The Monday Night Fights

Some of the best fights I’ve ever attended took place at the Bridgeport City Council, and admission was free. The joke was I went to a hockey game the other day and a City Council meeting broke out. Former Councilman Tom Mulligan had a line for the twice-monthly meetings: the Monday Night Fights.

Chris Caruso and Ed Gomes, now both state legislators, had some classic give and takes.

“You’re a tyrant.”

“You’re a fat slug.”

When the unemployed Caruso would rail about a new job position, wily Councilman Bernie Katz retorted: “Hey, Chris that would be a good job for you.”

Yell, scream, bang the gavel.

“You’re an idiot.”

“You’re a moron.”

Council members weren’t exactly into elegant insults.

Monday night I showed up at council chambers to receive an official City Council Citation, as did 14 others in various categories, for OIB winning Best Blog in the 2008 Fairfield County Weekly Readers Poll. Representatives from Home On The Range, Timothy’s Ice Cream, Two Boots, Joseph’s Steakhouse, Tuozzoli Auto Sales and others also received presentations from Council President Tom McCarthy and Mayor Bill Finch.

One of the first guys I ran into was Connecticut Post reporter Bill Cummings.

“Hey Bill, what are you doing here?”

“I’m not writing for tonight. I just showed up in case there was a fight.”

That’s the spirit. You just never know when a fight will break out.

Councilman Bob Walsh, the trollish figure who’s sort of like a kid with matches and gasoline, was planning to fillet the city administration for not supporting his desire to have the council authorize selection of City Bond Counsel, a big-ticket item awarded to Walsh’s former pal John Stafstrom, former Democratic town chairman.

These days Walsh and Stafstrom are generally on opposite teams. Walsh supports State Rep. Bob Keeley. Stafstrom supports former council member Auden Grogins. The two face off one week from today on Tsunami Tuesday.

Bridgeport News Editor Brad Durrell, a fixture through the years at council meetings, was also on hand taking notes, positioned nicely just in case the flamethrowers erupted.

When my name was called to receive the citation, a few cheers and a few boos (I hope they were mock boos) echoed the acoustically unfriendly auditorium. I took a photo with the mayor, whose successful campaign for state senate I managed in 2000, and the council president who received his first paying campaign gig from me nine years ago, and promptly told them, “I love blackmail photos.”

I informed the mayor and Mac that Caruso would challenge the results of the citation in Superior Court. And, of course, I won because of absentee ballots.

We were all on our best behavior because my wife Mo came along to see the show. It was her first time at any sort of legislative meeting. I introduced her to the likes of former mayoral candidate Charlie Coviello and his sidekick Barry “Spanky” Piesner, both of whom worked for the mayor’s election and are not happy hizzoner had no jobs to offer, the unforgettable urban warrior Cecil Young, Chief Administrative Officer Andy Nunn and Chief of Staff Adam Wood.

When the council went into caucus (for what I don’t know) the mayor elbowed me gently to say hello to Mo. We chatted a bit. He talked about the kids, the successful Vibes festival, the city, the job, the concessions he needs from unions to keep the budget in balance.

Finch was a member of the City Council in 1992 when Mayor Joe Ganim, the city literally in bankruptcy court as a result of his predecessor’s action, achieved significant union concessions, including unpaid furloughs, to save the city from financial catastrophe. Finch is giving up a week’s pay too.

There’s going to be a lot of yelling, screaming and teeth gnashing during these negotiations, but I hope Finch secures concessions. After all, what’s a little fighting for a greater cause.



  1. Lennie, did you bring Mo as your bodyguard, figuring the Mayor and his staff won’t slug you in front of your wife? Even if some of the boos were real, it just proves you are doing your job. You can’t be a political reporter and have everyone love you. Trust me, you are doing your job. 😉

  2. Lennie

    Did they serve any complimentary Horse Du Orvertures at the enclave? Like me, Charlie and Spanky always know how to spot an all you can eat buffet.

    In answer to John from Black Rock’s query regarding Grogins and Deputy House Majority Leader Brendan Sharkey. I guess the Blonde Banshee was screeching at Sharkey in a vituperative manner on Rowsley Street up near the Black Rock Garden Co-op’s. Grogins specializes in dog bites but was no match for the Shark man. Attorney Sharkey was the attorney who successfully, with a historical perspective, challenged a P & Z court appeal on a piece of property in the North End.

    Word from up in Hartford is the Sharkey’s dorsal fins are up in arms over The Banshee’s non-legislative behavior. Grogins is a little politically challenged and thought The Prince by Machiavelli was a perfume. She thinks that Windsong from Prince Matchabelli is a political tome. Her little temper tantrum on Saturday could potentially have set up her Swan Song.

    The Shark and his school are in a feeding frenzy over Grogins and will be down this week to circle her, and her 3 Mopy Dicks (Finch, Stafstrom and Wood ), in the district like the scene from Jaws, when the pretty girl was pulled under by the attacking Sharks.

