The Feds Could Be Watching–The Train Gang–Gofer The Good Stuff

"Big Brother is watching you!"

City officials must be super careful about the effort to push through a regional wastewater treatment authority with Trumbull and Monroe. It has all the makings of déjà vu all over again. Lots of money involved processing waste, it’s an underground ca-ching machine. Let’s hope decision makers in this process don’t risk their liberty.

Dozens of people, if it comes to fruition, are going to make a lot of dough off this poop deal, including lawyers, lobbyists, architects, engineers, contractors. I’m not implying someone has their hand out; I’m saying if you’re thinking about it, don’t. Not worth it. Will the Feds watch this process? I don’t know for sure, but (knowing a little about how Big Brother works) I think they will. It has all the ingredients … money, power, desire to make it happen.

Is power a narcotic? You bet. So let’s keep an eye on this because I have a feeling the Feds will keep watch. Message to all involved: Y’all be good now, ya hear?

OIB Book Update

I have no idea how this stuff happens; in the past week I’ve received several inquiries: Lennie, when’s that Ganim tell-all book coming out?

It ain’t.

Could I write one? Yes. Could I publish it? Yes. And for a while a few years ago I  thought seriously about it. But for what purpose? A few stinking bucks? In 2004 Connecticut Magazine asked me to write a piece about power, greed and the downfall of a high-profile Connecticut mayor. The article I wrote pretty much tells it all. If you’re new to OIB (and thankfully, we receive new readers every week) plug Connecticut Magazine Hellbound Train into your favorite search engine and that piece captures my perspective.

Of course Joe Ganim has his own myopic perspective in an effort to clear his name. But that’s Joe for ya. He carved out a position 10 years ago that he did nothing wrong and he’s sticking to it. It doesn’t make sense for Joe, after all these years, to back off his position, for his family, his ego and any other reason he rationalizes. Joe is an expert at rationalizing things. Joe has many talents. And that is one of them.

But one book I am working on is an update of Only In Bridgeport which I wrote when I was in my mid-twenties. Now that I’m (OMG, don’t tell anyone) 52, time to freshen the manuscript. With any luck look for it this holiday season. But don’t expect any new Ganim revelations.

Train Gang

Last week Ms. Mo and I attended the Train concert in Trumbull. Sweet show. We ran into a bunch of OIB readers. A knucklehead like me has nothing better to do than ask: do Trumbull Town Council members attend for free? If anyone from Trumbull’s legislative body attends for free it’s news to those I asked. (Unless, of course, a connected friend–contractor Manny Moutinho had sponsored the event until this year–slips them a ticket?) In fact, some of the town officials looked at me sideways when I asked. Oh, yeah, they said you’re asking this because of Bridgeport. Yup. In Bridgeport the city’s legislative body (that would be City Council) ordained into the contract with the promoter of the Gathering Of The Vibes that they must attend the weekend concert extravaganza for free on the greasy argument that we must monitor the event for future consideration. Not only that … we must be allowed to bring a companion.

Bullshit. The whole thing is bullshit. How about allowing council members to attend one day (without a companion) instead of a package worth more than $400?

Republican Town Chair Marc Delmonico filed a complaint several weeks ago with the city’s Ethics Commission that the free weekend access violates the City Charter and ethics regulations. The city’s Ethics Commission has largely been a toothless tiger for its 25 year’s existence. Can’t wait to hear how City Attorney Mark Anastasi defends this one.

What city official involved in the approval process should attend the Vibes for free? The mayor.

If Mayor Bill Finch wants to attend and bring wife Sonya and the kids along, so be it. He’s the chief executive, he’s the city’s cheerleader, he’s the one that greets 20,000 folks in Seaside Park. In fact, in any city facility: be it city park, arena, ballpark, The Klein Memorial; the mayor (be it Finch or any other mayor) should have a standing invitation to go.

But not the City Council. In fact, I could see designated city Park Board members attending the Vibes because it’s the Park Board that’s involved in the nuts and bolts of the annual hippie fest.

If the city’s Ethics Commission sticks its head in the sand on this hand them all an instrument and ask them to join hands and sing Elton John’s Funeral For A Friend:

The roses in the window box

Have tilted to one side

Everything about this house

Was born to grow and die

Ice Cream Downtown, Baby!

Gofer The Good Stuff
Gofer The Good Stuff

I’m excited. Icecream downtown. Check out Jay Ragusa’s new Gofer Ice Cream fronting the Arcade on Main Street.

Jay has shops in Greenwich, Darien, Stamford and Fairfield and downtown Bridgeport is his new addition in the chain he started in 2003.

And he puts his money where his icecream goes:

“I am a believer in the revitalization of the downtown, in fact I recently moved to the City Trust (building) to be right on top of things as we launch this shop.”

Maybe Yahooy can invite Anna for a treat. Check out the site:

Dream Builders

DREAM BUILDERS is the dramatic, inspirational story of two men, Peter M. Lehrer and Gene McGovern, who rose from the streets of New York to create Lehrer/McGovern, a construction company that would oversee and build the most important projects in the world including the renovation of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Canary Wharf, Euro Disney, the Towers of Kuala Lumpur, and the 1996 Olympic venues in Atlanta. Part documentary and part educational tool, the film exposes the inner workings of an important American business partnership in a dramatic, personal way never seen before. The film was produced and directed by Westport filmmaker Larry Locke of Larry Locke Films, LLC.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 5:30 P.M.

