Foster Wants To Run A BOE Slate–Another Election Storm?–Marilyn Moore Seeks City Clerk Office

UPDATE: Democratic mayoral candidate Mary-Jane Foster, who opposes the state mothballing the Bridgeport BOE, wants to run a slate of school board candidates on her ticket. She is asking local election officials to release petition papers to secure signatures from registered Dems for BOE candidates. Democratic Registrar of Voters Sandi Ayala is asking state elections officials for guidance in light of a state takeover of city schools.

Political activist Marilyn Moore, who had served for a brief period as campaign manager for Democratic mayoral candidate John Gomes before supporting Foster, will be a candidate for city clerk on the Foster ticket. She would challenge Fleeta Hudson, who has served as city clerk for 20 years. Citywide offices, in addition to mayor, include BOE, city clerk, town clerk and city sheriff. Citywide challenge candidates must secure just over 2000 certified signatures among registered Dems to appear on the September primary ballot. Aug. 10 is the deadline to submit signatures.

Former City Councilman Alberto “Tito” Ayala will be a candidate for town clerk. Former City Councilman Joel “Speedy” Gonzalez, long-time Democratic party activist Andy Fardy (aka town committee on OIB) and Dwayne McBride, a retired city police officer, will be candidates for city sheriff.

The potential BOE candidates seeking to run on the Foster slate are City Councilman Bob “Troll” Walsh, George Pipkin III, son of the legendary George Pipkin who for years directed Hall Neighborhood House, Charlie Coviello, multiple mayoral candidate. Coviello confirmed he’s dropping out of the mayoral race to support Foster.

Ayala, who was at the center of the ballot-shortage controversy last November, wants direction from the state regarding BOE petition papers. Could this be another election storm? The Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee, as a result of state control, did not endorse candidates for BOE. Has the BOE been officially reconstituted by the state yet? Two dethroned BOE members filed suit in state court to reverse state takeover. An injunction hearing is scheduled for August 8.

What triggers the state officially taking over city schools? Seeking an official response from the state. A spokesperson from the Connecticut Secretary of State’s Office says elections for BOE candidates, barring court intervention, are placed on hold. “According to the state statute, there is no election for Board of Education in Bridgeport, since the state has used its authority to reconstitute the Bridgeport Board of education. The members of the board will be appointed, not elected. Therefore, since there is no election for BOE in Bridgeport, there should be no primary petitions issued because there will be no primary.”

The relevant statute is:

10-223e subsection h 

(h) The State Board of Education may authorize the Commissioner of Education to reconstitute a local or regional board of education pursuant to subdivision (2) of subsection (d) of this section for a period of not more than five years. The board shall not grant such authority to the commissioner unless the board has required the local or regional board of education to complete the training described in subparagraph (M) of subdivision (2) of subsection (c) of this section. Upon such authorization by the board, the commissioner shall terminate the existing local or regional board of education and appoint the members of a new local or regional board of education for the school district. Such appointed members may include members of the board of education that was terminated. The terms of the members of the new board of education shall be three years. The Department of Education shall offer training to the members of the new board of education. The new board of education shall annually report to the commissioner regarding the district’s progress toward meeting the benchmarks established by the State Board of Education pursuant to subsection (c) of this section and making adequate yearly progress, as defined in the state accountability plan prepared in accordance with subsection (a) of this section. If the district fails to show adequate improvement, as determined by the State Board of Education, after three years, the commissioner may reappoint the members of the new board of education or appoint new members to such board of education for terms of two years.



  1. I’m not sure I understand. The State isn’t going away. We ARE getting a Special Master who will appoint an interim full BOE.

    The whole purpose of this takeover is to restore the Bridgeport school system to one that dedicates all resources to academic achievement and student retention.

    Not one of the people who have been in a position of BOE influence in the past 25 years has been able to accomplish that objective.

    Look around you. The State bulldozed in Windham. They dispatched ALL of the individuals who were responsible for that system’s terrible record. They brought in dedicated professionals. Right away, the academic metrics improved dramatically. The State is giving the students in Windham an opportunity to obtain an education that will prepare them to meet the challenges that await.

    Bridgeport BOE needs BROOM ENFORCEMENT and I applaud the State for their intent to take dramatic steps to restore our schools.

    I just don’t know why MJF thinks this is a cause celeb. Political points …?

      1. You have an unusual way with words. I will attempt to answer your questions.

        I fought in battle to ensure each and every one of us always has the right to vote. I will fight again to preserve that.

        I understand due process of law which I consider arbitrary.