    And Grogins thought it was safe to go back in the political water again!


  3. Thank Warren – I guess this is an example of how Grogins will build good working relationships with the legislative leadership should she get elected. I’m sure this type of behavior will endear her to the Speaker and ensure that she gets only the best committee assignments.

  4. I hope you showered after interacting with Barry Piesner. You could catch any number of things…the worst being that terminal case of megalomania he’s got!

  5. Speaking of Warren,
    ain’t it just like a gluttonous pig to think of food before any other consideration. Y’know, Warren, your mother should’ve been sterilized.

  6. Hey Bridgeport Punk! I saw your comments about me being puerile, sophomoric et al. Well, since the Grin Ripper didn’t go after you regarding your crack about assumptions, then I will “honey”. You are going to be assuming the position laying prostrate at St. Ann’s for your Plenary Indulgences. August 15th is your Feast Day Baby. We are going to be feasting on Auden come August 12th.

  7. Kid

    As you know Warren is a value investor. It probably serves a dual purpose. One for his salads and the other to wash you out of his hair. I’d buy stock in that company. It was a very successful Art’s Walk this week. I was happy to see City Council member Brian “As the Crowe flies” supporting our cause with his pooch. Thanks for your support Brian. You really are something to “Crowe” about!

  8. Up Yours Bridgeport,
    Go fuck yourself. Just jump off the side of the earth. Spare us your sanctimonious ravings. You’re such a parasite you don’t like to breathe the air because no one else is paying for it. Your efforts at obtaining the building at 2838 Fairfield Avenue by hook, crook or occupation are the desperate efforts of a man too accustomed to getting something for nothing. In this case, you will get a 100% return on your investment.

    Keep on with the tasteless humor, Joe. You are the only one who finds it amusing. So why don’t you try being a standup guy for once? You dress well, sure, but Brooks Brothers suits cannot hide the fact you are a slimy, worthless piece of shit. Waddaya say we settle our differences like men? You and me in the “performance space” at the art center, alone with a couple of baseball bats. Waddaya say, Joe? It’s easy to taunt others from behind a PC. Let’s settle this hostility face-to-face. I may be asking too much. None of the Sicilians I grew up with would ever back away from a fight, but I imagine you would. You’re nothing but a phony, a conman, a pussy.

  9. What is taking the city so long to sell the Black Rock non Arts Center? It’s an eyesore, filthy, a slum.
    Voodoo month at the center for art??? Wake up, throw Celli into a big old pot, have people with bones in their nose dance around him singing a see you later Joe chant.
    He would probably pollute the water, by the way.

  10. Up Yours Bridgeport,
    Try putting the Sicilian machismo that you’ve bragged about having where your tasteless, juvenile mouth is. You’re nothing but a fake, a candy-ass finocchio in an expensive suit.

  11. There’s an idea: let’s boil ol’ Joe “I’ll get the volunteers to do it for free” Celli and make soap out of his worthless ass. I’m looking into my tea leaves right now. I can see the future: Joe Celli will simply sneak out of town and leave Melissa Bernstein and the volunteers holding the bag. He’s already got a job, why does he need the art center? I think he just likes to annoy people in City Hall.

  12. It’s rare when Lennie and I agree, so let’s cherish the moment. My heart rejoices when I hear him move one step away from his critical posture and one step towards a supportive role concerning The Mayor.

    Here’s what I’m rooting for, in reverse order: Joel and Sly, Mayor Finch and Bridgeport.

  13. Yesterday was a very sad day for Bridgeport. The Gov announced the door has effectively closed on future bonding for the rest of the year. Yesterday’s state bond commission meeting trickled out the last few projects but the real project funding necessary to grow the tax base for Bridgeport was absent. Where is the neighborhood funding that has been in two bond bills over four years? Where is the anti-blight funding that has been in at least one bond bill? Where is the downtown project funding so those private deals can happen? The Bridgeport delegation defines success as a project being listed in the Bond Bill. Reality is that if the project does not get approved by the Bond Commission it is nothing. The Bridgeport delegation is a real disappointment when it comes to getting Hartford to truly help the city. Bridgeport needs to vote in a new cast of smart, collegial, and respected leaders or we will continually get the crumbs.

  14. Black Rockin:
    Like your campaign to obliterate and obviate the “Black Rock Art Center”, one of the biggest frauds of the century. I don’t think you’re getting through to the folks who might bring about its demise. And if “Up on Bridgeport” and “The Bridgeport Kid” actually stage their duel there in the “performance space” I should think that the building could never be razed because of its being a slice of Black Rock History equivalent to the Hamilton/Burr duel.
    Just happened to go by the “Art Center” today and saw the windows plastered with paper. I’ve seen better looking gypsy colonies. What in God’s name is it going to take to evict these frauds, sell the building, pay the bonds, and start getting some tax revenue from the best corner in Black Rock???

