Cool For School–Ganim Provides Direct Support To Education In Advance Of Primary

With the September 10 Democratic primary for mayor just weeks away, incumbent Joe Ganim is playing Santa Claus in the summer with city schools. Money to expand bus routes, moolah for athletic uniforms, dough for literacy program.

Don’t ya love the power of incumbency?

Fire up the campaign mail pieces.

On Tuesday he issued this statement about restoring bus routes:

“We will continue to stand at the ready to assist Superintendent Testani and the Board. I, along with various city council members remain very concerned about the welfare and safety of our students. I know the superintendent, council members, and parents feel strongly that we resolve this before school begins.”

Board of Education member Maria Pereira has a different take on the education revenue stream during the campaign cycle outside of the Minimum Budget Requirement (MBR). Monday night Pereira attended a school board meeting and filed this account.

Last night Marlene Siegel (finance director) & Mike Testani ( school chief) admitted the following:

Mayor Ganim has spent $100,000 on purchasing high school athletic uniforms without the Board’s knowledge and approval and the money was NOT transferred to the Board of Education to ensure the $100,000 was NOT locked into the MBR.

Mayor Ganim also spent $100,000 on new literacy/curriculum without the Board’s knowledge and approval. The money was NOT transferred to the Board of Education to ensure the $100,000 was NOT locked into the MBR.

The Mayor has agreed to pay the $253,000 annual facilities lease for 2019/2020 located on CT Avenue. He does NOT want to transfer the $253,000 to the Board of Education to ensure the $253,000 is NOT locked into the MBR.

The Mayor announced via a Facebook video that he was signing a “transfer” of $1.2 million dollars to pay for the cost of reestablishing all the former bus routes. Marlene Siegel admitted the “transfer” was NOT to the Board of Education, but instead to a separate city account thereby ensuring the $1.2 million would NOT be locked into the MBR.

Mr. Testani admitted that all of these expenditures would ONLY be for this school year just 23 days before the Democratic Primary and not $1 of these payments would be locked into the MBR.

WE Transport just received a three year contract. I specifically asked if the $200,000 had been re-negotiated into their contract for the length of the three year contract. The $200,000 is ONLY for this year.

Joseph Sokolovic made an amendment to Jessica Martinez’ motion to approve the “smoke & mirrors” “balanced budget” on the condition the entire $1,653,000 be transferred to the Board of Education and locked into the MBR which would include the $200,000 already spent be moved to the BOE via a journal entry. This means the City would still have to appropriate $1,453,000 to the BOE to lock it into the MBR. The vote was 7 to 1 with Chris Taylor absent and John Weldon voting no.

School starts on August 29th and I stressed that it is impossible to re-do every single bus route for every BPS, Charter, Technical School students, AND adequately notify parents of their child’s bus stop location and time to be at their bus stop in time for August 29th.

In addition, all FCW students residing in Bridgeport will have to abide by the two mile BOE Policy.

Marlene Seigel admitted NO letters were being mailed to parents homes. They were going to use PowerSchool phone numbers and email addresses and are issuing phone blasts to parents to call their child’s schools or go to a portal. Schools CANNOT handle influxes of calls as many schools have one to two secretaries.

I assure this is going to create absolute chaos and mayhem. The most tenured employee with 17 years in the Transportation Office that is the only one with in-depth knowledge of the Transfinder Routing Technology submitted her retirement papers over these outrageous expectations and her last day is Friday.



  1. Gotta give Little Joe credit. Ain’t nothin’ like sucking up to the unsophisticated voter with a solution to a problem that he’s directly responsible for creating.

  2. unbelieveable!
    Ganim did absolutely no funding for the schools for what – 4 years? and NOW he’s spending like there’s no tomorrow!!
    is he that desperate to remain a do-nothing mayor?

  3. Bill Finch attempted to pass a new charter with a referendum that changed how Board of Education positions are filled. Remember?? And the voters turned him down and kept their vote for Board members rather than have a Mayor make the appointments.

