Audit of Bridgeport City/BOE Merger Reveals Half A Million in Taxpayer Savings

Long time readers of the blog may remember former Board Chair Sauda Baraka’s crusade to dismantle the district’s facilities and security managerial merger with the city – a feat she would have accomplished if it weren’t for the overwhelming public support of the merger.

As it turns out, even the paid consultants that Baraka insisted on hiring to audit the merger found it saves city taxpayers over $541,000 a year.

To refresh everyone’s memory, back in 2012 the district merged the management of BOE Facilities and Operations with the City’s Department of Public Facilities. School security was also put under the command of the Bridgeport Police Department in an attempt to streamline services.

Despite the fact that the merger has been successful by almost every measure possible, it came under attack last year when Baraka and her buddies gained control of the BOE.

You see, once in power Baraka was determined to dismantle anything and everything put into place by Paul Vallas, regardless of merit – which is exactly why she spearheaded the push to have the district pay an independent consultant $12,500 to audit the merger. 

Funny thing is: Independent audits don’t always produce the results you want them to.

The audit, released at Monday’s Buildings and Operations Committee meeting, recommended that the district continue with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), finding that not only did it save the city money, but it also “significantly” improved security services.

While there were quite a few recommendations, most having to do with improving communications and formalizing the agreement, overall the report found that the merger had positive results, including improved training for School Resource and Security Officers.

Shocking no one, Baraka’s response to what should be good news was to question the audit’s validity.

The BOE’s Buildings and Operations Committee, which Baraka is not a member of, voted unanimously to approve the recommendations outlined in report. The report will go to the full board for a vote, though it’s likely to be more contentious.



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