, the State of Connecticut in a Bridgeport state office or a private sector employer that will contribute funds towards down payment and/or closing costs. The home purchased must be in Bridgeport. Applicants do not need to be first time home buyers to qualify.

“Particularly in this time of economic difficulty in the real estate market, the UR HOME program can be a huge help to those who wish to buy a home in Bridgeport,” said Mayor Finch. “Bridgeport workers are encouraged to stop by next week to find out more about the program and if they qualify.”



  1. Lennie has taken the day off, or so it seems, so let me throw some fodder out there.

    1) Barbara Brazzel-Massaro has been nominated for a judgeship by Governor Rell. Barbara is the finest member of the Bridgeport City Attorney’s staff. She knows that politics plays a role in a city attorney’s office but she also know where and when to draw the line and not to step over it. Unfortunately, for these reasons the city never fully utilizes her talents but these are the qualities that make for a good judge.
    2) The Steel Point lawsuit keeps plugging along. You can never really get a juror’s view of what is going on in a lawsuit of this magnitude by reading short articles in the newspaper. However, having spent a great deal of my professional life in retail, I can tell you that when a former vice-president of development for Taubman Co. describes a demand from then Mayor Ganim as unusual it should carry a great deal of weight with the jury. And when I asked Ed Lavernoich if Mid-Town Developers has shown the city any letters of interest or intent from retailers to occupy space in their project of Steel Point, he looked at me incredulously and said he did not think it was his place to ask. And if you want to believe what they were selling, ground was going to be broken this spring and the retail component ready in 18 months to two years.
    3) In reviewing the city budget, I came across an item where the mayor is recommending that we add another city attorney at $110,000 a year and 2 paralegals at a total of $130,000 a year; a quarter of a million dollars! Money like that could keep at least one school clinic open or retain 4 or 5 school nurses or keep most of the dental hygienists or lessen the impact on the library. The devil is in the details and more details to follow.
    4) Talk amongst yourselves.

  2. Bob let’s see here we $250,000 for city attorney’s office.
    We have M Robles Stepson at $50,000 in Public facilities and we have $39,000 for a greeter and $25,000 for a part-time clerk in Economic development. There are to be no cuts in the Police Departmnt or Fire Department therefore the 6 horses and the ones that ride them stay. It’s interesting to note that there are 69 sgts in their TO that averages out that each sgt supervises 6.5 men. Not a bad job if you can get it.
    With no cuts in those 2 departments that leaves Public facilities and a small group of clerks and such that will take the biggest hits. These people and the librarians and health care bolt that make the city work.
    They will justify the city attorney’s office by saying they will no longer need outside law firms which you and I both know is not going to happen. They would never allow a big law suit such as Conroy to be handeled by city attorney’s office I don’t care if they had 100 lawyers in the city attorney’s office. BTW I understand Laskey & Bohannan are running that office and Mark Annastacia is window dressing.
    I wonder how many more are going to be hired as the little people get layed off. He can start in his own office and get rid of Tyrone and Ruben.

  3. Don’t forget about the information technology department where there is a director making over 100 k and three supervisors making 90 k a piece for a staff of 14. I heard from sources that this is the department that prints all the tax bills. Do you remember a few months ago they forgot or (lost?) over 60 thousand tax bills to send? They blamed it on corporate mailing (who sends off mail for the city). But Corporate answered that with the exact count of mail they had gotten from the city and it didn’t include the lost bills. With 4 supervisors they couldn’t even get that right? Ridiculous! I believe the city atty office also has over 5 paralegals already. I hope the council is recommending other cuts besides the vital ones to the library and school health.

  4. Gossip of the Rialto

    Who Knews Flash?
    Stafstrom says He’s Out! “They won’t have me to kick around anymore”, his bitchiness exclaimed after being de-throned as “Vice” Chair as he hummed “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina”.

    “You Light Up My Life!”
    A “Power Pow Wow” took place this week with local power brokers at Mario’s not in Bridgeport. Heard they were exspending a lot of energy. Taking from Peter to pay Paul.