        1. yahooy, you said, “I understand due process of law which I consider arbitrary.” That’s why the decision of the mayor and the state is going to court because their decision was arbitrary. Remember, Finch, Ramos and Bellinger never lost any votes or decisions because the vote was always 6-3, in fact the dysfunction was on their part because they didn’t know how to use the power they had.

      2. Hey Ron,
        Due process and the right to vote was taken away from the parents of students attending Bridgeport schools. It was not the state of Connecticut that took them away, it was Mario Testa and the egotistical buffoons he’s been fielding for the BOE for years. The majority of six the DTC held on the BOE didn’t do anything to improve the quality of education in this town. The only remedy is for the Connecticut Dept. of Education to take over. With a 67% dropout rate the city’s leadership cannot afford to wait for the next election cycle to address the problem.

        Another dog-and-pony show to convince the voters the issue is being “addressed” is not the way to go. The city’s children are our greatest resource, a resource that has been squandered by a dysfunctional Board of Education and careerist administrative hacks like John Ramos. Education is not a political endeavor, it is not a forum to instill religious beliefs. Public schools exist to educate children, give them some practical intellectual skills for the modern workplace. When two-thirds of all high school students are saying “fuck it,” that’s a big problem.

        Go on, make a big deal about due process and voter’s rights. Hanging this up in the courts is only going to allow the existing problems to fester and get worse.

    1. yahooy, the state has not appointed a special master as it has done in Windham. The Bridgeport case is different. Foster says if the state must intercede it should do so with a guiding special master while keeping a school board in place. The Bridgeport model, the first time this has ever been done under a new state law that’s being challenged in court, provides for the state education commish to appoint five members to oversee the school system. The statute is included in an update of my post.

      1. I still don’t understand. We have never had a BOE that was effective. I don’t know who MJF has slated. Maybe they are all revved and ready to turn things around.

        It would seem to me a Special Master should bring in some specially qualified people who can assess, analyze, propose and then implement effective change.

        Putting Bridgeporters in at this time seems counter-productive. I say let the real pros come in and then restore our BOE with elected officials. There would be no chance any of the Special Master’s peeps would smell like squid.

        Then again, the elected positions are sacrosanct and should not be messed with.

  2. How many positions is she going to propose–4 out of 9? Has MJF rescinded her ridiculous stand of appointing the majority of the BOE? What about running an opposition slate to the Common Council? MJF couldn’t find her own ass using both hands. VOTE FOR JOHN GOMES.

      1. Flip-Flop-Flip-Flop-Flip-Flop-Flip
        Here we go, what’s next? Why can’t gurl change her mind? “I need a slate! Who’s going to get me my numbers?”

  3. I don’t understand. Initially she said she wasn’t running a slate because that would cause more people to go out and vote for Finch because of those on his slate. Perhaps Marilyn Moore changed her mind?

  4. yahooy:
    Filing a slate forces attention on the issue of the mayor killing off the Board of Education, and how the mayor did it.

    Mayor Finch owns this issue. He bought and paid for it. He has said the Board of Ed was dysfunctional and he was forced to take this action.

    When the DTC did not endorse candidates for the Board of Education, they were, without comment, endorsing the mayor’s action to get rid of the Board of Ed. They were endorsing the mayor’s position.

    By filing a slate, the opposition is saying “Oh really?”

    The administration may have hoped to tiptoe through that bed of tulips; the opposition is saying “crushed tulips.”

    Besides, what if a judge throws out the decision to have a state takeover of the Board of Ed, and the Democratic committee has to scramble to fill slots? If nothing else, the opposition is covering a base, and the party looks stupid.

  5. This statute proves if the State Board of Education did not follow their own statute, they were arbitrary and capricious, and the court should rule in favor of Pereira and Simmons.

  6. I don’t think the calmarians should have the opportunity to put the same shitheads back on the BOE … PERIOD.

    Squid has abused the BOE for far too long. It is righteous that the State can come in with a BROOM and rid us of the detritus that has caused us to spend way too much of our hard-earned money with so little to show for it.

    Am I to understand some of you truly believe we should allow these same people to remain in office?

  7. Technically, democratically and constitutionally speaking it is up to the electorate. We may not like the results but if the government and the executive branch start tossing out elected legislative branch officials, where does it stop? Should Obama be able to throw out Congress? You may say yes, but those are the rules of some other country, not ours.

    1. I’m beginning to understand. You get what you let other people vote for.

      We really have to rally the registered electorate to get out and vote.

      Stupid really is as stupid does.

