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Pereira: Let’s Get Back To Work For Students

September 17th, 2016 · 128 Comments · Education, News and Events

Maria Pereira enters headquarters.

Maria Pereira

Board of Education member Maria Pereira, the subject of a historic boycott by four school board members, writes in a commentary the strikers must “stop behaving like petulant children on a playground and get back to the critical work they were elected to do, or they should be the ones to resign.”

One must ask Bridgeport Board of Education (BBOE) Chair Bradley, Vice-Chair Larcheveque, McSpirit, and Mayor Ganim’s illegal appointee Negron whether they fully comprehended the oath they took; “You solemnly swear or solemnly and sincerely affirm, as the case may be, that you will faithfully discharge, according to law, your duties as a Board of Education (BOE) member to the best of your abilities; so help you God or upon penalty of perjury.”

As the only BBOE member who was born and raised in Bridgeport and received my entire K-12 public education from the BPS; I can state unequivocally I take this oath quite seriously.

Mayor Finch’s constant efforts to interfere in the governance of the BOE, and his repeated efforts to privatize our true public schools had absolutely nothing to do with the well-being of our students, however it had everything to do with controlling a $245,000,000 Operating Budget, cutting deals with wealthy charter school investors, cronyism, patronage jobs and giving lucrative contracts to those in his favor. It was for these reasons, and because Ganim promised to never interfere with the governance of the BOE, give us the needed facilities for our children, and provide adequate funding for our severely underfunded school district that I supported him for mayor. However, Mayor Ganim has not kept a single commitment. I would like to state publicly I made the worst political decision of my life by supporting Ganim for Mayor, and I owe all my friends, relatives and neighbors an absolute apology for encouraging them to do the same.

What I am absolutely sure of is Democratic Town Chair (DTC) Mario Testa, Mayor Ganim, and BOE Chair Bradley are cut from the same cloth. They care not for the well-being of others, but for their own well-being; specifically, power, influence and money.

Interim-Superintendent Rabinowitz, who not-so-coincidentally is the first cousin of former Superintendent Connelly, a dear friend of Testa, is the sole employee of the Board, however she behaves as if Testa and/or Ganim are her supervisors, which is simply not acceptable. And although she has repeatedly refused to respect those Board members who oppose her on a variety of issues, have relentlessly pursued a search for her permanent replacement as superintendent, and to complete her evaluation that is now two years past due, she does not disrespect the four BOE members who support her unequivocally. What employer would accept such behavior from those they employ? Meanwhile, she is receiving 100% of her pension at approximately $90,000 annually, another $180,000 per year as our interim superintendent, a BOE vehicle, etc. With the assistance and support of Testa, Ganim and Rabinowitz; Bradley, Larcheveque, McSpirit and Negron issued a press release on behalf of the Board, in violation of Board Policy, asserting they care so much about our 21,000 students and their families, they are refusing to attend a single BOE meeting until I resign. Yes, you read that correctly. This is what is frequently referred to as an oxymoron.

On Monday, September 12th, just two hours after I filed a lawsuit against Mayor Ganim to remove his illegal BOE appointee, and just two hours before our regular meeting was to begin, the press was notified of the meeting cancellation before elected BOE members Sauda Baraka, Howard Gardner, Ben Walker, and myself were notified. Items of critical importance were to be discussed on Monday night including the historic Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding court ruling, which could mean millions in additional funding for our schools, the performance indicators for the Commissioner Network Schools, the staffing and turnover situation of our longest underperforming school, Columbus School, data on an electronic reading initiative, the hiring of over 55 certified staff members, etc.

Bradley, Larcheveque and Negron have the worst attendance records of the entire Board both individually and collectively, yet they think it appropriate they should demand my resignation when I have the best attendance and voting record of the Board. None of these Board members have offered a single substantive policy or initiative to move our students and district forward. In fact, Bradley has not attended a single Finance, Personnel, nor Facilities/Safety Committee Meeting. The facts are there is no BOE member who conducts more research, is more prepared, or puts in more volunteer hours fulfilling their duties as a Board member than myself.

If the powers that be in the City of Bridgeport can’t handle the well-researched opinions, objections and views of one school board member, then that says more about them than it does about me.

It is illegal for our teachers to “strike” due to their critical importance to the academic well-being of our children, therefore they would likely be arrested if they were to do so. However, three duly-elected BBOE members, and Ganim’s illegal appointee feel it is completely acceptable to go on “strike,” which accomplishes absolutely nothing except to distract us from doing the work of the most important Board in the City of Bridgeport.

In closing, Bradley, Larcheveque and McSpirit need to decide they are either going to stop behaving like petulant children on a playground and get back to the critical work they were elected to do, or they should be the ones to resign. I for one would prefer we all just get back to work because over 21,000 BPS students rely on us to do so.

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128 Comments so far ↓

  • Joseph Sokolovic

    Interesting oath, especially the perjury reference. If I’m not mistaken isn’t perjury punishable for lawyers under the state bar association? While we are on that note, isn’t extortion? What of breach of Fiduciary responsibility? What of conduct unbecoming a member of the state bar? Perhaps even a multitude of conflicts of interest. If this fiasco drags on for one more meeting perhaps a complaint needs to be filed with the CT BAR ASSOCIATION.

    • Marshall Marcus

      You write the general misconception that attorneys are subject to discipline by the CT Bar Association. The Bar Association is merely a membership group for attorneys. Membership is not mandatory for attorneys licensed in the state. Grievance and discipline panels and committees of the State Judicial Districts handle complaints, grievances, and misconduct of attorneys as well as the State Bar Counsel (a part of the CT Superior Court 100 Washington Street in Hartford).
      A threat to complain to the Bar Association is similar to a consumer threatening to complain to the Better Business Bureau. These organizations only have power (limited) over their members.

