Bagley Fast Breaks From School Board, Resigns Elected Position

John Bagley
John Bagley campaigning in 2012. Photo by Jim Callahan.

John Bagley, the ex Harding High School hoop star who’s been engaged in disagreement with the city over construction of a new school, has resigned from the Board of Education. Bagley, a registered Democrat, was elected to the school board two years ago running on the Working Families Party line.

In a letter of resignation submitted to the City Clerk on Wednesday, Bagley wrote “This is to serve as notice of my resignation from the position of elected member of the Bridgeport Board of Education, effective immediately. It has been a privilege to serve the people of the City of Bridgeport during my time on the Bridgeport Board of Education.”

Bagley did not specify in the letter his reason for resigning.

Here’s what the City Charter states about filling a school board vacancy:

If a vacancy arises for any reason in the membership of the Board of Education, the remaining members shall elect a new member to serve for the balance of the term vacated. The person so elected shall be a resident and elector and a member of the same political party as the member vacating such office.

It raises a question, must the replacement be from the Democratic Party or Working Families Party? But under state statute governing minority-party rules no more than six Democrats can sit on the school board. Prior to Bagley’s resignation the three members not serving as Dems were Bagley, Sauda Baraka and Republican Joe Larcheveque.

Bagley, 54, has been a popular figure in the city for decades going back to his days as a star basketball player at Harding leading to a solid professional career.

John Bagley
Bags when he played for the Celtics.

Bagley’s election two years ago had created an alliance with two other WFP members Sauda Baraka and Maria Pereira that eventually provided the WFP coalition control of the school board. Pereira did not seek reelection to the school board last year. Three Democrats including Andre Baker who’s headed to the Connecticut State House in January defeated last year the three endorsed candidates for school board in a Democratic primary. Baker will receive the oath of office in January so soon there will be another vacancy to fill on the Board of Education. Baker ran on both the Democratic and WFP line.

The coalition alliance between the WFP and the Dems has been short-lived. Personality conflicts and various school board issues have broken up faction control.

Bagley has been a pivotal figure in the controversy to build a new Harding High School on the site of a former munitions factory owned  by General Electric on Boston Avenue. Mayor Bill Finch’s administration has pushed the initiative for the new school but Bagley and others have pushed back saying the site is too contaminated for a high school. State officials are preparing a remediation plan for the school site, but plans to build the school have been delayed because the scope of the project has increased to accommodate a larger student body than originally anticipated.



      1. I hope Carmen Lopez becomes his replacement. Let’s see what your fat mouth has to say if that happens. We need some Hispanic representation on the BOE.

        1. Joel,
          I would welcome Judge Lopez’ membership on the BOE. A few years back when she had expressed an interest in serving, both Lisa Parziale and I were willing to help persuade DTC members to support her.

          1. Joel, now he wants to play the race card, he gets mad when someone else does it but it’s okay for him, not.

            I’m 100% behind Judge Lopez if she decide to run.

  1. I think Mr. Bagley is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, a great basketball player and a great gentleman, thought he’d make a great advocate for the children of the City of Bridgeport. No matter the reason, I hate to see him go.

  2. In another breaking Development, Lennie Grimaldi has tested positive for the Dbola virus. Ray Fusci has tested negative for the Dbola virus–health officials were deeply concerned and eagerly awaiting for the results of Fusci due to the fact he lives in another state and is known to travel around the country. Health official are testing other employees of OIB. Health officials are looking for former BOE member John Bagley to see if Dbola had anything to do with his recent resignation.

    1. Joel (Dbola) Gonzalez, Is it just me or does anyone else find your attempt at humor reprehensible with your constant digs at those with the Ebola virus? What’s so damned funny about 4493 as of October 15th dying from this disease? Your attempt at levity defies credulity, you narrow-minded SOB.

      What’s next for your next comedy show, those with AIDS? No, how about those suffering from cancer? Ask those two nurses from Dallas if the Ebola virus they contracted trying to help a fellow human being through his disease is a laughing matter. Ask their families if the Ebola virus is funny to them. You need to cut that shit out mister, and I use that term loosely.

        1. Lets us know your take on my reply. You’ve been silent up until now. You of all people know damned well how far the Bridgeport Machine would go to get a win in such a close and important race. The stakes are too high, eh? By all means necessary is the rule your employer plays by.

      1. Positive! Narrow-minded SOB sounds like the description I’ve been hearing of the POTUS who pussyfoots on an issue as dangerous and serious as we all seem to agree on. You are barking up the wrong tree, spew your vitriol at your dear POTUS who used the Ebola crisis as a cover. You don’t seem to fucking mind your dear friend (are you still her driver?) Marilyn Moore benefited from the number-one Democrat voter ID scam pulled off by using the POTUS. IF the POTUS does decide to visit in the coming weeks, that doesn’t make one bit of difference. A POTUS visit too close to election day would have never had the same result as pulling off such a scam as your PEEPS did last week. Now Mr. Day, go back to driving Miss Daisy and have a nice day.

      2. Donald Day, don’t worry. Joel (Dbola) Gonzalez will not reply back to you because he has to find a reply on Google and think about this, he wants voters to vote for him as a State Rep.

    2. Joel–you just struck an all-time low. If your comment was intended to be funny, you’ve truly missed the mark. Your mental status is truly questionable. Are you really planning on running for State Representative? If anything, you should be running to seek psychiatric intervention.

