See Ya In December, Final Regular School Board Meeting Cancelled

Board of Education Chairman John Weldon, citing insufficient business, has cancelled Monday’s final regular meeting of the year, with a new school board to be seated in December, drawing a rebuke from outgoing member Maria Pereira who is joining the City Council.

Statement from Weldon:

There wasn’t sufficient business to warrant having a full regular board meeting on Monday, in addition to it being the beginning of Thanksgiving week where people may have plans to travel. The only critical business item we have to address in the near term is an adoption of the Calendar Year 2020 Meeting Schedule, which I think is more appropriate for the new Board to take up at the Organizational Meeting on December 9th, so it will be placed on that meeting’s agenda.

Prior to Weldon issuing a statement requested by OIB, Pereira sent this email to Weldon, other board members and school leadership:

Mr. Weldon,
What is the basis for the cancellation of the last regular meeting of this current Board?

You also cancelled the November 12, 2019 Regular Meeting.

Even under your illegal bylaws a Regular Meeting may only be cancelled due to lack of a quorum, weather related matters or an emergency situation.

Exactly what is it you think you are doing?

The Dec. 9 organizational meeting will be chaired by Mayor Joe Ganim to select board officers. Two new elected members will be present: Democrats Bobbi Brown and Albert Benejan. They will join Weldon, Chris Taylor, Joseph Lombard, Joe Sokolovic, Jessica Martinez, Sybil Allen and Hernan Illingworth. Incumbents Allen and Lombard won four-year terms in the recent general election.

There is dissension in the ranks over selection of a chair, a position Weldon has occupied for two years. Be it Weldon or someone else, five votes are required to select a chair.

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27 comments

  1. The Chairman has sole discretion to cancel any posted or scheduled regular or special meeting if, in the Chairman’s judgement, it is deemed that doing so would be in the best interest of the public, staff or Board members as it relates to inclement weather, potential lack of a quorum, or lack of sufficient information to efficiently conduct business.

    Ever since this bylaw has been passed by the majority of the board “without really understanding what they voted for” this bylaw has been widely abused. In a district with 20,000 students, 2700 employees there are always sufficient items for a meeting. At a minimum what is lost each time a meeting is cancelled is the following:
    1. 15 opportunities for the public to speak

    (cancelations strangely take place after controversies anybody know of a recent controversy?)

    2. Superintendent’s report which give a financial update and other updates to the board and the PUBLIC.

    3. Chairman’s report where the board can be updated on items such as superintendent search firm progress that’s seems stalled.

    4. Board member committee reports and referrals (those of us who bother to meet have business to discuss).

    This cancelled meeting in addition to the above had two items under new business.

    1. Discussion and possible action regarding legal opinion/review on proposed parent bylaws. This has been requested to be on the agenda for two consecutive cancelled meetings. Our parent outreach is in dire need of expansion and this is an integral piece that needs to be vetted as a starting point to expand parental engagement.

    2. Schedule for meetings for the upcoming year which need to be approved by a certain date.

    3. ????! Who knows what staff might’ve wanted to add as the new bylaws require Supt to give permission for board members to contact staff.

    Suffer the children for the action and inactions of adults failing to do their elected duties.

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    1. Joe Sokolovic this is the second time you have signed a Regular Meeting cancelation as the Sectetary knowing full well that even under the illegal bylaws John Weldon cannot cancel a Regular Meeting because he doesn’t believe there is anything important to discuss or vote on.

      You are fully enabling John Weldon.

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      1. in My opinion the “illegal” bylaws allow wide berth to the chairman by stating in his opinion. My role is to sign notices. We’ve discussed it before and I’ll not engage in a circular argument. Until these illegal bylaws are changed, I am honor bound to follow them. Speaking of “illegal” bylaws how is the case going. I recall you collected quite a bit of money to fund a suit to get them overturned. Care to give an update? I’m sure people who gave via go fund me would like to know what’s going on.

