Mayor Announces Hire Of Grants Chief

News release from Mayor Bill Finch:

Mayor Bill Finch today announced the hiring of Christina B. Smith as the Director of Central Grants.

“We are very happy to have Christina join our Central Grants team,” said Mayor Finch. “She brings with her a wealth of experience in project management and operations planning that will be invaluable in coordinating grant applications and oversight.”

Ms. Smith, who is a native of Bridgeport, most recently was head of operations for Gwynnie Bee, a fashion rental service based in New York City. She also was a project manager at BNP Paribas, an international banking company, and worked in risk reporting for UBS Investment Bank in Stamford. She is a graduate of Princeton University, and holds a master’s degree from New York University in Historical and Sustainable Architecture and a Master of Science in Urban Regeneration from University College in London. In her new position she will be earning $99,652.

Ms. Smith will oversee the Central Grants office and will administer grants from federal, state and other funding sources including identifying grants, oversight of application process and monitoring of all federal and state agency grants and available funds. She will work closely with a number of city departments to understand their funding needs and seek grants to meet those needs.



    1. independent soul, good point. There is nothing in Christina B. Smith’s resume that said she could write a grant or if she ever wrote a grant and the grant was approved. Maybe she has but the taxpayers are not aware of it.

  1. *** Getting a start in the city’s grants dept is the last place to break in a manager newbie concerning all important grants. And you’re right i.s., where does it say in her credentials of any experience in grants writing or managing? Let’s hope this does not turn out to be another political payback appointment of a friend or family member that will in time amount to negative results. As JML would say, “time will tell” so ’til then, good luck to C.B. Smith! ***

    1. This position is budgeted at $78,540. Why the big increase and where did the extra money come from? Was it approved by City Council? Civil Service? Anyone? Anyone?

      1. She is a graduate of Princeton University, and holds a master’s degree from New York University in Historical and Sustainable Architecture and a Master of Science in Urban Regeneration from University College in London.

        She has no demonstrable education and no experience in grant writing/grant administration. But she will work at getting green grants for Mayor Green Jeans.

        Bill, the green you need in Central Grants is the same green as in CASH.

  2. anna, would you please help us understand what you said, can she write a grant and how do you know? This should be NO problem at all for the mayor to release the information and her WHOLE resume, so anna, help us out or is this secret information?

  3. JABD again! Just Another Bridgeport Day!

    Why should a silly detail like no grant-writing experience ruin a new Director of Central Grants chances at potential greatness?


  4. Let me change the subject for a moment. This is from the GreenwichTime.Com

    “The demise of the Comeback America Initiative”
    Published 5:27 pm, Wednesday, October 9, 2013

    Unbeknown to most voters, the federal budget deficit has been dropping like a stone, plummeting to its lowest level since 2009, according to recently released data from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Depending on whom you ask, this rapid plunge may or may not be good news for our economy. But amongst the deficit scare-mongers that populate Washington, D.C., this news may have created its first high-profile casualty.

    Ending with a faint whimper rather than a bang, the Comeback America Initiative (CAI), founded by former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker and dedicated to getting America’s fiscal house in order, abruptly closed up shop Sept. 20. In an e-mail to his followers, Mr. Walker said his organization was discontinuing operations so he could “spend some time with my family and consider future options.”

    What happened to CAI?

    Much like the Syrian war fever that recently subsided on Capitol Hill, it was only a couple of years ago that Congress was gripped by doomsday scenarios about the threat to our country from mushrooming budget deficits and unsustainable debt “as far as the eye can see.” One of the most prominent Cassandras was Mr. Walker, a Bridgeport resident and–until Linda McMahon with her millions came along–widely touted as a potential GOP Senate candidate in 2012.

    It may seem like ancient history now, but it was the drumbeat of alarmist prognostications from the likes of Mr. Walker, CEO of CAI, and the duo of Simpson-Bowles that led Congressmen from both sides of the aisle to warn their constituents that our economy was going to hell in a handbasket unless the debt and deficit dragons were slain. To put our house in order, Mr. Walker and his confreres had their sacrificial lambs all lined up: repealing the Affordable Care Act, block-granting Medicaid, raising taxes on Americans just above the poverty line, and further means-testing entitlements.

    Even today, an outfit calling itself Campaign to Fix the Debt, consisting of business and financial elites, is sounding the warning that any debt ceiling agreement reached by Congress must include steep cuts to entitlement programs, and deficit-increasing reductions to Obamacare.

    It should be no surprise that CAI came a cropper. After all, Walker’s proposed remedies for conquering the deficit displayed a level of political cluelessness and blindness to economic reality. In addition to being wildly unpopular, these remedies took for granted estimates of skyrocketing budget deficits that have proved to be dead wrong. Indeed, in addition to plummeting deficits, CBO’s long-term budget projections don’t show crisis levels of debt, even looking out for the next 25 years. That’s not to say we don’t face fiscal challenges. But it certainly represents a repudiation of the “sky is falling” debt and deficit alarmism that Mr. Walker’s now defunct outfit irresponsibly peddled for years. The consequence of this obsession was that it dominated — and distorted — policy discussions for the past few years, with far too much emphasis paid to (now shrinking) deficits and not enough attention to (sluggish) jobs and growth.

    The skewed nature of the debate in Washington had another truly pernicious effect: it allowed Mr. Walker’s mentor and benefactor, wealthy, anti-government conservative Pete Peterson, to frighten Americans into thinking that unless seniors gave up their “generous” Social Security and Medicare benefits, their grandchildren would be doomed. And this kind of irresponsible fear-mongering still haunts some of the “serious” policy discussions heard today in Washington, D.C.

    There was no secret to this manufactured obsession. It was President Reagan’s budget chief David Stockman who said years ago: “The purpose of ginning up the Social Security crisis was to permit the politicians to make it look like they are doing something for the beneficiary population when they are doing something to it, which they normally would not have the courage to undertake.”

    In spite of the failure of Mr. Walker’s attempts to repeal Obamacare, block grant Medicaid, and raise taxes on the poor (not for want of trying), the deficit has, as noted, fallen dramatically. Perhaps it is time for Walker and his fellow deficit scolds to publicly acknowledge the error of their ways, but I wouldn’t count on it.

    Bill Gaston is a vice chairman of the Greenwich Democratic Town Committee.

  5. And very biased.
    Raising the debt ceiling does not mean the government will spend more, and not raising the debt ceiling does not mean the government will spend less. Raising the debt ceiling simply gives Congress the authority to pay for previous spending. So every year, the government spends more money than it takes in–and they borrow to make up the difference. Right now FEMA is about 20 billion dollars in debt. The flood maps have been redrawn and thousands of home owners, who have never flooded or never been in a flood zone are hit with mandatory (if you have a mortgage) flood insurance of about $2400 per year–so who wants to buy my house, because my budget does not have a discretionary $200 per month extra funds. If I were the government, I could borrow the funds to pay the new insurance and let my grandkids pay off the debt when I die. That is the real flaw in our government spending, which Mr. Greenwich does not address and actually seems to poo-poo …


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