In front of four dozen people, Bridgeport native Jeff Kohut recently announced his candidacy for mayor. Kohut, who will be running as an independent, said, “I chose McLevy Green because it is one of the most historic sites in the city.”
McLevy Hall/Green was named after Jasper McLevy, a Socialist who served 12 terms as mayor from 1933 to 1957 and was very popular among all sectors of the city’s population because of his fiscal restraint and reputation for honesty.
“I won’t present my whole mayoral campaign platform tonight. You will have to be patient and attentive over the weeks leading up to November 8 to get all the details,” Kohut said.
He presented three main topics he said he will address if becomes mayor: Change Bridgeport economic development policy from serving the region to serving Bridgeport through the reindustrialization of Bridgeport. He said Bridgeport will no longer provide a free ride for the affluent towns of the region. He promised full employment, at living-wage, Bridgeport-based jobs, for all “Bridgeporters.”
He pledged to bring the mayor’s office into a direct, public education advocacy role. He said he would accomplish that through administration policy changes and the creation of a Citizens’ Public-Education Advisory Board for education and advocacy.
“I will create a Charter Commission to pursue changes to the city’s Charter in the following areas: ethics, city financial/budgetary practices and policy, and the re-establishment of the two-year mayoral term,” he said in firm tone of voice.
Kohut urged the people to listen very carefully to what each of the mayoral candidates has to say during this crucial mayoral election. He warned, “You really have to pay attention to actions that are taken and not taken.”
He mentioned the current administration and the Bridgeport Regional Business Council, BRBC, are more interested in accommodating the affluent suburbs than thinking in the best interest of Bridgeport.
For example, he said General Electric is interested in building a solar panel plant at its old facility on Boston Avenue. He said such a business would create 2,000 jobs. But the current City Hall administration is not interested because Mayor Finch wants to utilize the space for a highway that will destroy Remington Woods.
Remington Woods covers 422 acres on the Bridgeport/Stratford border, an area occupied by wildlife and trees. Bridgeport owns around 350 acres and Stratford close to 72 acres.
Asked why he is running as an independent, Kohut answered that to him, it’s the most logical way because he can detach himself from all interests — and he would be free to implement positive and real changes within the city.