This Is One Huge Load

On Monday the chief elected officials of Bridgeport, Trumbull and Monroe will shoot the shit (in more ways than one) over a proposal to construct a new Jewish Home for the Elderly with all three towns carving up property taxes as a result of Monroe hooking into the Trumbull sewer line connected to Bridgeport’s mother ship.

Proponents of the Monroe development call it Bridgeport’s royal flush, while critics say it’s just another way of suburbia crapping on the city.

Here’s what’s going on: Bridgeport Regional Business Council chief Paul Timpanelli is brokering a tax deal between all three towns for the $150 million development proposed by Shelton-based land czar Bob Scinto. Mayor Bill Finch desperately wants at least $1 million in tax revenue to plug into the current year budget that ends June 30 and at least another million for each of the next two years. After that, the tax revenue ends.

In addition, both Trumbull First Selectman Ray Baldwin and Monroe Selectman Tom Buzi want a greater pound of flesh than the deal initially proposed.

The question by critics: is Finch selling the store for some quick up-front money, as former Mayor Lenny Paoletta did regarding the regional garbage plant in the West End, eschewing the long-term gain?

The Jewish home will generate roughly 85,000 gallons a day of sewage, but negotiations have included extending the flow from Monroe to Trumbull to Bridgeport upwards of 250,000 gallons per day. This opens the door for another entity, say a medical building, or large-scale development to pipe in that would not otherwise materialize because Monroe does not have its own sewer system. What strain does this place on the city’s tired sewage system? Clearly, a project such as Steelpointe (if it ever happens) would require tens of millions of dollars of upgrades.

Once you open that spout from Monroe into Bridgeport, there’s no stopping it. The shits gotta go somewhere, and it’s coming Bridgeport’s way.

Bijou Square developer Phil Kuchma and leadership at Bridgeport Hospital (which knows something about dealing with sewage discharge) are concerned it’s a sucky deal for the city. Still other critics say it’s just bad public policy to open the city sewage valve to suburban communities, especially one two towns away.

If you had a business would you allow the adjoining business to pipe in to your system? Would you allow your neighbor to pipe into your septic?

From what I’m hearing Finch is in agony over closing the budget gap while staring at another huge hole for the budget year beginning July 2009 and a state legislature and governor saying don’t expect us to save you in this economic climate–we’ve got our own problems. Merry Christmas!

The Bridgeport City Council would have to sign off on any deal Finch cements. There are two revenue streams here: the tax piece that goes to the city and a flow fee that goes to the Water Pollution Control Authority.

Don’t forget, Wednesday Dec. 17, 5:30 p.m., OIB party at Two Boots on Fairfield Avenue. Say hello, down some pie and let’s all contribute to the growing strain on the city’s sewage treatment plant! Isn’t that an appetizing thought?



  1. It is plain and it is simple. Bill Finch cannot be allowed to negotiate the tri-city sewage disposal deal. He’s not intelligent enough to obtain a deal that will have a lasting benefit to our city rather than the potential of we citizens paying so that Trumbull and Monroe can send their effluent our way in perpetuity. Very little money up front may be appealing to this shithead (pun intended) but the long-term impact on city finances may turn this debacle into another cost contributing to the continual hemorrhage of funds.

    Finch involved in making sewage decisions is, indeed, a shiity deal.

  2. Let me be blunt about this: Only an idiot would accept an “upfront” payment without residuals (use tax) on this deal.

    Bridgeport holds the power hand in this negotiation. Let’s hope the mayor recognizes the opportunity for what it is.

  3. Why isn’t mayor Finch talking about the 3-year-old study that the city has showing that our sewage plants are at or near 100% capacity?
    Where the hell is the council president on this one, he has seen the study. Oh I forgot he is the mayor’s lap dog and doe not have a mind of his own. He is like the straw man in the Wizard of Oz.
    If Startford can maintain and operate its own sewage treatment plant as can Fairfied then it’s time for Monroe and Trumbull to do the same.
    Finch remember you will have the new revaluations to beat us over the head with.
    BTW Finch how is our Bond Rating as we are going to need to expand these plants after you give away the store.
    Why doesn’t it surprise me the the suburb’s lobbiest Timpanelli is involved in this deal?

  4. Everyone knows the name Paul Timpanelli and what his title and putative duties are. But to whom does he report? Who pulls the strings? How to explain his juice? How and why does he wield such undue influence over 45 Lyon Terrace, or 410 State Street for that matter? Lennie, enlighten the blighted masses, can you?

  5. Just like the Mayor’s deal with the police, an upfront payment that leaves all the downstream costs and issues for Bridgeport taxpayers makes no sense. It provides a short-term benefit that we will be paying for for years to come. Bad idea.

