Malloy: ‘I Didn’t Volunteer For This’–State Control Of Schools Should Be Short Term

Dan Malloy on a campaign stop in Bridgeport summer of 2010. Next to Malloy is State Rep. Andres Ayala.

Governor Dannel Malloy, in an interview with OIB Thursday afternoon, said the state panel that will operate Bridgeport Public Schools at the urging of city educators will be a short-term process rather than decade-long control. He said the state doesn’t want to be in the business of operating the day-to-day functions of municipal school systems, acknowledging “I didn’t volunteer for this”–but sometimes it’s necessary as in the case of the town of Windham and now the state’s largest city.

“A lot of work has to be done,” the governor said of the state’s role. “An examination of how a city has chosen to spend its money certainly has to be examined in this process … This step is appropriate but hopefully not be measured in a decade, but number of years, to straighten out the problems. Unfortunately some of the problems do go on to allocation of assets between general budget and education budget.”

State Education Commissioner George Coleman announced Wednesday he expects to shape within the next four or five weeks a new state board–replacing the elected Bridgeport Board of Education–made up of at least five members, that will oversee city schools. He did not rule in or out additional funding for the financially troubled school system this year.

Malloy said a successful Bridgeport school system has an economic impact on the state, particularly in the area of job creation. “We have large work force issues in the state … and we cannot afford to waste anybody.”

Should state budget director Ben Barnes, who served as finance director of Bridgeport schools for a year prior to joining the governor’s staff, be appointed to the new state panel?

“I’m concerned and interested on who’s going to be chosen,” the governor added. “I don’t have a legal role. I have a deep and abiding concern. Barnes is a brilliant guy and does know some of the real problems. His counsel would be turned to. I believe that he’ll be consulted. He has a lot on his table right now.”

The Bridgeport Board of Education operates under minority-party representation. Two members of the board, Maria Periera and Sauda Baraka, won election as members of the Connecticut Working Families Party. They’ve criticized the state’s decision, at the request of city officials, to reconstitute the elected board as part of state control.

Any constitutional issues with regard to dismantling the elected city Board of Education?

“I see no constitutional issues,” said Malloy. “Local boards are creatures of the state. There’s a clear reporting structure,” he said of the municipal relationship with the state.

Malloy served on the Stamford BOE before his election as mayor of Stamford and in his last year as mayor served as a non-voting member of the Stamford BOE.

One issue that could be looked at, he said, is the institutional role between Bridgeport’s mayor and school system. The mayor has control in setting the BOE budget (approved by the City Council) but not in the day-to-day operations. The superintendent of schools is appointed by an elected Board of Education generally selected by political party regulars. The existing Board of Education will be dormant while the state oversees city schools. In New Haven for instance, Mayor John DeStefano has greater authority in the operations of the school system.

Malloy cautioned, however, that greater chief executive authority in public schools works for some communities, but not for others.



  1. OK
    Very carefully couched comments and adroit positioning by the Guv … but I will await the activities and directives for my own “clarification” (which the Governor speaks highly of) in another context.

    However, the Mayor and City Council might not be so happy after “an examination of how a City spends it money” is complete. Unless the Mayor feels a directive from the State to come up with more money gets him off the hook for a reason to increase taxes??? Holding up that NO TAX INCREASE banner for so long may be getting real heavy about now, especially since so many seem to remember the fully discredited $600 tax rebate offer.

    Short term process also sounds pretty good indicating years rather than decades, and there is a potential for more public comment or at least questioning of past practice, which in itself may be more threatening to the incumbents than the examination itself.

    Representing all of the people or presenting a citywide working process will be something new and stand some adjustments in expectations. Especially in the working process between the City and the BOE that has been so sticky and broken at times. With the State putting up 80% of operating as well as some grant money including Rell’s buy-in through Russo on the audit completion, these will certainly be interesting times for Finch and the 3 Musketeers, Wood, Nunn and Sherwood (pictured in the CT Post at the BOE 6-3 suicide vote Tuesday evening). He who has the gold makes the rules is standard. But Hartford has not been watching its investment that well in the recent past in the City or this might not have happened.

    It is possible the FOI process will not be necessary for securing reliable and relevant financial material in the City when the new people take over. That would be helpful to understanding.