      • Joseph Sokolovic

        www .jud.ct.gov/webforms/forms/GC006.pdf
        I stand corrected. The complaint should be directed to the state via this process. Thank you for your help, Mr. Marcus.

        • Marshall Marcus

          You’re welcome.
          Ordinarily I’d not chime in just to tell a poster he was misstating information, but as this thread is about education, I felt it appropriate.
          I do remember lots from law school.

          • Joseph Sokolovic

            You should chime in more often to correct misinformation. When put in the non-condescending manner you used, it should be well received by all but the most insecure.

          • Frank Gyure

            Marshal Marcus, on a side note, how are things working out on the plans from the Trumbull DTC to re-elect Senator Marilyn Moore???

    • Lisa Parziale

      Joe, I’m sorry for jumping in after you, but for anyone reading all the following posts I want to say I regret being nasty and ill-spirited, for those of you who think badly of my comments I want you all to know I feel worse. I could give an explanation as to why I just went off the deep end today, but it would not be an excuse for my poor choice of words and harshness. I will take responsibility for the way I chose to express myself, but that’s it. To those who know and like me, I apologize to all of you.

  • Ron Mackey

    Maria, this is much better, give the facts and explain your position, you did good because there are no personal attacks.

    • Lisa Parziale

      Good advice, Ron!

    • Mary Filo

      I beg to differ, Ron. Calling people “petulant children on a playground” is an attack.

      • Ron Mackey

        Petulant. Choose the adjective petulant to describe a person or behavior that is irritable in a childish way. The adjective, petulant, is a disapproving term used to describe a bad-tempered child, an adult behaving like an angry child or behavior or this type.

        The definition of petulant is someone who gets irritated without a good reason.

        Petulant is one of many English words that are related to the Latin verb petere, which means “to go to,” “to attack,” “to seek,” or “to request.”

        Mary, in an effort to support Maria in toning down the language, I’ve chosen this meaning over the many others. Petulant definition, moved to or showing sudden, impatient irritation, especially over some trifling annoyance: a petulant toss of the head.

      • Lisa Parziale

        Mary, she never claimed to be Saint Maria, she’s as human as the rest of us, now you don’t want me to start dissecting every word you say when giving an opinion.

        • Mary Filo

          Lisa, I’m speaking my mind on how I view our current BOE as a parent of two Bridgeport public school children. I am sorry if you don’t agree with my perspective of things. I am not really looking for approval, I am simply trying to point out to Maria what I see. If you feel it is your place to pick apart “everything I say,” then go for it. At the end of the day, it’s everyone’s actions, not words, that make the difference. You picking apart my words will not change the current state of our dysfunctional BOE, nor will it change my opinion.

          • Lisa Parziale

            Mary Fila, slow down. I hadn’t even heard your name until you started blogging. Your interest and opinions are honorable, but during the course of any given day, we all express opinions in a variety of things, i.e. it’s my opinion lunch was superb, or that article I read today was very interesting, those are subjective opinions. When stating a belief without experience, you become nothing more than a person whose lips are moving, but saying nothing of substance. The BOE situation will work itself out, yes I said it will work itself out, one way or another. I noticed over the past few weeks you are one of many involved of a substantive group of individuals working to address the survival of Bridgeport. Just a suggestion, you might want to keep your involvement going with that initiative and leave the politics to those more experienced. The fact you were born Bridgeport gives you no advantage or allows you no short cuts, watch, listen and learn. I don’t intend to be harsh, but right now you are considered by those in the know to be a person on the outside looking in, trying very hard, but still a fringe element.

  • Marshall Marcus

    Maria, this is a well thought out, cohesive opinion piece. I might add to your closing sentence, not only do the 21,000 BPS pupils rely on the BOE, but so do all the employees: educators, administrators, specialists, and health, custodial and cafeteria and all other staff.

    The Bridgeport schools are in the news regularly, let’s hope the members of the BOE can put differences behind them to assure this regular news coverage is able to shift to highlighting positive accomplishments in the schools, not political squabbles and dysfunction.

  • Grin Ripper

    A jumbo shrimp is an oxymoron.

  • Bob Walsh

    Grin Ripper is an oxymoron. And a plain old moron, to boot.

  • Bob Walsh

    Maria and others need to realize they are in control as long as the judge does not rule against her lawsuit. The state would be crazy to take over the Bridgeport board simply because four members refuse to meet. It would be too dangerous a precedent.
    So either the courts rule against the appointment of Segarra and the non-boycotters become the majority or a matter of utmost importance needs board approval and Maria gets to negotiate an agenda with Dennis with the clear understanding if he breaks the deal he loses the quorum.
    Sometimes a troll realizes all he can do is wait for someone to cross the bridge because sooner or later that moment will arrive.

    • Frank Gyure

      Or will Ganim select someone to replace the resignation of Andre Baker while we all wait for a decision from the CT Courts regarding Segarra-Negron. MARIA PEREIRA, have your attorneys given you any dateline for a decision concerning Segarra? Court cases can drag on, and on, and on, etc.

      • Maria Pereira

        Frank, he would have done it by now. My guess is they realize they are going to lose this in court and have decided they are just going to ride this out. I could be wrong.

        • Maria Pereira

          I guess I was wrong. Ganim’s attorney had a prepared stipulation of facts, which generally included those items in the case both can agree to. The last bullet stated if the Board does not fill Andre Baker’s vacancy, Mayor Ganim intends to do so.

          I am not kidding.

    • Lisa Parziale

      Bubba, that’s it in a nutshell.