    This just in under “Upstairs, Downstairs”.
    Probate Judge Paul Ganim has taken up residence in the basement bunker at Testo’s with back door entrance and exit. Meanwhile upstairs former Mayor John Fabrizi sits in the kitchen with a box seat looking out over the bar. Ocean Spray sales are Absolutly up 25% this quarter according to Warren “All You Can Eat” Buffet.

    Demolition Derby
    Major League Brawl on Wednesday evening had water pitchers overflowing at local rest stop. Now if only those walls could talk after major clock cleaning. ABP out for fleeing cap.

    Scandal sheet.
    A couple of Horny Hacks are canoodling over their cups of Joe. Pass the cream and sugar please.

    Only In Bridgeport Kids! “Only In Bridgeport!”

  5. Ah, Harry, all the gossip that’s fit to print. Can’t believe, picked up his balls and bat and went home. Are you predicting a “Back to the Future” scenario where we have a Ganim, Fabrizi, Finch three-ring circus? Earth to PAUL a Ganim will not win in Bridgeport. Earth to Fabrizi, get off the stool, quit smoking, lay off the Cranberry and show something for yourself. But even if you do unlikely Bridgport will go for bad judgment John. Finch is still new and 3 years is a long time.

    Congratulations to her honor Barbara, a very bright, class act. Wonder who will replace her? Or will Bohannon or Lasky step up to take her spot. Unlikely though as they have it pretty good on their own. And Bobby et al, there will always be outside counsel, a little thing called conflict of interest. Those nasty little bar association and ethics laws.

  6. This blog was more fun in the old days when there were cats. Where have all the pussies gone? Lennie, where are all the freakin’ meowin’ cats? Where is envoy5, Tom curious, sun, MCAT, rafter bat, dead cat, cougar, even stupid Mikey and Ikey, yikey and sticky? I liked the cats best though. I am sick of the monotonous, dilettantes and pseudo-intellectual bullshit. Any women, and there weren’t many, were cats. Do the cats have their own tongues? I want my pussies with claws, tails, flyin’ fur, I want my sexy calendar cat. I want some entertainment mixed in with the political ranting and raving.

  7. oh, TC don’t forget, Wood, and that blond chick, with Tyrone, and the others. Money spent on some experience would be money well spent, maybe they’d get something done. Maybe they’d figure out how to save the services like Health Care. I though Finch was all for Universal Health care and then he cuts the money for school clinics. I bet that was Wood’s idea, cause he is an evil, no-talent, little sucker.

  8. Does anyone know how much a para legal makes. I was under the impression that they made between $35 & $40K . Why are the new positions proposed by moonbeam going to pay $65K for a para legal. Who’s girlfriend, politically connected person relative etc is going to get those jobs.

    Why the extra millions to the board of Ed haven’t they ripped the city off for enough money/ If they need more money let Medina, Olsen and the rest of those spend thrifts get rid of the BOE consultants.
    I have notified my 2 alderman that if they vote for this budget they will have to live with their vote when they come up for reelection. unfortunately thats in 1 1/2 years. Somebody has to get a handle on this bullshit

  9. I can tell you, Wondering, that in big firms in NYC (that is, 500+ lawyers), a new legal assistant with a degree from Columbia or NYU makes $40k base + overtime. Paralegals with experience and credentials can make $65k.

    But why should Bridgeporters bother striving in a challenging competitive environment when they can kiss some vile political ass and make comparable money as a greeter or other city hall incompetent?

  10. Good paralegals can make up to $100K. They drastically reduce the time that an attorney has to spend on a file, hence more bang for the buck. If you want an efficient City Attorney Office, then you have to give them the tools to reduce any reliance on outside counsel. Like OPED needs the proper staff to get its job done. Sometimes you need to take a step back to go two steps forward.

