WATERVILLE VALLEY, N.H. -- The mayor of Bridgeport, Conn., saw her city's bankruptcy petition rejected Aug. 1 by a federal judge who ruled the city did not meet an insolvency test, but some observers say the mayor has begun a campaign to pass that test by attempting to spend the city's $27 million cash balance.

"In my opinion," said city Alderman Thomas J. White in a telephone interview yesterday, "there is clearly some strategy being plotted here."

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