  15. I’m supporting Grogins to win on 8/12. Much to Up Yours Bridgeport’s dismay, she will win, by at least 100 votes. I’ll give you good odds on it.

    Keeley will be out of the legislature, and then out of his $65,000.00 a year no-show job at DSSD. There goes Joe “how much does it cost if it’s donated?” Celli’s fairy godmother downtown. 2838 Fairfield Avenue would be a good location for another bank. What the neighborhood really needs is a fern bar, a place where assholes like Joe Celli, Bob Keeley, Chris Caruso and Bob Walsh can congregate and reminisce about the days when they had so many people fooled into believing they are all really nice guys.

  16. Countdown

    We received 4 million in bonding for Urban Green and they are going moldy as we speak. Capital markets are collapsing and the credit market is trickling like the tear drop district of downtown. The State of Connecticut is facing dwindling revenues from the collapse of Wall Street. We need real businesses with jobs that pay taxes. Not more housing that gives you a negative sum effect on revenues due to high cost of services. If this administration or your previous administration was successful in recruiting real businesses to Bridgeport the real bonding dollars, and tax credits, similar to GenRe or Diageo, would come.

  17. Auden will win easily against the do-nothing Keeley. I’m tired of seeing his yard signs saying cut taxes. If he can’t cut taxes in 20 years do you think he will ever cut taxes?

  18. Keeley will win. On primary day you guys will be crying when you see the results and there is no way in hell Auden will do good at Central. Keeley has a big base at Central. Auden won’t even get 100 votes at Central.

  19. donj

    Yes, I’m in the Central precinct and part of the 133rd city council district. I’m in the process of opening up a high-end photo/cheese boutique on Madison Avenue aptly named, C’est Cheese!! We are going to feature a hardy Limberger for this week in honor of the Summer Wind.
    On primary day we will be promoting Keeley Head Cheese along side the Grogins Fromunder Formagio. Keeley is going to win the Blue Ribbon in this Whine and Cheese party.

  20. All this talk of cheese leads me to say that I’m not Shocked du Bleu that Keeley will win the race of the Cheese Heads.

    I’m going out for the Blue Hared special up at the old Stratfield Hotel. I think it’s called Carmelina’s and I hear they serve a nice piece of rabbit.

    Hey Kid get a tetanus shot will you please. You were pretty rabid about my mother. Quit eating that possum and those raccoons.

  21. Tom Kelly,
    The State’s $1.2 million for Arcade and 144 Golden Hill helped the $22 million in private financing from US BANKCORP happen. 5% state leverage that made the rehab happen. That was a very good thing. Then comes along a protracted dispute with UI on the energy step-up vault and the Fire Marshall over an issue that took a year to resolve. That delayed both buildings. But 144 is now open and people are living, working and spending money downtown. Arcade is waiting for another infusion from the State to get the environmental surprise resolved and a loan to get the grocery store into arcade. Very similar to the Mercado in Hartford, only the state paid for 75% of that deal. Total State gap filler would be less than 20% total for both Bridgeport buildings. That is fantastic leverage for the State.

    As for City Trust, 90 of the 110 units are occupied with people that work here and along the trainride. The state put in $2.1 million in this $33 million private deal. Again, less than 10% leverage from the state to make the deal happen. The market rate tenants (all but six affordable units) come home and drop money in the stores and restaurants. So, that $3.3 million from the State FOUR years ago has generated over $50 million in private investment. Sure the retail is slower to arrive but that needs the completion of the rest of the residential units so the downtown achieves the critical mass for neighborhood shopping.

    The new zoning map will allow class A office to line up along Lafayette Boulevard if it is approved by the Zoning Board in October. The DSSD plan laid out the basics for that new zoning. The full details were just announced by the City last week.

    Look, Bridgeport can wait for Class A office space to arrive until the cows come home. Stamford’s office vacancy is shooting up again since General Re is going to leave downtown and head up Long Ridge Road. What Bridgeport needs is to finish the residential and retail along Main Street so the critical mass adds to the units being built along Fairfield Avenue. The State should have put in the $10 million leverage to the GE Money/CHFA loans to get the $50 million historic rehabs done on the eastern side of Main Street. That should have happened already.

    The perception that Bridgeport is all crime and corruption is partially solved when there are enough people with buying power living downtown in a safe quality environment. That is what has started but it needs the State to continue to partner with the City to get us to the goal line. Your cynicism about two of the four major private developments in the downtown is unwarranted. It is just plain hard to be first developer in a downtown that wasn’t properly planned. It is just plain hard to be the first developer coming out of a climate where ‘lets make a deal’ trumped proper urban form and design. The State isn’t getting the high private leverage ratio in any other city in the State. There is no excuse for the lack of funding for Bridgeport. In my opinion, there just isn’t the leadership in our delegation and those developers that venture to invest are devoured in cynicism rather than support. Why Bridgeport wants to eat its firstborn is beyond me. My feeling is that the politics of the DSSD is screwing up the success of the downtown. And that is a real shame.

