Ganim Appoints Rafael Fonseca Jr. To BOE, Pereira Comments

Ganim, Fonseca
Ganim, left, swears in Rafael Fonseca as a member of the Board of Education.

From city Communications Director Av Harris:

Mayor Joe Ganim today announced that pursuant to his authority under the Bridgeport city charter he has appointed Rafael Fonseca, Jr. as the newest member of the Bridgeport Board of Education. Fonseca has been appointed to fill the vacancy on the board of education created by the recent resignation of Andre Baker from the board. Under the Bridgeport city charter, Mayor Ganim has authority to appoint a member to the board when there is a vacancy and the board fails to appoint a member to fill the vacancy within 30 days of the vacancy being created. The Mayor made the appointment after waiting well past the 30 day appointment window given to the board of education and with no indication that the board was moving to fill the vacancy.

“Though I would have preferred that the board of education move to fill this vacancy on its own, I am compelled by duty to make this appointment so our schools can function with proper guidance from a full board,” said Mayor Ganim. “Ralphie Fonseca’s dedication to community and country is evident by looking at his career of putting his life on the line to protect all of us as a police officer and a member of our military. We are all grateful that Ralphie is once again volunteering to serve–this time in a critical post that will allow the Bridgeport Board of Education to function properly with all members present. Key decisions need to be made and there is so much work to be done!”

Fonseca is a lifelong Bridgeport resident, has served as a Police Officer in Norwalk for 15 years and prior to that served as a police officer in Ridgefield for four years. As part of his service in law enforcement Fonseca served as a school resource officer, was also very active in the D.A.R.E program, and has coached little league baseball for many years. Fonseca is also a military veteran, having served for 13 years in the US Army Reserve, attaining a rank of Sergeant 1st class at the time of his honorable discharge. He holds a Bachelor’ degree in Sociology from Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven. He and his wife Dolores have one daughter and one son, and are longtime residents of the East side of Bridgeport.

In an email to OIB, Pereira commented on the appointment.

Here is a press release from Mayor Ganim, who filled the BOE Vacancy created by Andre Baker’s resignation, and filed a notice with the City Clerk this morning. He appointed a member of our 138th TC who 6 of 9 members do not speak with because after I asked them to join my slate; Rafael Fonseca and his wife Dollie Fonseca tried to organize a coup to make him the 138th District Leader. I was well aware it was happening but left it alone because I felt they would implode, and they did.

We have been preparing for this possibility and are hopeful we will have a decision by Judge Bellis by the end of October regarding the legality of the two BOE members appointed by Mayor Ganim.

Ganim has now appointed two BOE members that have not attended a single BOE meeting in the almost 8 years I have been involved in our true public schools. Our goal was to appoint a Bridgeport Public School parent. Appointing Mr. Fonseca is Mayor Ganim’s attempt at retaliation which informs me I have gotten under his skin and he is clearly annoyed. 🙂

I believe that Mr. Fonseca does not understand that Mayor Ganim is using him as a sacrificial lamb as a form of retaliation against me and could care less if a judge removes him from his appointed seat on the BOE in 30-45 days.

Attorney Smith has been preparing for this arrogant move by Mayor Ganim. Remember, it was arrogance that brought down Fabrizi, Finch, and Ganim 1. I believe it will be what causes his defeat three years from now.



    1. Barf, I don’t believe that is the case. I received reliable information Ganim repeatedly told Bradley to end the boycott due to all the negative press. It is my understanding Bradley refused. Ganim went around him and appointed Fonseca on the condition he attend meetings and break the boycott.
      I repeatedly watched Channel 12 News last night. In a variety of different clips he appeared angry and agitated. The reporter repeatedly stated Bradley said he would not attend until I resign, however the same reporter shared that he spoke with Fonseca and he confirmed he would NOT participate in the boycott and would be attending meetings.

      Looks like Golden Boy Bradley may not be so golden with Ganim. Trouble in paradise?