    Finally, the message contemplates a time when we will have an elected Board of Ed once again. I have no feel for how any Constitutional questions may be handled at this moment, but this is a great time for community activists to see how this State Board works to improve our schools. There may be opportunities to institute similar working process to continue that which may be successful in the near future. Here’s to citizens actually running for elected BOE office with knowledge, experience, and no conflicts of interest.

    David Ben-Gurion faced larger challenges than the one facing Bridgeport citizens today. He once said, “In order to be a realist you must believe in miracles.” Here’s to realism and miracles!!!

  2. This whole school system takeover is just another way for Finch to show how clueless he is. He runs around telling everyone who will listen there has been no tax increase yet we know he has been putting off mandatory pension and healthcare payments for retirees. That bill is fast approaching. Finch is praying nothing will come of it before election time.
    The people of Bridgeport and especially those with kids in school have to see he is willing to gamble on their future to advance his own career. This is a man with no morals and no character.

  3. MariAn Gail Brown got it right.

    It’s Finch in a pinch.
    A takeover may be Bridgeport’s just reward for incompetence. It’s incompetence that not only reigns but thrives in many places.

    Recollect this is the city that held up the official 2010 gubernatorial election results because its poll workers couldn’t count ballots. Remember this is the same municipality federal occupational health and safety investigators say is responsible for the death of two of its firefighters. And keep in mind this is the same urban outpost where its chief elected officer is a whiner. Woe is me, Woe is me, is Mayor Bill Finch’s mantra. There’s nothing I can do about school spending situation. “I want the state to come and see this” situation, Finch says, “with their own two eyes.”

    Read more: www

    1. Grin,
      This may be the only clever thing to come from Finch & Don Testa. They are terrified of the obvious. The CT Working Family Party won two seats in the last election, if they win three more they’re the majority on the board. Mario doesn’t want to lose that power base knowing well over $150 Million is on the way for School construction projects. Think of all that graft, kickbacks, bribes, the “campaign” contributions and the lucrative awarding of the contracts on the projects. They are willing to throw the BOE under the bus because they fear the growing support of the CWFP. Don’t trade the devil you know for a devil you don’t.

      1. P.S.
        I liked the stupid comment about Pereira & Baraka thwarting Ramos by “Micro-managing” the budget. THAT’S THEIR RESPONSIBILITY! Unlike the Common Council they actually read and understand things rather than be Mario’s lemmings.

          1. Ronin,
            I am glad we finally agreed on a topic. There still may be a little hope for you after all.

  4. Other than the desire of the mayor and a majority of BOE members to pass the buck and escape accountability, I haven’t heard a single reason for a state takeover of the Bridgeport schools.

    More state money? Don’t count on it for at least two reasons. First, the state doesn’t have the money. Second, rewarding Bridgeport’s abdication of responsibility would only encourage other cities and towns to do the same thing.

    Give the Mayor more control over education? Right. City government is almost as dysfunctional as the Board of Education. That’s not the only problem.

    If the mayor thinks he can get the kind of powers the Mayor of New Haven has, he needs to talk to his lawyers.

    The charter provision which gives New Haven’s mayor those powers was passed many years ago when the General Assembly still had the power to adopt and amend local charters. Today that kind of legislation would probably be prohibited by the Home Rule provision of the state constitution unless it applied to more than one city. Unlikely, at best. Unwise in any case.

    In any event, the mayor’s management of the agencies that are under his control offers little reason to believe giving him control of the school system would improve anything.

    The only reason I can see for asking for a state takeover would be to make a dramatic gesture about how bad things are. In that case, a better course would have been to resign and let their places be filled by people who were prepared to do the job they were elected to do.