  6. Just got the new assessment on my house. Apparently the city thinks my house is worth a lot. I wish it was worth how much they think it is, but sadly I think they’re crazy with their market-value estimate. I’ve heard a couple other people complain as well. Anybody else get their new assessment?

  7. There is a very good reval tutorial that can be found at www

    It explains the methodology of the reval and also offers FAQ’s regarding process and appeal procedures. Also included are tutorial videos for the process of appeals. Anyone may sign into the system following the prompts to check out your property and similar comps.

    I think we now have a kinder and gentler Tax Assessor in City Hall that can answer objections without insulting constituents like the former Assessor.

  8. In response to Bob Fredericks’ assertion about Timpanelli, the business leader may tell you he hasn’t enough influence (grin), but certainly his stature and/or influence comes through his longevity, now 20 years as head of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council, and willingness to play both politically and governmentally. He’s a survivor. And what’s the best way to win goodwill from his BRBC board members? Harnessing access and strength with the mayor that you formerly employed.

    On the political side, he’s now (along with former Town Chair John Stafstrom, an attorney with Pullman & Comley) the go-to guy to raise money from the business community for political campaigns, although he’s not in the fundraising league of Stafstrom or Dem Town Chair Mario Testa. And he’s not bashful about wielding his political fundraising on behalf of a candidate or incumbent mayor, such as it is, to meet his business-community agenda.

    He is deathly afraid of a Chris Caruso mayoralty (views him as the anti-Christ) which is why he weighed in so heavily for John Fabrizi and then Finch. Timpanelli is far more focused and disciplined than Finch who will tell you being mayor is 90 percent politics, which is a lot of crap. It’s far more about judgment and (to use City Councilman Bob Walsh’s word) execution than politics. Get the big stuff right, govern well and the politics follow, and manage well, as OIB friend Bruce Hubler says, and build confidence. Joe Ganim was never popular with the politicians, he only really courted all of them when he was in trouble criminally and witnessed a souring electorate, but (I know this drives some of my readers nuts when I praise Ganim) he was the brightest, most cunning mind to occupy the office in my lifetime. He was a great deal cutter, except when it came to taking his judicial medicine.

    So, Timpanelli, whether good or bad, is in part filling a management and discipline void. Governmentally, his experience as first selectman of Trumbull prior to joining the city’s business community helps to build a bridge to a Ray Baldwin in Trumbull and Tom Buzi in Monroe. Timpanelli also fancies himself as a campaign guru–by virtue of his former elected position–having never managed a race of consequence, and he arrogantly dispatches his perceived political wisdom with the precision of a bloated Washington consultant. Translation: I’m smart and you’re stupid.

    But does Finch possess the discipline to negotiate a trifecta sewage deal? Bill’s not a dummy. He has a number of strong qualities, but focus and discipline are not among them. He’s the classic legislative mind thrown into a chief executive’s role. Many cannot make the transition. Until he fundamentally decides that he has to bring in people that actually know something about the complexity of infrastructure, deal-making and discipline, a guy like Timpanelli fills that void for him.

    Common sense should dictate to find someone who knows something about this shit, but as they say–sometimes common sense isn’t so common.

    Just ask me!

  9. Just a thought: What has Bob Scinto ever done for the city of Bridgeport? The answers is nothing. He has gone to surrounding towns and built his ass off.
    I am no fan of DiNardo but at least I see a large taxpayer going up on Housatonic Ave that will house united rentals.
    Sure as I am writing this the lemmings on the council will vote for these sewer measures and the consequences be damned. They will be led by that Finch Butt Boy McCarthy. Does anyone know the last time McCarthy or anyone on the council for that matter stood up to Finch and Mayor Stafstrom? A message to Paul Timpanelli kiss my ass and go back to Trumbull you have made enough money here for doing nothing.

  10. The UAW has acquiesced and is planning huge pay cuts and benefit reductions in deference to job security as the government proceeds with bailout plans. $73+/unionized manufacturing hour vs. $43/ an hour for non-unionized auto workers has finally caused defeat. This economy cannot recover so long as union labor demands wage and benefits levels from employers who are not able to generate the revenue to satisfy such obligations. BRAVO UAW. It’s about time!

  11. Cougar Cat; Let’s get one thing straight, no one and I mean no one I listed in this or any other post has done a damn thing for me or my family. We have not asked for anything as we don’t need anything. If you think you know who I am bring it on.
    BTW those that know me know I speak straight up to anyone I have had a problem with face to face.
    I have brought this shit up to all that I have mentioned face to face.
    Let me make this clear–I don’t work for the city nor do any of my relatives, close ones or distant ones. You know what, I don’t give a shit that you are disappointed. If you weren’t beholding to the administration you would have spoken out about what is going on. Your silence has been golden. So I must have been hitting a nerve for you to respond now. Merry Christmas.

