‘Putz’ Politics–Bradley, Pereira Spar Over Access To High School

Wlaker, Pereira, Bradley
Maria Pereira, center, with Bradley, right, during happier times last summer. At left is school board member Ben Walker. All three ran on Ganim’s line.

Dukin’ Board of Education Dems Dennis Bradley and Maria Pereira are at it again. The latest issue centers on Pereira seeking access last week to Central High over questions about it being ready for opening day following renovations. Pereira expressed concern about the condition of the building.

In a text message to Pereira, Bradley, school board chair, wrote:

“Let me make it clear that you have no authority from the board or from me to speak on our behalf in regard to any issues affecting our school district.

Furthermore you have no authority to enter into any school without the permission of the relevant administrators.

You are hereby being notified that you are not allowed to enter Central High School until such time that you are granted such permission.”

Pereira, not often known for her diplomacy, fired back:

I am not sure if you have a intellectual deficiency, however, I sent Ms. Rabinowitz (superintendent of schools) an email last week requesting a walk-through of Central High School be scheduled because I received several phone calls from parents/staff regarding the condition of the building which is supposed to welcome 1,500 students tomorrow.

Ms. Rabinowitz coordinated the walk-through with Mr. Wallach & Mr. Graf and it was agreed we would meet at 12:00 Monday.

I spoke for myself and no one else you empty suit.

The policy does not require me to contact Ms. Rabinowitz at all. I was only required to contact Mr. Graf. However, I felt she should know that there were concerns regarding the readiness of the building.

I want to be clear, I do not work for you, report to you, or answer to you. You will not give me orders or dictate to me sir. Unlike you, I am thoroughly familiar with Board Policy, therefore not only did I abide by the BOE Policy; I went above and beyond the requirements of the policy.

If you haven’t figured out that the VAST majority of staff, active parents, administrators, etc. have figured out that you are a complete “buffoon” you are mistaken.

You clearly have difficulty with basic comprehension because you fail to understand you have no authority over ANY BOE member, therefore, I do not need your “permission” to do anything you putz.

Thank you.

Maria Pereira

“A BOE member that ACTUALLY puts in work”

Bradley and Pereira ran successfully on Joe Ganim’s primary line last September when he defeated incumbent Bill Finch. Shortly after they were elected in November Bradley was named chair. They had a quick falling out over several school board issues.

Two weeks ago Bradley and Pereira had a heated exchange at a school board meeting in which Bradley called her a “bully” and Pereira called him a “buffoon.



  1. Lol, well, well, well. Someone needs to tell Bradley you can’t play the game if you don’t know the rules and his time might be better spent learning the in’s and the out’s of the BBOE. Right now he’s looking like the buffoon.

  2. Wow, I will say this. Maria Pereira is consistent. Is there anyone on this blog who expected a different response? I cannot believe Dennis Bradley actually thought he could address Maria in that tone and get away with it. I thought her response was quite comical and appreciate the laugh. Dennis, know the enemy! 🙂

    Today I am at Luis Marin. The kids are great here. The women running the school do an amazing job! They did add a man to the mix this year.

    Breaking News–Donald Trump is now leading in the latest polls of CNN likely voters. Sean Diddy Combs, a friend of Trump, is asking African Americans to support Trump. lolololololol. Maybe they should. Let’s see what kind of real change we can get that will improve the quality of life for inner cities. The New Republican Party–Because they really care. I also notice a Trump ad on the blog. The tide is turning–omg!

  3. Central high school had a lot of remodeling done. Many contracts for work were given to inexperienced contractors. These contractors had workers showing up with brand-new shiny tools. Much of the work done by this group was wrong and needed to be re-done by qualified contractors.
    I don’t often agree with her but this time she is right. Someone needs to check work done in our schools.

    1. Andy,
      Great reporting. Happy that repair of one eye allows you to see the shiny new tools from rookie contract employees. This returns to an issue we have reported for years as BUDGET OVERSIGHT BRIDGEPORT (BOB), and that is the concept that all institutions require oversight, monitoring, review, follow-up, double checking, adherence to timelines, etc. Mistakes happen, but fast recovery limits their effect on others.