      1. Happy birthday PT Barnum, your spirit lives on.
        Barnum is widely but erroneously credited with coining the phrase “There’s a sucker born every minute.” And those suckers are Gov. Malloy and the State BOE.
        Finch and Company has sold the Governor and the State BOE the Feejee Mermaid award.
        All this, just to take out the Working Family’s BOE members, and to stop them from gaining more seats in November’s election.
        Barnum’s laughing in his grave, and to think the BOE which has a 6 to 3 majority vote, still can’t get it right. Bullshit!
        How can Finch and Company OVERTURN last years election and stop this year’s BOE Election? Only by using Gov. Malloy and the State BOE.
        How can Tom Mulligan speak for the BOE members after sitting only for two months? The way Tom Mulligan sees it, he and other members of the city’s board of ed had no choice with Bridgeport.
        “There’s a poisonous atmosphere among the board members and toward the school superintendent, making it very difficult for him to accomplish anything,” Mulligan says. “Some of the others just wanted to micromanage him at every turn.”
        What happen to the other seven members of the BOE and Dr. Ramos, did someone tell them to say home?

        This is politics at its worst … Only In Bridgeport!

        Let the court battles begin!

  5. This looks like the fox guarding the hen house. If Barnes was BPT BOE finance officer until Dec 2010, thereabouts, well isn’t he eyeballs deep in the development of some of our $ issues and dysfunctionalism? This stinks. If I had a 2 to 1 majority on a board, I’m fairly certain I could pass whatever needed to be done to resolve issues. They were afraid of a clean sweep of their trusted cronies come November election.

    1. Big P raises a good question. What happens if the appointed board is still in place in November? Will there be a BOE election to fill all of the seats? The BOE terms are staggered to provide some sort of continuity. How does this work and what happens if the hated three get re-elected?

      1. It is my understanding the elections will take place for the BOE seats but those on the board will have no votes and no say as long as the state is in charge. Not all the seats are up for election this year but I could be wrong on that part.

    1. The stooges are the majority. Two of the three in the minority are new members. The mess that is the Bridgeport Public School system long precedes them. There is nothing wrong with asking questions and demanding accountability. Unfortunately instead of democracy this is now considered “dysfunction.”

    Participants in the Capitol discussions included Finch, his chief of staff, Adam Wood, School Board President Barbara Bellinger, Schools Superintendent John Ramos and Robert Henry, the associate superintendent.

    Wood said Thursday, “We approached the Malloy administration on Barbara Bellinger’s behalf and asked what was available. The superintendent’s office had questions, so we were acting as facilitators between the state and those folks. There were our attorneys and their attorneys.”



    Read more: www

  7. This from a mayor who came out in 2009 strongly favoring private school vouchers. How can this education charlatan claim to be concerned about public schools when instead of advocating for them he throws up his hands and wants private school vouchers? Finch gave up on the Bridgeport public schools a couple of years ago. This is the man who wanted to reduce class size, have more early reading intervention, and full day kindergarten in all schools … REALLY? More horsesh*t straight from the horse’s rear end.

    1. Here’s a solution to this problem What if John Gomes ran as a Republican? Then if Finch beats MJF in this Sept Primary we would have a qualified alternative in November. Word is out Gamin plans to run independent.

  8. Finch has never attended a boe meeting to try and offer help, but had secret meetings to replace them. Anyone who votes for him will rot in hell for eternity with him.

  9. Chosen 1–you’re right–it’s insane these talks have been going on for months and there was not one public hearing. That the public notice for this monumental charade of a public hearing was posted 8 minutes before the end of the business day on the Friday before a long weekend.

    The public was clearly on the side of Maria & Sauda on Tues PM and yet the 6 just steamrolled right over everyone … all while Wood, Nunn & Sherwood sat in the back … hovering like vultures circling over their prey, waiting to swoop in and feast on the carcass of the dead BOE.

    MariAn Brown is right on: www

    Of course the City/BOE haven’t gone after big foundation or private money. First–the BOE grant dept has always been filled with incompetents or political appointees. Finch decimated the City’s grants dept. Say what you will about him, but under Fabrizi that office brought in over $200 million in outside resources to benefit Bridgeport in all kinds of ways. Finch & Sherwood & Wood think the Grants dept costs the city money and so they put another political hack Alanna Kabel in charge to pretty much kill the dept. All the good people who worked there ran to the hills–couldn’t get out of there fast enough. The City actually GAVE money it had been awarded–millions in fact–back to funders saying the city either couldn’t or didn’t want to spend the $. Again–ARE YOU KIDDING ME? The State’s poorest city is giving money BACK? That’s what happens when you let the inmates run the asylum. You can be pretty damn sure those funders are not going to look at giving anything else to Bridgeport any time soon.

