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Friday, May 09, 2003

Bridgeport Economic Summit Attendees Praise

Bridgeport Economic Summit Attendees Praise Farrell, Call for End to Corruption
Attendees at todays summit meeting of regional political, business and non-profit organization leaders to discuss BridgeportҒs economic development repeatedly praised Westport First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell for calling the meeting.

About 150 persons attended the three-hour event, the Bridgeport as a Regional Asset Forum,Ӕ at the Housatonic Community College just off I-95 in the citys downtown area.

State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and Bridgeport Mayor John Fabrizi were among those citing Farrell for her vision in organizing the meeting.

Farrell, who leads a Fairfield County coalition opposing casinos in Bridgeport, said her goal was promoting Bridgeport as a regional center as well as increasing cooperation between the city and its suburban neighbors.

The Westport official, along with many other speakers, said it was essential that Bridgeport do everything it can to shed its image of corruption.

“Bridgeport’s future must include an active commitment to open and transparent government that radiates from the top down,” she told the meeting.

At the same time, she said it was necessary for suburbs to come to the assistance of Bridgeport and other cities. “It’s in our enlightened self-interest,” Farrell said. “We on the outside of cities must provide support. We must make cities more self-sustaining.”

She praised efforts Bridgeport is making to change its image. “Good things are happening in Bridgeport,” Farrell said. “The problem sometimes is to break through the negative noise.”

The Westport Democrat promised to compile a list of ideas and suggestions made by conference participants in breakout discussion groups and forward them to Bridgeport’s mayor as well as all those at the meeting.

Among other Westporters attending the event were State Rep. G. Kenneth Bernhard, Representative Town Meeting members Gerald Bodell, Lois Schine, and Gordon Joseloff, and Louis Gagliano, a retired business executive who does volunteer work in Bridgeport.


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