  22. To everyone who thinks that Anthony is going to lose against Russo they have something coming for them. Musto has the best campaign staff of any election working for him right now. People that can deliver. We are not even thinking about Marilyn Less and Senator Ed Gnomes on the 12th. On to victory in November
    Obama, Himes, Musto, Keeley.

  23. Lennie just curious are you supporting the candidates on your blog. If not are you still impartial to those not paying you. I am used to blog sites that position themselves as something liberal or conservative. With their pieces. Not a big thing but when I see good comments about people in your posts and paying for an ad it tends to make me not believe the good things you say especially when you’re quoted by someone who may be paying you.

  24. Bob Keeley is going down hard on the 12th. PT is going to send him packing for good. Unless Mario is down there himself making marinara sauce and passing out chicken wings.

  25. Crack, everyone has a bias on the blog. That’s what makes the blog work. My goal is to be fair. If straight, down the middle reporting was presented the blog doesn’t work. Jim Himes doesn’t advertise on the blog, but I’ll run any Bridgeport related press release he sends me. Anthony Musto doesn’t advertise on the blog, but I think he’s a good guy. But if you think I have a bias, that’s fine, but I will never deny your bias. You’re free to scream from the rooftops any candidate you support. My policy: never objective, always fair.

  26. Countdown,
    It’s the “leadership in our delegation” and “the politics of the DSSD” that “is screwing up the success of the downtown.”
    This is a totally amazing and self-serving statement. How is it that the fabulous Fabrizi Administration goes unscathed in your assessment? And rather than the politics of the DSSD it is the incompetence of the BRBC that leads to this do-nothing economic development downtown! Pimpenelli and crew came up with deep pockets Eric Anderson as the sole developer and now he needs to stick his hands into everyone else’s pockets to finish the deal.
    Part-time state legislators and a service organization get blamed while the incompetent city planners somehow are praised. The only person you are fooling countdown is yourself. Now let’s start the countdown until you are out of town. Ten, nine, eight, seven…

  27. Now with the published income Joe Celli takes from the Black Rock non Arts Center and Bridgeport’s gain – the misinformed New London Art B.S. center EXCEEDS THE MAXIUM INCOME TO RENT AN APT. IN THE READS BRIDGEPORT ART BUILDING. IT IS NOW TIME TO EVICT HIM!!!. JOE pay your own way and not have the taxpayer pay for your ass to still be in Bridgeport – he is breaking the law!!!
    KEELEY do you still support him????????? You are downtown develoment director; do something about this.
    KEELEY, Are you on the side of the law?
    As a matter of fact I ask the the city attorney for a refund on my tax bill for supporting that lump Celli, taking my tax dollars for himself; please listen to me, where do you think I’m playing my oboe? NOT OUT OF MY BUTT, which has his distinctive Celli musical fragrance.

  28. I would love to see that BR Arts Center sold and used for something better than what that loser Joe Celli had going on. It’s way overdue. I also can’t wait to see the Auden/Bob election over, it’s getting old now with all these signs. Warren – you are the gourmet of Bridgeport!

  29. Tom Kelly,
    Could we please deal with facts?
    First, the current zoning requires way too much parking for all land uses in the downtown. If developers had to build the parking required, we would have a wall of parking garages. We need the zoning to require that commercial has to be on the first floor, garages have to be skinned with active uses not a wall of parking vents, and the ratio must be reduced for those properties within walking distance of the train and bus. That hasn’t been done. So, four years ago, the developer secured 144 Golden Hill on his own dimes, nickels and pennies; Arcade from BEDCO; and City Trust from the Court. Why? simple, there was a parking garage as part of City Trust, and a parking structure as part of 144 Golden Hill. The developer was waiting for the new zoning which just got announced for public comment LAST WEEK. The delegation did come up with the $3.3 million in State bond funds to make phase I and II happen. That is a very good thing. Phase I and II are happening with a huge private debt structure that was necessary because the City didn’t want the historic buildings destroyed. The same goes for the RFP that selected Urban Green Builders to rehab and build on the eastern side of Main Street. The City wants those buildings rehabbed first and a new structure to come later with shared transit parking. That was in the RFP, that was in the DSSD plan, and is now in the Master Plan. Still waiting for the State.

    So, facts on the table. Let’s get the first-born children to reach their teenage years. The developer is not in other people’s pockets, he is dealing with a very distressed City that needs the State as a partner. What is your problem? Is it okay for New Haven, Waterbury, Stamford, Hartford and now Norwich to get huge bonding from the state without requiring large private leverage? It must be because their delegations have delivered millions and millions to them–to the point the Gov has now decided to close the door. So, once again Bridgeport is left out in the cold. The Bridgeport deals have high private leverage, are using green technology, are near the transit facilities, and are preserving our historic fabric. This is not a BRBC issue. This is a delegation issue that would be a no-brainer if there weren’t some conflicting agendas at play.

