Daly: Not A Time For Settling Scores And Seizing Power

new Harding rendering
Rendering of new high school.

CT Post Editorial Page Editor Michael Daly shares observations about the need to build a new school to replace Harding High.

Even though there’s been a complete turnaround in the power structure of the school board–the minority group that suffered one indignity after another at the hand of the Finch majority is now in charge–the air remains thick with mistrust. It’s not unearned, but someone’s got to step up and say it’s time for a new day, and not a time for settling scores and seizing power. All of this is doing nothing to bring clarity to the situation surrounding Harding High School.

Questions about the land have to be answered. And there’s a process for getting that done.

There’s a discouraging undercurrent, though, to some of the recent proceedings regarding the school. And that is that some people appear to be against the Harding proposal simply because the fingerprints of Paul Vallas and Bill Finch are on it.

Full column here.



  1. Heaven forbid the Post would actually do an investigation of how this deal was made years ago, and democracy was never part of the process. How can ordinary people in Bridgeport actually have their own opinion? The Post was on board right from the start of this. It is unfortunate this Editorial page actually swayed voters to vote for Finch in the first place.

  2. Bridgeporteur, what’s even stranger is the column was written by Michael Daly. Mr Daly usually writes about important things like his trip to Ireland, his dog, his favorite sweater and the list goes on. I wonder where the Post was while all of this was going on. They really need an investigative reporter that the powers that be don’t change or ruin their reporting. Mike Daly nice-guy reporter was at one time.

  3. “Questions about the land have to be answered” and that is true whether you are talking about GE land that may become Harding HS land, Seaside Park “dump” or parkland, Longfellow School land (where a project moved from renovate school building to demolish, remediate property and build new). It is helpful for the CT Post to share an opinion and some of the facts some of the time.

    It is also helpful for them to observe there is a “process for getting that done.” Finch, often with support from the paper has not been a strong observer of “process.” And why should you need to observe process when your City Attorney is willing to justify almost any action you take and direct attention to other matters.

    Did you read the Sunday Post other than Daly’s opinion piece? What about the Reverend Stallworth, a State Representative for a City District if you are unfamiliar with his name, who has raised an issue about minority representation in the Police Department? Can anyone tell me what a State legislator has to do with a local public safety department minority composition? Can it be the Rep/Rev needs to make up time to get into the newspapers? He did not want the Feds or the State to be involved but rather Civil Service. Isn’t that a reasonable predictor of “nothing happening?” Does he know that? (For the record I do not know Representative Stallworth and would have had no reason to write this except he has chosen to pick a topic that seems “cold.” Perhaps he would like to explain his decision-making on State fiscal issues since his record on four State legislature votes in today’s paper show him generally favoring the raiding of transportation funds in a lockbox to preserving them for work on transportation issues. Maybe he will explain that to us.

    And finally a comment about “fingerprints” as Mike Daly terms it. Bill Finch is still Mayor of the City with a vision for the City that is rarely specified (until after he is challenged) to leave himself plenty of room to avoid blame or calls for explanation. Think about last year’s SNOW JOB (and this year’s robo calls to announce emergency response to 1-2″; or the Sikorsky Airport actions that unnecessarily cost taxpayers $500,000 or more but the manager is axed and the City Purchasing Department head position is soon put out for posting (while the Mayor and City Council President had ringside seats for the entire performance as Airport Commission members); or the Police gun range and Charter and Library questions put before the Bridgeport voters. Finch’s fingerprints on all.

    Well, Paul Vallas has left the Board of Education employment after about 26 months. He had bigger more challenging jobs in Chicago, Philadelphia and New Orleans than we offered him here. And his fingerprints were on reform and change that have proven positive and lasting in some communities. His fingerprints eliminated up to $18 Million of BOE deficit in the 2012 FY without school closings or teacher layoffs. And school projects that were conceived years before he arrived do bear his fingerprints like the transformation of Fairchild Wheeler from one mega-school into three separate interdistrict STEM schools … and that vision allows the Bridgeport schools to benefit from more than $8 Million of funds annually. People who watched him speak to the issues about their kids and then act on those same issues understood him. He was about the kids and school reform. He was not a puppet of Mayor Finch. Many find it easier to make stories up and lots of emotion was expended.

    But we are now in the cold light of dawn. The teacher and administrator contracts have been approved. Most BOE members were not in such a position 3-4 years ago. Curriculum changes, technology changes, new schools coming on line, Common Core early introduction, etc., etc. and new hands on deck with different fingerprints are in charge. This time there is a balanced budget in place with a CFO who understands the financing of a poor urban CT district. There has been a development plan with a couple years to run. And a new Superintendent who has worked in Bridgeport as well as State education offices as well as experience in temporary coverage while a new Super is discovered and contracted. Let’s look at the hands at work on City priorities and the direction they take with the results developed. Whose fingerprints will be celebrated or at least better understood? Time will tell.

  4. Rep Stallworth is a person who has done nothing for the people he represents in the 138th district. We read about all of the money brought into Black Rock by Auden Grogins and yet nothing until now from Stallworth.
    The police department and fire department hiring practices have been litigated forever, things have been done such as adding 10 points to a city resident’s score if he lived in Bridgeport. The one thing that has not changed and should be changed in both departments is the maximum age requirement. We have no maximum age limit so technically someone 60 years old could get on the job.
    Rev. Stallworth, stick to state issues.

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