  11. Bureau of Labor Statistics
    Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2006
    Annual Mean Wage
    State Annual mean wage
    DC $54,410
    Delaware $48,470
    West Virginia $34,560
    New York $50,550
    Massachusetts $49,200
    I would tend to agree with those posting that $65K is an overreach here. But then again we have a city attorney who has assumed the role of auctioner for the city so I guess we tend to overpay in this office.
    And remember we are adding 2 paralegal AND 1 City attorney.
    Something appears to be amiss

  12. Craig’s List
    Location: NYC
    Compensation: $74 – $76K + excellent benefits + bonus

    Immigration Paralegal
    Compensation to $65,000 and two bonuses
    Location New York City, NY – USA – Midtown Manhattan

  13. There’s enough fat to be cut from the budget without hammering away at “little people” jobs such as library aides. part timers, or even that greeter job that only pays $35K a year, hardly a politcal plum job. That person provides interpreter services as well as notary services for the public. What needs to be eliminated is all the top-heavy middle management jobs that pay huge bucks for minimal responsibility. Some departments have a director and two supervisors to over see a half a dozen people. Then you have overpaid secretaries that make $65K a year to do hardly anything. A lot of these people were given big raises and insulated by the Fabrizi administration and should be eliminated or at least get a cut in salary. Its those jobs that are eating a hole in the budget. A paralegal in a large law firm that I know thast has worked there for 8 years makes about $55K a year. Also, the BOE is the biggest spendthrift and has been milking this city dry for years and have nothing to show for it, then they have the nerve to hire overpaid consultants. They need to be audited or at least show where all their spending is going.

  14. Queen – Your right, that is NYC money, but I don’t think those 2 paralegal positions are going to be handed out to anybody. I doubt it will be approved in the budget. My take is to save the jobs that exist, don’t add any new ones.

  15. Paralegal I, II, III or IV?

    Here’s the job description for Paralegal IV:

    Provides support to attorneys. Under the direction of an attorney, resolves routine legal issues. Researches and analyzes law sources such as statutes, recorded judicial decisions, legal articles, treaties, constitutions, and legal codes to prepare legal documents, such as briefs, pleadings, appeals, wills, contracts, etc. May require a bachelor’s degree and at least 8 years of experience in the field or in a related area. Familiar with a variety of the field’s concepts, practices, and procedures. Relies on extensive experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals. Performs a variety of tasks. May lead and direct the work of others. A wide degree of creativity and latitude is expected. Typically reports to an attorney.

    That’s $68K-$88K from salary.com

    Which position are you pulling numbers for Bob?

    Are those figures for real people … or for grumpy sour little trolls like yourself?

  16. I will also be interested in seeing who/how well connected the new ($110,000) city attorney will be.

    “And Bobby et al, there will always be outside counsel, a little thing called conflict of interest. Those nasty little bar association and ethics laws.”

    Cliche!!! You know perfectly well why we need outside counsel: it’s not because of conflict of interest. The city attorneys simply do not have the wherewithall to handle the kind of legal issues Bridgeport faces. As if the bar association has any power or influence. and ethics laws in Bridgeport?–ha! as if we believed in rule of law.

  17. “even that greeter job that only pays $35K a year, hardly a politcal plum job. That person provides interpreter services as well as notary services for the public. ”

    Sorry, city kitty, I’m not impressed.

    Anna, I am aware that the city farms out its legal business to politically connected firms, but again, my point is, the city attorneys are not capable of handling it in house.

    The bar association quip is precious. Projecting again, are we?

  18. Well maybe if you didn’t speak english as well as you do, you would appreciate someone who could help you. That job provides a necessary service to the Spanish-speaking people in the city. I wasn’t looking to impress, i was just stating the facts. The pay is chicken feed compared to what some of those secretarys get to do nothing all day, let alone some of the high paid hot shots.

  19. What is that supposed to mean, mien?

    Let’s see … hmmm … Pullman and Comley; Ganim, Ganim and Ganim; Willinger and Bucci, The Law Offices of Raymond Rizio … and whomever else your mother might have gone to after she was caught hooking on Fairfield Ave.


  20. City Kitty I dont want to argue but lets get the facts straight. The job write up for that job ‘ Greeter’ does NOT require a person to be bi-Lingual. It just so happens that the person about to assume that job is bi- lingual. This job of Greeter has been used for the past few years as a political plumb that has ben handed out to spanish speaking as well as non spanish speaking people. What usually happens is that somehow these greeters are assimilated into the city work force in other positions, and the next political lilly becomes the greeter and the cycle starts again.

  21. wondering, I don’t want to argue over that petty cash job either, but if you check into it, being Spanish-speaking is a definite requirement. There are much bigger fish to fry than that.


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