  • Lisa Parziale

    Bubba, in our long tenure together we’ve seen many forms of strategy, some good but bad, some bad where it was sure to backfire, what the hell do you call this move? It’s so stupid I hate to admit it, but I don’t even thing the two “little ones” proposed it. I think this is an example of what anyone can expect from Dennis Bradley if he’s allowed to continue in elected office after this term runs. Not only is he on a political suicide mission, he convinced two Republicans to join him. The Republicans have nothing to lose because they most likely will not be endorsed again, let alone win another term. But he has to be the dumbest Democrat I can remember over the years I’ve been around. Fran will be gone, the two Republicans will be gone, and Dennis will go down in local political folklore as the one who voluntarily gave up any chance he had in politics. I purposely have not mentioned Ms. Negron, because I feel as so many others, the Court will settle that.

    • Frank Gyure

      Hi, Liza Parziale. IMHO, I find it difficult to think Dennis Bradley, the two “Republicans” (Larcheveque, McSpirit) and the contested one (Segarra-Negron) did all this based solely on Bradley’s bright idea of a boycott. Bradley was elevated to his position as Chair of the BOE through the machinations and the actual personal presence on that fateful day of Mario Testa. It is only my opinion, but I think Testa wants control of the BOE and Ganim is “facilitating” Testa’s desire to own the BOE. Ganim is already involved up to his neck with the appointment of Segarra-Negron. This is a team effort. (All my opinion, of course.)

    • Ben Walker

      Lisa, you give Dennis too much credit. I have it from his own mouth this boycott was McSpirit’s idea.

      • Maria Pereira

        Ben, do you believe the nerve of Dennis Bradley and Fran Rabinowitz? They had the nerve to attend the March for Education, which marched from Housatonic to McLevy Green. I understand there were fewer than 20 attendees.

        Fran refused to speak about the boycott, and Dennis Bradley was adamant he was going to continue the boycott, he indicated Negron was not going to attend Monday night’s meeting and he knew his coalition was going to suffer a loss, and he indicated he was going to lose the Board.

        This is just one individual’s perspective. I was not present for this conversation.

  • Donald Day

    Isn’t everyone assuming even if Ms. Negron were removed and another person replaces her, that this new person would ally him or herself with Maria and the others? For the BBOE to move forward for the benefit of the children of Bridgeport, the nine members of the BBOE must agree to disagree and their actions as members are fueled only for what’s in the best interest of the children.

    • Eric Alicea

      If Negron is ousted, the board is 4-3 in favor of the hardworking BOE members. That also means the privilege to replace a board member rests with the remaining BOE members. As JML would say, time will tell!

      • Booty

        To further amplify what Eric has said, this would mean the BOE could have a quorum and hold an official meeting, with or without the “striking” members. They could then immediately fill the two open positions.

        • Maria Pereira

          Right, Eric. That will mean there are only seven legal members and Ben, Sauda, Howard and myself will constitute a quorum.

          Why do you think Ganim, Testa, Rabinowitz, Bradley, Larcheveque, Negron and McSpirit are really in cahoots?

          They are scared.

          • Booty

            Another suggestion is although there is at present no recall provision for officers, the board under their bylaws could add one. The board could add a provision any officer could be replaced after a, say, 2/3 “no confidence” vote. And guess what. After you replaced the two missing members, the three “striking” members wouldn’t be able to stop you even if they came back, if the six of you agreed.
            www .bridgeportedu.com/Board/Policies/2015-2016/BylawsOfTheBoard9000Series_03-01-16.pdf

          • Frank Gyure

            Another option would be Segarra-Negron honorably steps aside, the present board can pick two members to fill the immediate vacancies, the new reconstituted Board can get back to the immediate needs that are present and I will not venture any opinion on filling the ninth board member. I can easily pick two people who were interviewed by the board in the latest set of interviews, who might be able to bring fresh new voices, perspectives and balance to the BBOE.

          • Frank Gyure

            Either I have a problem with my computer or there is an issue with data entry into OIB, but I can’t see my entire comment prior to submission so I can make any corrections.

          • RayFusci

            Frank, there’s nothing I can do about the software, but I’d suggest you could write your comment using Notepad or another program, and when you were happy with it, just cut and paste it into a comment.

          • Frank Gyure

            Thank you, Ray. Using Notepad is a great idea. THANK YOU.

          • Maria Pereira

            The Board can never set a policy that is conflict with state statute. The state statute will prevail each and every time.

            I believe only two municipalities have the ability to recall based Special Acts specific to those towns.

            Those elected cannot be removed.

          • Booty

            Maria, I wasn’t clear, sorry. I was suggesting a way you could perhaps remove him from being the chair, not remove him from being a board member. If Howard were the chair, things would run a bunch better if Dennis were only one vote.

          • Maria Pereira

            A Chair was removed in a municipality in CT and he sued the school board because the members elected him chair, however he lost because the BOE was made up of the exact same members who elected him.

            We will not be able to claim that because Dave Hennessey and Andre Baker are no longer members and the BOE makeup is different, however all officers have to go back up for re-election in the first meeting in December.

          • Lisa Parziale

            At this point I believe Testa and Ganim are cutting their losses. They’ll let the chips fall where they may.

          • Lisa Parziale

            Ray to add to Frank’s frustration regarding the inability to proofread a blog. I have the same problem. Not to say I don’t make typos and sometimes leave out words in my haste to write while I’m on roll, I find the only choice I have is to submit my blog and hope I don’t look too stupid.

          • RayFusci

            Lisa, the input software is primitive when compared to a real word processor. I’d suggest the same thing to you as I did to Frank, use Notepad or a word processor of your choice to write your comment, and when you’re happy with it, cut and paste it into a posting.

            I do try to clean up postings to fix typos and words, but everyone is on their own as to whether their postings “look too stupid.”

