Long-time, Bridgeport urban-issues and environmental activist, Jeff Kohut, has announced that he has filed papers with the Bridgeport Town Clerk’s office to officially register as a mayoral candidate in the November 8 municipal election, where he will appear on the ballot as a petitioning, unaffiliated (independent) candidate.
Kohut recently finished 5 years of service with the city’s Ethics Commission – a city board that he sees as being an appropriate agency to perform an anti-corruption, “watch-dog” function over the city’s political and business affairs.
As mayor, he would seek to promote the independence and effectiveness of this board through advocacy by the Mayor’s Office for a toughening of the city’s Ethics Ordinance, and possibly Charter revision in this regard, and for the allocation of resources which would provide for the retention of independent legal counsel, allow the Commission to conduct independent investigations of citizen and city-employee complaints, and generally increase the efficacy and responsiveness of the Commission to citizen and city-employee concerns and complaints.
Kohut feels that the Commission is currently ham-strung by a weak ordinance/weak Charter mandate, lack of resources, and interference from the City Attorney’s Office.
Kohut feels that at present, the city’s fortunes are largely determined by regional (suburban) mandates, which he says are embraced and imposed at the state and federal levels, and which seek to maintain suburban advantage over/exploitation of Bridgeport under the sublimated guise of “regionalism.”
He says that his campaign platform will consist of specific, Bridgeport-centric solutions for each major area of municipal concern, with an ultimate, overall goal of true prosperity for Bridgeport. He said that this goal will be represented in each of the platform-planks, which together will comprise an interrelated, interdependent platform such that, for example, programs for tax relief, jobs, public-school performance enhancement, and amelioration of environmental concerns will have many interfaces/synergies.
He says that a full, detailed campaign platform will be presented in stages during the developing campaign season. However, he did seek to emphasize that his chief campaign focus would be the interrelated trilogy of economic development/tax-relief/jobs, discussed in terms of the goal of full-employment of the Bridgeport workforce at Bridgeport-based, living-wage jobs…
He also said that one of his major concerns regarding regional/suburban exploitation of Bridgeport, the Trumbull sewer tie-in, which he feels contributed very significantly to Bridgeport’s economic demise (and continues to do so) by facilitating the exodus/by-passing of much of Bridgeport’s tax-base/potential tax-base to Trumbull, must end within 5 years of the next sewer contract that Bridgeport signs with Trumbull. He says that if elected mayor, he will see to it that they (Trumbull) disconnect from our sewers within 5 years of the next contract-signing…
To get in touch with touch with Candidate Kohut, call 203-394-7678 or e-mail