When Democrats Maria Pereira and Jessica Martinez bring passion to Board of Education meetings, Republican Chris Taylor will complement them with a lot of levity. The 2015 petitioning candidate for mayor was declared the winner Wednesday night following a recount with incumbent Howard Gardner who ran on the Working Families Party line. Taylor received 1,155 votes to Gardner’s 1,132.
The nine-member school board that starts in December: Democrats Pereira, Martinez, Dennis Bradley, Ben Walker, Sybil Allen, Hernan Illingworth; Republicans Taylor and John Weldon; Republican/Working Families Party Joe Sokolovic.
During the 2015 bizarre election cycle that ended with Joe Ganim’s return to office, Taylor added a folksy peculiarity to forums. He sometimes introduced himself “I am Chris Taylor and I am not perfect, I have done some things in my life” without specificity. He added “I will gladly present my plan for Bridgeport in a PowerPoint presentation to any group of ten or more registered voters.”
That plan included promises to lavish a bonanza of goodies on voters, if elected mayor, such as a free laptop, a credit card with $300 limit, free cable and free bicycle for each child and guardian.
Taylor’s something of a toastmaster at public forums, with a lighthearted needling wit directed at Ganim. At one recent public forum Taylor jabbed “Nice to see you’re looking good mayor, buff with a new head of hair.”
Taylor, a real estate developer and property manager, says “You can build all the amphitheaters in the world, but until you fix the education system, you’re going nowhere.” And part of that, he says, is a fully funded school system. “You cannot do one size fits all. Bridgeport’s a breed of its own,” adding the state of Connecticut must step up to fulfill its obligation to children.
Regarding the recent battles among school board members Taylor sounded a positive note. “We’re gonna unite Bridgeport for the kids. I have a good, positive feeling. A new beginning with 23,000 lives at stake.”
Thank you to Howard Gardner who has been a serious BOE member quietly going about setting things right that contribute to overall success for the system. I hope that he remains available to consult with newer members searching for approaches to advance City educational goals. The BOE cannot afford to sit still.
A welcome to Chris Taylor, a big picture individual, who also understands that getting the details right and following process set out by leaders is critical to yielding results. His personal history of learning difficulties and growing up in fiscally challenged household makes him a realist about what can happen when people tune in to the message. Will there be some laughs and progress along the way? Time will tell.
The season begins:
I remember a debate with Mary-Jane Foster, Joe Ganim and Chris Taylor. Mr. Taylor was the most entertaining. The laptops, bicycles and credit card were the latrst version of “a chicken in evety pot, a TV in every room.”
I think he will bring the levity, a needed relief on the BBOE. It will go a long way toward relieving the stress, breaking the ice. Negotiation and compromise will be easier.
I truly believe a full investigation of the Democratic Registrar has to occur.
The blatant absurdity of yesterday’s recount was on full display with threats to have a police officer remove the press for twittering.
12 hours to recount about 5500 ballots when my recount of over 12000 ballots took 6.5 hours.
The envelope of same day registration ballots went missing. The Registrars daughter leaving the room with the tally sheets in hand to privately add the numbers only to return to announce Taylor had picked up 8 votes while Howard picked up none.
Howard demanded to see the form with the headcount tallies and Sandy repeatedly refused.
Howard should challenge this in court because there is definitely something wrong in “Bridgeport”.
Sorry, AN handcounts not headcounts.
Congrats Chris Taylor!…Maria.just stop already…
I don’t take orders from you or anyone else. Harvey, stop dictating to others.
That’s among the biggest problem the Police Department has with some people they have to deal with on a daily basis. Considering that many of them are the byproduct of our education system, perhaps you should re-consider.
Hear here, Joel. The failed public education system in Bridgeport has provided many recruits for the street gangs dealing narcotics and firearms out of the public housing projects in town. Thanks, thanks a lot.
Joel What came first the chicken or the egg. You can’t blame it solely on our education system. while inferior to others, close to half are dropping out. You can also say the police are byproducts of the people they have to deal with on a daily bases. Hence the police brutality when making an arrest. But lets face it’s more about the 250 million spent on the 60% that do show up and the other 250 the city sent on the 40 % that drops out. More or less.
Don’t believe for one minute that the severe underfunding of the BPS for over three decades wasn’t part of a plan by those in power.
It is purposeful and gets those in power the results they seek.
That’s a theory many of us have heard before. Here’s another theory: Perhaps, too many students don’t like taking orders, guidance, instructions, advice, etc., from anyone, including parents and teachers.
A public school system is viewed by some in public office as pork belly, fat contracts for goods and services to be doled out according to Hoyle’s Rules of Quid Pro Quo. The patrons must be mollified, always at the expense of the students’ education and recreation.