          1. Lisa. I may be wrong , but If the positions were posted in the paper with said specifications that candidates submit a resume and cover letter and interview with the sitting members, then the only candidates who should be recognized are those satisfying the initial requirements, no?

          2. Yes Hector, they should. There are so many agendas in play we may end up with a new BOE, and it will happen on its own. No takeover, just well-intentioned volunteers, coupled with a few who play “follow the leader” and for the life of me, I can’t discern whom the leaders are anymore. They’re eating each other up. What a waste of time, resources and attention to the students and parents doing their best in a challenged system. They should all lock themselves in a room and knock their heads together, they all deserve it. I’ll take the City Council any day! For the most part some of them still live by a code.

          3. Once the BOE did not appoint a candidate it fell to the mayor to do so. The mayor is not obligated to adhere to what the BOE wants.

        1. The appointment of Fonseca was an attempt to kill two birds with one stone.

          Ganim showed Bradley who is running the show and drove a school bus right over him by appointing Fonseca to the BOE on the condition he attend BOE meetings, which creates a quorum thereby making Bradley’s boycott meaningless.

          Picking Fonseca was a shot at me because I am clearly getting under Ganim’s skin. Joe should know you never let the opposition see you sweat. 🙂

          1. “Picking Fonseca was a shot at me because I am clearly getting under Ganim’s skin. Joe should know you never let the opposition see you sweat. 🙂 ”

            Really Maria? Any other district leader would be delighted to have a member of their TC appointed to the BOE regardless of past disagreements. Some or most people know about moving on but you are stuck on the ‘me’ thing. There is an ‘i’ in Maria, but none in ‘Team.’

            The appointment of Fonseca was a reward for their two TC members’ support of Mario Testa dura. I don’t know any of the Fonsecas personally and just became aware Mr. Fonseca is a cop. I do know plenty of cops and I’m familiar with the training they get especially in dealing with difficult people and situations. It’s going to be difficult for you or anyone to ruffle Fonseca’s feathers or make him feel intimidated. I commend Fonseca for showing some independence from the start both as a member or YOUR T.C. and Bradley’s BOE. As a new BOE member and a cop, I’d ask Fonseca to re-visit the BOE’s decision to force students to walk to school in a City/area where the highest number of registered sex offenders reside. We’re still waiting for Bianca Lebron to come back home.

          2. Joel,
            Two of my TC members submitted letters of interest and their resumes by the deadline required by the BOE. Rafael Fonseca did NOT submit a letter of interest or resume as required.

            One is an educator and one is an active Bridgeport Public School Parent that is serving on a BOE Adhoc Committee, was President of the citywide PAC and President at Classical Studies.

            He has three children in the BPS. We have one BPS parent on the entire school board. Several of us agreed we wanted an active BPS parent.

            Fonseca is not a BPS parent, has never attended a BOE meeting in eight years, and has not been active in the BPS.

            Six of the eight other 138th TC members have not spoken with either Rafael Fonseca or his wife Dollie Fonseca since BEFORE the election due to their outrageous behavior which included text messages calling colleagues a “p***y, fake, f**k, k*s my a**,” etc.

            There is more I can write here but I will not.

            No one is trying to ruffle his feathers. We are indifferent because we feel confident we have a really good chance of removing all those appointed by Mayor Ganim.

            Maybe you should conduct a bit of research before posting about a topic or individuals you are not familiar with.

          3. Maria “Research” Pereira, unlike you I will address in part most of the points you raised. Interesting to know Fonseca did not submit a resume. However, I’m not aware of any guidelines or procedures the mayor must follow in order to appoint a replacement. I expect your lawyer to address this among other points.

            On your list of other people who submitted a resume, you point out one was and educator. SO WHAT? Hennessey was an educator and I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Baker too was one who was actively involved. What happened here? Interesting revelation, by stating you and several BOE members wanted an active BPS parent. The voters should not elect anyone who isn’t a parent to the BOE? If you and other members can decide what type of person you want for a replacement, then why can’t the opposition or other members do the same? You have an agenda just like the others.

