Judge To Order Date Of BOE Special Election Wednesday

Superior Court Judge Salvatore Agati, after hearing three hours of testimony on Friday about the logistics for scheduling a special election for four Board of Education seats, announced he’ll set an order for a date next Wednesday April 18. Based on testimony likely months for potential party primaries and then a general election will be July and September respectively.

The Connecticut Supreme Court ordered Agati, the presiding judge in the case, to set a date for a special election following its decision overturning state takeover of city schools. Norm Pattis, the attorney representing elected school board members who brought legal action, urged Agati to set a date as soon as possible. He chastised the city for delaying the process as an attempt to keep the reconstituted school board in place as long as possible. John Bohannon, the lawyer representing Mayor Bill Finch and the city that supported state control, argued for an abundance of caution, urging the judge to select a date that does not bump up against an already busy election cycle that could cause chaos at the polls.

Friday morning the court heard from Republican Registrar of Voters Linda Grace, called to the stand by Bohannon, who explained the logistical issues associated with scheduling an election. The Connecticut Secretary of the State’s office had supplied the court with several potential dates corresponding with state-mandated timelines that include party endorsements, candidate challenge petition circulation, review of those petitions leading up to possible party primaries and then the general election. Grace testified that based on the dates provided July 17 for a primary and September 11 for the general would be workable without bumping up against an already scheduled August 14 date for party primaries for state and federal offices and Labor Day weekend.

One of the concerns raised by Bohannon and attorney Paul Ganim, representing Democratic Registrar Santa Ayala, is the state-required 14-day lockdown of voting tabulators following an election to allow for recounts and legal challenges. The court also heard from Ted Bromley, an attorney for the Connecticut Secretary of the State’s Office, who cited a number of state statutes in scheduling an election. Bromley was called to the stand by Bohannon. Under cross examination Pattis asked Bromley under what circumstances could an election take place if tabulators were not available. He cited a new state statute that would allow for elections officials to issue paper ballots that would be tabulated by a hand count.

Court opened with jousting between Pattis and Bohannon. Pattis reiterated his stance that the city does not want elected school board members seated. “At what point do clean hands matter?” he asked rhetorically. Bohannon cautioned the judge not to “put the cart before the horse” and Ganim added “Don’t order an election blindly.”

Elected Board of Education member Maria Pereira was an interested spectator. The Supreme Court ruled elected school board members will be reseated once the results of the special election are certified. Also watching was retired Superior Court Judge Carmen Lopez, a critic of the state takeover of schools. Lopez, a Bridgeport resident, has written several commentaries condemning the state action that she says violated the democratic rights of voters.

By the time results of a special election are certified, state-appointed school board members will have served for more than one year.



  1. *** In the end it will amount to nothing more than a waste of taxpayers’ time and money, no? A mad dash towards the thankless finish line of the Bpt BOE special olympics. *** HERE WE GO! ***

  2. My 5th-grade group and I were discussing the fact the cash crop tobacco was the reason the early Jamestown Colony was successful. I queried, “Does anyone know what tobacco is used for?” In unison they replied, “Weed!”

    I asked, “What is weed? Do people buy it at a store?”

    One replied, “You know, it’s that light brown stuff that gets wrapped up in a little papers. My auntie smokes it all the time. And you have to buy it from people.” They all nodded in agreement.


      1. Hey, Fluckarella,
        The point is Sue is not teaching in the suburbs. She is asking questions of kids who are 10-11 years old to understand “what is known by them” and relate it to their history lesson for the day. Connecting the dots! Something adults need to do.
        Urban experience for the children is different than in the suburbs and that is a reality that needs to be understood and addressed in a comprehensive way by leadership. Educational reform has to comprehend the differences and coordinate the extent and depth of the new approaches or they will fall short of the need in Bridgeport.
        I think that is one point. Time will tell.

