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Ganim Appoints John Weldon To School Board

November 23rd, 2016 · 6 Comments · Analysis and Comment, Education, News and Events

John Weldon

John Weldon. CT Post photo.

UPDDATE: Black Rocker John Weldon on Tuesday was appointed to the Board of Education by Mayor Joe Ganim to fill the vacancy of Republican Kevin McSpirit that now completes the full nine-member school board. Weldon’s appointment is key in perhaps swaying the balance of power as well as the organizational meeting of officers that will take place in December.

“I am honored to be appointed to serve on the board,” said Weldon in a statement. “I intend to serve with integrity, weighing each issue independently with the overarching goal of how best to serve the interests, both short- and long-term, of the students and staff. I will attend all meetings as they are called and as I am able, as the purpose of being a part of the Board is to do my part to carry it forward and that can only be done by being actively engaged in its work.”

“He’s well qualified. It has been a hard battle for him. I congratulate him and wish him well,” says Republican Town Chairman Mike Garrett.

Weldon has positioned for a school board seat for many years. He was a Republican candidate in 2013 and 2015. In replacing McSpirit who was elected last year Weldon will fill out McSpirit’s final three years. Weldon is manager of engineering and construction contracts for the Triborough Bridge & Tunnel Authority. Previously he was employed by the Greater Bridgeport Transit District with responsibilities that included grants management, major capital project administration, regulatory compliance, minority contracting/supplier diversity, civil rights compliance, customer relations and station/public amenities management.

Weldon attended Bridgeport public schools graduating from Central High School. He received a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from the University of Bridgeport.

Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis ruled recently that the mayor has the authority to fill school board vacancies if the board does not act within 30 days of a resignation. Weldon brings to three the number of board vacancies Ganim has filled the past four months.

The board has met infrequently in special meetings following the call by Chairman Dennis Bradley to boycott regularly scheduled sessions until the resignation of Maria Pereira who Bradley claims is disruptive to school board progress. Pereira is not resigning. She has called on Bradley to resign. As a candidate in 2013 Weldon emphasized civility on the school board, which hasn’t always been in large demand. From 2013:

“We teach it to our kids from an early age. We teach them to play nicely with others. We teach them to not call each other names and to not interrupt when someone is speaking. As it’s currently comprised, Bridgeport’s Board of Education is completely lacking in civility. Name-calling, yelling at each other, interrupting each other and, at times, even being racist toward one another. What sort of example is that for the youth in our school system?”

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6 Comments so far ↓

  • Frank Gyure

    The whole thing is a mess. If John Weldon believes in civility, he will attend regular BOE meetings. If not, he is another Ganim/Testa hack. And I will tell him that if I bump into him at any Black Rock meet-ups.

    • Maria Pereira

      Frank,
      When we interviewed the four candidates who applied to fill McSpirit’s vacancy I specifically asked them all, including John Weldon, would you participate in any boycott of any regular, special, or committee meetings. He responded that he would not.

      I knew this would be Ganim’s choice. Danny Roach, who has an incredibly appropriate last name, would want Weldon because he believes he will be able to exert influence over him because of his connection to Larcheveque and because Joe Larcheveque’s wife, Ann Larcheveque, serves on Danny Roach’s Town Committee.

      In my eight years involved in public education, every Black Rock BOE member has been pretty poor and controlled by the machine. That includes Pat Crossin, Tom Mulligan, Dave Hennessey, Joe Larcheveque and Kevin McSpirit. Kevin was able to show independence, was intelligent and articulate but was short-lived.

      Weldon has run twice and was rejected by the voters twice, however he was born and raised in Bridgeport, graduated from CHS, and is definitely not a racist/bigot.

      Now, we know what he said, but let’s see what he does.

      I for one am thrilled with his appointment. My attorney already filed the required notice that we are appealing Bellis’ decision on the mayor’s authority to fill BoE vacancies. This appointment was especially critical to the appeal.

      Three hours before Weldon was given the oath, Dennis Bradley signed yet another cancellation notice for Monday’s regular meeting. That is seven of our eight regular meetings so far this school year canceled by Bradley with the full support of Larcheveque, Negron and Fonseca.

      • Maria Pereira

        Lennie, is the quote here from Weldon current or from a previous campaign?

        What “racism” is he referring to?

        • Maria Pereira

          I just answered my own question. It appears it was a posting from his candidacy in 2013.

          In reviewing the link, it appears Weldon stated he would work to create policies to remove board members who he felt were being disruptive. This would be illegal. It certainly would be interesting to see unelected board members try to create a policy to remove elected BoE members from meetings an elected member has every right to participate in.

  • Jimfox

    John Weldon is one of Black Rock’s good guys. I congratulate you on your appointment and wish you all the best on the BBoE.

  • Steven Auerbach

    I have met John Weldpn on a couple of occasions, always confusing him with a manager I knew from Home Depot. He always seemed to be a very nice guy and I am certain he will make a fine addition to the BOE. I am certain he will be welcomed and a calming voice on the BOE. If Mike Garrett thinks he is a fine candidate then that is good enough for me. Good choice, Mayor!

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