School board member Maria Pereira, the self-styled piranha of city politics, put her cell phone camera to work Wednesday night capturing a city police officer stationed surreptitiously outside a Personnel Committee meeting of the Board of Education whose members have engaged in some testy exchanges in recent weeks over a variety of issues.
Be it unrestrained Pereira versus restrained board Chair John Weldon whom she describes as “Napoleon” or Pereira versus hulking Chris Taylor, the tensions prompted Weldon to enlist city police officers to shadow meetings, in case things get out of hand. Ah, the life of an elected board for no pay.
The 9-member school board is down one member following the recent resignation of State Senator Dennis Bradley. Weldon announced a process to replace him within a few weeks, otherwise Mayor Joe Ganim will fill vacancy.
Pereira questions the necessity for police presence. In the sequence that follows: three videos taken by Pereira, who has a way of getting under skin, which elicit a snarky F bomb (Go Fund Yourself) from Weldon, although Pereira asserts it’s the other F bomb.
Pereira writes on her Facebook page:
At last night’s Board of Education meeting I found Chair John Weldon had requested a BPD officer be hidden across the hall in the Human Resources office.
This officer did not step one foot into the hallway or the meeting room for a single second as he was directed to hide. He sat in this office for 4.5 hours on his cellphone.
Our BPD overtime budget was blown by $2.6 million dollars last year, our teachers have no paper art supplies, and more, yet the best use of our taxpayer dollars is to hide a BPD police officer in a cozy, little office.
After Bridgeport Board of Education Chair, John Weldon, initially denied requesting a BPD officer attend last night’s Personnel Committee meeting last night, he finally admitted that since the “incident” on January 28th, where Christopher Taylor harassed and assaulted me, he has had the police officers attending any meeting he chairs, but not in the “open.” John Weldon has been hiding police officers in nearby rooms at our meetings. I am not kidding!
We are the most underfunded school district in CT. I asked him who is paying for these officers. He states he didn’t know. I asked who has been requesting the presence of the police offers. He blamed Dr. Johnson.
Here is Chair John Weldon adjourning last night’s Personnel Committee. As he is leaving I notify him we have started organizing a picket, which will be held in front of his home.
Mr. Weldon responded with “Go FUCK yourself” as he departs the room. Tsk. Tsk.
This behavior is unbecoming of the Chair of the Bridgeport Board of Education. I believe the new Censure Policy passed in his illegal bylaws should be applied to him!
Statement from Weldon:
To place a little clarity on the assertions of Ms. Pereira, I have had police officers at every meeting I’ve chaired since the January incident involving her and Mr. Taylor. Officer presence has not been overt, but has been kept discreet so as to not cause undue concern with the public. This has been done out of an abundance of concern for the safety of Board member, as well as the general public that attends many of our meetings.
To be clear, Ms. Pereira’s initial question was if I had requested police presence because of her, to which I replied “No.” Her subsequent question was if I had been the one who requested him, to which I responded, “Yes,” followed by the explanation of safety concerns after her incident with Mr. Taylor. Last, her assertion that I said “Go F%#@ yourself” is wrong. I would never say such a thing. I did tell her to go fund herself, a sarcastic barb at her $12,000 GoFundMe effort to sue the Board, which seems to have plateaued at $1,765: www.gofundme.com/defending-your-democracy-on-the-bridgeport-boe
Listen to what Weldon says. Which F word is it?