  30. Black rockin,
    The city of B-port has nothing to do with the Read’s building. That was all federal funds once the city sold the buiding off. Call the FBI. Call Chris Shays. Call Joe Lieberman.

  31. Has anyone given any thought to what happens to this blog after 8/12? I have.

    All the losing asshole supporters will rant about the fixes and all the winning asshole supporters will rave about their “strength”.

    Truth be told you’re all a bunch of self-serving assholes who only care about reviving b’port if you can stick a few bucks in your pocket. I doubt if any of these candidates could hold a job in the private sector and if you support these jerks you’re probably not much better. This is the legacy of PT Barnum…a bunch of suckers and a batch of piranhas.

  32. countdown

    We got 56 million for a jail and 55 million for the Housatonic C.T.C. expansion from the state. Part of the problem is these highly leveraged deals. Wall Street was so leveraged that the CDO’s can’t be met. The Downtown North RFP project should not have been awarded to one developer. It should have been developed with a plan and bid out for each corner according to the plan. This is the same strategy that should be used for Steal Point. Quadrants auctioned off to the highest bidder with bond performance penalty clause for failing to meet deadlines.

    There were also tax credits sold on the City Trust and probably Arcade building. The developer also has the luxury of being vertically integrated as builder and developer so there is a built-in extra profit margin for the developer. That’s okay, but it still increases the margins for the leveraged deal.

    I agree with the transit strategy but strongly feel we need more of a pull-push effect versus a push effect out of town. I don’t know what stores you are talking about this crush of people shopping and working in downtown.

    You never did address my issues about Wall Street and not the Wall Street where the old Pjura’s used to be located. Now the site of Avery’s. You are correct in your zoning assessment. We can’t afford to wait for developers to come through the zoning doors. We must prepare and zone for general uses in concert with master plan. Steal Point is a perfect example to prepare for the PPD instead of waiting for the developer.

    Finally talking about agendas or hidden agendas. Would you care to address why MACH never went into the Read’s Artspace building. Addition by Subtraction and we ended up with two zeroes.

  33. Interesting building Kuchma has in town.
    Don’t they usually put bricks, wood or something over the insulation?
    This is not Frank Gehery (sp) stuff
    Or it could be an instant slum.
    We gave him a tax break — Thanks Moonbeam
    Slumbering in Bpt.
    It’s getting old.

  34. Countdown:
    Thanks for all the information. Believe it or not, we’re not a bunch of discontents and skeptics. All we’re looking for is hope, and it derives from information! The Fabrizi administration gave us lots of information and we were hopeful (even though it has all proven to be mis-information and dashed hopes).
    Happy to hear that a “market” is projected for the Arcade. That will bring lots of people (including myself) into Bridgeport’s central area, and this means traffic and parking problems. These problems had better be addressed by the administration. If we are going to have to worry about parking tickets once we get there the purchasing public will be deterred.
    It sounds like you’re connected to the mayor’s administration. I suggest that you tell him that the people are hungry for significant information not the stuff fed to us by the “Finch Report” which comes out every Friday. There’s more to running a city than photo ops.

  35. Love how they fill the council meeting time with bogus awards you can’t buy a cup of old coffee with! Did anyone get a look @ the length of the council agenda & what was on it, or if there was anything concerning any improvements for any of the 10 districts by an individual council person? Probally not, just leftover admin. items as usual. Nice friendly productive meeting by this city’s best with everyone smiling for the camera! Lately now, all the media hopes for is a good cat & dog fight argument by some of the members of the council! Finch Admin. city business @ its best, no doubt.

  36. To those people who fear development because of a traffic or parking “problems”, let me call your attention to a couple places…Stamford, New York, Boston. Traffic is usually horrendous and parking can be a major problem finding and paying for. But HEY, look at the development, the business, the people, the activity, the tax base. Then look over your shoulder at b’port where there’s plenty of parking and few places to go.

    BTW, to Summer Wind, thanks but now that I vented I don’t need a pill.

  37. Up On Bridgeport, who is a Keeley friend and supporter, has done nothing more than bilk the business community and supporters of the art center. I am certain that Up on Bridgeport has wheels on his home so that he can go from town to town taking money and doing something to “support the arts” (his interpretation: make volunteers do the work for free and pocket the donations). Well, take it from someone that actually does support the arts, Up On Bridgeport does nothing more than tell people that have lent him money “up yours”. Bob Keeley – what friends you have!

  38. Vote Auden. I was around lower Brewster today near the movies and some of my family who are Dems did not even know there was a primary. So Auden you need to campaign from lower Brewster to the two other streets I think are called Fox Wilson Benet and lower Brewster Street. We can’t let Keeley get a hold on them before we do.

  39. God made the Irish people with his beautiful hands. He then proceeded to take a shit and Bob Keeley was created.

    Little does he know that quietly people are jumping ship. Bob would be REALLY surprised at who is helping Auden out and even showing up at her offices. Keeley your time is done!