      • Frank Gyure

        The 4-3 split means continued fighting. Segarra-Negron needs to be settled and the replacement of Andre Baker needs to be settled before we can move forward.

  • Mary Filo

    Here is how a concerned Bpt School parent views this. This board seems more concerned with lawsuits than the children. The dysfunction on the board of Ed is coming from both Maria and Bradley. I will not attend these meetings as a Bridgeport parent because of the time being spent on proving who is better than whom, rather than dealing with true BOE issues. It’s my understanding subcommittees are still meeting and functioning. All members overall are still attending to the concerns, just not together, but things are civil and moving along, which does not happen when the entire group is together. I agree with Donald Day, ALL members of the BBOE need to agree to disagree and their actions should only be fueled by what is in the best interest of the children. This means Maria and Bradley need to bury the hatchet and move forward. I know in my company if you don’t show up for work you will get fired. I also know with my company, if you disrupt projects and slow down the pace of a project while attacking others, you will also be fired. Incompetence is not just lack of knowledge, it’s ignorance and lack of professionalism also. You can be the sharpest knife in the drawer with my company, but if you can’t act professionally and carry that knife with constant care, you will be tossed out of the kitchen.
    Happy Sunday, OIB!

    • Joseph Sokolovic

      Committees are not meeting. At least two have been cancelled this far as the Superintendent refuses to allow her people to attend. I wonder why the four boycotters don’t want to fire someone who is so grossly insubordinate.

      • Maria Pereira

        Correct, Mr. Sokolovic. The only BoE committee that met this week was the Finance Committee because Howard is the Chair and I am on the committee therefore we could make a quorum. Not a single staff member attended and the information we required was not provided by Ms. Rabinowitz.

        Joe Larcheveque failed to schedule his Personnel Committee meeting as per the calendar.

        Ben Walker cancelled his Teaching & Learning Committee that was to be held on Thursday because every agenda item needed staff present to answer questions, provide data and reports.

        Ms. Filo, the information you are posting here is inaccurate.

        • Frank Gyure

          Maria Pereira. I fought for you, you saw it with your own eyes and will continue to fight to bring back the MIA members of the BOE (Bradley, Larcheveqque, McSpirit–I don’t include Segarra), but we need to build bridges and find allies on OUR fight to change Bridgeport.
          Respectfully yours, FRANK

        • Frank Gyure

          I already posted the current situation of the four “working” members will not work because, sooner or later, the BOE would need the presence of certain members for subcommittees and/or quorums. The four “working” members cannot conduct business as usual. The current impasse MUST be settled.

        • Mary Filo

          Maria, it’s only been a week since the walk-out.

          • Maria Pereira

            Correct, but only one committee met and that is because we control the quorum. None of the boycotting members attended this Finance Committee Meeting.

            Larcheveque did not schedule the Personnel Committee on Wednesday as Chair although Sauda and Ben constitute a quorum on their own.

            Ben cancelled his Teaching & Learning Committee because every agenda item required staff to present data, analysis or a report.

            This statement is just completely inaccurate; “It’s my understanding subcommittees are still meeting and functioning. All members overall are still attending to the concerns, just not together, but things are civil and moving along, which does not happen when the entire group is together.”

    • Maria Pereira

      Mary, I could be mistaken, however in my seven years involved with the BOE as both a parent and/or elected BOE member I have no recollection of you ever conducting either a committee or full meeting of the board.

      Filing a lawsuit to ensure the laws of CT and our City Charter are followed is the proper protocol to address the question at hand.

      I sought administrative relief through the Board as directed by my attorney and placed our position regarding Ms. Negron’s illegal appointment to the BOE as well.

      Did either Ms. Baraka, Mr. Gardner, Mr. Walker or myself stomp our feet and issue a press release stating we would not attend any further meetings until Ms. Negron was removed? We continued to do the work and attended meetings as scheduled.

      All four boycotting BOE members are refusing to attend any committee meetings, and Interim-Superintendent Rabinowitz who is completely aligned with Ganim, Testa, and the four boycotting members sent us an email that she directed her staff NOT to attend any committee meetings. She will be addressed. Larcheveque was supposed to hold his Personnel Committee Meeting on Wednesday, and he did not do so although an assistant principal needs to be hired and our substitute teacher company hired a long-term for Harding without a Work Visa in violation of federal law, and he was then arrested for masturbating male students while in his classroom. The sub was arrested. I referred this to the Personnel Committee and Joe boycotted holding his meeting. Meanwhile this company continues to provide subs in our schools as we speak.

      We had four meetings after the Regular BOE Meeting in which Dennis thought the former City Attorney should give the Board advice on whether we should file a lawsuit against Mayor Ganim in which the Office of the City Attorney would represent Mayor Ganim.

      Besides the fact Dennis showed up to every meeting without a single piece of paper except one where he brought the completely incorrect agenda, every meeting went fine.

      Dennis Bradley behaves as if he is King, repeatedly fails to follow CT state law, the FOIA, Board Policy, and Robert’s Rules of Order.

      Dennis Bradley sent me inappropriate text messages regarding my 19-year-old daughter, sent me an email that he was “suspending me” and I “report” to him, I should “get a job,” stop spending my boyfriend’s money, I should go to school to get an education, etc.

      If you deem that to be “professional,” then your company has a different definition of ” professionalism” from most.

      Every single time Dennis Bradley violates state law, our city charter, our Board Policies, etc. I am going to hold him accountable.

      I am not his employee, and I do not report to him. The VAST majority of regular attendees of Board meetings are completely aware he has absolutely no idea what he is doing and he has little support from BPS parents and staff.

      The vast majority of agenda items are submitted by Sauda, Ben, Howard and myself. The vast majority of the work is driven by us.

