Sometimes the level of incompetence displayed by the Bridgeport’s Board of Education is truly stunning.
The board, adamant to make sure their new attorney hasn’t the slightest connection to the city, insisted at Wednesday’s Processing Committee meeting on putting a clause in their request for proposals that would bar any attorney who has ever worked for the city of Bridgeport from applying for the position of board attorney.
Let’s repeat that. The board wants to disqualify the most qualified firms, solely because they have this absurd need to consolidate power.
Think about it this way. What Bridgeport-based firms have the most experience working with public bodies? Oh, I don’t know. Maybe the ones that have actually worked for one?
I believe they will be hard pressed to find a qualified firm, large or small, who hasn’t done some kind of work for the city.
What’s truly absurd is the board’s apparent complete misunderstanding of what constitutes as a “conflict of interest.” Just because a firm worked for the city doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a conflict.
This was rightly pointed out by City Attorney Mark Anastasi, who was advising the board at Wednesday’s meeting.
Anastasi added that he thought it be in their best interest not to artificially limit the pool of applications, advising them to instead require firms to disclose any business dealings with the city.
Clearly this suggestion was far too logical, as it was quickly shot down by Howard Gardner, Processing Committee Chair, who insisted the language was not strong enough.
Not strong enough? Why are you trying to limit competition when the whole reason for the board to seek their own attorney was to cut costs?
Oh right, it’s because the board is “exploring” legal action against the city. A point which all members were careful to emphasis was only a possibility.
Sure, only a possibility… That’s why the board was so very adamant about keeping such a restrictive clause.
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