  40. Hey Folks just dropping in to say hello. I see the banter between Auden and Bob is picking up. I guess this election is truly a toss up. I guess the walls are going to get dirty because if you toss shit up in the air it’s bound to stick somewhere.

    I wish Salcedo was running in this district because he would really have a shot there.

    Who is this Joe Celli character??? I don’t know much about him, but he has his fair share of haters so I guess that means he is either doing something right or very wrong.

    I do know that Bob Walsh hasn’t taken a good clean shower since ’92 when he got caught in a rainstorm canvassing for some machine candidate.

    If Bob Walsh spent as much time campaigning than he does at Romantix on North Ave he would be in congress right now.

    That’s all for tonight. I will leave you with the following…

    Pony DePrimo is still on paid leave
    Dennis ScHInTo is buying a condo on Wilmot Ave
    Tom McCarthy is the best thing since sliced apple pie for $1.99 at the newly renovated Burger King on upper Main Street.

  41. Con Filardi,
    I don’t work for the City. I live downtown and care deeply about the success of the downtown so the City can really begin to strengthen its tax base and grow its economy. The point is that Bridgeport needs private development but the costs to develop new buildings or rehab historic buildings exceeds what the market can support. Therefore the State has to be a partner and invest Bond money in the City. Bridgeport needs the same attention New Haven, Hartford, Waterbury and Stamford have received only Bridgeport has demonstrated in the last four years it wants to minimize the State’s investment to only the minimum amount needed to get the private sector to carry the heavy load. It frustrates me Norwich can get $7 million in yesterday’s bond commission meeting and Bridgeport gets very little. Sure the Seaview Avenue project is important as it is the only private deal that was helped yesterday. Sure the fire houses are important. The expansion of Housatonic Community College was important and the new Juvenile Court Complex puts something significant on a very polluted site. However, of these projects, only the Seaview Avenue project will increase the tax base and grow the economy. Something like 47% of the City’s tax base is tax exempt so it is the private deals that have to happen. I just don’t get the sense that some of the contributors to this blog want the City to be great once again. It is like the old Bridgeport is fighting to keep a new Bridgeport from happening. In my opinion, the old Bridgeport and the new Bridgeport can co-exist. Sure the new Bridgeport means new residents, new voters, and new perspectives. Instead of adding value, it seems to me that there are some blog contributors that would rather do what they can to detract, to prevent the best and brightest from being elected, to put down those that are really trying to add value. It is really a downer.

  42. Wondering:

    In response to your post #25 two days ago on 8/4/08 at 6:48am…you’re right. That tragic drug raid/death incident happened in Easton, not Shelton. Thanks for bringing that up. I stand corrected.

    About drug legalization, I understand that too many people, like you, are still deathly fearful of the idea of legalization of drugs like marijuana and heroin, and perhaps the education, understanding and acceptance of the concept is years away in this country, but the tipping point is not far off in my personal estimation towards some form of “tolerance.”

    One thing is certain however: we cannot continue to arrest and incarcerate our way out of this situation to achieve a “drug-free America”, and continue to spend billions of tax dollars fumigating heroin poppy and coca fields in Colombia and the Andean region while US Marines today are walking by and sleeping in fields of the same heroin poppy and marijuana fields in Afghanistan because “we are afraid of offending some Afghan farmers who might run to the Taliban and become mini-me, farmer-terrorists”…maybe one day common sense and the public health argument will win the day. (Maybe Bridgeport could lead the way? Maybe cit ould happen on August 12, 2008? Next week!?)

    The War on Drugs: It’s one BIG DUMB-ASS social policy.

    Where’s the outrage from the Drug-Free America crowd? They’re as silent as Chico and Ezequiel…in all fairness, as are many incumbent and aspiring politicians, Republicans and Democrats alike. Absolutely ear-piercing outrage!!!

    Nonetheless, for now, if you were/are focused on my plan, what I’m looking for and supporting is a “drug tolerance program” much like what they are doing in Amsterdam and Frankfurt, Germany these days. Drugs like marijuana and heroin are still illegal in those countries, but they have “carved out” special zones where alternative “harm reduction” programs can be established and carried out in the name of public safety and public health, while not wasting precious limited tax resources that could be better spent on smart and socially beneficial programs like early childhood education, vocational/job training, universal health insurance coverage, reintegration of prisoners back into the community, etc. That’s what I’m looking for, and fighting for in my election campaign and in Hartford, if elected.

