Mayor Statement On Latest Murders, Plus: Loads Of Police Applicants, Good Stuff Downtown, And Ganim Freedom Video


Evening Update: Statement from Mayor Finch regarding recent homicides:

“I am very concerned about the recent tragic incidents in our City. I am in constant communication with Police Chief Joe Gaudett and I have directed him to utilize every asset available to confront this problem head-on.

“I am proud of our police department’s swift response leading to several arrests over the past week. I have every confidence that additional arrests will be forthcoming in the most recent incidents.

“Nonetheless we need to redouble our efforts to stop the flow of illegal firearms and other dangerous weapons in to our city. By working together with state and federal agencies, we’ve done much to stem the tide of illegal guns on our streets. A little over two weeks ago, our police department, working together with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, made over 20 weapons-related arrests.

“I’ve contacted Assistant U.S. Attorney Felice Duffy, who administers the Safe Streets task force, in which our department is an active participant, to request additional resources. But, we need everyone’s help – if you see something going on in your neighborhood, I urge residents to call the Strategic Enforcement Team at 203.449.0488. They are working in our neighborhoods, but they need your help.

“I want to be clear: Our city is safer today than it has been in decades, and, through the hard work of our men and women in blue we will continue to make our city safer.”

Police Exam

Were you one of the 700 or so applicants who took the city police exam on Saturday?

Yup, hundreds and hundreds of cop job seekers at Central High School took the written test for 20 openings, courtesy of a stimulus grant secured by Congressman Jim Himes. Strings are attached to the stimulus hires. The city cannot use the money to maintain its existing police force. I gotta think Acting Civil Service Personnel Director David Dunn loved soaking those suburbanites for extra testing fees after he jacked the fees for out-of-towners. Hey, it’s additional revenue!

Meanwhile, labor negotiations to close an $8 million city budget gap should begin in earnest this week, or layoffs in lieu of that, with Mayor Bill Finch and city labor negotiator Tom McCarthy, the City Council president, returning from their respective vacations. When Big Mac’s away layoff notices remain on hold.

I checked out the Bridgeport Arts Fest at McLevy Green on Saturday. Our friends at provided the intro video. Kudos to City Planner Ben Henson who headed up organizational efforts on behalf of the city. Good stuff going on downtown. Thursday night concert series, sweet places to eat, Phil Kuchma’s Bijou Square project on Fairfield Avenue back on track with new housing scheduled for completion this year. In chatting with folks on Saturday, downtown has emerged as a nice housing market for young professionals. Dozens of them live at 881 The Lofts across from Housatonic Community College. They’re from Boston and New York and lower Fairfield County who’ve discovered trendy housing without the prices that accompany those areas. And a number of them such as Eli Newsom are active with the downtown arts.

Eli, a financial planner, commutes to Manhattan from Bridgeport. In his spare time he’s a huge advocate of the Playhouse on the Green across from McLevy Green, and is a driving force behind the newly created Bridgeport Theatre Company

Hey, maybe these young professionals downtown represent the future of the Republican Party in the city. Get out those voter registration cards. Tsunami Tuesday just three weeks away. Who’s your pony?

Joe’s out, here’s what he has to say:

From Jim Himes:

With many people out of town during the summer, food pantries have been struggling to keep supplied. This has been particularly problematic for Bridgeport’s food pantries, especially after the tornado. I recently received an email from the Bridgeport Rescue Mission asking for help. I turn to you, as involved and concerned supporters, to help our neighbors in need. We will be holding food drives at our Campaign Headquarters in Bridgeport (350 Fairfield Avenue) and the Democratic Headquarters in Stamford (123 High Ridge Road) for the next two weeks. You can drop off cans on your way to or from work or when you come in to volunteer. The contact for Bridgeport is Aaron Turner, and the contact for Stamford is Cara Pavlock

Below is the list of items that the Bridgeport Rescue Mission said they needed most: 

• large boxes of cold and hot cereal
• pasta and jarred spaghetti sauce
• boxed macaroni and cheese
• large bags of rice or beans
• Ramen noodles
• instant mashed potatoes or canned potatoes (28-ounce and larger)
• canned vegetables (14-ounce and larger)
• canned fruits
• canned meats such as: beef stew, canned tuna fish, canned hams and/or SPAM
• instant Jell-O mixes
• granola bars
• iced tea and lemonade mixes

Thank you for your commitment to our community. I hope you’ll join me in helping our neighbors who need us most.

Harvest Time

The Healthy Bridgeport Alliance, in association with the Bridgeport Health Department, St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Cecarelli Farm and Wholesome Wave, announces the return of two Park City Harvest Farm Stand locations in Bridgeport. Both sites accept food stamp SNAP/EBT benefits, as well as WIC farmers market checks, senior WIC farmers market checks, cash and WIC cash value vouchers. All of these government-subsidized benefits are doubled at both Bridgeport farm stand locations via Wholesome Wave’s Double Value Coupon Program—meaning $10 in benefits gets consumers $20 in fresh produce.