      An OIB reader, former CC Bob Halstead, sent me a copy of the City Council minutes from May 11, 2015. It contained a mention of the approval of $30,000 of funds to secure the Palace and Majestic theaters as blighted properties. Bob will inform us those budgeted dollars were not spent in that manner and the property is potentially subject to purposeful damage because of that. Watchdogs? Monitors? Oversight? Finch was Mayor, Sherwood directed all OPM activity and Nunn was CAO. At this same meeting Finch is reported to say: I am “pleased with the work done by Mr. Sherwood and Mr. Nunn. The City expanded the tax base and the grand list.” Was that Mayor running for office for a third term in touch with what was going on in the City? Did he know what he was leaving?
      And lest readers think people attending City Council meetings means nothing, my former Council person Sue Brannelly “the Committee (B&A) had held four public hearings and there was almost no feedback from residents regarding their needs.” Sue, at the time of the viewing of information from Vision Appraisal in 2013, which cost the City $300,000, reported it was only “raw data.” The Mayor and a handful of others knew and postponed. No checks and balance and not enough watchdogs. Will folks come to the Council chambers? Time will tell.

  4. UPDATE:
    Board Policy requires any Board Vacancy to be filled at a Regular BBOE Meeting, We are interviewing those who applied to fill the vacancy this evening in Room 305. The City claims the Board only has 30 days to fill a vacancy although neither the statute or charter say a single word regarding a “30 Day” deadline.

    I personally went down to the Interim-Superintendent’s office to submit my agenda items which included a “Discussion & Possible Action, Up to and including Disciplinary Action, Regarding the Interim-Superintendent’s Actions Related to Board Member Pereira.” Dennis Bradley walked in seconds ahead of me and made the remark “this was my part-time job” in front of a staff member. I told him he was disrespectful and he responded with “I was only joking.” What would have been an appropriate response is “I am a joker.”

    Approximately 22 minutes after I left City Hall, we received an email that our Regular BOE Meeting scheduled for this Monday, September 12th was being CANCELED due to a lack of a quorum. Neither Howard, Sauda, Ben, nor myself were even consulted.

    Suddenly Bradley, Larcheveque, Negron and McSpirit cannot make a Regular BOE meeting on a Monday night??? The next Regular BOE meeting is on September 26th which means Mayor Ganim is going to utilize the non-existent 30 day deadline, claim the BOE missed it, and appoint his chosen Democratic replacement.

    What they don’t fully comprehend is we are ready for them. When I say “them” I mean Ganim, City Attorney, Bradley and Larcheveque.

    1. I’m truly disappointed and shocked Larcheveque and McSpirit went along with this obvious play. Bradley and Negron, expected, they’re controlled. But I expressed here on OIB McSpirit impressed me as an independent thinker, and Larcheveque has been around long enough to know better. They appear to be passive-aggressive men, far more dangerous than Dennis, while Dennis may act like a buffoon, he’s predictable, you expect it, you see it coming. OMG is there any hope for our school system and the precious students caught in the weeds? I’m so grateful when my children attended the public school system, in our wildest nightmares we never could have imagined this power play by any administration that just wants power.

      1. Lisa, Joe Larcheveque isn’t a true Republican. He is a Democrat poorly disguised as a Republican because the only way he could ever get elected is through the Minority Representation Statute. He confers with Danny Roach and his wife serves on the 130th Democratic Town Committee, which is lead by Danny Roach.

        He has not done one relevant thing on the BOE since I rejoined in December. Not one.

      2. Lisa, I spoke face-to-face with Kevin McSpirit tonight and I asked him if he was involved in these shenanigans. He looked me directly in the eye and told me he could not attend for legitimate reasons.

        I have really come to respect Kevin and I am going to take him at his word.

        We just received an email two hours ago that Monday’s Regular BOE Meeting is back on. Suddenly we can achieve a quorum.

        Not only can we achieve a quorum; now we are having a 5:30pm Special Meeting.

        I am encouraging everyone who can attend, please attend.

        Monday, September 12, 2016
        6:30pm at Geraldine Johnson School

    2. Our position in court will be Ms. Negron was not a valid member of the BBOE, therefore there were only seven legal BBOE members. A quorum of seven is four which means Ms. Baraka, Mr. Gardner, Mr. Walker, and myself constituted a quorum, therefore Dennis Bradley had no authority to cancel a Regular BOE meeting.

    3. Maria Pereira,
      Mr. Jeff Kohut has the best idea so far. Dennis Bradley, please RESIGN.

      Q1- Can the BOE members somehow take a vote and force him to step down from the chair position?
      Q2- Can a city resident somehow get such a vote on the agenda?

  5. Lennie, both Ben and I knew Dennis Bradley was a “charlatan” before the Democratic Primary. We had stopped communicating with him weeks before the Democratic Primary.

    The fallout was not related to BOE matters, it was related to his unethical, dishonest, inappropriate and narcissistic behavior.

