Mayor Shows His China Chops

Hey, Mayor Bill Finch is going to China. Can you blame him? Budget’s a pain in the ass; Cape Verdean community in an uproar over treatment of fired CitiStat chief, mayoral candidate John Gomes; black community wondering who will be the new health director following departure of Marian Evans now that the application deadline has passed; unions not anxious to return scratch to close a budget gap after returning lots of scratch the past two years. Someone wants this, another wants a job, pass the razor blades. I’d get out of town too.

Wait a minute, you’re not thinking the mayor’s going to China to apply for sustainability chief, do ya? Shoot, maybe this is hizzoner’s Marco Polo tour. How long did Marco stay in Asia, 24 years? Will Bill return? News release from the mayor:

Mayor Finch to Attend U.S. Conference of Mayors China Summit

One of four from around the country; chosen for expertise in sustainability

Mayor Bill Finch will travel to China from April 24 through May 2 as one of four Mayors from across the nation attending the U.S. Conference of Mayors China Summit. Other Mayors attending include, Burnsville (Minn.) Mayor Elizabeth Kautz, President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors; Long Beach (Calif.) Mayor Bob Foster and Bowling Green (Ky.) Mayor Elaine N. Walker. Mayor Finch, a member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Advisory Board was chosen to attend the Summit based on his expertise and leadership in sustainability and economic development.

The theme of the 6th Sino-U.S. Mayors Summit is Sustainable Development of Cities and the Green Economy. During the summit, Mayor Finch will take part in a panel discussion about the Green Economy with Mr. Fu Yonglin, the Vice Mayor of Chengdu, Sichuan Province and Ms. Xu Pinghua, Mayor of Qingyuan, Guangdong Province.

“We are focused in Bridgeport on how to best utilize the green economy to create jobs and lower expenses. This trip is a great opportunity to learn how to expand our BGreen 2020 efforts here in Bridgeport,” said Mayor Finch.

While in China, the Mayor will be meeting with the Mayors and city officials of Beijing (pop. 17.4 million), Chengdu (pop. approximately 10.4 million) and Shanghai (pop. 20 million). He and his fellow Mayors will attend the opening ceremonies for the United States pavilion at the Shanghai Expo, which opens on May 1.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors is paying for transportation and lodging for all of the Mayors taking part in the Sino-U.S. Summit.



  1. Old Saying

    Be careful of the toes you step on today
    they might be connected to the ass you will be kissing tomorrow

    Gomes will clean house


  2. Is this mayoral trip to China a belated April Fool’s joke? The mayor an expert of sustainability and economic development? Duh! Sustainability maybe if you’re talking about keeping one party in power way too long … that will go over well in a communist country! And economic development expertise? wWre did the mayor get that? This is a farce if there ever was one.

    btw, if GE still uses the slogan “we bring good things to life,” why can’t they put put some life back into the city they helped destroy by being a creative partner and develop the Boston Ave site. Aren’t they responsible for the clean-up anyway? Paging Mayor Green?

  3. It is great that the mayor is going to China for a conference related to a green economy. Great country to visit one of the world’s major polluters.
    He is also going to learn about economic development? That’s a joke. What has developed under his administration? Bupkus.
    What the hell is sustainability?

  4. I see this differently. I think Finch is knowledgeable about all things green. He has the expertise and the passion in this area. This is a suitable career path for him; being mayor of Bpt is not. He never wanted to be mayor and was never good at it. Let him follow his green dreams and let us move on to find someone who really wants to move Bpt forward in more than a green way. It’s a win-win.

  5. Today is the 100th anniversary of the death of Mark Twain. He died in Redding. (Possibly just down the road from you, Lennie!) His Fairfield County home “Stormfield” has long since passed, too, burned to the ground in a fire. He helped start the Mark Twain Library in Redding and drank at a tavern where the Redding Roadhouse now stands.

    But Twain leaves us his book “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” and the passage below …

    “We marched comfortably along, through glades and over brooks which I could not remember to have seen before–which puzzled me and made me wonder–and yet we did not come to any circus or sign of a circus. So I gave up the idea of a circus, and concluded he was from an asylum. But we never came to an asylum–so I was up a stump, as you may say. I asked him how far we were from Hartford.

    He said he had never heard of the place; which I took to be a lie, but allowed it to go at that. At the end of an hour we saw a far-away town sleeping in a valley by a winding river; and beyond it on a hill, a vast gray fortress, with towers and turrets, the first I had ever seen out of a picture.

    “Bridgeport?” said I, pointing.