Bridgeport farm stands run every Tuesday at the St. Vincent’s Medical Center on 2800 Main Street from 12:00pm to 5:00pm and every Wednesday at the Bridgeport Health Department on 752 East Main Street from 9:30am to 2:00pm. There is free parking in both locations, and the farm stands will be open rain or shine. Cecarelli Farm will serve as farm stand manager for both sites this year. The 2010 farm stand season marks the second year that Wholesome Wave’s Double Value Coupon Program will be available at these two Bridgeport markets.

“St. Vincent’s is excited to be a partner in bringing fresh, healthy foods at affordable prices to our employees, visitors and public,” said Deb Ventricelli, RD, a registered dietitian and the Director of Food and Nutrition at St Vincent’s. “Good nutrition is central to a healthy lifestyle, cutting the risk of obesity and its consequences including diabetes and cardiac disease.” She added, “The farm stand is another way in which St. Vincent’s demonstrates its mission of caring for the community.”

Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch strongly supports the program, stating that “the farm stand plays a key role in the local economy.” He added, “We are very happy to partner with Wholesome Wave in providing fresh, healthy and delicious fruits and vegetables for Bridgeport residents.”

This year, at the Bridgeport Health Department site, “we wanted to make the space more inviting, acting as a community gathering space, with picnic tables, a big tent, flowers and outdoor artwork,” said Valerie Sorrentino, Deputy Director of Human Services. “We especially appreciate the support of the Bridgeport Parks Department. They worked so hard on getting the site ready, and were very committed to the project. It would not be possible without them.”

For more information call (203)576-8046 or visit

The Healthy Bridgeport Alliance began its planning in 2008 to serve the nutritional needs of Bridgeport neighborhoods, and the Park City Harvest program was born from this endeavor.

Bridgeport Health and Social Services Administration Our mission is to promote and protect the health of the people of Bridgeport through the provision of essential health services, monitoring of programs, enforcement of laws and ordinances, and collection of health information. Our objectives are to provide a stable and trusted vehicle of communication, education, training and collaboration between all Health & Social Service departments, divisions and programs. We endeavor to provide administrative leadership, support, and oversight. We strive to incorporate technology in order to provide more efficient and effective Department, and to support and encourage community health care planning.

St. Vincent’s Medical Center is a subsidiary of St. Vincent’s Health Services, which include St. Vincent’s Behavioral Health Services, Westport Campus, St. Vincent’s College, St. Vincent’s Special Needs Services, St. Vincent’s Medical Center Foundation and St. Vincent’s Immediate Health Care Centers. It is a member of Ascension Health, the nation’s largest Catholic healthcare system. St. Vincent’s is a teaching affiliate of the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and of New York Medical College. The Medical Center is also sponsor of Swim Across the Sound, one of the nation’s largest hospital-based cancer prevention and patient support programs. For referral to a St. Vincent’s physician or about programs and services, call the toll-free Care Line at 1-877-255-SVHS (7847) or visit

Wholesome Wave’s mission is to encourage and support increased production, availability and access to fresh, healthy and affordable, locally grown food for the benefit of all. For more information visit

Sorry To Hear This, From Tom Foley

The Tom Foley for Governor campaign regrettably announced that Tom’s wife Leslie lost her baby on Friday evening, July 16. Leslie entered Greenwich Hospital on Tuesday, July 6, following an ultrasound showing her at risk for carrying her pregnancy to term. She was transferred to Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital on Sunday, July 11, for a procedure to help extend the pregnancy. The procedure was done on Tuesday, July 13. She returned home the next day. She re-entered Greenwich Hospital at 4 AM Friday morning, July 16, experiencing contractions. The baby was lost Friday evening after a 19.5 week pregnancy. Leslie is in the Intensive Care Unit at Greenwich Hospital. She is expected to return home in several days.



  1. Maybe we should tack on a surcharge to all the out-of-towners who work for the city. It falls under the congestion pricing theory of economics.

  2. I feel so much better knowing that tweedledee and tweedledumb are back from vacation. The city is safe.
    Maybe now they can figure out how to handle the $8 million deficit, something that has eluded both of them so far.
    Here we are July 19th and we have unions that have not met with the administration yet.
    We have no one on the council hollering about the 4% increase for mayoral appointees, talk about in the pocket of. Shame on the council.
    Big deal we are going to hire 20 more police officers with federal money. What happens after a year and the federal money is gone? Who picks up the $1.5 million or so in salary & benefits for these 20 officers?
    I guess hiring the 20 officers is a good sign in that we will not be laying off police officers that would be great. So where do the police givebacks come from? It will come from the padded $6 million projected OT budget submitted by the chief.
    Only in the circus known as Bridgeport.