    Word among those who have been working on education reform in Bridgeport is there are a lot of $$$ people out there who really want to help Bridgeport but won’t. Why? Because of the systemic incompetence. Because they can’t get any kind of transparent accounting of what the hell they’re doing over there. Because the BOE & Ramos & his staff have put up an impenetrable blockade preventing anyone from making any kind of sense of their management and accounting practices.

    So … to answer the question: Could Bridgeport attract outside resources to help? Yes. Will we? No. Why? Because we keep allowing the same assholes to lead our city into the ground.

    As Foster says: Enough is enough. Bridgeport deserves better. Vote for change on Sept. 13.

    1. power to the people,
      This calls into question the credibility of all the players. Consider the delegation of BPT representatives.

      If the entire BOE was not present at that meeting, the State should have walked out right then and there. We should challenge this deal with the Devil in court. WTF, what is another $50-$100,000 at this point?

  10. The Mayor and the Governor need to explain why they had time for all these meetings, but waited until the last minute to tell the voters, who were about to lose their right to elect the BOE, what they planned to do.

    Another backroom deal, the public be damned.

  11. Pttp,
    I am glad ypu think I’m right, but you can do something about this if you put your ego aside.
    MJ is great at business and controlling media, but Gomes knows the inner workings of running a city and who is who in city hall.
    If it’s REALLY about the people and you just attacking Finch, call Gomes and beat Finch.

  12. You neglected to mention there have been inept and incompetent superintendents that were hired by Bridgeport and couldn’t do the job for whatever reason. Much of the blame must lie at the feet of the city’s administration and its minions. When you have non-business people running a multi-million dollar municipality, hiring cronies and family for political reasons, and kowtowing to forceful unions who put them in power, you have the ingredients for failure.

  13. Well said Bob, we need more business people running our city and fewer politicians who hand out jobs to friends and family. But when we are already in this deep, it kinda seems to be self-perpetuating …

  14. Chosen 1,
    Where is Gomes on this issue other than calling on people to support Ramos???
    Do you believe the same as Gomes?
    That Ramos is the answer and not the problem?
    If so, maybe Ramos can go door-to-door with Gomes and begin to explain what they together are going to do to fix the schools because so far supporting Ramos is all Gomes has said on this issue.
    Sorry Chosen 1 but you are making the wrong choice with that one.

  15. It is obvious to me we need a new way to hire a supt. of schools. The last two supts have been total busts, both Salcedo and Ramos are clueless and have driven this school system into the ground.

  16. Ooops, my bad. Support Ramos AND let the public vote on the school budget. The Gomes solution to Bridgeport’s education crisis.
    I don’t believe he knows the inner working of city government but he definitely is clueless to the political ramifications of his decision making.
    Finch–Keep Ramos, turn it over to the state.
    Gomes–Keep Ramos, turn it over to the voters.
    Foster–Get rid of Ramos immediately.
    Is there really a choice as to which one is right?

    1. The one press release Gomes has put out since this debacle began said nothing about supporting Ramos. He had previously asked parents to work with the superintendent and suggested they have a voice in the budget process. Nothing there indicates support for the superintendent.

  17. Bob is spot on. Look at the people Finch has put in place as department heads. Rooney in the FD. Gaudett in the PD, Osborne in labor. I could go on and on. It’s a damn joke and the sad part is he will probably win again. The brainiac Testa followers will run to the polls and do his bidding. Just look at the few I mentioned. The FD is in the dumps and lacks leadership. The PD is worse. Barney Fife could do better job as chief. Labor relations is costing the city a fortune in contract violations. Don’t wave the white flag just yet, let’s vote this clown and his entire circus out!

  18. Gomes never said he supports Ramos, everyone knows Finch dirty-dealt Ramos with 1522. Don’t put words in his mouth.
    And everyone here knows MJ does not appeal to the majority of Bpt who cannot relate to a rich white woman. Why else did she reach for her new manager? Gomes has a proffesional campaign manager who worked with Obama. I love MJ and what she is doing. She can’t win without Gomes in Bpt … Maybe in Ffld she could.

  19. Now that Chosen 1 is the new Carol Curry and unofficial spokesperson for the Gomes campaign, is John Gomes calling for the resignation or termination of Superintendent Ramos?