            I think most of us don’t give a damn if Town committee members don’t all get along. If using foul language is the reason, I would have the same reason not to talk to you. I tried to convince you to tone it down a bit and your reply was, “I don’t give a fuck what anyone thinks of me,” blah, blah, blah. I can write more and I will. The last time I attended a BOE meeting was the day the board met to discuss the replacement of Hennessey’s vacated seat. I stayed to the end of the meeting when you asked if anyone wanted to go to the Diner. I was the only one who took you up on the invitation. What happened with you and that poor waitress? Was that really called for and necessary? I’m sure to you it was. I’ll let you in on something. When you were on the register complaining about that poor waitress, I went back to the table and left her $5.

            “Maybe you should conduct a bit of research before posting about a topic or individuals you are not familiar with.”

            Did you really have to go there? Of course, we are talking about Maria Pereira. Isn’t it about the children, Maria Pereira? Why did you skip the part about your vote forcing students to walk to school in areas with the highest concentration of registered sex offenders among other dangers? It’s not at all difficult to research this. I don’t depend much on research done by others. I have eyes and ears and I can spot potential problems or issues by simply doing my own simple research out in the field. By the way, Maria Pereira. When you do research in the future, find out if it’s true that there is an ‘e’ in Joel as there is one in ‘Team.’

        2. Hector, of course, as in the past, these postings are to give the appearance that the process will be fair. This time I find it exceptionally offensive since I know your interest and willingness to take on this time-consuming position was for the right reason, and in my opinion, you would have been a perfect fit for the BOE.

        3. You raise an interesting point, Hector. There are no guidelines as to how the mayor should go about appointing a BOE vacancy replacement. The Judge should order a special election be held for both vacancies.

          1. The reason there are no guidelines for how a mayor goes about appointing a BoE member is because the mayor has no authority to appoint.

            That is the point of the lawsuit.

  1. Maria, I hope you and your attorney are correct. As you said you have brought back to light the arrogance of G1 and stopping him quickly in his tracks will slow him down.

  2. Maria,
    Where did/do Mr. Fonseca’s children attend school? I don’t need names but is it private, public or charter? I noticed no one called Av out on this but it would appear to be a serious omission.

      1. Walsh, take a break. With the conditions of our three high schools I don’t blame anyone for sending their kids to private school. What has the BOE done to improve conditions at these schools?

        1. Mr. Fardy,
          While Harding is falling down, Bassick a basket case (as described in the NYTIMES, Central is undergoing renovation.

          There are THREE other Public High Schools in Bridgeport:
          Fairchild Wheeler, which has three wonderful STEM High Schools, Aquaculture and Bridgeport Military Academy.

          Private school is not the only choice for a quality education in Bridgeport.

          1. Mr. Marcus, I understand and you are right to a point. Not all kids who want to go to these schools can’t because of qualifications that are needed to get in so they are somewhat a private school.

  3. Now that Mr. Fonseca is on the board we can see why Fran R refused to follow the board’s decision on eliminating SROs. I am sure it will be declared improper and the re-vote will reinstate them.

    1. I’m not getting into the political machinations involved in this “first” with some of the members of the BOE. The interpretation of the Charter will be decided by a Judge, and it should be respected by all parties involved so business can be convened and there will never be a question about who can or can’t appoint vacancies. The four members who attended meetings, despite a quorum should be commended. Shame on the other three, in my opinion it was the result of political naivete, or disregard for the students of Bridgeport, At this point they will face the consequences for their irresponsible action at the appropriate time. Whether the Mayor had the authority to appoint Mr. Fonseca will be determined soon enough, however Mr. Fonseca has committed to attend the next Board meeting, thereby ending this boycott. I’m sure he made this clear before being chosen by the Mayor. The outcome of the boycott is over for now, if the other members decide to participate in the coming meeting they can, however, they should do so with knowledge that what they concocted was despicable and speaks to their character and disrespect for their positions. I’m sure it’s the hope of all that going forward the Board can now conduct business in a professional manner. I don’t care how or why Mr. Fonseca was selected, he is putting an end to this travesty. The legal matter surrounding the future of clarification going forward will soon be behind us one way or another.

