Supporters of the Connecticut Supreme Court decision ordering a special election for four school board seats are organizing a rally for Wednesday in Hartford, among them elected Board of Education member Maria Pereira who’s opposed to state control of schools. When word reached Mayor Bill Finch that a rally was in the works he spread word to the business community about organizing a counter rally by supporters of state control of schools. Many business leaders including Paul Timpanelli, president of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council, support a state-appointed school board.
Last week the Connecticut Supreme Court ordered a special election for four school board positions ruling the state failed to provide the necessary training on behalf of the elected school board members who threw in the towel and asked for state intervention. Legislative leaders and government operatives on behalf of Governor Dannel Malloy have been examining a legislative fix that would cure, they say, a technical ruling by the Supremes, eliminating the need for a special election and keeping schools under state rule. Flyer promoting the rally:
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
DEMOCRACY IN BRIDGEPORT!
Tell your State Legislator VOTING is a Civil Right! We live in a Democracy! 210 Capital Avenue, Hartford, CT 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Free transportation provided:
Bus Leaves Baker & Isaac Funeral Home 987 Stratford Avenue, Bridgeport 9:30 a.m. (sharp)
Jeff Kohut, a petitioning candidate for mayor in 2011, says he will attend the rally. He sent out an eblast urging attendance. Says Kohut:
“There is a nefarious process to usurp the rights of Bridgeport residents/voters to self-determination which is currently being expressed in a Fairfield County Gold Coast-power broker effort to secure control of the Bridgeport public education system and thereby the future options and prosperity of our children and our city … This is being accomplished through the use of surrogates that have been placed in positions of political authority and influence by said Gold Coast power brokers–namely Governor Dannel Malloy and Mayor Bill Finch …
If Bridgeport is to ever again move forward and secure its rightful place of prosperity and leadership in Fairfield County (the 4th Congressional District), we must shake off the negative influences that would keep us a beggar-servant to the affluent towns of Fairfield County/4th Congressional District …
Come to the rally on WEDNESDAY, March 7! Let the General Assembly and the power-brokers of Fairfield County know that Bridgeport is no longer ripe for exploitation by the moneyed influences that would keep us broke, helpless, and under the control of the Stamford-Norwalk-Greenwich business/political axis that would continue to get a free ride off of Bridgeport’s labor and infrastructure through the control of state and Bridgeport politicians and institutions (e.g., our public-school system …)”
For his part Mayor Bill Finch is telling supporters of state control to contact the city’s eight-member legislative delegation urging them to push for a legislative fix. The delegation appears split on the direction it should take. He also inquired with the business community if a counter rally could be organized.
State Senator Ed Gomes says the city’s Hartford delegation is divided on a state legislative fix. Gomes is opposed to the state takeover of schools, especially the way elected school board members voted to dissolve the board last July. He says legislative leadership in Hartford is not likely to push the issue of a legislative fix without a united consensus from the delegation.