  3. I too am disappointed to see John leaving the BOE. Although I might not have always agreed with his stance on issues, he always came across as someone who deeply cares about the school system and the children. His independence will be greatly missed on the BOE.

  4. John Bagley is truly a man of intelligence and integrity. The Democratic Machine saw him as a threat and treated him badly. John was getting in the way of those who profit from the status quo. He deserves better. Good Luck, Bags!

  5. Mayors Form Task Force, Finch: We’ll House Kids, If Feds Fully Fund Costs

    “In Bridgeport, I want to help these Chibok schoolgirls, and bring them to a safer place. But in order for the Park City to even consider serving as a temporary home for any of these kids, we must have assurance that no city taxpayer dollars will be spent on it, and that it does not jeopardize our already overstretched social safety net in Bridgeport.
    Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 girls at gunpoint from a school in Chibok, northeastern Nigeria, on April 14. Some of the girls managed to escape from the group in the aftermath of their kidnap or during fighting among militants, but 219 remain missing.
    Chibok schoolgirls are well and safe.
    But we cannot stop there. We must continue exploring ways to help kids. That said, I’ve had several conversations with our city’s non-profit and religious community. Many of these groups have expressed a willingness to step up and find ways to help shelter a manageable amount of kids in need.

  6. John Bagley is the type of man Mayor Finch fears, he can’t make him do anything and that was the main reason Mayor Finch did his takeover of the BOE with help from the state because he needed control of the BOE and at the same time take the voting rights away from the voters of Bridgeport from voting for someone like John Bagley.

  7. Ron, I know you are trying to make a point about Finch, but Bagley came on board after all that took place. The BOE dynamic now is more favorable to non-Finch supporters.
    If he does elaborate on his resignation, it will be interesting to hear his take. In any fight with the Mayor’s office, he had a lot of support from other BOE members, former BOE and Carmen Lopez.

    1. Lifelong Bpt, you are missing my point, it was Mayor Finch’s takeover of the BOE that bought in people like John Bagley and others to run for the BOE because they were upset with the mayor’s action.

      1. Ron, thanks for clarification. I misread it and thought you were pinning the resignation on Finch. And I agree all of those actions brought in candidates who may have not run otherwise.

  8. Lifelong Bpt, John Bagley was elected after the BBOE takeover was ruled illegal, however he was definitely involved in the Vote NO campaign on the charter referendum. He and I worked outside Central High School for 14 hours that day.

    There is no member of the BBOE who I was more aligned with on issues than John. I can’t think of a single instance where we voted differently on a major issue.

    John and I are complete opposites in our approach. He is reserved and understated and I am full-throttle and intense, however in the last year John really came into his own as a BBOE member. He really was able to articulate his position on issues and conducted his Student Engagement and Facilities Committee meetings without mistreating any BBOE members and he was always respectful of the public. Whether they agreed with his position or disagreed with it, he allowed members of the public to speak at his committee meetings.

    Although Mayor Finch tried to buy him, he couldn’t be bought. He is completely opposite of most of the BOE members, elected officials and aspiring politicians in Bridgeport, he is incredibly honest, ethical and decent. John’s word was his bond and you could take it to the bank. In other words, he is the complete opposite of Andre Baker, Dave Hennessey, Hernan Illingworth, etc.

    John Bagley truly cared about the well-being of children in Bridgeport and whether he serves on the BBOE or not, that will not change.

    I support John’s decision wholeheartedly and I wish him nothing but the very best. He deserves nothing less.

    1. Maria just couldn’t speak well of Bags. She had to shoot arrows at others in the process of defending him. Does this mean Maria is prepared to stake a claim to a WFP seat on the BOE?
      Time will tell.

      1. Bob, I think it is safe to say I know John Bagley at least a little bit better than you do. I also believe it is safe to say John would have absolutely no problem with my remarks and it is highly likely he would support them 100%.

        Why are you always so concerned about what I am doing, saying or whom I am supporting or voting for? You seem preoccupied with my every move.

        By the way, I wasn’t “defending” John, I was praising him. There is a difference.

  9. You have got to be kidding me.

    Mark Anastasi gets a raise while the city taxpayers foot the bill of $95K a year for a Deputy CAO to run his office.
    This is the same office that totally f’d up the Manny Driveway fiasco that cost the taxpayers over a half million dollars. Just another example of OIB.

    And of course Finch and McCarthy heap praise on him.

  10. On a side note, I was at the City Hall Annex this morning waiting in the lobby for an appointment when the front door swung open and none other than Jennifer Alexander, CEO of ConnCAN enters with one of her puppets and clearly announced she had an appointment with the Mayor and they were then directed to a specific conference room.

    I promptly started recording her and she pretended not to see me, however as she was getting on the escalator with her little minion she clearly brought me up because they both turned to look at me at the same time.

    Absolutely slimy!

  11. Here’s an interesting link, it has some facts too for those OIB readers lacking a sense of humor. There is one Ebola fact no one has mentioned yet. In a study/poll done, 95% of Americans say they have heard of Ebola in the news, newspaper, internet, from friends, etc.
    Now imagine being an adviser to the POTUS and you know about this study/poll. What do you think they will do with this information? How can we capitalize on this golden opportunity?
    Then came Wednesday, October 15, 2014. Have a nice Donald (Duck) Day.


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