      There is certainly a tremendous amount of “ignorance,” but you will need to look at Bradley, Larcheveque, Negron, etc. to find it.

      • Ron Mackey

        Maria, good responses but there is no need for you to go after Mary. You win with the facts, not with comments about someone like Mary when you said, “Mary, I could be mistaken, however in my seven years involved with the BOE as both a parent and/or elected BOE member I have no recollection of you ever conducting either a committee or full meeting of the board.” Maria, stay away from those types of comments because you might gain supporters. Time will tell (JML).

    • Frank Gyure

      Mary Filo, very eloquent.

    • Maria Pereira

      Mary, whom are you directing these offensive “attacks” to?

      “I also know with my company, if you disrupt projects and slow down the pace of a project while attacking others, you will also be fired. Incompetence is not just lack of knowledge, it’s ignorance and lack of professionalism also. You can be the sharpest knife in the drawer with my company, but if you can’t act professionally and carry that knife with constant care, you will be tossed out of the kitchen.”

      Weren’t you just speaking about “attacking” others?

    • Phil Smith

      Well said, Mary.

    • Lisa Parziale

      Mary Filo, please don’t speak for the masses, your opening sentence should indicate this is how you view it. Now that’s an opinion!

    • DC Faber

      Well put, Mary. From my perspective, I think that holds true in any job that involves working with others.

  • Donald Day

    Maria is absolutely correct with respect to the teacher from Harding. This company needs to be completely investigated as to what protocol and investigative measures they use so as not to send predators in our schools around our children. If the boycotting members of the BBOE are preventing this needed assessment from being done they need to be removed immediately because you individuals don’t have the best interest of the children of Bridgeport in mind.

    I would like to think all the members of the BBOE want what’s best for the children of Bridgeport, but they just differ on how to accomplish this. Boycotting and not having meetings isn’t the answer. In my humble opinion they need to work together on the things they do agree on like the investigation of the company that provides substitutes teachers to our children’s classrooms and try to work out the more difficult decisions together with the best interest of our children in mind. They don’t have to be buddies, boys or friends, but the must love the children of Bridgeport more than they dislike each other.

    • Marshall Marcus

      Donald,
      Source4Teachers is required to have all hires fingerprinted and a criminal background check performed by the state police. This is the same procedure used for hiring substitute teachers in virtually every town in CT. If the new hire has a clean police record and no positive DCF complaint history they can work.
      The lack of a proper work visa for an alien is a problem. None of us know if he lied on his application, but new hires must fill out an I-9 showing eligibility to work and supporting documents such as birth certificate, Passport, visa, Social Security card.
      The recruiter who was responsible for the bulk of Source hiring the past two years is no longer in this area. I do not know if he is still employed by Source4Teachers. AFAIK he had not yet been replaced. The Source payroll person in Bpt has been handling new hires and training. She is a local area mature woman with classroom experience. The former recruiter was a young male from Washington DC with lots to learn.

      Being realistic, no staffing agency can do the type of psychological testing necessary to uncover latent tendencies for on-call positions that pay $90 per day. The BOE could do this for hires who earn $50K by contract, but that new substitute might only work a few days and move on.

      To be blunt, not everyone wants to sub in the Bpt schools, they have reputations that vary widely as to student behavior. There are suburbs just minutes to the east that pay 2-3 times as much and have much better working conditions.

      There is no defense of the adult’s behavior at Harding, but the principal last year had little or no control of what went on in the school. IIRC she was suspended at one point and has been demoted to assistant principal at another school.

  • Mary Filo

    Maria, my children only started attending Public School last year. No need prior to that for me to attend. However, I always have stayed on top of the BOE due to it being a Bridgeport entity. The video that was posted on OIB with you and Bradley assures me I am missing nothing and confirmed everything I had been told. I did attend a couple meetings a few years back, just for the heck of it. This year, I attended budget meetings at CC chambers because I supported the parents and staff fighting the flatlined budget. When I see videos posted of a functioning BOE, I will find time to attend. In the meantime, I watch MMA to keep up with fights. Good day.

    • Frank Gyure

      Mary Filo, maybe??? we should not just base our judgements on videos. There needs to be short-term action, and long-term planning.
      Respectfully yours, FRANK

    • Lisa Parziale

      Mary, I don’t doubt you’re doing your best to understand the dynamics of this latest situation. What I know you don’t know is the politics involved as well as the players. It would take you at least another five consecutive years, mix and mingle with the political entities, familiarize yourself with their strategies and agendas, then you may be able to state an opinion with hands-on knowledge. Do yourself a favor, don’t waste your time.

      • Mary Filo

        Lisa, I know a lot more than you think and more than I care to admit.

      • Mary Filo

        Lisa, please do tell what else “you know I don’t know” and how you know so much about me. I don’t believe you and I have ever really had a conversation let alone talk about our past in Bridgeport. You seem to be drawing conclusions on me without doing any investigating. Now, I can probably shut your last comment about me down in about one or two sentences, but I will let you do your investigating. My advice, drink some coffee, a lot of it and bring a snorkel for the deep dive. My history with politics in Bridgeport started the day I arrived in the world.

        • Frank Gyure

          Mary Filo. Timeout, please.

        • Lisa Parziale

          Honey, the only thing that happened when you arrived in this world is you had to be fed and have your diapers changed. Join the rest of us. I will indulge you with a little advice, pick your fights, you’ll never win with me, I’ll annihilate you with words alone. BIGGER and better, much better than you will confirm that.

      • Andrew C Fardy

        Lisa, that is pure condescending bullshit. I don’t know Mary Filo but I do know we need more people like her. It’s time for all the old crows to find a place to roost.

