Ah, The Lemon Zest Of City Politics, Bradley Urges Fonseca To Join School Board Boycott, Fonseca Says No

Yup, had a lot of this.

UPDATE: Back in town with so much to talk about. School board controversy has not died down as boycott from four members continues. Will it ever considering the polarizing personalities? Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis will have a say on the makeup of the board in October based on the complaint brought by Board of Education member Maria Pereira who asserts Mayor Joe Ganim has overstepped his authority.

With Ganim’s appointment of Rafael Fonseca to fill the vacancy of Democrat Andre Baker–no doubt a mayoral move sticking it to Pereira who ran successfully with Fonseca on a Democratic Town Committee slate and then had a falling out–will this now give school board Chairman Dennis Bradley pause to reconvene meetings on the assumption of a voting majority of five including Republicans Joe Larcheveque, Kevin McSpirit and Annette Negron? They have vowed to boycott meetings until Pereira resigns. Fat chance of that happening. Pereira and aligning board members Ben Walker, Howard Gardner and Sauda Baraka have called on the boycotting members to get back to work. In a statement to OIB by Bradley, the boycott continues and he hopes Fonseca will join him. What will Fonseca do?

Thursday afternoon in a text message to OIB Fonseca wrote, “I do plan on attending the meetings. I believe our kids deserve it.” That means a quorum will be at hand in which the Pereira, Walker, Gardner, Baraka coalition will have control. This may very well force the boycotting members to reverse themselves, with a serious amount of egg on their respective faces.

Something will give at some point.

Bellis has a recent history of ruling against city government legal arguments, but this type of court battle seems to enter new territory.

It’s enchanting walking around Italy as an American on many fronts including the country’s fascination with the U.S. presidential cycle. It’s all over the news on a regular basis. Who’d they most like to sip a glass of limoncello with? It’s not even close, Hillary. Donald Trump is testa dura (hard headed) to their way of thinking. But hey, all you Trump supporters hope this cycle turns sour on Hillary, right?

What was your take on the first debate?

A special note to all OIB friends whose contributions populated readers with insights as well as OIB webmaster Ray Fusci for keeping us current with material.

Statement from Dennis Bradley:

“While I appreciate Mr. Fonseca taking on the challenge of serving on this board and welcome his years of experience as a police officer and community leader, we still request the resignation of Ms. Maria Pereira. Her hate speech and utter disrespect toward hardworking members of our school district, parents and fellow board members has set this board back for over a decade and we will not allow her to continue to damage our students with a do-nothing board of education. Not a single policy has been passed or implemented that has changed the educational outcome of our students because of her outlandish and disrespectful behavior. Over ten years of the same old same old. We, the sensible members of the Board of Education ask that Officer Fonseca stand with us and request, for the sake of our children, not participate until Maria’s vendetta politics are a thing of the past. We must push our district forward for the sake of our kids.”



  1. Happy to have you back safely! Ray did a yeoman’s job while you were gone, I’m sure he’s happy to have you back to handle the herd!!! Hillary won the debate and will win in November. The last thing we want to carry through history is another Hitler.

    1. WE have heard NOTHING/NADA/ZILCH from Joe Larcheveque who happens to be the Vice Chair. Bradley seems to be disinterested in attending any further BOE meetings. What we need RIGHT NOW are BOE members calling and reaching out to City council Members to direct some additional funds as pointed out here from JML. Bradley won’t do it. Who will???

  2. First of all, I was elected to the BOE in November 2009. I lost 18 months of my term due to the illegal takeover. I was not on the BOE from December 2013 thru November 2015. Clearly basic math is difficult for Dennis Bradley because that in no way equates to 10 years.

    Second of all, Bradley is a carpetbagger from Massachusetts who has lived in Bridgeport for six years, therefore how can he possibly speak to what has or has not occurred in the last ten years?

    Third of all, we have a carpetbagger insulting previous BOE members like Max Medina who served 16 years on the school board and Bobby Simmons who served 12 years on the school board whom he will never be able to touch with a ten-foot pole.

  3. Dave Hennessey was chair of the Governance Committee and I was not a member of the committee.

    Not a single policy that was approved in committee was approved by the full board because as chair, it was Dave Hennessey’s responsibility to place it on the agenda. I repeatedly brought it up during his committee reports.