      1. I have disagreements with him because he is incompetent, is unable to fulfill his duties as chair, is incompetent, could care less about the serious responsibility it is to serve on a school board that represents over 21,000 students and their families, is incompetent, has no knowledge of CT statutes, Board Policy, Robert’s Rules of Order, etc., is incompetent, is a Ganim/Testa/Ford political hack, is incompetent, is all surface with no substance, is incompetent, thinks I report to him, is incompetent, and is an absolute BUFFOON.

      2. Sadly, I think it is time for both Bradley and Pereira to resign. They have both repeatedly demonstrated they are more concerned with power games and personal agendas than they are with the students and school system they are responsible for. That kind of repeated behavior should be unacceptable.

          1. I have made my opinion concerning the Mayor’s lack of authority to make this appointment clear. However, neither you nor I nor the BOE gets to decide that issue. Unless and until a lawsuit is brought and a judge decides otherwise, she is a lawful member of the Board of Education.

          2. Mr. Smith, my comment had to do with her lack of commitment, abysmal attendance record, and her lack of dedication.

          3. You stated I should resign, however no BOE member puts in more hours than I do, conducts more research, or has a stronger following than I do.
            Ms. Negron has not demonstrated a single one of these traits. In fact, she doesn’t even show up, therefore shouldn’t you be calling for the illegally appointed BOE member, who you claimed was going to be a good addition to the Board, to resign?

          4. Mr. Smith, there is absolutely no question regarding whether I am serving on the BOE legally. I received over 10,000 votes.

            How many votes did Ms. Negron receive?

        1. Phil, you know better. Never quit when situations become tense and uncomfortable, work them out even if it seems impossible. If not, it’s usually a matter of changing one bad situation with another. Stay with it to see where change is possible, change will happen anyway.

  6. I’m sure anyone who’s been around Bridgeport for a couple decades isn’t surprised by these new developments. Mario and Joe knows what to do, how to do it and whom they need to buy to get the job done.

    Well, now you know you are in the Big Leagues with the heavy hitters, Mario and G2, who not only know how to play the game, but they helped write the book. It’s hard to beat them together because they’ll lose a little battle, but never the war. Back to the drawing board.

  7. Paging Phil Smith …
    Paging Phil Smith …
    Can you get a hold of Negron and find out what the deal is?
    You and others spoke so highly of her and yet this screams of power politics like we have always seen.

    1. By the way, since Ms. Negron was appointed at the end of July, she has not attended a single committee meeting, only attended two special meetings, and attended our first Regular Meeting last week.

      She did not attend tonight’s special meeting to interview candidates to fill the current vacancy.

      How’s that for a great start? Tonight a candidate we interviewed made sure we knew they did not owe any back taxes.

  8. Dennis. Please resign from the BOE. You are truly creating a perception of hopeless ineptitude of the whole Bridgeport BOE by your really, really clueless, fuzzy-headed behavior.

    You should be happy Maria Pereira, or any other BOE member, would take the time to monitor ongoing conditions in Bridgeport’s schools. It protects everyone’s ass, most importantly the kids, but also yours. No. This ridiculous, inappropriate, impotent mandate directing Maria Pereira to stay out of the schools without obtaining permission first is bullshit, and very, very stupid. She shouldn’t have to seek permission before doing a walk-through. She is an elected official in good standing with the BOE, BPD, and the general community (albeit, with some professional friction with other officials). Your ass should have been checking out the school before the first day of school and on the first day of school. You should have taken the lead in doing school walk-throughs, especially with public safety problems among youth in the community. You are an embarrassment, really, a hazard, for the school system in your present position. Resign.

  9. Actually, it looks like Maria may have overstepped her authority:
    The Bridgeport Board of Education is the unit of authority. Apart from their function as part of the unit, board members have no individual authority, unless duly authorized by vote of the board or a committee thereof. Individually, a board member may not commit the district to any policy, act or expenditure. The board member acts for the community as whole.
    No individual member of the board, by virtue of holding office, shall exercise any administrative responsibility with respect to the schools, nor as an individual command the services of any school employee.

    1. 3. Visits to Schools
      Individual board members interested in visiting schools or classrooms will make arrangements for visitations through the administrators of the various schools where appropriate.

        1. Gary Tobin, respectfully, don’t fall into the trap of arguing with a handle. Any person arguing with a handle will lose because the handle is protected by anonymity. It’s a losing battle.

          1. Frank makes no sense. How does who you are add or subtract from the merits of a position? Frank is just upset because his positions are usually so weak they are easily picked apart.

        2. Maria did not make arrangements for visitations through the administrators. She was not duly authorized by vote of the board or a committee thereof. She was actually forbidden from going to the school as a BOE member. Her visit was as a standard citizen and as she entered the building illegally, she was trespassing.