  12. In almost less than 20 years what do we have to show in Bridgeport under the leadership of Paul Timpanelli?

    His organization has been nothing but an alpahbet-soup of studies. Paul isn’t a bad person just has a poor vision for Bridgeport. If he considered Caruso to be the Anti-Christ then this would make Paul the Anti-Chris. Furthermore, Paul was deathly afraid that if Caruso had won, his reign of errors would be over. Shouldn’t Timpanelli and the BRBC be held accountable for backing Fabrizi and Finch? This is the same business organization that when Joe Ganim was under indictment gave him a standing ovation at the BRBC annual dinner.

    I’m not here to say that under these economic times Caruso wouldn’t have the same challenges. However, what I am saying is that Caruso had a better grasp of being mayor than Bill. Also, Caruso has been painfully silent in his criticism of Bill. I just wish Caruso or someone in government would step up to the plate and offer some solutions. This blog has more creative and problem-solving skills that have been offered and have fallen of deaf ears.

    As the Andrea Bocelli song is entitled it’s “Time to Say Goodbye” to Paul Timpanelli. Very few organizations can remain dynamic with leadership that becomes stale after almost 20 years.

    I’ve heard the regional bullshit from Paul and his organizaion for years. In the early ’90s the Trumbull Marriott broke away from the Bridgeport regional tourism district to join the New Haven tourism district. The Trumbull Marriot at that time was the host hotel for the Pilot Pen or whatever it was called in those days. Background info is that the State collected an additional 6% as a tourism tax to support regional arts and promote regional tourism. The 6% garnered by the Marriot filtered into the New Haven district, thus supporting New Haven. Paul and the Town of Trumbull didn’t have the balls to stand up to the Marriott and say this is wrong. So much for Regionalism.

    I understand that in his position he gets paid by memberships. I’m not laying all the blame for the Litany of Aints that have plagued our city for years on the Paul and the BRBC. However, Paul and his organization should be held partially accountable for a myopic vision for Bridgeport. Look at the dog-and-pony shows and press conferences over the years. Look at the fancy color-coded overlays of proposed projects coming from the BRBC that never happen. Look at the support of the BRBC to put a juvey jail on the waterfront.

    The intermodal project is an extermodal project, and the Seaview Avenue corridor project is never going to happen.
    The new Bus Terminal has made downtown a ghost town for pedestrian traffic and hurt small businesses.

    Paul and the BRBC should get out of the government and political business and get back into the Chamber business.

    If Paul wants to pull the strings and our chains in Bridgeport’s government, then let Paul move into Bridgeport and run for mayor. I might even support him, but based on my recent record of support, that would really be the kiss of death for his candidacy.

  13. “Tom Kelly” #20, great assessment of Paul Timpanelli president of BRBC. As the mayor of Bridgeport Joe Ganim, John Fabrizi and Bill Finch all relied too much on Timpanelli.

  14. Warning:

    To all OIB fans who enjoy their computers; be on the ‘Mira’ for Mirar. Two weeks ago, I encountered major PC problems. I noticed that my pop-up blocker was not the one I had installed and that the frequency of pop-ups was just outrageous. I could not read the OIB postings let alone post comments. Mirar found a way to install itself onto my PC without an uninstall program accompanying it. I’m still trying to delete this bitch from my PC to no avail. So consider yourselves warned and be on the ‘mira’ for Mirar. Google ‘mirar’ and learn about this bitch now before she shows up on your PC screen. Lennie, can Ray help me with this? He can keep the bitch if he can get her out of my life.

  15. *** Without thinking, Finch is going to sell the farm & all the livestock to get Bpt. in the black. He’s not going to run again, so it’s not going to be his problem 4 yrs. plus from now when the #100-yr.-old sewage system blows! Besides, there’s rumors of Finch pulling stakes & heading elsewhere after his term? It takes smarts & patience to get through these times; not to panic & go after any deal that seems to fill the void. *** On another subject, my house assessment went up $42,000. without any improvements outside, cause they’ve never been inside? *** Also, the other tax assessor Mr. O’Neil in fact did do quite a good job getting back to following the city’s written tax ordinances. He just wasn’t a people-type of person, especially if you wanted special favors! Let’s hope the next person in charge can get the same results without the personal grief that seems to be part of the job lately! *** In parting I ask this, how many of the B.R.B.C. board, workers, and members actually “live” in the city of Bpt.??? ***

  16. Great REVAL work. The city needs money badly because the Mayor is stupid and Timpanelli doesn’t know how to do his job and the new Economic Development Director is trying to figure out what economic development means. So what’s the solution?? Increase the assessed value of all of the houses creating a bigger tax basis despite the fact that the average house on the market in Bridgeport has lost nearly 30% of value? Impressive.

  17. The difference between John Fabrizi and Bill Finch is perception.

    Fabrizi gave you the illusion that shit was going on. He did a trolly tour, he brought down Magic Johnson, he was in movies. What came out of that??? Nothing but extra police overtime!