  3. Fluckarella:
    I believe Sue’s point is her 5th grade class this year will be the voters for “Salcedo for Senate in 2019” when they turn 18, and I’ll be Linda McMahon’s age (now at 62) at that time. So, there’s always political hope ahead. Meanwhile, I just have to come up with some type of “soft porn” line of business (wealth creation, not lawyering) to make millions first. (I think I have something in the works inspired by ‘Only in Bridgeport’ … more on this later.)
    Off topic: I was invited for tomorrow’s US Senate Democratic debate by Channel 3’s Face the State (a special one-hour program) three weeks ago for the “6 Amigos Show” and then suddenly got “uninvited” last week because I haven’t spent or raised $5,000 to file officially with the FEC as a candidate. Too bad, I was looking forward to a follow-on appearance on that program.
    With President Obama in Cartagena today, I was hoping the “War on Drugs” would finally get some traction in the US media in a sustained and intelligent way (and Guatemalan President Perez and other Latin American presidents would get a fair hearing and some decent “fair and balanced” reporting on his/their proposal(s) for drug legalization), instead we’re getting the 24-hour coverage of the U.S. Secret Service “ants in their pants prostitution” non-scandal … so let me reminisce instead and share a few savory Navy “sea stories” about Cartagena which is what this media circus is reminding me of now … Cartagena is the homeport of the Colombian Navy. I was there in 1981 aboard the USS CAPODANNO (FF-1093) and in 1982 with the admiral’s staff, for the annual six-month US Navy-South American naval exercises, UNITAS 22 and 23 … a quick review of my old Navy journals bring back memories tonight of some interesting statistics from “unclassified” deployment reports, in 1981, that of the 1,640 crewmembers (4 ships, 1 submarine, 2 aircraft, including about 300 US Marines and a detachment of US Coast Guardsmen (I think there were about 12 of them) … Cartagena ranked number 11 in the STD frequency by port visit report with a score of 7: 6 cases of gonorrhea and 1 NGU … while Rio (only in Rio!!!) was number 1 with a total score of 103: 79 gonorrhea, 21 NGU, 1 Chancroid, 1 Herpes, 1 Syphilis … Recife and Salvador, Brazil and Montevideo, Uruguay were tied for second place with a total score of 27 each, then third place is Valparaiso, Chile with 26 followed closely behind by Lima (really the port of Callao) Peru with 24, then back to Brazil in Belem with 16, and again Brazil, in Fortaleza with 14, tied with Talcahuano, Chile … and then Curacao at 12 … at the bottom of the list at 1 are: Puerto Madryn, Argentina (home of the Argentine Navy), Puerto Montt, Chile, Guayaquil, Ecuador (Ecuadorean Navy’s home) and Rodman, Panama.
    Now there’s some discussion points for you to ‘compare and contrast’ the U.S. Secret Service crews with … for your Sunday brunch discussions! From the initial CNN reports I’ve seen, it sounds like this scandal boils down to a dispute about “non-payment” or shortage in payment … a well-known experience for Navy Shore Patrol officers around the world … solutions are “normally” settled quietly and satisfactorily by “liaison officers” or “oficiales de enlace” in a very amicable way … which leads to more “fun” for everyone and zero scandals for the higher ups …s omeone dropped the ball in this very simple orderly world of “liberty call.” This is a presidential visit for Pete’s sake!!! Who is this idiot who killed/derailed my hopes for a robust discussion about the drug war while President Obama is in Colombia???!!!

  4. Andy & John Marshall Lee,
    Nothing personal but why the f_ck is Vallas meeting with the two of you???
    As a B’port taxpayer I am not paying this fool way more than a quarter of a million dollars a year to meet with a couple of bloggers on Lennie’s website!!! He is a f’n politician, that’s all he is. His vision is definitely blurred if this is important to improving the school system. Run his sorry as out of town ASAP.

    1. Well, we are taxpayers also. I guess he recognizes two good-looking, charming guys who seem to give a shit. We asked to speak to him and he agreed. Isn’t that part of being open? We discussed money and plans for the future. I found him to be a good judge of character. Yes we are bloggers and the blogging world should be thrilled.
      Now with all that BS being said, what can I tell you?

    2. Grin,
      Another opinion without factual basis. Who is paying Vallas at this moment? Do some more research.
      I asked budget questions at a February 28 BOE meeting of the Five Year budget plan. Vallas and Trefry offered a meeting with Vallas. Took seven weeks but he has been busy. Thirty minutes to understand some in-depth sections of his plans especially about being OPEN, ACCOUNTABLE and TRANSPARENT to the community about the entire educational budget is appropriate to question at this time.
      You are so angry your memory is perhaps compromised. It was frustration about multiple financial governance issues that caused a good part of the meltdown of the last BOE and its leadership. Mr. Vallas talks to parents, teachers, journalists, foundation representatives, university people with whom he is seeking partnerships, kind of like everybody. Why don’t you call for a meeting Grin with whatever is on YOUR MIND?
      Andy Fardy, BOB volunteers and a raft of other taxpayers are asking questions about the budgets, about City practices and processes, and it is high time to do that. No election. Just a phony budget thrown at an overmatched City Council group. Let’s see what they do with it.
      In the meantime, why don’t you find out how Vallas is being paid currently and report it to us? If you are right I will apologize for my misinformation. If you are wrong, perhaps you will offer a mea culpa. I am doing the research for all Bridgeport taxpayers. Time will tell.

  5. And What The Fluckarella, Bohannon does not care about winning, just delaying. Once this judge sets a date, the city will appeal and seek a stay of the election until they decide whether to appeal. Then the city will try to appeal to the supremes again to delay the election.

  6. *** There must be a reasonable “message bell” ringing in Mr. Vallas’ mind regarding Andy & JML’s consistent “city budget madness,” no? As taxpayers and concerned citizens of Bpt, why shouldn’t Mr. Vallas meet with them or any other city resident within a reasonable time and setting? For what it’s worth, I commend Mr. Vallas’ decision to meet with them and also feel it’s too soon to make an overall judgement concerning his present and future mission’s work for the Bpt school system. As JML would say, “time will tell!” *** ZOMBIE VACCINE SEARCH ***


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