      1. “… will soon be behind us one way or another.”

        Lisa, when you stated “us,” are you including Maria Pereira? I doubt she will leave it behind her as soon as most of us will.

        1. Mr. Joel Gonzalez, after this most recent Ganim manipulation move, appointment of Fonseca; Bradley, Larcheveque, McSpirit and Rabinowitz are the only ones preaching “leave it all behind.” They are the problem here.

          Maria is all about dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s. Finish unfinished business. Apply and follow the rules and the oh so important administrative aspect of the BOE. Where Bradley wants to sit back in his perceived throne and try to rule the masses and make shit up as he goes along. When the i’s are not dotted and the t’s are not crossed disaster awaits.

          If you can sit back and read or watch the BOE meetings and their meetings’ agendas you might realize BRADLEY and his li’l puppets are the problems.

          1. Mr. Andrew C Fardy, my statement has nothing to do with with me being relevant or not, my statement is all about the facts.

    1. This “nonsense” is being driven by Bradley who is probably the only BOE member Mayor Ganim would have ever appointed because he is thoroughly in the trenches with the corrupt political machine.

    2. The Republicans did nothing to make it work. They conspired with Mario Testa to take control of the BOE. Mike Garett told me they had nothing to do with the Hennessey plot and his appointment. I’m supposed to believe for almost six months a sitting Democrat BOE member switched to the Republican Party and no one, not even the staff of Republican Registrars of Voters knew or understood the significance of such a move?

  4. I’m happy and can speak for many in saying a new change for the better is coming to the BOE. Mr. Fonseca has a stern history of working with Dept of education, as a Police officer has the authority to provide order in a disassembled group that speak out of turn and ramble wasting parents and board members’ time, he’s also a professional in every sense of the word. Mr. Fonseca was whom five Town Committee members voted to be our district leader and somehow it never happened, hmmm I wonder why? Anyways I will say Mr. Fonseca and Mr. Bradley are a win-win for the BOE with a support system of professionals like Annette Segarra and Fran Rabinowitz, I feel we’re heading in the right direction placing the right people in place. I also will say I’m happy Eric Alicea and Helen Lozack weren’t nominated to be on the BOE because of their hidden agendas on wanting to take place on the board, to create a overrun in power and try to take on Mr. Bradley and others on the board. God don’t like ugly and every dog has their day and karma is a bitch. Other great surprises are coming real soon, so again Mr. Fonseca you have my support and others on the town committee district 138 team, we’re here for you!

      1. Gary, Angel is the member of our 138th TC that I received a protective order against for a full year from a judge.

        I can assure you six of us, including Michelle and Erris, have had no contact with the Fonsecas since March and with Angel since Memorial Day weekend.

        In fact, the Fonsecas have repeatedly called Helen Losak to no avail.

        There are substance and mental health issues involved, therefore it may be best not to engage Angel.

        I have also received several messages from and met with Success Village owners who have felt threatened by him as well. In fact, I am meeting with a few unit owners today.

        Just a suggestion.

        1. “There are substance and mental health issues involved, therefore it may be best not to engage Angel.”

          I and many others can say the same about you. As for me, I’ve heard that for over 30 years.

      2. Gary, there is a lot going on in politics and yes I’m against hidden agendas. The statement about Michelle and Erris not being a part of Rafael Fonseca I will prove when we celebrate tonight Mr. Fonseca’s nomination, and I will post the pictures with us celebrating on my political page DOB411 and there you will see our 138th town committee team without the ones with hidden agendas.

        1. I know I’m looking forward to those photos tomorrow considering I finally got a hold of Erris who shared with me that someone kept calling his phone repeatedly this morning but he would not answer it, and he told me I am not going anywhere “with those people.”

          He also confirmed he has no communication with Angel or the Fonsecas and does NOT want anything to do with all three of them.

          However, I will be looking forward to those photos tomorrow to prove me wrong.

          1. The photo on DOB 411 is up and those Mr. Figueroa stated would be there were not.

            Just as I stated they would not be.