    Finch is stuck with those same projects.

    For those of you who are ready to throw the baby out with the bathwater with this administration. Name one thing that John Fabrizi did that has changed the city of Bridgeport besides pretty slogans and snorting lines?

  18. I am no fan of either one but we did have City Trust Building, Apartments on Golden Hill St, New Court House (for better ior worse), New Bus Station, Condos at the Old Warnaco, revitalized Seaside Park, Reeds artists lofts, Rejuvenated Fairfield Ave (2 Boots etc). 7 New Schools, United Rentals Bldg on Housatonic Ave Just to name a few. UB is coming back with the help of the city. All in All the Grand list increased.
    In fairness to Finch no city or town is experiencing major revivals as there is just no money available to developers (not Finch’s fault).
    Finch’s problem lies with perception. He could be straightforward on what the deficit really is. The layoffs could have been handled differently. His main problem is that he surrounded himself with Yes men who have no idea as to what they are doing because they do not have the qualifications for the jobs they have. These guiys are really hurting Finch and the city.

    Go to www
    Scroll down left column
    Click on ‘transportation and economic development initiatives’
    You will see a four-year report of all economic development and transportation activities
    projects completed
    project in progress
    projects in design.
    It’s all there including lots of pictures so you can see the facts.

    While you are at www, click on the Enterprise Geographic Information System, linked to the Assessor information. All started and done during the Fabrizi administration.

    Staying in www, scroll down to the Urban Land Institute icon, click and see how absolutely terrible things were in 2004-2005 and how far we have come. Perhaps you were one of the 250 people interviewed during that process of 750 people that showed up at the Summit held at the Klein.

    Finally go to www and see all that is there. All started and done during the Fabrizi administration.

    Do your homework. Lots and lots of things were started, completed and in progress. Then the air went out of the balloon and the tipping point was not crossed.

    The issue is to constructively move forward knowing some real good things were started.

  20. *** #27- You may not be a fan of Ex-Mayor Fabrizi’s personal screw-ups while in office, however you can’t deny the written facts on his city achievement records during his #-yr. admin. Also being @ the right place and time make a big difference too! Example, Fabrizi’s luck to an extent that he did not run for Mayor again during these hard economic times in Bpt. And Finch, who to me never looked as though he really wanted to leave his nice state senate gig to be Mayor, took on more than he could chew for the “party” & seems to becoming nothing more than a sacrificial lamb after his term is finished. The fact that there’s really no strong state senate candidates that represent Bpt. gives Finch a possible return back to the state capitol where he can hide better & work on his clean & green ideas. ‘Til then, it’s chaos in Bpt. per compliments of the Finch Admin. & all the D.T.C. members that backed him and the rest of the crew! ***

  21. Here’s a thought –
    A possible way for Bridgeport to save money would be to turn the heat down in the schools over the weekend.

    It gets so hot in there, the chocolate treats are melted by Monday.

  22. Sue … there’s been many times over the years that I have had to go into the schools on weekends … break-ins etc. … and I can tell you that 80% of the schools are older than dirt and the systems will not allow the turning down of the heat … only the new schools are up-to-date and it would cost a lot of $$$ to bring the old schools up to date … we are lucky the BOE maint can keep heat in the old schools without having them freeze and burst pipes!!!

  23. # 30 … Mojo … on the money … wonder if the candidates running in a few years will say they will cut taxes … but … anyone who would be the mayor at this moment would have a rough go and would have to ask for contract givebacks and furloughs.

  24. Just opened my mail yesterday and got my new assessment. I almost freaked out, but the notice also said that we shouldn’t figure that new value based on our current tax rate. I guess we will be getting a new tax rate next year, so hopefully it will be less than now so we won’t feel the pain that bad and hopefully, no increase. I was told that property has to be re-figured every 5 years because the state makes the cities do it. It couldn’t have come at a worse time. Also got my car tax bill and that’s always unwelcome too, especially around Christmas.

    Note to Joel (and everyone), there are 2 viruses on Facebook, one called Koopface and another one that pretends to be FBI vs. Facebook that has a major worm, once you open them you totally screw up your computer, plus it finds a way to infect your friends on Facebook. You can check this out on Snopes. Joel, you better call a computer geek over to clean up your computer.

  25. I agree with the posters here re: Timpanelli. I wish he would go sing his song elsewhere, preferably as a Castrato.
    On the topic of the sewage treatment facility: it obviously needs an upgrade, a major capital project. With the Obama-elect administration touting infrastructure projects as a shot in the arm for our economy, does the city administration have a list of needed capital improvements (e.g water treatment, train station, roads, schools), their potential costs and prioritized so when the approval comes for Works Projects funding we will be prepared to present a cogent plan for consideration? Or maybe that’s Paul Timpanelli’s job?


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