Who Will Replace Paoletto And DeJesus On City Council?

Toms, Hughes, Jackson
Melanie Jackson, right, with City Librarian Scott Hughes and Tyisha Toms at Black Rock Day last summer. Hughes and Jackson are town committee members.

Political maneuvering is underway to fill the City Council seats of the recently resigned Richard Paoletto and Richard DeJesus. An addendum to the council agenda calls for the replacement of the vacated seats.

Names in play to replace Paoletto in the Upper East Side 138th District are former school board and City Council member Leticia Colon and Melanie Jackson, a top votegetter in the March 2014 Democratic Town Committee district primary in which insurgents picked up six of nine seats.

The sitting City Council members fill vacancies. Historically council members have followed recommendations from the district town committee. Jackson has the backing of the town committee district, but she was part of the insurgent group that won a majority against district Democrats that had been supportive of Mayor Bill Finch.

Colon has been largely supportive of Finch when she served on the school board and City Council. Also Colon has been an ally of City Council President Tom McCarthy.

Paoletto resigned from the council after he was suspended with pay from his city job following allegations of sexual harassment. He also resigned his city job.

DeJesus, who recently lost a bid for State Senate in a special election, resigned from the council following his move outside of the East Side 136th District he had represented.

136th District Town Committee member Jose Casco is a possible replacement for DeJesus.

This is a reelection year for the City Council so the replacements could potentially seek a full two-year term after filling the vacancies.

Full council agenda here.



  1. Naming Colon for the 138th would be an insult to the people who live in the 138th. Colon was a rubber stamp for the mayor and worked closely with and obeyed South End district leader Mitch Robles. You can name her but we will get rid of her next election.

  2. Melanie Jackson was the highest votegetter in last year’s DTC election in the 138th. She is intelligent, articulate and professional. In other words, she is the complete opposite of Leticia Colon.

  3. Melanie Jackson happens to be a personal friend of mine and Tyisha Toms happens to be a personal friend and ironically my attorney for real estate. She just handled a real estate closing for me this afternoon. Lolololololol I only share that because Ron Mackey and Donald Day question who some of my “black friends” are. These are just two. I am proud of Melanie and I expect great things from her. I would campaign for her in a heartbeat.

    1. As a matter of fact, I offered to help Fardy and Barney while making calls for Melanie for town committee. They didn’t want it and yes, Melanie was the top votegetter and I had not known Maria P was also working on her behalf. Small world. 🙂 Like Maria P, when I am committed to a candidate I am a one-man army and I could care if anyone knows me or not. I do not like wasting my time if the candidate is not electable. Obviously, I do not use campaigns to expand my social net, although I have met some incredibly wonderful people over the past few years.

        1. barney, you are correct. I did however contact Pat Fardy and she felt you were both good. I personally thought it made sense for everyone to be working together. I am certain Pat will attest I did call and was happy to work on your behalf. Perhaps she thought you guys had the support and why support Melanie and Scott etc. I do believe the both of you would have been an awesome duo for the DTC. I am thrilled Melanie did get the most votes. Looking back, I can’t figure out why Pat Fardy did not take me up on my offer. Especially since she and Andy know I am no joke when it comes to campaigning. I called Pat because I know you both are very close and I have worked on a campaign with her. I still think you and Pat would make strong candidates for the council.

          1. Steve,
            Thanks for the clarification.
            But here is my confusion. I am good friends with Pat and Andy Fardy. They are wonderful people.
            But I am my own person. You thought of helping me and Pat, but only spoke to Pat. Maria P held me accountable for comments Andy posted on a blog. Since when are Pat Fardy, Andy Fardy and Ann Barney treated as a single entity?
            I am blessed to have the Fardy family in my life, but we often respectfully disagree on many issues and are very much our own persons!
            Suggestion, next time talk directly to me’ for Pat, Andy and I are three individual people.

  4. You would think on the heels of the DeJesus fiasco the council would not rush to name a replacement without performing their due dilligence with at least a full background check.
    Let’s make sure that:
    1 They are a bona fide resident of the district
    2 They are current on all their taxes and have not had liens sold on their properties
    3 They are not owners or members of any LLCs or businesses that are delinquent in their taxes
    4 They are current in any child support arrangements
    5 They are not city employees
    6 They or their businesses do not do business with the city.

    1. Donald, they are just friends but for the record, between you and Ron Mackey and your forever race baiting and insinuating I could not possibly know what was going on in the black community I can assure you I do. I’ve been color blind my entire life and just happened to be a record promoter in my 20s and I promoted my music which was urban contemporary “black” music. I worked with Sugarhill records out of New Jersey and actually worked with the Sugar Hill Gang Rappers Delight that made its way to the top of the charts. Just thought I’d share. Mr. Day, I’m still waiting for an apology from you, insinuating I thought your group was responsible for sending that racist letter.

      Just for the record, my friends come in all colors and religions and I see them for what they are completely. I appreciate their culture and food as well as their opinion of life through their eyes. A racist remark has never been uttered in my home or my home growing up. And for the record, I enjoy politically incorrect jokes because I do find them hysterical and life is short, what’s funny is funny is funny. Never hurtful jokes but let’s face it every nationality and religion have stereotypes that are very funny and my friends are all intelligent enough to appreciate humor and realize life is too short to dwell on stupid stuff.

  5. When the district TC decide to fill a vacated seat in the district, it is usually put to the entire TC members of that district and a replacement is recommended. There should be no involvement by anyone else. The City Council should respect that decision and vote to ratify. No judgment calls on this one. If the individual does not perform to the satisfaction of a constituency, that call will be made by the voters.

  6. Lisa, the DTC for the 138th voted unanimously to support Melanie Jackson to fill the city council vacancy, however I believe Paoletto, Santiago and Marella did not attend. If City Council members vote to reject her, that will set a precedent for future vacancies.

    If Mayor Finch wants to interfere with the DTC in the 138th, I am going to mail a letter to every single one of my number ones and twos in Thomas Hooker School informing them of Mayor Finch’s interference. Many of these people voted for Melanie Jackson to serve on the DTC and she is very well-liked in our neighborhood. I will make sure it is laid at his feet.

    If Michael Marella votes against her, I will have no choice but to notify our neighborhood as well. I would rather keep Marella out of it, and hope he respects the will of those in our community.

  7. It does not matter that Marella, Santiago and Paoletto were not present to nominate a new council person, the vote should have been 6 – 0 thus the council should okay the will of the 138th and Leticia Colon can go back to the south side.

  8. You know first of all the council feels they need to give the public no explanation of what or why they do things but they will come up with some convoluted logic about how the DTC in the 136th recommended a candidate and the council had no choice but to approve and how lucky Bridgeport was to have a former council member volunteer to serve and although the 138th DTC did not agree the council could not pass up this great opportunity.

    1. This sounds about spot on, Mr. Walsh. Bill needs to put in councilpersons who won’t question anything he tells them. Bridgeport needs to just get through the next few months ’til November, then our city can start getting itself back together by ridding itself of this corruption.


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