        • Lisa Parziale

          Andy, just because you were forced to find a place to roost, don’t include anybody else. You just didn’t hold up well, and I feel bad that you’re probably homebound, but the upside is you have a wife who’s an angel to take care of you, so shut up and thank God for big favors. I didn’t want or need anyone to defend or stand up for me, let Mary do the same or admit she’s not cut out for tough politics.

          • Andrew C Fardy

            First off Lisa, I am not housebound like you just stated, wrong again Lisa. No, I am telling you I am someone you don’t want to screw with. Mary Filo has made several good points and what do you say? Just who do you think you are saying something like this and I quote “I will indulge you with a little advice, pick your fights, you’ll never win with me, I’ll annihilate you with words alone.” BTW Miss smart ass, I got my illnesses and they are all job related, what’s your excuse?

    • Lisa Parziale

      Well Mary Filo, my initial impression of you was spot on. You are limited in your experience and therefore your opinions reflect that. If you’re into viewing fights I suggest you start watching boxing or wrestling, don’t prey on vulnerable children and parents.

  • Maria Pereira

    Mary, the video of the meeting in question was a snapshot of a meeting that started at 6:30 pm. That disagreement occurred at approximately 10:15 pm. We discussed and debated a variety of agenda items prior to that exchange without incident.

    Board Policy allows the City Attorney to address the BOE only at the request of the “Board,” not the “BOE Chair,” therefore his attempt to allow Mark Anastasi to speak was a violation of Board Policy.

    It was completely unethical and out-of-line for Mark Anastasi and Dennis Bradley to think it acceptable for Mark Anastasi to weigh in on whether the Board should or should not sue Mayor Ganim.

    One of the most critical roles of any Chair is to set an agenda and to run an organized meeting, which entails following all applicable state statutes, following Board Policy and Robert’s Rules of Order. Dennis Bradley is unable to do so, therefore he should relinquish the chairmanship to someone who can.

    The previous meeting held on June 27, 2016 can be found on Cable Access and the meeting ran just fine.

    • Lisa Parziale

      Maria, I suggested to you that you stop try explaining to those curious minds who are learning on the job. They don’t get it and won’t for some time. Will you please just take a little advice from me? Have I steered you wrong or left you alone?

    • Mary Filo

      Maria, I am in agreement with you on Bradley. I would also like to see you step up to the plate and show yourself as not only knowledgeable, but also well-mannered, calm under pressure and professional while at these meetings. One person’s downfalls do not justify another’s. That’s all. Stay calm on BOE on!!!

      • Lisa Parziale

        Mary Filo, mind your own business, you couldn’t walk in her shadow let along give her advice.

        • Jennifer Buchanan

          Lisa, Lisa, Lisa. Mary has two children in public school, so it is her business. I don’t understand how you can publicly write the mistakes you have made in candidates you supported, the changes you fought for and failed to pass, the election defeats, and yet you want to silence or diminish people like Mary, for example, who are doing exactly what you have been doing, getting involved publicly and trying to make positive changes in Bridgeport. Yes, as a person who has been elected, you have a long history and in-depth knowledge of city politics and players. There are probably as many or more people behind the scenes with similar knowledge and experience who choose to quietly work on elections rather than get elected. Tom Mulligan has shared he remembers when he was in school, the cry was also Bridgeport schools were unfairly underfunded and the blame was on the elected officials. Mary has agreed with your opinion of Bradley. She has also agreed with the opinion of most social media, From Doing it Local to OIB, Maria’s strengths are her research and her passion for what she believes in, her Achilles heel is her very public and publicized personal attacks rather than her message on policy. Perhaps unfairly, as video sound clips and photo ops giving the finger to the machine after an election win can be taken out of context and amplified, but nonetheless, Maria has played a part in the public perception. If you disagree with what anyone has to say, please discuss the reasons you disagree, but to pretty much make light of their stature and tell someone to sit in the corner and stuff envelopes and think about their wayward ideas and what they support or have supported does not sit well with most people. Yes, people need to be called out for their bad behavior and held accountable. People also need to be informed on issues and insider knowledge, telling someone to shut up, sit back and learn for five years, without telling them what you know and they need to learn, how does that help anyone understand and advance? There are more “Marys” in this city than most people realize, who have chosen to stay behind the scenes, who read this blog, they could become strong allies if more knowledge and facts were written and fewer personal attacks were written. Keep fighting the good fight Lisa, and please understand I have much respect for you and your willingness to publicly promote that which you champion.

          • Lisa Parziale

            Jennifer, move back or mind your own business. What in hell did you accomplish when you lived in Bridgeport? Just another wannabe whom thank God circumstances caused you to leave. You just can’t seem to let go of Bridgeport and its dynamics. If you’re bored, find something useful to do or get involved with your new digs, if they’ll have you.

          • Jennifer Buchanan

            I rest my case.

          • Maria Pereira

            Jennifer Buchanan, you just never learn. Not only do you not reside in Bridgeport, you no longer reside in CT.

            Referencing an absolute party hack like Tom Mulligan as if he is well-respected is ridiculous. In his entire time on the Board he never once offered any policy or initiative of substance, abdicated his responsibilities and voted for the illegal takeover, and then had the nerve to return after the Supreme Court ruled it illegal.

            The vast majority of those commenting on Doing It Local are like you, non-Bridgeport residents, charter school parents, a laid-off SRO, a nutty parent named Mary, Leticia Colon, etc. Where are the true BPS parents? For heaven’s sake, there are close to 30,000 of them.

            I don’t believe you ever attended a Board meeting either, yet now you want to discuss my “personal attacks.”

            You and Mary are both registered Republicans who helped elect Joe Larcheveque. In fact, Mary worked Thomas Hooked School for Larcheveque on election day. She has every right to support whomever she wants but there is likely bias involved in her comments.