    Imagine for a moment just what happened this past weekend at the Gathering of the Vibes concert in the 130th District…I was not there, but I can envision a number of concert goers smoking pot and buying and selling it, (just being mellow) but there was no effort, no initiative, (NADA, ZIP, ZILCH, ZERO!!!) by Mayor Bill Finch (“I want them out of here…”) or the Bridgeport Police or the federal law enforcement agencies, like the DEA or FBI to send in a massive undercover effort to infiltrate the concert goers/happy campers and try to make mass arrests of the law breakers. Was there? What about just the drug sniffing dogs at the gates to check everyone just like at the airport? How many drug sniffing dogs does the Brigeport Police Department have and where were they this past weekend? Did anyone see any police activity like that? Did Mayor Finch have a “ZERO TOLERANCE” program in place to keep marijuana/heroin out of the concert? What is his unspoken message? Judging from the CT Post photos, I saw a 90% white population amongst the concert goers compared to the 90% minority resident population in the Seaside Park area. Are the drug raids and zero tolerance programs only for the permanent residents who are 90% minority? And the transient pot smoking (those who smoked) white population gets a tolerance pass?

    I read that former mayor John Fabrizi was flipping hot dogs and hamburgers there. Perhaps we can ask him if he detected any funny, pungent odors in the air at Seaside Park last week while he was there?

    Anyhoo, as Lennie says, that, my friend, is called a “drug tolerance zone” in place and time. Of all the thousands who attended the four-day concert, almost everyone (99.999%) had an enjoyable and safe time inside the 130th District. I only read about four knuckleheads who were arrested in today’s CT Post. Overall, I concur with all the general assessment that the concert was a success for the city, for our visitors and for the 130th district. There were no riots, no racial incidents, no shootings, just good music, good company, good times. I guess the massive rainstorm on Saturday was the only downer.

    Imagine that scenario for not only four days but for an entire two year term of a State Rep. MY State Rep term!No arrest and incarceration. No undercover/SWAT operations, and no more waste of tax payer dollars. NO SNITCHING operations. NO shootings, no riots, no racial incidents. Instead, we develop trust and peace. Help the addicted, allow adults with the choice to smoke marijuana or not, stop victimizing the minority community enclaves like the 130th district, “a future drug tolerance zone.”

    Law abiding citizens/residents do not have to leave because their streets and neighborhoods will really, truly be safer and cleaner, and transient drug addicts will not swarm into the 130th district because we will have a welcoming program for them whereby their hometown will be taxed for their use of our 130th “drug tolerant zone” again borrowing from the Frankfurt model. That is, a heroin addict from Fairfield or Westport, or Greenwich is welcomed to the 130th, but we will bill your hometown for your use of our services and facilities. Love and hugs will be free because that’s the way we are in the 130th District.

    In the 130th Cannabis Cafes: You pay, as you smoke away.

    Wondering, just consider the following historic events in American history, (1) women winning the right to vote (at the turn of the 20th century: the thought of giving women the right to vote was “pie in the sky”…women were considered too emotional, feeble-minded and acted like children, they could not be trusted to be civic leaders, doctors, engineers, captains of industry, lawyers, or union leaders”, or (2) Dr. Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights movement (in the early 60’s that was “pie in the sky”…those initiatives did not come from some brave, correct thinking congressman/woman in Washington, DC, or a siting governor in office…they came from the grassroots level…like this effort: join us or stand on the sidelines, or oppose it with all your might.

    Vote your choice, my good friend, vote your choice.
    That’s the democratic way. That’s why our young men and women serve in the American Armed Forces to give you that right and chance to vote your choice.

    Let’s see how the 130th district voters feel and think of my campaign initiative.

    Until next week…I will continue to be curbside in the 130th…door knocking and calling…

    Hey, Mojo! How about those phone calls to Chico and Ezequiel??? What are their drug policies for the 130th District?

    The Sound of Silence. It’s deafening.

    Silence is more of the same. “Meeting the needs of our community.”

  43. countdown

    Clearly you don’t know where Con Filardi lived before he moved here. Mr. Filardi moved to Bridgeport from Greenwich. Yes Greenwich! He found a beautiful lot, built a beautiful home that is beautifully lanscaped. He led the charge for work to be done on The Klein. He has offered to beg, borrow and deal to help raise funds for our broken-down historic and majestic fountains located at key intersections in our city. He has offered his services as a docent to the city and gets a blank stare from the past 2 administrations. He has studied in detail Springfield’s growth and Providence’s post-Cianci model under Mayor Ciccalini (spelling?). He was an active participant in the ULI presentations. He’s the kind of guy who drives down State Street and will not accept dirty streets. In front of his own home he landscapes and maintains part of the City Park property along St. Mary’s. Some of us are very frustrated by the Litany of Ain’ts that come through the BRBC and Bridgeport’s press machine. I worked in downtown Stamford in the early 80’s when the Columbus Park area was worse than downtown Bridgeport. For years many of us have toiled in the fields waiting for a Golden Harvest. All we seem to get are Golden Showers.

    Your description of Class A buildings on Lafayette Blvd. is nothing new. It was part of the plan from over 22 years ago. Elected and development officials have an obligation to be honest to the taxpayer. Let them know in their press releases that they won’t see any taxable revenue for the properties for at least 5 years if not longer. Development projects take years. Steal Point has been on the books and its taxes off the books for 11 years.

