Bradley To Seek Another Year As Chair At Monday’s School Board Organizational Meeting

Dennis Bradley
Dennis Bradley

The annual organizational meeting of the Board of Education chaired by Mayor Joe Ganim is scheduled for Monday, 5:30 p.m. in Room 305 of City Hall. The board now has a full nine members with Ganim’s recent appointment of Republican John Weldon to fill the vacancy of Kevin McSpirit. Dennis Bradley, Joe Larcheveque and Ben Walker have served as chair, vice chair and secretary, respectively. Bradley says he will seek another year as chair.

In a Wednesday email to Bradley, Larcheveque and  Walker, board member Maria Pereira asserts the board has conducted business in violation of board policy in lieu of an organizational meeting.

Historically, the Organizational Meeting has immediately preceded the first regular meeting in December. The Board voted unanimously that our first Regular Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, December 12, 2016, however we held two special meetings on Monday to address a variety of issues in violation of board policy.

Board Policy 9321a states “The Annual Organizational Meeting of the elected board shall be held on the first meeting of December,” therefore the special meetings held on Monday, December 5th to discuss a multitude of topics was held in violation of board policy because the 5:00 PM meeting was called as the first meeting of December.

Mr. Bradley, as Chair (former chair) of the BOE it was your responsibility to be knowledgeable about our Board Policies and to ensure they are adhered to. Your repeated failure to adhere to CT state statutes, Board Policy, the FOIA and Robert’s Rules of Order has served as the hallmark of your tenure as Chair of the BOE.

The Organizational Meeting must be called immediately. As of right now, there is no Chair, Vice-chair, Secretary or Committee Chairs.

Bradley scheduled the organizational meeting after receiving Pereira’s email. The board has experienced a tumultuous 2016 with Bradley calling for a boycott of regular meetings until the resignation of Pereira who he describes as a dysfunctional force on the board. Pereira, elected with Bradley to a four-year term last year, is not resigning. Bradley has cherry picked special meetings to conduct board business. If he’s reelected chair will that process continue?

Bradley says if he’s reelected chair with a full nine members as well as a new acting school chief in place, Aresta Johnson, starting the new year he hopes for some board stability to resume regular meetings. But with a caveat: no more hostile meetings deep into the night.

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27 comments

  1. Unfortunately, Bradley will be reelected on a 5-4 vote.
    Maria’s four against Bradley’s five. Unless Maria reaches across the table to find a candidate her votes can support if only for the plain and simple reason of getting rid of Bradley.
    Everything is impossible until you actually try to do it.

    1. I’m sure the other ELECTED MEMBERS hate it when they are referred to as Maria’s other votes. Each one of them is knowledgeable of what their position requires and possesses the ability to be chair themselves, should they want it.

  2. I am urging every parent, grandparent and Bridgeport citizen who believes our 21,000 students deserve a chair and vice-chair who clearly have demonstrated they care about their well-being; attend this meeting.

    Dennis Bradley sent us notice of the meeting yesterday although he is no longer “chair” and has no authority to schedule a special meeting. He scheduled it for tiny ROOM 305 located at City Hall located on 45 Lyon Terrace. That has NEVER occurred. It is always held in a large school.

    Public Comment is “required” before the elections are held and each speaker gets two minutes. This tiny location is an attempt to further disenfranchise the public. Mayor Ganim will Chair the meeting until a BOE Chair is selected.

    Now we will see which BOE members truly care about our children and which care about politics and following Ganim’s orders. No one who claims to care about our children can vote for Dennis Bradley as chair or Joe Larcheveque as vice-chair with any level of credibility.

    Both Dennis Bradley and Joe Larcheveque have done nothing but work hand-in-hand with Testa, Ganim and Rabinowitz to obstruct progress and neither has EVER offered a single policy or suggestion that betters the lives of our children, parents, and staff. Not once.

    Let’s see what John Weldon, Raphael Fonseca, and Annette Segarra-Negron do on Monday. Every single one owes their position on the Board to Mayor Ganim, not the voters of Bridgeport.

    Please know that if Bradley and Larcheveque are re-elected and I prevail on appeal; they will immediately be removed from their positions.

    In addition, Weldon, Negron, Fonseca and Larcheveque’s seats are all up next year. Hold your politicians accountable.

    1. Whatever regard you have for Maria, you have to congratulate her on recognizing and stating the obvious. Room 305 is inadequate to hold a BOE meeting with all the attention directed at the substance of the 12-12-16 scheduled event.

      If someone were drowning and yelling for help, who will jump into the pool to save that person and restore calmness to the scene?? It seems that type of neighborly redundancy has been absent too long. If the responsible person is present, urge them to live up to the duty. If they are not present, is there another capable adult in the room? Who will jump into this process, save the drowning system, and by dint of presence, personality and profound belief in educating youth help the public schools get back to their duty with Open, Accountable, Transparent and Honest process? Time will tell.

  3. Bradley, you are not a King and you don’t make decisions about meetings, how long they last, etc. This is a democratically elected Board, although three of our current BOE members never received a single vote from the electorate, not even their own colleagues vote.

      1. Well, I would support anyone who doesn’t confer with Testa or Ganim, is knowledgeable, informed, articulate, and truly cares about the well-being of our children.

        I could never vote for Weldon, Negron or Fonseca for a variety of reasons, but especially because I have a impending appeal to remove all three, therefore it would be highly inappropriate to vote for any of them to be officers.

        1. Frank, I usually work until 7pm, but I am going to make an effort. If you’re there please feel free to approach me, it’d be nice to put a face to your post. Thanks for asking.