  3. I contacted John Gomes via his website last week with a few questions regarding his political positions. I received neither a response to the questions, nor a reply to the email at all.

        1. He responded to my questions; for all we know Lake Forest Guy is Caruso or Fabrizi or Finch trying to make Mr. Gomes look bad. There are two sides to every story and 3 sides on the internet.

          1. Lake Forest Guy is not Caruso, Fabrizi or Finch. But John Gomes and his supporters are always welcome here to share who he is, what he stands for, and why he’d be better than anyone else to lead the city.

          2. I’m actually not involved in politics, other than a prospective voter who’s wondering why after a week a little-known mayoral candidate would choose not to respond. I will continue to patiently await his response, and will keep you updated, Mr. BPT.

  4. I was never a big Joe Ganim kind of guy. I believe saints have pasts and sinners have futures. I think it was in very poor taste that the CT Post was there and took pictures of Ganim and his son as he was being released. Some may say his photo-op was another Ganim orchestration but I feel it was wrong.

  5. Let’s take it by the numbers since there are relatively few comments today, or at least so far:
    Hundreds take police exam for 20 positions? That have temporary funding? That in future layoffs would suffer from “LIFO,” last in first out, layoffs? So the real question: where are the jobs, jobs, jobs and in light of that is the current compensation and benefits for new hires too high, in relation to the relative security over time of such positions? Here is a chance for someone in the know to report on what starting police can earn currently, along with benefits now and into the future. Anyone?
    T.C. Doesn’t it always take a few days after coming back from vacation to come back to reality and deal with “unfinished business” like last year’s budget? It’s only people’s lives and jobs you are dealing with at the 13th hour. (Speaking of layoffs related to bad revenues, word from Jewett Avenue home of the Catholic Center indicates at least ten people quietly laid off ten days ago when results of the Bishop’s Appeal showed a seven-figure shortfall. More signs of the times.)
    Don J is happy with the picture of former Mayor Ganim and his son. Joe’s words indicate he is aware of “family time” and needs to catch up on it ’cause you can’t make up for lost time. Joe was smart to limit his comments as he did. Fair or not fair he stopped for the camera. I wonder how it would feel to be in his son’s shoes at the time. Don, maybe you could more fully explain the things that set your heart on fire about Ganim’s accomplishments relative to ensuing trail of continuing difficulties and challenges you do not mention, and with which we continue to fumble about? I don’t think I am the only one who needs to understand the reasons, as opposed to the emotions, for such support.
    Finally, Lake Forest Guy, can’t answer for Gomes’ position or failure to respond, but I discovered the same deal with the City Q Line. Three days and waiting for some update on the City of Bridgeport parksmart program. Any word on what is normal for a response to a phoned-in question?
    OK, let’s see who is reading with the heat and humidity index up in the clouds once again. Stay cool …

  6. Beacon The problem is this administration and its appointees do not know what reality is. They know clean and green and they know how to make up jobs for politically connected people. Reality, not a chance.
    Do they know the reality city employees have faced every day this month waiting to see if they have jobs or not? NO.
    If you want a case of reality the mayor’s major appointments should all be fired for their continued incompetence.
    Reality: all members of the budget committee should be taken off of that committee immediately for not coming up with the necessary budget cuts to balance the budget.
    Reality should hit city hall next November as they are emptying out their offices and start moving into the real world where their kind of incompetence is not tolerated.
    Reality in Bridgeport at the present time is a joke.

  7. Beacon I know what I wrote is harsh but I for one have had enough of this bullshit. I am not moving and they will not win. My city deserves better.

  8. Problem is this administration suffers from tunnel vision. TC and BEACON2 serve as the light at the end of the tunnel. This city needs some laser surgery.

  9. I hear the police have a great leader (a captain) in the DB solving crimes. The “actor” in the chief’s office probably had no idea there were murders since he lives near Danbury. I heard he never responds to any major crimes.

  10. From the CT Post here is an article that maybe the budget committee and Mayor Finch should read. If you don’t understand this article I will be happy to explain it.
    Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell is informing more than 2,800 managers and executives in state government they won’t be receiving pay raises.
    In a one-page letter sent Monday and obtained by The Associated Press, Rell informs all managerial and “confidential staff,” typically people who work in personnel for high-ranking state executives and in fiscal offices, they will not be getting a pay raise this year.
    Rell says the decision is not a reflection on the employees, but rather the “grim reflection of economic realities.”

  11. So does Wood get his 4% raise while he is off working for Lamont? You would think Wood would have had enough of working for unqualified, inept people.


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