          1. BOE SPY, after all the trouble you went through posting the BOE guidelines, you forgot to read the whole chain of events. This small detail, reading the whole story, makes your conclusion ridiculous or should I say with no MERIT.

    2. 4. Social Interaction
      Staff and board members share an interest in the schools and in education generally, and it is to be expected that when they meet at social affairs and other functions, they may informally discuss such matters as educational trends, issues, and innovations and general school district problems. Individual board members have no special authority excepting when they are convened at a legal meeting of the board or vested with special authority by board action whenever (wherever) possible.

  10. While chairman Bradley did not:
    2. Establish the board’s agendas in consultation with the Superintendent
    3. Enforce the board’s policies relating to the order of business and the conduct of the meetings, including; ensuring that all members confine themselves to the question; not use unbecoming, abusive, or unparliamentary language; avoid indulging in personalities; and refrain from making charges reflecting upon the character of another member.
    6. Restrict discussion to the question when a motion is before the board.

    1. City Attorney
      Unless otherwise determined by the Board, the Bridgeport City Attorney shall be the legal advisor of the board of education and its officers in questions relating to their official duties. The primary function of the attorney assigned by the City Attorney is to provide professional legal
      counsel and representation for the board and superintendent.

      1. Now you all understand the difficulty BOE chairman Bradley would have ensuring Maria not use unbecoming, abusive, or unparliamentary language; avoid indulging in personalities; and refrain from making charges reflecting upon the character of another member.

  11. Contrary to some opinions here, I think Dennis Bradley SHOULD NOT resign. We need his example of the poor/bad governance of the Ganim/Testa team. Every parent (registered voter, of course) of every child attending Bridgeport Public Schools needs to be made aware that Ganim, Testa and Co. put someone in the position of the head of the BOE who was completely unqualified and the education of their child was undermined by the decisions of Ganim, Testa and Company. We need Dennis Bradley to be one of several poster boys of BAD GOVERNANCE in The City of Bridgeport.

  12. While the board members are arguing with each other, meetings getting canceled to force preferred appointments, the 21,000 students and their best interest are put on the back burner. Time for Mr. Bradley and Ms. Pereira to resign. Their constant bickering is very old now.

    1. Some say it takes two to tango. In the case of the BOE it only takes one. Without Maria we would not have the bickering that has plagued the BOE for the past several years. We can identify the cancer. Now we need to cut it out.

      1. Coward, I wasn’t on the board “for the last few years,” I just started serving on the board in December. You are unable to get the most basic information correct.

    2. Mr. Weintraub, you are entitled to your opinion, however I will not be resigning. I am the only BoE member who was born and raised in Bridgeport and received my entire K-12 education from the BPS.

      I can honestly say there is no board member who conducts more research than myself, has a better attendance record, or has a stronger base of support amongst parents than myself. Quite a few staff members support me as well.

      Just yesterday I met a staff person I had never met in my life. She whispered in my ear “I am glad I finally got to meet you. You really fight for our kids.”

      A gentleman approached me outside city hall last night to tell me he reads about me so often, he felt like he already knew me. He also encouraged me to keep up the good work I am doing.

      This happens more than you know.

  13. Does anyone have the minutes from the last dozen meetings??? I would love to know if anything has been accomplished that actually benefits the children. I am guessing no since every meeting turns into a childish bickering match so while they waste time with their pettiness our children suffer. It’s a shame, the whole board should resign and let’s start over. The children deserve better than the bullshit that happens at every board meeting. I certainly hope the children don’t see the ridiculous videos of the meetings on YouTube because it sure doesn’t show a promising future for them.

    1. tallguy316/Coward,
      Quite a bit of work is accomplished at every BOE meeting that is driven by Ms. Baraka, Mr. Walker, Mr. Gardner and myself. Not one significant policy, agenda item, initiative, etc. has been moved by Bradley, Larcheveque, or the non-existent Negron. Not one.

      The minutes are available on the BPS website as required by law.

      Every Regular BOE Meeting can be viewed on Cable Access. You will find many meetings where there is no meltdown.

      I had another lovely tiny woman come up to me in City Hall tonight who told me she reads everything I write on OIB and she lived in the Hollow. She was so kind with her praise and told me she really wanted to vote for me for state rep. but couldn’t.

  14. How many classes are reading at grade level? A few students in each classroom. Example, a 7th grade class has nine special kids, eight who read at a kindergarten level, that leaves 12 reading at class level or 1 class below class level. One more question, why are we testing kids five days into the school year?


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