    By the way, it was Hennessey, Bradley, Larcheveque and McSpirit who served on the Governance Committee, which helps to explain why not a single new “policy” was passed by the board since December.

  4. What is clear is Bradley is taking Ganim head-on over Fonseca being appointed on the condition that he attend meetings, create a quorum, and in essence make Bradley and his boycott null and void.

    There is a battle of wills going on, and I don’t think Bradley is going to win.

    1. I disagree. (See, you can disagree with Ms. Pereira without hiding behind a handle.) I believe these are empty face-saving words. And that Mr. Bradley and the Mayor are working in concert. Mr. Bradley will likely stay out for one more meeting regardless of whatever choice the new member makes. If the new member actually does show and you guys vote on anything he will say “I must return for the sake of the children” (or some other empty words). I would not be surprised though to find the three Republicans return however, which would create a tie and keep things in a holding pattern for a few meetings until Bradley could save face.

  5. Mr. Bradley, anybody with a real name (no faceless handles please), I like to be informed, can you please give me one piece of board business brought to the floor that would have been blocked due to Maria Pereira’s “outlandish and disrespectful behavior?” No tie or lost votes because that’s democracy. Remember, minutes are available for verification.

    I can name a few things that could have been accomplished but for your outlandish and disrespectful behavior towards our children and the voters of this city.

    1. Our kindergarten children and teachers would have paraprofessionals.

    2. Fran Rabinowitz could be well on her way to be replaced at a ;ower cost but now we are competing with two more districts for a superintendent.

    3. Countless committee meetings where the bulk of real work done cancelled due to the boycott or Ms. Rabinowitz’ order to staff not to participate.

    4. Feel free to add verifiable items not accomplished due to the boycott.

    1. Just one point I would like to make. The question of salary is less important than getting a Superintendent who is well experienced, proven and is ready to take on the challenge of an urban school system as we have in Bridgeport.

      1. Agreed. Just saying while Bridgeport was the only one in the market looking for a superintendent we would have had top choice at bottom dollar. Now it seems to be a sellers’ market and we will pay a premium due to the temper tantrum.

  6. I have posted an open letter, an appeal, on two Black Rock Facebook pages, to Joe Larcheveque and Kevin McSpirit, who happen to be Black Rock residents, to end this boycott which is hurting the 21,000 Bridgeport schoolchildren.

  7. Maria Pereira is hands-down the hardest working member of Bridgeport BOE, anyone who has spent any amount of time at BOE meetings would know that. Dennis Bradley doesn’t even know proper procedures to hold meetings, let alone coming up with something to impact our children.

    Dennis: you, Fran and the rest of the boycotting members are showing the 21,000 students it is okay to throw a hissy fit after not getting their way. Don’t like your classmates? No big deal according to Mr. Bradley, just refuse to show up for class.

    The only person who needs to resign is Dennis Bradley. And while you’re at it, take Fran with you. Bridgeport deserves better than you two.

  8. Just a voice from the younger generation of Bridgeport. BPT BOE, get your act together. This is an absolute disgrace. I have lived here all my life so I’m no stranger to the circus, but there are children involved here. Our school system is in shambles. Dennis Bradley, quit your tantrum and show up to work. You no longer deserve your elected position if you refuse to show up on some petty basis. We all have to learn to work with people we don’t like, even people who actively work against us, but that is no excuse to bring more shame to our reputation as a city. You are in a public position you clearly don’t feel strongly enough about to show up. Get the hell out.

    1. Frank,
      Finance Chair Gardner, Ms. Baraka, myself and several public school parents attended the last City Council meeting and Howard spoke on the devastating cuts the BOE made due to being flat-funded and leaving the BOE facing a $15 million dollar deficit.

      He requested the City Council take the additional $6 million the city received in sales tax revenue that was not originally forecast in the budget be allocated to the BPS. He detailed the devastating cuts we made and how it directly impacted our over 21,000 students.

      He spoke with several city council members and requested a motion be referred to the B & A Committee to discuss and consider the matter. No one did.

      Ben Walker had back to school night at his school that night and could not attend.


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