What, zoners voted against Mario! How could that be?
The Planning & Zoning Commission meeting nearly hit the stroke of midnight, but when the vote came Monday night dozens of North End residents were stunned and pleased that an application by Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa to change the designation of his Madison Avenue restaurant to Office Retail in a heavy residential area was rejected.
Testa needed five yes votes for application approval and came up one short. Commissioners Carl Kish, Robert Morton and Reggie Walker voted no. Commissioners Joe Tiago, Anne Phillips, Tom Fedele and Mel Riley voted yes.
State Representatives Chris Caruso and Jack Hennessy were among the pols who spoke against the application presented by attorney Chuck Willinger on behalf of Mario. Caruso, who appears to be gearing up for a mayoral run, has had a decades-long battle with Mario on things political and zoning.
If Caruso runs for mayor it sets up a rematch of his primary battle with Bill Finch in 2007. Caruso lost by just 270 votes. Why do I get the feeling that zoning and ballot counting will be part of the Big Wave campaign message.
I’ve updated my book Only In Bridgeport, a 25th anniversary special edition (yes, I’m that old) from the first printing. Georgia Day, owner of Rainy Faye Bookstore at Broad and John Streets downtown is hosting a book signing party Dec. 9, 5 to 6:30 p.m. Come on down and say hello. This new edition includes more than 40 new photographs and a load of Only In Bridgeport moments.
(Check out my daily webzine www.onlyinbridgeport.com)