    “In the wake of the budget crisis and subsequent state action, some are calling for Ramos to resign as well. Ramos said he wants to stay.”

    What say ye, Mr. Gomes?

    1. Grin Reaper // Jul 8, 2011 at 9:57
      To your posting

      I hope you are not as a habit so wrong with your statements. Everyone knows there is no “new Carol Curry.”
      Everyone also knows my name is Carolanne Curry.
      Perhaps you didn’t notice.
      And I know you are keeping count of the number of unofficial spokespersons for MJF on OIB.
      And I know also you know the enjoyment of that status for yourself as well … as is your choice in this great city of Bridgeport.
      So chill Grin, and let us all be who we want to be as spokespersons.
      It is good for the digestion …

        1. Anyone with half a brain thinks Ramos should go but calling for his resignation when he is not going to resign and apparently has the support of the state at this time is just blowing off steam. The only way to get rid of Ramos is to get rid of Finch. Hopefully the next mayor can make a successful appeal to the new board for his ouster.

  20. And where does this come from oh Chosen 1?

    “And everyone here knows MJ does not appeal to the majority of Bpt who cannot relate to a rich white woman. Why else did she reach for her new manager?”

    When all else fails turn to racism? Seems like the Gomes campaign feels it is gutter time.

      1. tc,
        You, I and MJ know the voters Gomes reaches are NOT getting polled and the questions asked are slanted towards who paid for the poll.
        That said, I again hope they merge and make the strongest team this city has seen.

  21. Or maybe it’s just sexism.
    Bill Finch is white.
    The majority of Bridgeport turned to Bill Finch four years ago.
    Maybe the Chosen 1 believes a woman’s job is still in the kitchen.

  22. Again putting words in someone’s mouth.

    I am not for Gomes, I am not for MJ, I am a parent and taxpayer for change. I am a realist
    MJ as a white woman is the minority.
    Gomes reflects the Bpt population.
    I am for the two getting together so we don’t get Finch back.

  23. And in closing, Reaper
    You are no better than Finch and his cronies. If I don’t agree with you, you cry race card or attack me. Maybe you are Adam Wood? My opinion is mine with no agenda like you have. My agenda is change or Finch, I choose change which is MJ and Gomes … TOGETHER.

  24. Chosen 1–
    Gomes is a nice enough guy (although according to many, he has some anger mgmt issues to work on) … but more importantly … just because he knows the inner workings having been in CitiStat doesn’t mean he can LEAD. He’s too deep in the details to LEAD. You need someone who is a visionary and understands where they want to take the city to LEAD Bridgeport.

    Gomes would be a great high-level dept head. He has what it takes to fix the day-to-day problems–not what it takes to command the respect of voters, potential investors, other government leaders (gov, congressional delegation, etc).

    Maybe Gomes will be a great mayor some day–but now is not his time. Doesn’t matter what color your skin is–it’s whether you’re ready to do the job. And he definitely is not ready.

  25. Chosen 1,
    How you describe someone sets you up for criticism if that is all you offer in evidence. If you use white, black or green as a descriptor in a given instance it is reasonable to assume you think that is important to the point you are making. If you say woman or man (when the audience already can usually figure that out by the name reference), then again it is reasonable to assume sexual identity may be important to your point. And when you use the term ‘rich,’ or someone else talks about a 10,000 square foot home, does that mean you are suggesting the opposite for an electoral candidate as in ‘poor’ or homeless?

    These terms in any case are only part of a broad spectrum or relative measurements. I would look for what someone has been doing and is willing to continue to do with their TIME. This is life’s truly most precious commodity. No one has a lease on life or is guaranteed more than a few moments of consciousness in the event of trauma.

    Chosen 1, you are free to hold your own opinion. No question. For it to become helpful to others (rather than just personal self-tribute), and more importantly, persuasive, it is good to listen and discuss, question and respond. It gets to be fun for many. You learn something. So do others. And the community is stronger. One thing observed in the BOE discussions (as well as in City Council activity) is that the real talk goes on outside public view, and that is harmful ultimately to the body politic.

