Gardner: Ballot Question A Work Of Fiction

The weekend before the election and things are warming up for big Tuesday featuring several key matchups including the ballot question that has shattered spending records for a local contest. Glover “Sonny” Gardner Jr. always provides an insightful view on city issues and shares below a commentary about the ballot question which if approved by voters will authorize Mayor Bill Finch to appoint school board members.

Just Say NO

I applaud Keila Torres Ocasio for her Front Page article in the Wednesday, October 24, 2012 Connecticut Post. Keila was quite diplomatic by saying that Charter revision backers are being less than truthful. It would’ve been quite appropriate for her to have said that the backers of the charter revision have been blatantly lying.

Those of us that will vote ‘no’ know that there has been misleading propaganda mailed out by Residents For a Better Bridgeport to the electorate that creates the illusion that the Mayor knows best who to select for the Board of Education, while in actuality their fiction leads people away from knowing the truth about who really runs the city. The Residents For a Better Bridgeport mails literature that is less than truthful on a regular basis. Do you ‘yes’ voters realize that a yes vote will allow the Mayor’s henchmen to bring in more EMOs (Education Management Organization) to continue to drain Bridgeport “The cash cow” of money. I want all of you ‘yes’ voters to save any extra money that you have so that you can contribute to the $50,000 speaking costs that you will pay Michelle Rhee the wife of the Mayor of Sacramento, Kevin Johnson, when she comes to town and tells you ‘yes’ voters how much you need her EMO, ‘Student First,’ because she thinks that her EMO is better than the EMO, Global Partnership Schools, that was just kicked out of Harding. More on EMOs on a later date. I wish that I had the space to describe how the slow but continuing decline of the Bridgeport school system will unfold.

During the Jim Crow Era, states erected all kinds of ridiculous and shameful barriers to prevent African Americans from voting. They required African Americans to pass complicated literacy tests. They forced black people to pay outrageous poll taxes. In some states, in order to vote, black people had to know how many bubbles were on a bar of soap or how many jelly beans were in a jar.

If you heard the mayor of Sacramento that John Bagley spoke of in the Sunday, October 28 Connecticut Post, you heard a lot of two-facedness and plenty of rhetoric in the Mayor of Sacramento’s speech. Kevin Johnson, the African American Mayor of Sacramento has an elected Board of Education of which none are African American and he’s telling you that you should give up your right to vote for the Board of Education and you buy into the ‘yes’ vote. Mayor Johnson tells you that you’re not losing your right to vote because you are actually voting in the November 6 election. Yes, he’s right in a way as many con-artists are, you will be voting in the Presidential election, but you’ll also be voting to decide if you want to give up your right to vote for the Board of Education. Is that illogical or what?

Mayor Kevin Johnson’s Board of Education in Sacramento was not very happy about him wishing that he had an appointed board. Their response was, “Yup, I bet he does. But that sure isn’t going to happen.” The scary part about this misinformation that is being distributed by the Residents for a Better Bridgeport is that a large number of people in our community have accepted it without investigation. We must be better prepared if we expect to be able to effectively exercise the rights that we have.

Tragically, the charter revision backers appear to have successfully hoodwinked a large number of the electorate to vote yes on the charter revision. This scheme is just another effort to give the Mayor the authority to appoint the Board of Education members. The first attempt at having an appointed board was when the majority of the board members agreed to dissolve itself. The end result was that it was illegal to do that. So now another scheme has been concocted with a myriad of deceptions used by men with creative skills in conjuring tricks.

Do you really think that the carpetbaggers that advise Finch really care about you and your children? None of the people in Finch’s advisory group are from Bridgeport and none are African American. When they leave at the end of the day, do you think that they care about Bridgeport’s African American and Latino children? Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not talking about the teachers. I believe that to the carpetbaggers, Bridgeport is only a paycheck and they’re willing to do whatever it takes to get paid.

Mayor Finch’s Chief of Staff Adam Wood is responsible for directing the day-to-day operations in the Mayor’s office and he’s not going to allow Finch to have very much authority and neither is he going to allow any Council member to be an independent thinker that is if that Councilman wants to stay on the city payroll. If you don’t know by now that it isn’t going to be the Mayor that selects the Board of Education members, then may God help you and may Jesus do for you what he did for the blind man.

There’s one thing for sure, the Mayor won’t be allowed to select Mr. Andre Baker, a Bridgeport City Councilman, to be on a major committee because Mr. Baker does not depend on the city for his paycheck which means that the Mayor’s Chief of Staff won’t have the ability to control Mr. Baker. Mr. Baker is the only council person that wants the Charter changes explained in detail. I know you’ve all heard of the gangster term, made men. In Bridgeport you can refer to the city Council members as, bought men.

I gather that you ‘yes’ voters like guessing how many bubbles are on a bar of soap or how many jelly beans are in a jar. That’s what you’re going to have to know in order for the Mayor to tell you what’s really in the Charter Revision.



  1. Glover “Sonny” Gardner Jr, once again you have spoken truth to power.

    To me, Sonny, this was the strongest point and concern I have when you said, “Do you really think that the carpetbaggers that advise Finch really care about you and your children? None of the people in Finch’s advisory group are from Bridgeport and none are African American.” We have been “hoodwinked” by electing Mayor Bill Finch and he keeps showing us he “CANNOT BE TRUSTED.”


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