An­other Ganim ally put on city pay­roll

Connecticut Post - - NEWS - By Brian Lock­hart

BRIDGE­PORT — Mayor Joe Ganim’s ad­min­is­tra­tion has added yet an­other of hiz­zoner’s po­lit­i­cal op­er­a­tives to the City Hall pay­roll.

David Pa­pan­drea, a for­mer state Se­nate staffer-turned-Demo­cratic-strate­gist who has worked on Ganim’s cam­paigns, starts next week as a $58,279 data an­a­lyst for the mas­sive Pub­lic Fa­cil­i­ties Depart­ment.

“I have sev­eral de­part­ments that come un­der me,” said Pub­lic Fa­cil­i­ties Di­rec­tor John Ricci, an­other close Ganim ally. “He’s (Pa­pan­drea) go­ing to be my li­ai­son to those in­di­vid­ual de­part­ments. He’s like a trou­bleshooter, ba­si­cally.”

Ricci over­sees the main­te­nance of mu­nic­i­pal build­ings, roads and side­walks, san- ita­tion and re­cy­cling, parks, the mu­nic­i­pal golf course and Siko­rsky Memo­rial Air­port.

While the job is a non-union one and such so-called pa­tron­age po­si­tions have of­ten been filled by po­lit­i­cal in­sid­ers or their rel­a­tives, Ricci in­sisted, and the Civil Ser­vice Of­fice con­firmed, that Pa­pan­drea com­peted for the open­ing.

“He went through a process,” Ricci said, adding the data co­or­di­na­tor job was ad­ver­tised and sev­eral ap­pli­cants screened. “He’s the one that came out first.”

Ac­cord­ing to Civil Ser­vice, the po­si­tion was ad­ver­tised on the city web­site from Sept. 7 un­til Sept. 14. Six­teen candi- dates ap­plied and three re­ceived oral in­ter­views, with the in­ter­view panel rec­om­mend­ing Pa­pan­drea to Ricci. That panel con­sisted of rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Pub­lic Fa­cil­i­ties, La­bor Re­la­tions and Hu­man Re­sources de­part­ments.

“He’s a well-qual­i­fied guy,” Ricci added. “He’s got a mas­ter of busi­ness ad­min­is­tra­tion and will be good at what I’m ask­ing him to do on a daily ba­sis.”

Pa­pan­drea helped Ganim, who was orig­i­nally mayor from 1991 un­til 2003, wage a suc­cess­ful comeback cam­paign in 2015. Pa­pan­drea also was a late ad­di­tion to Ganim’s failed 2018 gu­ber­na­to­rial bid, which ended with the mayor los­ing Au­gust’s Demo­cratic pri­mary to Ned La­mont.

Pa­pan­drea could not be reached for com­ment, but in his ap­pli­ca­tion let­ter, which Civil Ser­vice pro­vided, he cited his col­lege ed­u­ca­tion, five years’ ex­pe­ri­ence in mar­ket­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions, re­la­tion­ship-build­ing skills and ap­pre­ci­a­tion for cul­tural di­ver­sity.

“I have ded­i­cated much of my adult life to mak­ing Con­necti­cut a great state in which to live and work,” Pa­pan­drea wrote.

While Ganim and his bud­get staff of­ten speak about how the mayor, be­cause of the city’s on­go­ing fis­cal chal­lenges, is slow to fill va­can­cies, the ad­min­is­tra­tion has found money for Ganim’s po­lit­i­cal al­lies.

Upon re­turn­ing to City Hall in 2015, Ganim re­warded many of his cam­paign sup­port­ers with high-paid, some­times six-fig­ure po­si­tions in Bridge­port gov­ern­ment.

Pa­pan­drea

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