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        1. Well, Joe Sokolovic you didn’t donate $1 so why do you think it is ANY of your business?

          The SEEC complaint and its outcome on Chris Taylor illegitimately serving on the school board is critical to pursuing the legality of John Weldon’s bylaws which made him a King instead of a Chair.

          Afterall, a crown will add to his height and miniature stature.

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        2. Really. Where do even the illegal bylaws state that John Weldon can unilaterally cancel a Regular Meeting because he feels there are no relevant agenda items or not enough agenda items???

          You are enabling John Weldon.

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          1. As of November 26th the Board of Education will be three months behind in approving a contract with a search firm to find a highly qualified Superintendent.

            I warned EVERYONE that the condition that whomever was appointed Acting Superintendent could not apply or be appointed as the permanent Superintendent was a rouse

            This was done to ensure as few highly qualified candidates as possible applied because they would wait to apply for the permanent Superintendent position.

            It helped sell the highly un qualified Mike Testani by stating “he will only be in the position for a year.”

            Mario Testa, Joe Ganim and Dan Shamus are already working to make Mike Testani the permanent Superintendent.

            Why do you think Mario Testa, Joe Ganim, Danny Roach and Dan Shamus puppet John Weldon is doing everything in his power to drag his feet on moving forward with the search firm contract in violation of a full vote of the timeline set by the Board?

            This is exactly what was done with Fran Rabinowitz. She was supposed to be an Acting Superintendent for one year. Dave Hennessey lead the charge to cancel the permanent Superintendent search TWICE, and Rabinowitz ended up staying 2 1/2 years.

            Mark my words.

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    1. John Weldon,Chris Taylor and Joseph Sokolovic were all elected as,Republicans with Sokolovic also being cross endorsed by the WFP.

      Joseph Lombard was appointed as unaffiliated, but switched to a Republican to run as Republican in the November 5th election.

      Lamar Kennedy was appointed as a Libertarian.

      Sybil Allen,Jessica Martinez, Hernan Illingworth were all elected as endorsed as Democrats.

      I am the only petitioning candidate on the Board of Education who prevailed in a Democratic Primary and was elected as a Democrat.

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  2. I have to agree with Mr. Sokolovic, particularly when he writes “(cancelations strangely take place after controversies anybody know of a recent controversy?)”. These meeting cancellations and (under a previous BBOE Chairman) refusal to hold meetings at all is a disservice to anyone concerned with the quality of public education in Bridgeport.

    Back in the ’80’s I was a BBOE member for 2 terms and we were far from perfect. However, I cannot remember a sudden cancellation of any regular meeting and failing to hold regular meetings was unthinkable.

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    1. John. You were blessed with a board that did not pass bylaws allowing for meetings to be cancelled by one person. These bylaws have vested entirely too much power in one person. This was done because of the inability to manage a contentious meeting through Robert rules of order or the existing bylaws.

      As chair of a few contentious meetings myself, I managed to get stuff passed to the full board, and through the full board without stifling anybody’s right to speak. If. You know the rules apply them fairly and deal with contention respectfully within the rules, things get done.

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          1. John, I knew Mike Bisceglia when he was the vice president at the Bridgeport Brass Company and we were on the United Way committee at the Brass. We would talk about different thinks and I would push him by asking him when as he going to run for mayor, it’s funny because that was what I would do to Pete Spain with emails. Mike was the chairman of the BBOE for a long time with support from Democrats on the BBOE. I was on the negotiation team for the union and Mike and would sit across from each other all the time.

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  3. Joe Sokolovic you requested an Adnoc Committee be created to review two policies on school safety over a year ago and held ONE meeting.

    How are you any different than John Weldon?

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  4. Joseph, I don’t think that John’s board succeeded because his board did not pass bylaws allowing for meetings to be cancelled by one person, but instead because he was part of a board that cared more about the education of Bridgeport’s students than trying to one up the other members!

