Business Community Urges Membership To Support Dem Candidates For BOE

Hey, does anyone know there’s a special election to fill four Board of Education seats on September 4? Leadership at the Bridgeport Regional Business Council knows and it’s asking membership to support the Democratic-endorsed candidates Hernan Illingworth, Jacqui Kelleher and Ken Moales at a Wednesday fundraiser. The Dem candidates are current members of the reconstituted BOE following state takeover of city schools last year.

The Republican candidates are husband/wife Wayne Hayes and Evelyn Hayes and ex Republican Registrar of Voters Joe Borges. Bridgeport hoop star John “Bags” Bagley is one of two candidates nominated by Connecticut’s Working Families Party. The other WFP candidate Barbara Pouchet has been active in city education issues. The Connecticut Supreme Court ordered a special election after it invalidated state control of city schools. One of the four school board positions on the ballot is reserved for minority party representation. The GOP and WFP candidates will fight it out for that spot. The elected board will be seated as soon as the September 4 results are certified by elections officials, per order of the Supremes. Business community invitation:

TO: Members of the BRBC and BCC Board of Directors

FROM: Paul Timpanelli, Mike Niedermeier, Bob Trefry

Over the last 7 years, the Business Council has invested over $775,000 into the Bridgeport School system in an effort to improve financial accountability, transparency and operational improvement. To date, we have identified over $13 million in operational efficiencies and those dollars are now being reinvested into the classroom to improve student outcomes.

This is a crucial period for the Bridgeport school system as a new Board of Education will soon be seated. We cannot sit on the sidelines and allow the clock to be turned back, We must help to assure that a Board is seated that will carry on the progress made to date.

So, the BRBC is asking you to help three candidates for the Board of Education–three that have been seated for over a year and have done a great job–by joining us at a fundraiser to support their campaign for office.

AUGUST 15, 2012

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

BARE TAPAS & VINO, 269 Fairfield Avenue



  1. *** I will be voting for two WFP and two Republican candidates for BOE on Special Election Day, ’cause it’s time to shake up the status quo! *** HERE WE GO! ***

  2. Ron,
    Can’t do that probably because if you need a hospital tonight, you’ll probably find both of them in town are members of the BRBC. Same with banks, utilities, etc.
    What is going through my mind is by what process they focused on only the selected candidates? Did they ask for a submission of answers to a series of questions? Did they have a group of judges with no conflicts of interest (skin in the game and rewards awaiting them) to judge the candidates whom they will support? Where were the funds derived from? Is this an example of playground bullying?

    And about the $775,000 invested in recent years: Where did it go? To whom was it paid? What have been the results? Are BRBC members who participated in the funding indicating unqualified support for the results of the investments? And about identifying operational efficiencies, how many were identified as doable and incorporated by the Ramos administration? How many are part of the Vallas administration? All of the business expertise, funding, prestige and community power ought to be able to form a better open, accountable and transparent message to the community. That’s what I think, and Paul knows I have called him more than once over the past four years to find when the game ends and scores are posted. Time will tell.

  3. *** All Vallas appointments, terminations and overall changes are far too early to judge in terms of true, long-term school system improvements, no? As Murphy would state, “work in progress!” ***

    1. *** A typical case of inexperience and too much too soon changes that in a two-year term cut short by politics and staff reluctance made progress sound unachievable! *** TIME WILL TELL! ***

  4. John Marshall Lee, that is my choice as a consumer to decide with whom I choose to spend my money, even if it is a business I would have to do business with I still have my right to let that business know how I feel and I don’t like their position. There is nothing wrong with not spending money with a business that supports something different than what I believe and there’s nothing wrong with letting them know my outrage.

    1. Ron,
      You and I are in agreement that you have a right in spending your money and/or sharing your opinion with whom you wish. My point was the BRBC has as members most of the large businesses in the community and it is harder to oppose based on that membership alone.
      I was at a hospital and a bank within the past 24 hours and at neither place could I frankly make my frustration with BRBC support for specific candidates for Bridgeport BOE. A letter to the leader is probably better? A bumper sticker on a car might bring more attention? Asking for a reason for spending funds in this manner might be even more interesting? Get the leaders to come clean with where they spend the bucks and why. Isn’t that what we are trying to do in the City? Time will tell.

  5. This is typical bullshit spouted by Timpanelli. He has not nor has he ever identified these so-called savings. By the way Paul, how’s the never-ending audit going?
    You and the other robber barons should concentrate on your businesses and stop trying to make a quick buck off the taxpayers in Bridgeport.
    I would not vote for the three stooges you support no matter what. They didn’t do squat to improve the lot of the kids in Bridgeport. They were no better than bobble-head dolls with their heads constantly bobbing up and down to anything Finch and Vallas wanted. I will be voting the same as Mojo.

  6. The Pimp is pimping off the BRBC members to Mario and Finch. Business owners who live in the ‘burbs and most businesses are in the ‘burbs are being asked to donate to the Bpt BOE race so they can control the budget. Screw the education system as long as outdoes cost much.

  7. There must be a price to pay if BRBC members should pay if they support something the voters don’t like. Look, the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955 was done by black working-class women who refused to ride the bus that would take them to work. They needed their jobs but their cause was more important and they made the bus company and other businesses lose their buying power. That boycott lasted 13 months. Well, what are we doing to those who do not support our concerns and issues?

  8. JML, I hear you but on this we will have to disagree. First, I ask Lennie or anyone to provide the members of the BRBC. If they can put out press releases about their opinion on issues that in this case involve the children of Bridgeport, then we should have the right to know who they are. Why should their membership be such a big secret?


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