            The comments about what would happen at her company and the knife were a bit over the top.

        • flicka

          How many children do you have in BPS, Lisa? IT IS HER BUSINESS (and I am a huge fan of Maria P btw). Mary Filo is TRULY invested in this and deserves her voice to be heard.

          • Lisa Parziale

            flicka, both my children attended the Bridgeport Public Schools. Since my parents insisted I receive my education in a private school, I swore I would never do that to my children, and I didn’t. I was hands-on and completely involved with every aspect of my children’s education and available for every and any event in the system. In addition to being a single hands-on Mom, I further managed to give my time and efforts to the City of Bridgeport as both an elected official, senior advocate and any positive cause where I could contribute. Mary Filo needs to do her homework. I don’t enjoy watching a woman as well-intentioned as she is make a fool of herself.

        • Andrew C Fardy

          Lisa, you are nasty. Just shut up already.

          • Lisa Parziale

            Andy, I learned from the best. Now you shut up because I’m just warming up.

          • flicka

            AttendED vs. attend. And no, I will not give up my handle. I prefer to be a spectator at the circus. Rarely post, always read, skip over much. But I LOVE people who fight the machine so I am all about Maria P!

          • Andrew C Fardy

            Lisa, you don’t have to warm up to be nasty, it comes naturally.

        • Andrew C Fardy

          Lisa, SHUT THE FUCK UP.

  • Donald Day

    Marshall, I’m sure you are right in your observations, but I can assure you if this company put a child predator in a school in Westport, Darien or Fairfield those local BOEs would be meeting to find out why and to terminate their contract. I can also assure you not meeting or making excuses would not be an acceptable practice. Because Bridgeport isn’t a desirable place for substitute teachers, your words not mine, are the rules of employment being overlooked to fill an opening to the detriment of the children of Bridgeport? This needs to be addressed by the BBOE immediately and boycotting shouldn’t be on their radar.

    • Marshall Marcus

      Donald,
      Not meeting and/or making excuses should not be acceptable to residents of any town. Not a single one of us knows the rules of employment were not followed. This substitute may have had a ‘clean record’ with no prior arrests/complaints, etc. If that is the case the hiring agent (whether an outside company or the BOE) would have no way of knowing his predilections. As I stated, fingerprints are submitted to the state police for a criminal background check.
      Let me also state when the BOE had a multi-million dollar budget shortfall during the middle of the last school year, they cut the amount of money they pay Source4teachers for each day a substitute is placed. Source has a much higher rate of filling vacancies than was in effect when the BOE was staffing substitutes themselves. For a good part of the school year there are more than 100 teacher absences per day that must be filled.

    • Lisa Parziale

      Well flicka, you’re the answer to our difficulty when trying to proofread our comments. When Lennie returns maybe he’ll give you a job doing just that for those of us who face this frustration. See, something good comes from most everything.

    • Lisa Parziale

      Excuse me Donald, this response is for the grumpy one who posted just above you. Whew, thanks Andy, just when I thought I might be losing my touch, here you are playing the Knight in Shining Armor, first defending the little female, then assuring me mean comes natural to me. I repeat, I learned from the best, I remember you being knocked to the wall in one of the Mayor’s offices, I won’t reveal the name of the Mayor to protect the innocent, sure enough, you gave in. Now let’s see how good you’re 70-something memory is. I’ll give you a hint, Joe the then-Harbor Master was in the office at the time and he said “— is kicking ass and taking names,” the name was Andy Fardy. I saw you buckle, big boy.

      • flicka

        Has anyone searched Lisa’s name here on the OIB archives?

      • Andrew C Fardy

        Lisa, you are an out-and-out LIAR. First off you and I were never in the mayor’s office at the same time. Now you are saying one of the mayors pushed me against the wall? What bullshit, none of them had the balls. I knew Joe the harbor master and he never said that. I am shocked at what a nasty person you have become all because he did not give you a job like he promised.

        • Lisa Parziale

          Awww Andy, that’s all right, they had you outnumbered. Don’t you dare talk about my Mayor, he never promised anyone a job. He was so grateful for my help he would have given me anything I wanted. Now you just leave him alone. BTW it wasn’t a Mayor that pushed you against the wall, think real hard and you may remember. I felt so sorry for you because you were so scared.

          • Andrew C Fardy

            Lisa, you really are senile. I was never scared of another human being in my life. Well maybe I am scared of you, after all what normal person would not be scared of a nasty old red-headed crow. Look Lisa, you were a Ganim kiss-ass until you did not get what you wanted. Like I said earlier, it’s time for you to hang upside down with the rest of the old bats

          • Lisa Parziale

            Poor Andy, a wannabe tough guy. You weren’t so tough when you were told what you’d better do or there would be consequences. Now I want you to think real hard, it was in the old City Hall, you were summoned by the big guys, I just realized I said pushed, that’s wrong (sorry), you were being ripped a new one and got so scared you ended up with your back against a wall from the tirade against you. You did end up being a good, obedient boy and you did what you were told to do. Now I knew this had to be embarrassing for you because if you didn’t capitulate, you were going to pay a price, and I knew you wouldn’t take that chance. BTW, I was there for council business, but back in the day, everyone sort of congregated and there was very little privacy so I and others couldn’t avoid seeing you brought to a very humble place. I know you haven’t forgotten that incident, no man would, it was emasculating and I know that just killed the little tough guy in you. Awww Andy, I’m so sorry for you!

          • Andrew C Fardy

            NAME THIS ALLEGED TOUGH GUY WHO PUSHED ME AGAINST A WALL. You know Lisa, you tell so many lies on this blog. You have bad-mouthed the mayor since the end of the election and that means you did NOT get the job you wanted. Lisa, you are a legend in your own mind and lost an election to a 80-year-old person. Come on Lisa, you want to make stories up, let’s go back to the junkyard where you worked and partially owned.