  8. I can understand the confusion here.
    It seems as if the state gives local school systems two options.
    The first is to fail miserably and have the state via an act of the legislature take over the schools system by appointing a special master to work with the local school board to fix the problem. The other is to give up and have the local school board voted to dissolve itself, have the state appoint a school board to work with the local superintendent to fix the problem.
    In reality the difference between the two is when the state takes over and appoints a special master they traditionally add significant financial support to the ailing school system. If the board of ed is replaced no additional funding is planned.
    So the state said to Mayor Finch we are not going to come up with any additional funds so if you want any help from us, have your local board vote to dissolve.

  9. WHAT??? Tito Ayala for Town Clerk??? Against Alma Maya??? What in the world was Mary-Jane Foster thinking??? As fast as she has pushed ahead, might be as fast as she will fade away …

    First she proposes a Mayoral appointed BOE and now Tito Ayala joins her slate???

    I’m starting to think twice about supporting this lady …

  10. If only it were true the state takeover would mean they came in here and cleaned house! Ben Barnes is in bed with this administration. They parked him in the job here pending Malloy’s election, he sided with the board majority when he was here and he has his fingerprints all over this takeover. Anyone appointed to the reconstituted board will have the stamp of approval of this administration.

  11. Furthermore, from the above section of the law Lennie quoted, it reads “The board shall not grant such authority to the commissioner unless the board has required the local or regional board of education to complete the training described in subparagraph (M) of subdivision (2) of subsection (c) of this section.”
    This is the basis of the injunctions. The state board NEVER required the training and ignored this section of the law when voting 5-4 to accept the city’s action.
    If an injunction is granted AND there were no challenge candidates on record, the state could allow the Town Committee to nominate another handpicked slate.
    Hey Mario, your turn.

  12. You have none people on this Board; why 9? It’s bad enough getting two people to agree on anything. Streamline, get rid of the board and have the Superintendent only report to the mayor.

    MCAT, this isn’t Canada or Mexico coming to take over the BOE, its the State (a higher elected body) coming in to take over a board that is so dysfunctional, so incompetent that it’s causing irreparable damage to a certain population (your kids), so a higher elected body has to come in and reverse this course.


    1. JMart, I am trying to understand your position. Are you saying you want the mayor, the superintendent and a few BOE members to make the decision for the 20,000 plus students in Bridgeport?

  13. John,
    It isn’t Canada or Mexico nor is it Germany. This is how Hitler started. Subjugate the laws to make them fit your agenda. Then what’s next, do we start killing gypsies?

      1. JMart, you said, “the state board isn’t staying forever.” Well tell us how long will we be occupied by the state and when will the voters of Bridgeport get the right to vote for their elected BOE members? And who is to make the decision to enact the position you suggested?

        1. I don’t know, Ron. BPT is the first case. I hope when they come they will tell you what they want to accomplish and how long they plan to be there.


        2. Ron, Coleman says the board will be staying 3 years. Tell me Ron, what makes this 9-member board so special? What do they do that can’t be done by the Superintendent’s office or by the Mayor’s office, or the sharing of the two depts?

          1. JMart, I believe in a representative government, that democratic form of elected system that is America. I don’t believe in dictatorship. Once again, no one has explain what the problem was that had the state to take over.

            Finch, Ramos and Bellinger ALWAYS won every vote that came up with a 6-3 majority yet they could not get the job done. Remember it was 6 BOE members who told the state they could not do their job. I believe in local citizens would the voters selected to be in charge of the BOE.

  14. *** Forgetaboutit; new BOE candidates for the next election? The less politics in Bpt’s education system the better. Let’s give the state a chance to turn things around first, no? Starting with a full financial audit, transparency on past & future spending & trimming the topheavy educational admin. to start. Followed by enforcing school laws & regulations that are not followed & merely on the books. Change must start somewhere in bits & pieces on the city’s educational & city sides from top to bottom. The more city voters are kept in the light of what’s really going on in their districts, maybe the quicker the changes will come. Elections are near and change is needed on the city council, DTC and Mayor’s office. Enough of the “Ground Hog Day” re-runs! *** CHANGE ***

  15. *** (RON) *** Been asked but I’m not interested @ this time, however trying to make a change in our district’s town committee with a whole new slate next year might be a thought! Also I will be supporting one of the “new” running candidates come primary time, however I’m still pondering whom, maybe Foster? *** Time to rally the voters! ***

  16. What do you know?

    I just got a call from a long-time friend and devoted calamarian. She told me she thinks Gomes is rethinking his candidacy. He allegedly has suggested if MJF wants him to play an integral role in her administration, she will have to take a whole bunch of his people with him into city hall in order to get his announced support.

    I think my calamarian friend is full of baloney. Gomes may be rethinking his ability to prevail over MJF AND Finch. But he would never extort MJF in this or any manner. *** No? ***


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