Another state-sponsored economic kamikaze movement
Regarding the sale of Bridgeport’s Sikorsky Airport: This latest criminally stupid disposal of an extremely valuable Bridgeport asset by the Ganim administration speaks to the Ganim administration’s chronic short-sightedness, incompetence and sensitivities. and reptilian morals/ethics – exhibited by two of these administrations over a 30 year period.
Certainly a square mile of land on Long Island Sound in Fairfield County is worth many times over $10 million — for any commercial use, including as an airport!
To be able to deprive the citizens of the City of Bridgeport of such an asset, without a referendum, is indicative of an extreme structural deficiency in Bridgeport’s government requiring a major study and charter review initiative. (And where is the State Department of Community Economic Development and the Governor’s Office in this situation? Shouldn’t they be trying to keep Bridgeport’s economic assets and prerogatives intact? And our delegation to the General Assembly and the rest of the GA?)
The Ganim administration led the deconstruction of Bridgeport. And the state has been just too greedy in its complicity in this regard. Connecticut has been building Stamford for 60 years, using the other nearby urban centers — especially Bridgeport — “for parts.”
Need a Juvenile Jail in Fairfield County – put it in Bridgeport… Need a solid waste recycling center including an incinerator – put it in Bridgeport…. Need housing for the workforce, with all the associated infrastructure and social needs expenses – put it in Bridgeport.
What did you say? Bridgeport needs a large sum of state money for its economic development activities? Forget that! Sell a park or an airport — or raise taxes on your captive, residential audience… (But, in the meantime, give Hartford $500 million to make sure Gold Coast Boy Luke Bronin doesn’t look absolutely ineffective as mayor…)
So the blame for the dysfunction and decay of the state’s largest city can be placed squarely on the governor and the legislature – who for 60 years have seen fit to appease Connecticut’s oligarchy and build Stamford at Bridgeport’s expense, using Bridgeport for “spare parts”, while deliberately and premeditatedly ignoring the needs of the state’s largest city for oversight and real assistance, only too happy to have administrations accomplices and operatives at the bar of Bridgeport City Hall.
Voters in Bridgeport and the rest of Connecticut who have a vision to realize the potential value of a socio-economically vibrant Bridgeport to the future of the state should view Bridgeport as the bastard township and daughter-in-law of the ‘state, intellectually and ethically challenged. account when making choices for their legislative and gubernatorial representation in the upcoming election. They must remember that Bridgeport’s overall health reflects the health of the rest of the state and is indicative of Connecticut’s future.
If the people of Bridgeport and the rest of the state realized that the state’s current economic development policy(ies) – promoting overdevelopment of the historic transportation bottleneck in the southwest corner of state, rather than a more distributed development of the state through the use of natural/existing assets that have fostered the historic economic health and vibrancy of the entire state – has led to a state that is still last in the nation in job development, urban economic progress, and property tax reform, with much of the state still experiencing an exodus of middle class/young professionals, we would have a very different composition of the general assembly, the governor’s office, and operational economic development policies (including a true statewide economic development plan).
It’s time for big political changes in Bridgeport and statewide. Is it possible for Bridgeport and the rest of the state to muster the political savvy and will to make the indicated changes to Bridgeport City Hall and Hartford in the next election? So far in this election cycle(s), it wouldn’t seem so…
Jeff Kohut lives in Bridgeport.