  • Marshall Marcus

    Frank Gyure,
    Your side note question has no reply link.
    The TDTC will hold its monthly meeting tomorrow night. Time will be devoted to supporting the election/reelection of ALL Democrats whose names will appear on the ballots in Trumbull in November. This year we are opening a campaign HQ for the first time in recent memory in a non-municipal election year. Efforts will be made to assist all Dems running in Trumbull. GOTV calls will be made prior to and on election day.
    As I’ve stated before I’ll be proud to have yard signs on my property for Marilyn 45 days before the election in compliance with local regulations. Unfortunately Marilyn and Tom both violated the regulations in Trumbull by posting their signs on properties without permission and in advance of the legal date. Marilyn has had signs up since the primary that violate the rules and the TRTC chair has made public swipes at us for it. We have had to publicly state these signs are not placed by or the responsibility of the TDTC, but it does give us a black eye. Someone close to Marilyn’s campaign manager needs to remind him/her that Trumbull only permits campaign lawn signs 45 days before the election, and they must be removed in a couple of days after the election is over.

  • Donald Day

    Marshall, again I concur with all your observations and it still comes down to the children of Bridgeport are again being shortchanged, whether by the State or the City.

    Bridgeport children’s academic livelihood is being jeopardized by not only money, but by BBOE members who would rather shut down the process rather than working with each other to level the playing field for the children they represent. As to whether this company is doing an adequate job checking the background of their employees and if more can be done, to that I say if even one predator slips by, then that is one too many and changes to their hiring process need to be adjusted by any means necessary.

    • Marshall Marcus

      Donald,
      We are in agreement that the children in BPS are getting the short end of the stick. It is ridiculous that all members of the BOE don’t just do their jobs as they were elected and/or appointed to do. Whether the mayoral appointee holds her office legally is for the courts to decide. Since she was sworn in and holds office she should continue to act until removed by the court or her term expires. No action taken by a BOE that includes her will be deemed illegal, since she was sworn in.

      • Maria Pereira

        Marshall Marcus, part of the lawsuit is any main motion that passed or failed based on Ms. Negron’s vote be recounted without her vote for a true result.

        • Marshall Marcus

          Maria P,
          As you have seen in the past, courts often rule only on parts of a suit, not every claim raised.
          If the court rules that the Ganim appointment was legal, the request for recount will be moot.
          The court could rule the appointment was illegal and order the BOE to appoint a replacement member, but as the Ganim appointee was acting in good faith by voting and others acted in good faith based on the results of the vote(s) the court might let the votes stand.
          Here’s a hypothetical: BOE vote to approve $500K purchase and installation of equipment from XYZ company. Vote passes by one. XYZ buys the raw material, pays its workers to fabricate and install the equipment, BPS students have been using the equipment. If the court ordered a recount without the Ganim’s appointee’s positive vote, what would XYZ Company do? The cost of removal of the equipment and its used resale value (it was custom fabricated for the job) might wipe out all profits for the contract or even cause a loss. XYZ Company might not have the funds to repay BOE the $500K. XYZ Company would also sue the BOE for Reliance damages (they relied on the approved contract by purchasing material, paying workers and installing equipment) and Expectation damages, XYZ expected to realize a $30,000 profit for the contract.
          Courts are highly unlikely to order recounts for these reasons. I’ve found cases where ‘illegally’ appointed government board and commission members have been removed by the courts, but almost never have I seen votes ordered recounted while that member acted as a duly sworn member of the board or commission.

          I’m not taking sides in the question of the legality of the appointment, as I’ve not done full legal research of the question. However, I live in a town (Trumbull) where we’ve had to sue the First Selectman to hold special election(s) to fill vacancies when the town did not post them as required and/or fill them with a person from the required political party.

  • Frank Gyure

    TOO MUCH BICKERING. “A house divided against itself shall not stand.”

  • Frank Gyure

    There had been some progress as some people in this line of comments had started to meet and move forward with a unified goal but this bickering has done some damage. GOOD NIGHT TO ALL.

    • Lisa Parziale

      My new, nice friend Frank, first of all I posted early this morning when I realized a naive woman was crossing the line with her comments. As I hope you’ve noticed in the short time we’ve know each other, I’m very easy to get along with, and I’ll always be accommodating. What I will not do is allow an amateur to challenge me without provocation. If my warranted responses have caused damage, please look to the loud, harsh-voiced woman who exceeded her boundaries. If after doing that you feel my inclusion is causing a negative effect, I will graciously remove myself from any further causes, except for the ones I choose. Please keep in mind I have dedicated approximately 40 years of my life to true public service, and as an elected official, when able, I helped people in all aspects of their lives. I’m not looking for something to do, my plate is still full, so if my work is not appreciated, I will walk on home.

  • Lisa Parziale

    Okay!

  • Joseph Sokolovic

    Looks like this virus of non-meetings has spread to the school level.
    Park City Magnet is not holding School Governance Council meetings due to lack of a quorum. Too many seats up for election. Could swear current members should stay seated until after election seats new members.

  • Andrew C Fardy

    Well we have all these comments on the BOE and we have the BOE basically on strike and things are getting out of hand with the BOE. This Friday there will be a training session for all 6th grade teachers. It is mandatory they attend. The meeting is being held in a Christian church on Charles street in Bridgeport. What happened to separation of church and state? The BOE has 32 buildings with gyms and libraries, why not have this meeting in one of these locations? How much are we paying to rent this church? One more thing, why are many of the copy machines in the schools without toner? Fight on, idiots.

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