UPDATE, includes BOE agenda: The Board of Education with four newly elected members is scheduled to conduct an organizational meeting Monday 6:30 p.m. at the Aquaculture School with Mayor Bill Finch chairing the meeting to select officers. Will Leticia Colon be there? Yes. Colon announced Friday afternoon she has resigned from her City Council seat where she had represented residents in the 131st District that covers the South End, West End and Downtown. She is one of the six school board members who voted to dissolve the board in July of last year in favor of state control of city schools, a move overturned by the Connecticut Supreme Court that led to Tuesday’s special election. The City Charter states the following: No person while holding office as a member of the city council shall be a member of any of the boards of the city.
City legal minds reviewed the charter to help guide this decision. Colon will remain on the school board where her vote is critical to the future of where Mayor Bill Finch and Superintendent of Schools Paul Vallas want to take the district.
Prior to the state takeover of the board the general vote makeup on key issues was 6-3 with two members of the Working Families Party Maria Pereira and Sauda Baraka joining Democrat Bobby Simmons in dissent. In Tuesday’s special election the WFP, by virtue of state-required minority-party representation added new board member John Bagley. Assuming the WFP/Simmons voter bloc holds together they now have four, unless, of course, all the board members decide to hold hands in solidarity on behalf of the students. Does anyone believe that?
In addition to Bagley, Democrats Jacqueline Kelleher, Hernan Illingworth and Ken Moales won seats on Tuesday. They join Pereira, Baraka, Simmons, Colon and Democrat Tom Mulligan on the school board.
The City Charter requires sitting school board members vote to fill a vacancy. From the charter:
If a vacancy arises for any reason in the membership of the Board of Education, the remaining members shall elect a new member to serve for the balance of the term vacated. The person so elected shall be a resident and elector and a member of the same political party as the member vacating such office.
Colon’s resignation from the City Council resolves the question, for now. Colon, who resides in the West End, issued her resignation letter to City Clerk Fleeta Hudson and Town Clerk Alma Maya with copies to Mayor Bill Finch, City Council President Tom McCarthy, 131st District City Councilwoman Denese Taylor-Moye, Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa, 131st District Leader Mitch Robles and City Attorney Mark Anastasi. It reads:
Pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes, 7-103 and other pertinent legal authority, I hereby resign my elected office of City Council Member for the 131st City Council District of the City of Bridgeport, CT. My resignation shall become effective today, Friday, September 7, 2012.
Monday night’s agenda:
BRIDGEPORT BOARD OF EDUCATION
SPECIAL ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING AGENDA
Monday, September 10, 2012 – 6:30 P.M.
AQUACULTURE SCHOOL – 60 St. Stephens Road, BPT, CT
1. Call to Order by Mayor Bill Finch
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Roll Call
4. Adoption of the Board Rules – Bylaws Series 9000 which includes Robert’s Rules of Order
5. Reading and Approval of Minutes of Prior Annual Meeting, as necessary
6. Election of Board Officers – Chairperson/President, Vice-Chairperson/Vice-President, and Secretary