    We want Bridgeport to be a success.

    BTW- Con Filardi and a lot of us pay some beautiful taxes.

  44. Sylvester *** take a breath, too much opinion, too many words spoken/written like a true pol. I would vote for you if we were in the same district, but man be brief.
    What is your opinion on the Black Rock non Art Center being that Bpt. pays for it. I would like to hear your opinions of Bpt. in general.
    Countdown: reread the comments of Con Filardi, then re arrange your thinking to rational.
    Keeley are you in favor of Joe Celli? and his free ride? I don’t think Auden is.

  45. Sly: Read your latest post and let me say this I paid the price of freedom also.
    I am against the wholesale jailing of minor drug addicts that get caught up with marijuana and cocaine. I think that the $30,000 plus it takes to house people in prison can be better spent on rehabilitation and treatment.
    Like most people drugs have affected my family and it is a terrible thing.
    Having pot cafes and places for heroin addicts to shoot up is wrong. Billing neighboring towns for housing their addicts will never fly.
    I think a new look on treatment is an achieveable goal but the rest of your drug zone ideas really will not pass in Hartford. I think you should scale back what you are proposing to something that can be attainable. I am not against what you think in general I just think you have to be realistic.

  46. Wondering–This little drug rant sounds like it touched a nerve with you. You must be a Fardy.

    I do agree with “Solid as Barack” Salcedo. I just have a different take. Let’s open up the drug cafes and Heroine Havens in Westport, Darien and New Canaan. Not the 130th district. Bridgeport has its slums, but the majority of the folks that are frequent buyers of these drugs drive in from surrounding towns. Let’s have the drugs accessible to them and them only.

  47. I’m a pretty smart guy. But, I’m having trouble understanding Salcedo’s position on legalized drugs. Am I to believe that the good counselor is in favor of pot cafes? If so, the man does not belong in the State House. The proliferation of drugs in the community as glamorized by celebrities has ruined the core of our cities.

  48. to tom kelly,

    Thanks for pointing out con filardi’s contributions. It’s a shame he is shoveling shit against the tide in getting the fountain moved and restored. The ignorance of this city, of it’s history, is frightening at times.

    btw, you mentioned columbus park in Stamford when it was an eyesore. Well, fyi, it was I under who procured the state funds to totally rehab it and make it the focal point of that part of town. Just one of the things I’m proud of!

  49. To Det. Axel Foley, your description of me as having a case of megalomania is very complimentary. Thanks. Going through life and not having an objective to achieve some status of money, power and public awareness must be very frustrating for you. I, on the other hand have worked hard to raise a family, give back to my community and try to provide sound guidance for the many politicians I know here in Bridgeport. Being ambitious isn’t a disease, it’s a worthwhile objective.

  50. Yahooy-

    Let me clarify. Those things that you take all the time-> Salcedo wants to legalize them.

    For example->when you smoke crack, it is against the law. The police can arrest you when you are smoking your crack, Yahooy. Under Salcedo your crack smoking would be okay under the law.

    An aside from talking about Yahooy’s crack habit: A councilman and a mayor can rearrange the policing structure to make an environment less punitive regarding drugs. A federal legislator can move to legalize certain substances. A state rep. is the least effective elected position to legalize drugs. It is disappointing that a lawyer is so misguided with regard to the LAW.

    PS – F.U. Yahooy. It’s good to be back on the blog. CORRUPTION IS THE ONLY ISSUE!!!


  51. yahooy // Aug 6, 2008 at 9:42 am

    “I’m a pretty smart guy”


  52. Bill Hicks; I am not a Fardy. I am sure that family appreciates you using their name. Do you make a habit of that or is this a case of having a personal agenda?
    if you read the post it was not a rant it was an answer to Mr. Salcedo.
    My post was in favor of drug rehab over jail for certain minor grg infractions. Don’t you think that housing someone for $30k a year is a waste of money? Money could be better spent on rehab and counseling. Of course you are one of the fortunate few who has not been affected by drugs or booze. It must be wonderful to live in a bubble.

  53. Sly, I would agree that in certain cases community service, drug rehab, minor fines, and maybe even military service, etc. would all be better than spending the type of money the state spends now to keep a person in jail. However, Bpt. and the state of Conn. has many other problems besides drugs & it seems the majority of your campaign is based mainly on the drug problems and its cost to the taxpayers, etc.? Also, maybe it’s just for campaign purposes but you seem to compare yourself to Obama & his political promises, how about your own ideas for a change? Also, what did you mean about phone calls to Chico & Santiago? Both have little or no experience in politics per se and are basically there for personal gain and/or nepotism. Fact of the matter is the Democratic 130th district has some real weak candidates in the state rep. race & that’s why I won’t be voting for any of them period. It’s not the party we should be supporting, it’s the candidate of choice, that’s best for the job!


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