    Last word today: Putting MJF and Gomes together is different from them finding their own reasons to partner/collaborate/ride the same bandwagon if they ever are to do so. Time will tell who needs whom, or what is missing, if anything, from a most effective candidacy. When issues keep popping up as they are this year, as rapidly as drenching summer thunder and lightning storms: public safety incidents, Board of Education surrender to State, City unbalanced budgets, City suits on employment issues, unfair dealings on labor negotiations, and daily, more, it gives each campaign as well as the voters lots to think about.

    Soon we will be learning about positions and priorities with more depth I suspect. Whatever … there is so much in the City to address, unfortunately, citizens will have to look at what 2-3 things are most important to them.

    When the votes are in after the primary, unless Mayor Finch has a startling % majority, I expect there is the time for serious discussions as you suggest if necessary. Grasping the importance of the above issues is more important for each of us and figuring out what effective approaches for the City going forward are more relevant than arranging shotgun marriages at this time. Mary-Jane and John, Charlie and Jeff can use all the time, energy, assistance (and maybe even some money) you have to put behind what you are saying. Candidates need support. Find the ONE at this moment who can carry your banner and work for them. If ANYONE BUT FINCH is your mantra, find a reason to support one of the four and work it.

    1. BEACON2,
      “When the votes are in after the primary” it will be too late. Any alliances must be formed two weeks before the primary to inform all of their supporters. As it stands right now the anti-Finch vote will be divided among a field of 5 or 6 candidates. The DTC will gain an easy victory with their well-oiled machine & the treacherous union. If Ganim comes into the race as a spoiler, Finch is guaranteed to win. Now is the time for a sit-down.

  26. Beacon,
    Your opinion is respected and appreciated. My thinking is they cover the best of all worlds together, but with the makeup of this city … MJ needs JG to defeat evil.
    The city breaks down to what it is … not many rich white people outside of Black Rock or Brooklawn … it is what it is.
    As far as anger issues MJ, I just met Gomes for the first time at the parent’s meeting … he was there. I know Finch has a temper, Gomes I can’t say.

  27. With all banter aside, there have been some quite meaningful expressions since the state takeover announcement. Some, regrettably, take longer to express and exponentially longer to discern and comprehend.

    The end result is this. The Bridgeport Public Schools will be far better off under state guidance for the simple reason that the current leadership is hopelessly inept, self agendized, and completely unwilling to moderate resources in order that the greatest contributions are to academic development in each and every student.

    Windham reports good results thus far. The people of Windham were as outraged as some in Bridgeport when their announcement of state takeover was made. Now they have embraced the concept and are cooperating to remove obstacles to student achievement. We can expect the same because there is no connection to Mario Testa, Paul Timpanelli, Bill Finch nor any of the other cheap-shoe politicians who have created this mess.

    I am of a family of educators with great individual career achievement amongst us. I respect and admire my family for what they have done with their academic careers and for their individual philosophies for attaining success within each of their students.They all think this is the right way to go.

    The state has broken up the goombah network that robs us of a quality education for our children. Our precious resources will be directed by people with no skin in the game towards people who will provide value for the money received. Students can expect proper tools and supplies; teachers can expect an environment whereby focus is on real achievement. We taxpayers won’t be getting a break on education dollars, but for this brief shinning moment, we can be assured these dollars are properly spent.

    To those who are about to be disenfranchised by these takeover events … three words.

  28. Got a question for John Gomes, candidate for Bridgeport mayor? Next Tuesday he will appear on television and can answer your questions.

    “Bridgeport Now” Tuesday July 12th at 8pm (ch 88 and streaming on He will be on from 8pm to 8:40pm.

    Note: for call-in questions and comments, callers will not speak live on air, but rather we will repeat the questions from callers. This will prevent pranks and inappropriate calls.

    1. Bridgeport Now,
      No need to call in. Here is the question.
      Does John Gomes believe Superintendent Ramos should resign effective immediately or otherwise be terminated?

  29. *** Many want change, but once it comes others complain about the political ramifications behind the change, no? Change can be good or it can be bad; especially if the state’s chosen few are puppets of the system as was the case in point. Only time will tell if the more things change the more they’ll stay the same! *** PLACE YOUR BETS ***

  30. Where is Ernest “T” on the matter of the state takeover of the BOE? He’s an educator. This should be at the top of his platform if he is stupid enough to run for office.