  5. I have to say it’s bothering how people ramble about wrongdoing and yet they are the ones plotting against Mr. Bradley and others. For example, my name was used in a voting document and my name and signature were forged by a political figure who stands in position today that’s being investigated by the proper authorities, with other illegal activities, but they get on open forums and attack on people and claim to be victims. No wonder there’s no order in politics. Lol.

  6. And to clear some comments on this page. I as Town Committee district Rep disagree with the comments made that we don’t speak to the Fonsecas. Michelle Fox, myself, Angel Figueroa, Dollie Fonsecca and Erris have no problem with Rafael Fonseca and we look at him as a strength in our district team. We actually voted for Rafael Fonseca to be district Leader for the 138th, but surprisingly it never happened. Again, this team supports Mr. Fonseca!

    1. Angel Figueroa, let me be clear. My comment is not an endorsement of Fonseca, the behind the scenes moves by both political parties, or an attack of Maria Pereira.

  7. Mr. Fonseca can also count on my support, I’m sure for him to take on this position at this time was on his part a well thought out decision. I wish him and all the members of the Board Godspeed. It will be the choice of the people in the next election to decide who fills any seats then and should I feel a seat is being wasted or not used to the fullest benefit of our children, parents and staff, everyone knows I can get the signatures needed to run. I’d probably enjoy not being on and witnessing the work of a good Board, Good Luck and God Bless.

    1. Hector, if being good friends tends to make us think alike, read my last post. I wouldn’t walk into this lion’s den for anything in the world. Wait, the next time a BOE election occurs, I will work day and night to help you get elected on your own, then everybody will see what an exemplary person you are. I promise you that, you know I could campaign, look who I just helped get elected. LOL okay, I’m not being nice.

      1. Lisa, you have always been kind to me and I thank you, you go way back with my family and you’ve always supported issues that benefited the City as a whole not just the North End, not just Brooklawn and that’s commendable. Again, thank you.

  8. Gary, I believe when the BOE can’t take care of their own problems outside help is needed and more if it’s our Mayor complying with the rules. Only those with hidden agendas would have a problem with it. This shows certain individuals’ on the board’s real intentions, it’s no secret the BOE has become dysfunctional because of unprofessionalism by certain members, who enable an unprofessional example through antics and angry outbursts, members who don’t want certain members on the board anymore, so if the Mayor has to step in to conduct a medium by appointing someone with authority, professionalism, respect and someone who clearly cares for the children then yes I’m all for it.

    1. Angel, I’m floored. I can’t believe what I’m reading here. You knowingly and with full knowledge of the situation agree and accept the actions of Mayor Ganim? Further you try to justify your stance by saying the BOE is dysfunctional because of “certain members.” Even though with full knowledge nowhere in the rules and regulations regarding replacing a vacancy on the BOE does the Mayor have input? You of all the people who stood so tall, so loud and proud about fighting the “establishment,” assure the Democrats of Bridgeport you will police the town committee and eradication the “corruptions”. Well Angel Figueroa, Town Committee Member, you have failed in your plan and I could only see your plan B is to fall in line in back of the establishment do as they tell you, when they tell you and how they tell you.

      Personally before your post I would have thought Angel Figueroa, Town Committee Member, would have ferociously objected to the establishment violating a rule or procedure.

      Maybe you should re-think your position and come up with a different theory.

      I guess what they say is right.

      1. He’s totally falling in line because as Maria’s former pitbull he got embarrassed. Naturally he’s tucked his tail between his legs and made nice with the people he was once against.

  9. Just to answer some comments made, we celebrated at Vazzy’s with my town committee partners, my great friend and colleague Mrs. Fox couldn’t make it for personal reasons but she contacted us and wished Mr. Fonseca well, but she was very disappointed and bothered by a certain individual in or town committee who kept using her name on this blog with false allegations and Mrs. Fox had to request that person not to use her name anymore. I can speak for my colleague and friend Michelle Fox wasn’t with us that night but she was in spirit.


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