Which John Gomes Do You Prefer, “Hatchet Man” Or City Hall Man?

Down to the wire, campaigns focus on contrasts and a thousand other things to put a candidate over the top, mail pieces in the last days sharing with voters candidate information, some positive, some not, the final urging (please get your butt out the door and vote for me).

The campaign of Mayor Joe Ganim has kicked out this mailer to tell the story of “Hatchet Man” John Gomes, his September 12 primary challenger.

Gomes worked for, and was fired by, two mayoral administrations Bill Finch and incumbent Ganim. Can you imagine Finch and Ganim having something in common?

OIB reached out to Gomes’ Campaign Manager Christine Bartlett-Josie for a likewise piece against Ganim. No word.



Or this one?

(Editor’s note: reached out to Gomes’ Campaign Manager Christine Bartlett-Josie to send a Gomes mailer. After no response we dug up this one.)





  1. Disclosure. I have no contact with the Gomes campaign and have contributed no time, funds, or any other resources to his campaign. I live in Bridgeport and express my own viewpoints, tied to facts and comments available in public and daily try to honor four governance values: OPEN, ACCOUNTABLE, TRANSPARENT, and HONEST.

    Perhaps John Gomes is more caring about listening to the many constituents who can use more attention and resources to help them and the City move forward, than the current Mayor, despite his tenure of nearly 20 years? Perhaps Gomes hoped that the facts evident to the public will move voters, instead of casting aspersions in a juvenile “mud fight”? Yes, Gomes has worked for and with more than one administration, likely as a “political appointee”. But we have no idea at any given moment what an “appointee’s” work entailed, what project he was tasked with, and how he was graded for a non-existent “annual employment evaluation” that would be more fair to City employees and not incur the grievances filed, the legal defense the City Attorney puts up, and the settlements that close too many suits . And now we get a Ganim2 narrative, attacking his primary opponent? What ever happened to public debates? Is Joe Ganim, after all, afraid of opening himself to closer public gaze? Lennie, why have you never proposed a public debate? Wouldn’t it be good for business?

    Perhaps Gomes is aware that a wider group of folks in the City observe a “photo op leader” who has been revealed by an FOI request to have lots of time in his daily schedule for meeting with folks to listen, or reflect on where his brand of governance may be falling short? Whether you like a group or not, are the facts revealed by Gen Now from their FOI request accurate? Do they show that Ganim2 as Mayor iwith a 24/7/365 schedule as elected leader, falls short of moving the City from where it is to a better quality position joined with the people and resources? Does he have time on his hands to appoint or re-appoint qualified and registered voters to fully complete each and every Board and Commission? Why are we paying him “big bucks” for salary and benefits that he has “bridged” from his first corrupt term to the second? Does he read and follow the City Charter to review all City departments in August to prepare to deliver a Mayoral address to the City Council every September? For the past seven years? Look it up.

    Oversight is required of governance everywhere. There is much to review. City leaders need to be much more attentive to engaging voters with the facts, if they care. Democrats must vote their preference on Tuesday. Look at the underticket, appointed by the Democrat Town Committee, ignoring some first term members who came to do effective legislative work with a younger, independent mindset in favor of candidates willing to be controlled. Good minds. Willing to work together. Ready to listen to all. Actively seeking, not waiting for, progress to happen. Time will tell.

  2. Not the “City Hall Man” if my significant other worked close by. As for the “Hatchet Man”, lots of hard working and experienced folks got Hatched including Puerto Ricans. I’ve evolved from using the “Hatchet” and have mastered the use of the Pen instead. Chose your weapon and use it wisely. Be careful what you wish for.

  3. JML:
    I’m going to answer just one (1) question. “Why are we paying him “big bucks” for salary and benefits that he has “bridged” from his first corrupt term to the second?”

    John Gomes was fired by Bill Finch. Remember this? In 2016, Joe Ganim rehired John Gomes and helped him cross the “bridged” back to City Hall. You obviously forgot this fact or you conveniently left it out by design.

    1. Joel,
      Not sure I understand your answer, but it is more than possible that you know more specifics than I do at this time. It is Joe Ganim’s bridging that I question. Is the above your answer?

      Bridging as I use the word is the connection of one period of time with a later period of employment time so as to maintain a continuity of benefits. The work periods connected according to one person who was present for the State approval of this technique, seems to require an interruption of no more than 6 months, which is much more limited than Ganim1 departure for Federal lockup and then return to the community where he looked to re-election as his best opportunity for exercising a do-over.
      Bridging of pension benefits increases the amount of a pension, and therefore the public expense. What process and whose approval is necessary with what public request filed? Is there anything on record? Was the City Council consulted for a vote? Why was bridging approved within months of Ganim2’s second chance in office rather than years later, when the public can see the problem when genuine remorse is absent from Mayoral behavior, when Ganim2’s caring for others fails the City opportunity, and signs continue to post “LODGING” from City signs, but you would have to turn and follow the arrow to Stratford to encounter LODGING today? Bridging is a reward and has limited conditions. How have they been exceeded and who have seen to this magic task? Time will tell.

  4. So did Ganim fire Gomes or was it a re-structure …only 1 person was canned & it was the day it leaked that Gomes was running
    That is vindictive & angry
    BTW any hatcheting Gomes did was on Ganims order

  5. John Gomes made his own bed, period. Who in their right mind, regardless of what sector they serve in, would NOT expect loyalty from those surrounding him or her? Ganim didn’t fire Raul Lafitte, go figure that one out.

  6. Why would a felon convicted of stealing from the city he governed, then linked to corrupt hiring practices of his previous driver (linked to assisting pay to play) as chief of police put out a piece about his opponents arrests. Joe is an arrogant thief unable to get his law license back sucking the last of the breast milk of the city. Joe has to go!

    Voters should ask why was John Gomes not allowed to run Citistat as designed and utilize his background in finance to increase the bottom line of the city. When he found the bloat in departments and wanted to cut the fat he made enemies of those also leaching off the city. Citistat was utilized in Baltimore and look how far that city has come.

    The city needs to cut ties with the old regime of the same small percentage of out of towers getting rich off the back of the real citizens. New blood and alliances need to be built and lead the city forward. Gomes is a step in the right direction!

    1. Capone,
      No idea who you actually are behind the name, but I want to commend you for being the first or at least among the few who remember when John Gomes brought attention to “Citistat” as an aide to reviewing what goes on in a City and revealing it quickly in data form to the public.
      I am reading Jane Mayer’s 2017 DARK MONEY, The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right. “Without publicly accessible dat, of course it would be extremely difficult to track..(CITY)…ouput.” Citistat, or a successor program, is to City governance, what “shottracker” can be to the Bridgeport Police Department as it calls attention to situations that may need more attention, and in a timely fashion. Does John Gomes still see such a system in future use as a Mayor? Time will tell.

          1. If you look at rates… you are also more likely to get shot un Bridgeport than Chicago. The fact of the matter is while Citistat may not be the catch all… or savior… but it still helped Baltimore rebuild itself from what it once was.

            BTW. I do not have to utilize my name to state my opinion. I have my reasons for being anonymous.


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