    I know some of you hate when I bring this up, but what did you expect from Mayor Ganim and Mario because this is what they’ve done. You had a chance to vote THEM out but you chose to let a mistake with by Senator Moore and the WFP signatures to color you attitudes and what was in the best interest of the children! Maya Angelou said, “if someone shows you who they are believe them the first time”, but most didn’t apply that logic to Mayor Ganim and Mario! Four more years of the BBOE dysfunction.

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    1. Mr. Day as I am the only sitting board member to have supported Ms. Moore since before day 1 of her campaign, I feel this may be directed at me and I must clear up your misconceptions. I’ve supported her from the beginning in the following ways

      1. I changed party affiliation from D to R to help her gather primary signatures. I spent countless hours knocking on doors and in front of stop and shop and gathered about 160 signatures.

      2. A few hundred bucks in campaign donations.

      3. Gave the campaign countless heads up including telling them that I wasn’t comfortable with the petition process.

      4. Gave a TV interview that bashed Mayor Joe Ganim and his funding the Tiger Habitat over our school children.

      5. Engaged in a strong social media campaign pointing out the failures of the Ganim administration even on his own page showing links to factual proof. I am now blocked by half the city council. This social media campaign also helped trend #blackenough

      6. I stood the polls for the primary at Park City Magnet and Blackham for ten hours.

      7. Even after the embarrassment of losing the WFP line and missteps I was aware and still am that Ms. Moore would be a better Mayor for our education system and continued my social media campaign, door knocking and stood the polls on Election Day wearing a t-shirt with a picture of the ballot and how to write in Moore.

      8. I would do it all over again, and I will if Joe Ganim fails to deliver on his last minute promises. Only this time before offering my help I will ask to personally circulate any WFP petitions.

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    2. Don, C’MON MAN, they all knew exactly what they were getting with the reelection of Joe Ganim, a badly run campaign by Marilyn Moore would have been better than Joe Ganim but Marilyn committed the Cardinal crime of not getting enough signatures for her petition even though she beat Ganim by over 300 votes at the voting polls. Maria has gotten burn by Joe Ganim when she endorse Ganim for mayor and Dennis Bradley to run with Maria for the BBOE, how did that workout Maria. But no, Marilyn Moore is the devil and it’s better to have Joe Ganim as mayor. Don, if Marilyn was the wrong candidate for those who keep bad mouthing her then where was their perfect candidate, that had more than enough time to put up a candidate for the Democrat primary.

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  5. Maria,

    Weldon clearly cancelled so that he wouldn’t have to give you a plaque for your service! He didn’t want to have to say something nice to you, like thanks.

    So, I’ll say it. Thank you for your tireless service to the children of Bridgeport for these past four years. Your tenacity, your dedication, your insight will be sorely missed and never replaced.

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    1. Ben,

      Do you remember what happened the last time a fake, phony, horrific school board member tried to give me a plaque with flowery, disingenuous praise?

      There is division within their corrupt caucus. There is an internal struggle.

      Thank you for your praise, Ben. It is only meaningful if it comes from someone I respect.

      That certainly doesn’t include Dennis Bradley or John Weldon.

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      1. Hahahaha! Yes, I remember! I really didn’t want to throw that in the trash with you because I needed another frame that size and it cost real money to have them custom made! That was a moment I’ll never forget, though.

        To some, though, a plaque is all they will have.

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  6. Also I forgot to mention my son was featured on campaign literature(he’s holding the flag at her primary announcement. I didn’t even put him on my own literature, that’s how much I believe that this city needed the change Ms. Moore could’ve brought. Now we must move on and work. With the current administration, like it or not, for the betterment of our children.

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  7. Joseph, my post wasn’t directed at you at all. It was directed at those that have excoriated Senator Moore for the WFP signature debacle and pronounced that because of that she wasn’t fit to be mayor. It was for those that bad mouthed Senator Moore in this forum forgetting that it was either her or the same old, same old. It was for those that now complain about Mayor Ganim and Mario like they didn’t know that they were who you thought they were. I wasn’t you my man.

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