In a desperate attempt to use taxpayer money to line the pockets of his political allies, Mayor Joe Ganim refused to call the – legally required – “special” city council meeting so they could vote on the final 2022-23 municipal budget. The Council amended the Mayor’s proposed budget by investing an additional $500,000 in education funding, and cut the Mayor’s no-show jobs for political supporters by approximately $500,000.

From the CT Post:

“The budget committee last Wednesday eliminated five jobs, totaling an estimated $500,000 in salaries and benefits, in the chief administrative office and public facilities and health departments. And while names are typically left out of such decisions, the individuals who may lose their jobs are all well-known non-union people who have in the past supported Ganim politically and/or are close with Democratic Town Chairman Mario Testa: Herron Gaston, John Gomes, David Papandrea, Angel DePara and Danny Pizarro.”

The deadline to call the special council meeting was Tuesday May 10th. The Mayor had six full days to call the meeting as the city council’s budget committee completed its work on the budget last Wednesday, May 4. The Mayor has so far not communicated a reason for not complying with the City Charter directive to call the special meeting. The public wants and deserves to know why. A constituent from the South End called the Mayor’s office and wasn’t given an explanation. In response to her inquiry she was asked, “Are you a reporter?”

Councilman Ernie Newton, co-chair of the budget committee told Hearst Media, “We put more money in education. If he wants to be the mayor that cares more about patronage (jobs) than kids, so be it. That’s his budget. He’s got to defend it.”

Read the full CT Post articles HERE and HERE.

The city council is currently looking into ways to ensure they are able to do their work and vote on the budget – even if that takes a court battle. The Mayors silence – and disregard for the city charter and hard work of the city council – suggests he thinks the way to govern Bridgeport is his way or the highway. That’s the stuff authoritarians are made of.

Democracy is indeed on the ballet in 2023!