Court Challenge To Segarra School Board Appointment Looms

The Board of Education will conduct a regular meeting tonight (Monday) at 6:30 at Geraldine Johnson School, 475 Lexington Avenue, and one item on the agenda is “Discussion and possible action on removal of mayoral BOE appointee,” a reference to Mayor Joe Ganim’s appointment of Annette Segarra to fill the vacancy of Dave Hennessey.

Citing state statute, Ganim named Segarra, a Republican, to replace Hennessey after the school board could not agree on a replacement in 30 days. Elected as a Democrat in 2013, Hennessey switched his affiliation to Republican prior to his resignation.

The City Charter states that the remaining active school board members will fill a vacancy within the same party affiliation as the resignation, but does not specify a time to fill it. Opponents to Segarra’s appointment, including board member Maria Pereira, are planning a court challenge arguing that since Hennessey was elected as a Democrat his replacement must be from the same affiliation as well as asserting the charter does not specify a time frame for replacement.

The school board is also trying to find a replacement for State Rep. Andre Baker, a Democrat, who resigned last week citing work and family demands.



  1. I think I have made my views on this issue clear and I won’t repeat them here. That said, I think it is time for the critics to either put up or shut up. If you are going challenge the appointment, do so. If you’re not, move on and let the Board of Education get back to the work it was elected to do.

    1. Phil, this challenge is not being funded by the City, but by concerned individuals who want to stop Ganim from his old ways. My point is the cost of this court challenge is the monetary responsibility of those willing to raise the necessary attorney fees so a determination will be decided by a Judge, and will not be repeated. It’s my understanding this has already been accomplished or is very close to it. I would think those who have strong feelings and opinions about what this Mayor will do next would step up to the plate and at the very least ask if help is needed. It’s called “put your money where your mouth is.”

  2. Exactly, Lisa. There are those of us who just sit at a computer posting on OIB, and then there are those of us who actually organize, knock on doors, phone bank, and put our money where our mouth is.

    We are very close. This is on the agenda tonight because we want to show a judge we sought administrative relief BEFORE we go to court. It’s called strategy.

    I agree with Mr. Smith. I think it is definitely time for at least one individual on OIB to “shut up.”

    1. Is that person You, since you quit OIB when you were on the Ganim ticket and vehemently supporting him?

      There are those of us who just sit at a computer posting on OIB, and then there are those of us who have a job.

  3. How nice. “Shut up” Maria, you act like you are the only one who ever walked the streets of the 138th. You are not. This last election showed your message only resonates in a small area. It’s time to get off your ass and do something for the children of Bridgeport. What have you and the other dolts on the board done to improve the school atmosphere for the children? Nothing!

  4. Okay know-it-all, why are we paying a retired principal $500 a day to be an assistant principal at the magnet school off of Chopsey Hill Rd? That school went without an assistant principal for years. That’s $2,500 a week, which is money you could use to keep SROs and teacher aides or whatever you call them. If that’s not enough money, how about laying off one administrator from the overpopulated administrators list?
    You see Maria, this is something you and the other dumb asses could do to help the kids. Who am I kidding, you like telling people to shut up and going to court, anything to keep your name in the paper and on the blog.

    1. Jennifer, thank you for the article and it goes to what Andy said earlier, what has the BOE done to correct these problems? It’s more talk and less action, and the students suffer.

      1. When I read reports like this, I don’t understand why anyone is up in arms when mayors step in and work to circumvent a board that constantly fails. The city schools are one of the cornerstones of the reputation of a city, failing schools do not attract citizens or business looking for places to locate.

  5. You are clueless in Indiana or wherever you live.

    This scathing report was issued by the SDOE on June 30th and I did not find out about it until I saw this article last week. I sent the link to Fran Rabinowitz and the entire Board and blasted her for not notifying us herself.

    Ms. Rabinowitz sends us a “summary” every weekend of what going on in the district. She never once mentioned it in her weekly summary, not once.

    We are the most underfunded district in CT and have been for three decades. After payroll, the second largest expenditure is special education, which is over $40 million per year and on the rise.

    In order to get $1 in special ed reimbursement from the state, the cost of services must exceed four times the normal cost to educate a student, which is over $60,000.

    Paul Vallas decimated special ed. and it has been problematic since. Four BoE members made the interim Special Ed Director an issue and the job was posted with six qualified applicants being vetted.

    In addition, this matter has already been referred to the Teaching & Learning Committee and will be discussed at length.

    Start a drive in your home town for mayoral control because you do not reside in Bridgeport, therefore your opinion is irrelevant.

    1. You did the math on how many hours I spent working in a classroom in Bridgeport schools. I may be clueless on how the BOE members were unaware of the state mandate to comply with the SDDE since 2014, which was a shock to me to discover you were unaware of, considering how often you explain your in-depth research on issues and people, but I am hardly clueless on how and why the Bridgeport schools are failing, and it has less to do with money received and more to do with Mario and his ability to hire political operatives under the BOE budget. Our schools where I live have A to A+ ratings, which is why our mayor does not need to intervene. The schools spend less than 7,000 per student.

    1. May I preface my remarks to what I witnessed while attending my first BOE meeting last evening. I went because I wanted to see for myself how the BOE conducted themselves, and in light of crucial layoffs I wanted to hear suggestions from the Board members and Fran R. I did not stay until the very end because the reason I went was satisfied. In a nutshell, the members were professional, their research was impeccable, and they showed respect for each other. Upon the motion of a BOE member, the usual amount of speakers was expanded to whomever wished to speak. I chaired a portion of every Council meeting for 12 of my 20 years of service, I have some experience in this area and I knew what to look for. To make this short, the Board discussed options to make up the shortfall that necessitated the layoffs; while they couldn’t fix everything they intend to hold forums for input from the parents as to how to play “Solomon.” This may include a small concession from the union to help make this happen, and while this couldn’t be accomplished in one meeting, they do have a plan. The speakers and parents left with some hope. Now if the interim Superintendent would stop setting up roadblocks, trying to turn one against the other (I saw this) and work with the members, this may not end up being as painful as it is right now. I took the time to see this for myself, now I realize attending one meeting does not make me an expert or knowledgeable as to the history of how it got to this place, but my natural instincts and experience helped me cut through what it might take longer for some. Again, don’t judge the past by what this Board is trying to accomplish for the children of Bridgeport. If the Mayor and Fran R. would respect the rules and Charter, I believe this Board will be effective and should be respected for their willingness to devote so much of their time that keeps them from their everyday responsibilities, for the sake of our children.


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