23 members of the Board of Alders met at City Hall Wednesday night to approve Mayor Toni Harp’s appointment of Frank Redente to the Board of Education and address other administrative concerns.
Redente is currently the operations director for Farnam Community, an organization that offers preschool and after school programs to Elm City children. According to the New Haven Register, Redente will take the place of current BOE member Michael Nast, whose term expired last month.
The appointment comes at a turbulent period for New Haven public education. On Sept. 27, at the conclusion of a tense meeting of the BOE, the former New Haven Public Schools Superintendent Garth Harries ’95 stepped down from his position. Additionally, the BOE has come under fire by residentsin recent months for perceived poor performance, and critics have said that the BOE’s recent activity has been disjointed, chaotic and unprofessional.
“I feel like there’s a disconnect between the Board of Education, and the City of New Haven and its residents,” a New Haven resident said at the Sept. 27 BOE meeting.
The alders also voted on Wednesday night to approve a payment of $2,500 for the training of a new police dog, which are used primarily to aid in conducting patrols and to detect hidden narcotics and explosives, according to the website of the National Police Dog Foundation.
The approval of this payment comes two weeks after New Haven residents protesting police brutality interrupted a Board of Alders meeting on the police dogs. The protesters camped out in the Aldermanic Chambers at City Hall for over an hour, bringing the meeting’s progress to a standstill. Residents chose to protest the alleged assault of Holly Tucker, a New Haven resident and daughter of prominent community leader Barbara Fair.
The Board also approved a grant of $641,773 from the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch to aid city government’s efforts to reduce youth crime in the Elm City. An official statement from the Board said $341,000 will be given to non-profit agencies specializing in this issue and that the rest will be sent to government agencies.
At the end of the meeting, alders allotted some time to making general announcements. Ward 12 Alder Gerald Antunes reminded those present in the hall that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. He urged his fellow alders and Elm City residents watching the meeting, of which there were about 30, to keep those battling breast cancer in mind and to remember that breast cancer can affect both men and women.
Ward 20 Alder Delphine Clyburn and Ward 22 Alder Jeanette Morrison spoke about upcoming activities in their communities, including a Black and Hispanic Caucus Gala.
The Board of Alders meets every other week throughout the year.