Wine & Cheese Reception ● Screening

Question & Answer Session with Peter M. Lehrer

University of Bridgeport, 84 Iranistan Avenue, Bridgeport

Mr. & Mrs. Henry B. duPont III Tower Room in the Arnold Bernhard Center

Kindly RSVP by September 20 to (203) 576-4696 or



  1. “… But don’t expect any Ganim revelations.”

    There is nothing anyone can do, say, or write about Joe Ganim that can hurt him more than 8 years. I’ll tell you what I expect: I expect some stretching of the truth (that “Amen” you heard was Joe Ganim). For example, If you write again that you suggested or recommended John Fabrizi for City Council President and that’s how he became mayor, that would be a stretch and Joe Ganim would back me on that as he wanted Auden Grogins to be the Council President. I expect some seriously bunched words forced to fit in the pages like in “Bow Tie Banker.” I expect to pay at least $30.00 or more for the book or $5.00 if not signed by Lennie. Finally, I expect donj to have extreme difficulty understanding and following “Only In Bridgeport II.”

    1. Speedy, were you on speed when you holed up in the old Remington building with that ghost a few weeks ago? Joe would rather have stuck needles in his eyes than have the Blonde Banshee as council president. In fact, he would rather have chosen you. Auden, Pat Crossin, Mike Marella, Bill Finch was the coalition that elected Fabs with Joe’s blessing.

  2. You can take it to the bank, Bridgeport will take a screwing when this regional sewer plan is in place.
    We do not have anyone on the payroll who can outsmart John Marsilio the public-works leader in Trumbull.
    I attended a meeting last year when the Scinto sewer tie-in was up for debate and I can tell you the city’s representative at that meeting did not have a clue when it came to the sewer system. Oh the representative was Mr. Feeney.
    Between Flush Timpanelli and Marsilio we are in for a giant screwing.

  3. One more thing: When was the last time Bridgeport came out on top when it was involved in a major contract on a major project? For that matter let’s say a little contract. I will cite 2 examples.
    The recycling Resource plan in which we got Bupkus in tax payments for years until John Marsilio stepped in and we now collect millions in taxes. We probably lost $200 million in taxes on this one project.
    The other project we took a giant screwing on was the leasing of the Golf Course to National Fairways. We never received a payment on that lease and allowed them to use the course as collateral so they could borrow money.
    Can’t wait to see the screwing we get on a sewer deal.

    1. town committee // Sep 17, 2010 at 6:49 am

      How right you are in your posting above.

      Any member of the City Council ratifying these “contract” negotiations should be defeated in their next election campaign …

      … or perhaps they know they will be defeated and are already looking for their share right now. If we don’t put pressure on these council members right now, this deal will go through and we’ll be labeling it as the 40 million dollar heist in a very short time.

      No part of this harm-Bridgeport effort should happen, and the only action we can take right now is to defeat the project. We have to do it.

      This current administration will spend all the money derived from this project like there is no tomorrow. And that’s the way it will be for Bridgeport … no tomorrow.

  4. TC you are right on the money when you speak about Bucky he will make Bpt eat the shit if they will not treat the shit and they will tell the citizens of Bpt it is good for them, pass the straws.

  5. Lennie, for a few stinking bucks? My favorite fragrance. How about this idea? Write a novel about those experiences as fiction. Throw in fictional characters not from the original article to keep the readers guessing whom you are talking about. I read the article in Connecticut Magazine and there’s enough juice in there to make a great story. It’ll not only generate buzz, but those stinking dollars will start to smell pretty good when they roll in. Do it Lennie!

  6. About Bridgeport city officials and effort to push through a regional wastewater treatment authority with Trumbull and Monroe …

    We had Scinto on the TV show Bridgeport Now to discuss this some time ago. We didn’t understand at least one aspect of the proposal to bring sewage into Bridgeport. The pay structure seems to be a one-time finite fee which city receives, and not a percentage into the future. This would mean after x amount of years, the city would get no revenue. There is a history of short-term solutions and maybe a lack of due diligence when making key decisions.

    Now, about those architects in town to do free “Sustainability Design.” Apart from asking to move I-95 and the train for downtown (which actually could be good but unlikely), let me say one goal is to study how neighborhoods should interact better. How about a van out of downtown instead of waiting for buses, so folks in other neighborhoods like Black Rock don’t have to drive especially if drinking?

  7. *** Let’s see, city property owners already pay WPCA & Aquarium water bills, let’s pay another??? *** More public transportation during peak work-hour rushes is the ticket to less traffic & pollution in general. Also taxi cabs, buses & paddy wagons will take care of the drunks! (wink) *** Nice to hear about the funding for the Bpt Boys & Girls Club, invest in the youth. “Easier to build children, than to mend adults.” (P.A.L. Boxing) ***

  8. yahooy the only input Charlie Carroll will have is what comes out of his a$$ into the Bpt sewer system for that matter whatever comes out of his mouth goes into the sewer system as well, he has sh-t for brains. Hey he got married today I understand he will be crapping in Newtown.

    1. Boy Bpt Guy it sounds like you really have an axe to grind with Charlie Carroll. Why don’t you enlighten us with some info as to the obvious dislike you have for this man? As a neutral party here I feel this is to say the least a very tasteless, crude and insulting a comment anyone can make. Oh … check your chin and don’t forget to wipe you will find something loose and brown running down your chin.


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