    Ganim2, does Finch one better, by asking and answering the question, “Why do I need BOE members if I can have a cooperative, but historically unqualified, Interim Superintendent of Schools. No doubt that ISOS Testani saw the budget battles while handling Adult Ed. And he knows about ECS issues, Minimum Budget Requirement issues, no money from grants or otherwise last year for K-3 literacy interventionists, etc., etc. etc. but he is not acting independently for the school age youth, but rather for Ganim2 SINGLE YEAR education initiative. And where does Ganim’s money come from to do all of this after months of pleading in the community of parents?? Do you trust Ganimatto’s financial accountability? ( I have a CONGRESS Bridge for sale, or another to Pleasure Beach, or perhaps you want the Poli/Majestic theater site???)
    Ganim2 is showing how easy it is to keep a “chokehold” on OPEN, ACCOUNTABLE, TRANSPARENT and HONEST municipal governance. But Democratic voters can show their personal “CIVIC COURAGE” by getting out (and getting their friends and associates out to vote) on September 10. It will be the knowledge and will of informed voters rather than settling for a “pat on the head for a couple of public initiatives” where the Mayor has TAXPAYER funds that he is using to but votes. Corrupt and clever, you say?? Why not call it corrupt? Time will tell.

  4. This is a synopsis of how Joe’s 2nd run as Mayor is,all smoke & mirrors,trying to “fool” the taxpayers.Joe,it’s not going to work this time.

  5. “We will continue to stand at the ready to assist Superintendent Testani…”
    The fix is in.
    Testani is NOT Superintendent, he is Acting Superintendent and one without a license. The parameters for applying for that position was not to be eligible for permanent hiring as Superintendent.
    Joe will have have his rubber stamp flunkies on the BOE change the rules after the November elections. The hand has been exposed. Over 20,000 BPS students will be stuck with an unqualified, inexperienced, unlicensed superintendent who will kowtow to the mayor.

  6. I can’t believe the stones an this toxic dwarf. This is well beyond narcissism or a Napoleonic complex. This is desperation. He was able to hoodwink some voters into casting their ballots for him in 2015 by making a pseudo confession before the congregation of Reverend Charles Stallworth’s church in the South End. Guess that forum isn’t available this year so he’s using a page from the Donald Trump playbook: creating a crisis and then trying to make himself a hero by solving the problem that is his fault.

    It ain’t working for Trump; it ain’t gonna work for Little Joe.

  7. The headline on this post and the press release (see below) is quite misleading. One would think that Joe Ganim is providing the money to the board of education, rather than sending the funds directly to the bus company. This is an important distinction.

    At our last board of education meeting as Ms Pereira states above I brought forth an amendment to passing budget, that made it contingent upon being included in the MBR. The amendment passed 5-3 and the main motion as amended passed 7-1. The effect of this amendment was to ensure that this last minute found money (three weeks before primary) was not just an election year gimmick but a reliable source of money for our students. Next year, after the election, our students will still need buses, our about thousands of staff members will need a raise and next year the costs of operating our schools will go up again.

    Given the historic underfunding of our schools it would be nice if ,rather than play election year games and throwing a one time inadequate boost, we started next year 1.6 million dollars ahead of where we are now.
    I advise everyone call the Mayor and their city councilor and ask them to add the children’s money to the MBR which by law cannot be reduced.

    Thank you.

    Btw don’t let this sideshow distract from the devastating cuts to staff, including security and the loss of some pre-K classes that occurred this year, once again under Joseph Ganim.

    Mayor Ganim’s Committed to Support Funding To Board of Education to Restore Bus Routes

    Bridgeport, CT – Today Mayor Ganim reiterated his commitment for the city to provide the funds necessary to the Board of Education that will restore bus routes to their original walking distances.

    “We will continue to stand at the ready to assist Superintendent Testani and the Board. I, along with various city council members remain very concerned about the welfare and safety of our students. I know the superintendent, council members, and parents feel strongly that we resolve this before school begins”


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