          1. Hector, I will be there and I will look for you. I know what you look like so I will be looking. It will be good to meet you AND any other OIB peeps who show up.

  4. Héctor, well there’s one thing we all know, it certainly won’t be Maria and the way Maria carrying herself it could get down to which BOE member they dislike the most, Dennis or Maria, time will tell (JML).

  5. On November 15, 2016, the Board voted unanimously to hold a special meeting this evening to approve a contract with whomever the interim superintendent would be and we voted unanimously they would start on Monday, November 12, 2016.

    As of 4:00pm yesterday I had not received the meeting notice. I contacted Dawn Cole who told me Dennis Bradley “canceled” the meeting because Aresta Johnson was out of town and she had just received a template of the contract yesterday afternoon. Dennis Bradley has zero authority to alter, defer or take action contrary to a full vote of the BOE.

    I placed a call into Ms. Johnson and she informed me our “former” chair never contacted her to formerly notify her she got the job, never congratulated her, never notified her that her attorney should contact the Board’s attorney, and never informed her we were supposed to have a special meeting tonight to approve the contract. She told me had she been notified she would have made the necessary arrangements to be there tonight and even offered to cancel her plans for today, however it was after 5:00pm and the notice deadline had passed, therefore there was no point.

    What a way for our new interim superintendent to be treated. Not even an email notifying her formally she was selected or to congratulate her.

    She was not upset, but was bewildered about what was going on and why she had not been formally contacted and given direction.

    By the way, this is the fifteenth (15) time the Board has voted on a matter and directed Bradley to schedule a meeting or take action where he has failed to do so.

    He is completely and absolutely incompetent.

  6. And now we have received a notice signed by Bradley that our first regular board meeting is scheduled for December 12th.

    As of right now we do not have a chair, vice-chair or secretary, therefore how can Bradley issue a cancellation notice unanimously approved by the Board?

    I specifically asked John Weldon if he were appointed to the Board would he boycott any regular, special, or committee meetings. He responded with “no, he would not.” Fonseca told Lennie and Linda Lambeck he would not join the boycott because of our kids, yet he has boycotted every regular meeting and committee meeting.

    Never listen to what a politician says, watch what they do. And then use their lies over and over again when it’s time for re-election.

    I truly hope Larcheveque, Negron, Fonseca and Weldon run for the BOE next year.

  7. An organizational meeting of the BOE will be held on Monday evening. While the one held a year ago was inundated with outside interference and the outcome produced nothing but chaos and unnecessary drama, this time the Board should use reason and common sense when voting for a Chair. It’s clear Dennis Bradley is a runaway train, he’s violated BOE practices and procedures as they relate to the scheduling of regular meetings and other matters. He’s blatant and is unfazed by his actions or consequences. Most egregious is preventing the public from participating as well as perpetuating dissension. It’s obvious there’s one member who will not be in the running, but there are seven others, excluding Bradley, who should be considered. Any reasonable person would have to agree this is the only chance the BOE has of going forward to do the business before them, and bringing back the parents who, along with their children, have the most to gain or lose. I personally don’t believe the Mayor or even Testa will go near this again. There will always be disagreements, debates and heated discussions that occur on any board or commission where the members are doing their jobs, but to put the fox back in the henhouse is unconscionable and reckless. My opinion as stated is directed only at Dennis Bradley; his actions have been public knowledge and are inexcusable and immature. It would be more productive to appoint a new member, than put the business of the BOE back even further.

    1. Lisa, excellent and well-stated and straight to the point without name-calling. Your words of wisdom have been missed for a little while on OIB, welcome back.

  8. Lisa,
    Testa, Ganim and Roach (an incredibly appropriate name) are knee-deep in Dennis Bradley and Joe Larcheveque serving as the key officers on the BOE. Anyone who believes Joe Larcheveque is a “true” Republican is living in a fantasy world. He serves as a prime example of why the Republican party in Bridgeport is not respected or an opposition party. They take their few crumbs and are complicit in much of what is wrong in this city.

    They have “zero” organized opposition. ZERO. Joe Larcheveque is beholden to Danny Roach. And Danny wanted John Weldon because he feels confident Weldon will fall in line with Joe Larcheveque’s influence in play.

    Danny Roach is a really slimy person. Now I have heard Katie Bukovsky will probably not run for re-election and Joe Larcheveque’s wife, Anne Larcheveque may be the replacement candidate.

  9. Very well stated Lisa, but the well-being of the students of Bridgeport hasn’t been a priority in a lot of years. This was about being in charge of a quarter billion dollar budget and more importantly what contractors are going to build these new schools. Joe and Mario have never lost sight of the golden rule, The Man with The Gold Makes The Rules.

    1. Donald, I couldn’t agree with you more. I was present at the organizational meeting held a year ago, and I attest unequivocally the fix was not only in, there was no attempt to hide it. I will take the time to attend the meeting on Monday because I’m a person who has to see and hear myself what is happening. I’m in no way implying if it’s a replay of last year I will have any affect on the outcome being different. I just want to see for myself how the BOE members vote. I counted numbers for 20 years on the Council, I know innately when they don’t make sense. Just curious!

    2. Don, you got it, just follow the money but if you notice over the years the only thing heard from Maria Pereira is ranting and calling other people names and what a wonderful person she is and they just love her in her district even though she couldn’t beat Charlie Stallworth for State Rep. after telling us how bad he was and he wasn’t going to meetings as a State Rep. Nothing about the improvement of the education of the students.

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