    “Camelot,” said he.”

    Rest well, Mr. Clemens, rest well.

  6. Oh, but if we were so lucky as to have a king as wise as Arthur … instead we have kings by the names of … … … … … … … … … (do the math, knave, do the math!)

  7. But we did have Arthur’s Round Table downtown. Do the math. Same location. Different names Houkie(?) Lounge. Same silent partners. Different combinations came-a-lot.

  8. Finch has got to get his head out of his ass and realize the only green the taxpayers of Bridgeport care about is the money that should be in the city’s treasury and not being wasted on green initiatives.

  9. That’s Sir Come-a-Lot to you.

    New name for that old nookie joint that would let you smoke could be “The Hookah Allow!”

    Mayor, “Kermit ‘It’s not easy being Green!’ the Frog” Finch will be increasing his carbon footprint by flying to China. Perhaps he should try a slow boat or just go down to UB and start a Green Incubator. He wouldn’t have to wait to BGREEN by 2010.

  10. OIB Rumor Mill:

    Lennie’s recently updated OIB Site Use Policy was specifically made to restrict certain rogue bloggers. While bloggers have always been protected from being “outed,” the new threat of being “ousted” has been added to the rules.

    There is no reason to think OIB will throw a parade for discharged bloggers …

    In other news, Mayor Finch was chosen from a large list to attend the upcoming China convention. Even with questionable qualifications, his selection shows he’s made an impression in a specific field: the evolving GREEN revolution, which is of vital interest to the Chinese. Don’t be surprised if his hosts show an acute understanding of Bridgeport politics and give their guests a surprise gift to bring home.

  11. Long Beach, Bowling Green, Burnville and Bridgeport. What no Hootersville? That list musta been long I bet the Mayors who didn’t want to go had a longer list. Lennie who’s footin’ the BILL on this one?

    1. Hector A. Diaz:

      You’re wrong. Mayors competed to go on that trip. Winners (short list) go to Beijing; losers (long list) go to Hootersville.

      What list you’re on is not mentionable under OIB’s new policies.

  12. OIB Rumor Mill:

    In Bridgeport (OIB), Mayor Finch has critics. In Beijing, he has fans. The Chinese press anxiously await the upcoming convention. Presidential meetings are filled with tensions but the mayor’s meeting is unlike that. The Chinese already have a fond nickname for their visitor. They have dubbed him The Green Dragon.

    1. *** Rumors of a nice Chinese gift from the early 1900’s awarded to his honorable Mayor dubbed, “Dragon Chaser.” A recycled brass, jade and blown glass water smoking pipe; “WOW!” ***

  13. Maybe Mayor Bill will confuse the Chinese with the Koreans and the Reverend Sun Myung Moon. They all wook awike to him.
    He might start accusing them of kidnapping and brainwashing or clothes-washing and dirt napping and start some sort of international crisis.
    Speaking of international crisis is he taking Woody with him? How about the Mrs.? One can only hope.

  14. I see Diaz and TC still going at it on immigration. Like I said we need some type of immigration reform but it goes too far in Arizona! If you are a 2 or 3 generation Mexican or Hispanic they can stop you and ask you crap? That is racial profiling!!! Many people immigrate here to find a better life just like Lennie’s father and also mine. I personally think that Mexican border should be sealed off to prevent illegals from coming over but in Arizona what they are doing is flat out racist! Not only Hispanics are here illegally there are many other people here illegally too. If you’re going to be like that on the Mexican Border do the same on the Canadian as well. TC and Diaz both gave good answers.

  15. These numbers are from the 2006 democratic primary. Both Lamont and Malloy lost Bpt … Wilbur Cross went huge for Lamont in 2006, Wilbur Cross always goes for the non-establishment candidate, it also went big for Caruso … the first % is Lamont the second % is Malloy. Here are the results:

    Bridgeport 124-1 John F. Kennedy Campus 48.3% 45.9%
    Bridgeport 124-2 Harding High School 48.9% 45.9%
    Bridgeport 124-3 Dunbar School 49.7% 47.4%
    Bridgeport 124-4,5 St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran 51.4% 37.9%
    Bridgeport 126-1,2 Thomas Hooker School 43.7% 42.0%
    Bridgeport 126-3 Hallen School 51.2% 46.6%
    Bridgeport 126-4 Wilbur Cross School 69.1% 44.8%
    Bridgeport 126-5 Park City Magnet School 55.3% 39.3%
    Bridgeport 126-6 Read Middle School 49.0% 50.2%
    Bridgeport 127-1 John Winthrop School 45.9% 45.0%
    Bridgeport 127-2,3 Blackham School 31.8% 44.7%
    Bridgeport 128-1 Luis Munoz Marin School 50.7% 54.9%
    Bridgeport 128-2 Columbus School 41.5% 62.1%
    Bridgeport 129-1,2 Central High School 50.2% 51.7%
    Bridgeport 129-3 Longfellow School 53.7% 48.9%
    Bridgeport 129-4 Black Rock School 55.4% 52.5%
    Bridgeport 130-1,2 Bassick High School 44.7% 52.0%
    Bridgeport 130-3 Roosevelt School 50.8% 52.7%
    Bridgeport 130-4 City Hall 45.3% 60.2%

    1. I provided those numbers to Jon, who gave them to Don–the bottom line (which is hard to determine from the precinct results) is both Ned and Dan lost the city by 3% (51.5-48.5%). Ned got about 300 votes more, but the percentages were the same because the interest in the Senate primary was higher.

      I thought it was strange despite it being close overall, the two did so well or so poorly in certain districts–but I guess that’s due to strong “Line A/Line B” operations.

      1. marlys I agree the numbers were lopsided and that gave me a big surprise because when you look at the final results citywide it was close but individual precincts went big for certain candidates. Unlike 2007 every precinct was close between Finch and Caruso. Besides Marin, Wilbur Cross, Longfellow and Park City every precinct was a nail biter. I wonder how this primary in 2010 is going to turn out? Wilbur looks like a precinct if you win it you win it in Huge margins. I heard the Ganims always ran strong there.

  16. Hi donj–I’m still up in the air on the governor’s race. I worked very hard for Lamont in ’06 and I also supported DeStefano against Malloy for Governor. However, much of my support for Lamont’s senate campaign had to do with the war and in a gubernatorial race foreign policy is not as big a concern.

    I also have a real problem with Lamont’s opposition to state legislation supporting paid sick leave. Malloy, on the other hand, supports this legislation. So while I would like to support Lamont because of my past association with his his senate campaign and my admiration for the way he took on Lieberman I am not able to make that commitment just yet and may in the end wind up supporting Malloy. Time will tell.

    Who are you supporting?

    1. I think there’s more smoke than fire in the paid sick leave debate–Lamont has agreed to sign the bill under consideration, but his fumbling of his interviews on the issue is a reminder that he’s not a very polished media figure (which cost him dearly in 2006–this stuff does matter).

      That said, his employees have always had sick leave, while many Stamford city employees under Malloy’s administration (bus drivers, most library staff) didn’t.

      Lamont’s weakness is he is a lousy politician; Malloy’s is he’s more progressive as a candidate than he is as a public official. With that in mind, I’m still hoping that Glassman and Figueroa stay in it long enough to shape the outcome of the election–if Juan had a functioning finance operation going, I’d be leaning strongly towards him.

  17. JfBR you make good points. I am going for Lamont. Do you remember how many Democrats and Republicans are registered at Black Rock??? I really want to know the Republican numbers because it seems like our neighborhood is turning solid blue from the last 3 years.

  18. marlys thanks! Appreciate it a lot how you know so much? Hey if you have the raw vote for the 2006 primary send them on too!!! Or send them on in an email thanks!

    1. Hi Don–the email I have for you has the number 563 in it–if that’s right, it should be on its way to you now. Otherwise, uh, I just sent the file off to some stranger.

  19. Thanks marlys–Interesting points about Malloy being more progressive as a candidate than he is as a public official and yes, Lamont often does fumble in his interviews. Of the two, who do you think is the most electable come November?

    1. Lamont’s resources and Malloy’s resume are probably a wash in the primary. The biggest political difference between them, IMO, is that just about everything negative there is to be known about Lamont we already do know. No one comes out of multiple terms as mayor without a bunch of skeletons in their closet, imagine who would pop out of the woodwork during a campaign if Bill Finch were to run for SOTS as Lennie keeps saying! My worry about Ned is he’s offering the policies he thinks he can enact instead of being an advocate. It makes me view him as genuine and honest, but over time pre-compromising will probably restrict what he can accomplish, and drive all of us crazy in the way Harry Reid does.

      If I had to pick on electability alone, I’d probably go with Mary Glassman (less drama, plus like it or not the rest of the state views Fairfield County as some kind of foreign land). Juan is the opposite end of the spectrum, the genuine liberal superhero. It’s an interesting (and difficult) decision to make.


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