  31. This is rank speculation, but since no one has brought it up, I believe you may find the mainstream black community is in favor of a state takeover of schools.

    Initial OIB polling may show the community at large in the black community probably as puzzled or upset as the rest of town, but the quiet leaders have not been happy with educational developments forever.

    You can argue about family responsibilities, but the results suck with many black kids. From the results standpoint, maybe the mayor was able to line up something close to a sign-off from some people with the understanding no one will go out and proclaim the mayor the greatest guy since, err, Moses.

    Like I said, this is rank spec. I guess I was wondering why Ernie was so quiet too. I’m guessing things are so stirred up Mr. Newton has decided it is not a good time to play.

    Yo, Ernie! Love ya, man.

    1. There are some lessons to be learned from this:


      The Hartford BOE was a contentious bunch, too many members with competing agendas. That’s what happens with elected positions. It all becomes politicized. I remember the rancor of the Hartford situation. The BOE would scout for a candidate to fill the superintendent’s position. After sorting through the resumes they’d seize on one and say “We got one, we got one!” Then there’d be a press conference to announce “This is the candidate to put the school system back on track!” The new superintendent would hold on to the job for six months or a year and then leave for greener pastures. The competing agendas and entrenched interests were too much to deal with.

      This is eerily similar to the Bridgeport situation. Only difference is that John Ramos, through contractual clauses and political maneuvering, has been able to hold onto his $200,000.00-a-year job. I say buy out the remainder of his contract, let him keep his pension, drop him off at the bus terminal and say “Take the bus, John. The seating is more comfortable than the rail we originally planned to use.”

      Interesting to note none of Bridgeport’s legislative delegation has spoken up about this.

  32. Andres Ayala needs to have a salad once in a while. I’ve seen him scarf down countless calories at the diner on lower Main Street. Appearance is an important part of perspective with politicians and he certainly needs a better appearance.

  33. Jim Callahan, I agree with your speculation, “I believe you may find the mainstream black community is in favor of a state takeover of schools.” That feeling has been there for years but the black community put their trust in the would-be new mayor Bill Finch, when he said there would be a $600 rebate. Some of them believed he would be open and do something positive about the school system. Well as we all see there was nothing open about letting the State take over the BOE and we all are still waiting for that $600 rebate.

    Jim, you also said, “maybe the mayor was able to line up something close to a sign-off from some people with the understanding no one will go out and proclaim the mayor the greatest guy since, err, Moses.” Well Jim, that’s just like in the movie Casablanca when Captain Louis Renault (Claude Rains) said, “Round up the usual suspects.” That’s probably what Mayor Finch did with a few blacks.

    1. Ron,
      Bill Finch and the rest of the calamari-eaters have been able to maintain their hold on City Hall by exploiting the ignorance of the communities that make up the city of Bridgeport. The ethnic makeup of the communities has nothing to do with it. Ignorance and stupidity are universal. The $600.00 tax rebate was a ploy. In a city with high unemployment, desperation is the order of the day. Six yards of cold hard cash was a carrot on the stick.

      1. The Bridgeport Kid, you said, “The ethnic makeup of the communities has nothing to do with it.” Well it has a lot to do with it, the Bridgeport school system is over 80% black and Latino students and this is Bridgeport’s future.

        You are correct about, “Bill Finch and the rest of the calamari-eaters have been able to maintain their hold on City Hall by exploiting the ignorance of the communities that make up the city of Bridgeport.” Let’s not push race to the side.

  34. It’s no wonder Ramos and Birdman got together on this idea, they’re not playing politics with the kids of the city, but with the voters. When the state closes Dunbar and Roosevelt, and then lays off teachers, staff and city support workers, those two will say they are blameless, “the state did it.”
    Those two schools may only be the beginning of the purge in the state’s name. GET RID OF ramos AND finch!!! Find someone who can lead this city and the citizens out of this mess.
    (yes I know proper names should be capitalized)

  35. No silver bullets necessary here. Ramos can be dispatched with money. Just buy out his contract. Voting for ANYONE BUT FINCH on September 13th is the best way to refute the Book of The Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee According to Mario. His leadership has only benefited the few, not the people of the city of Bridgeport.


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