* Paladino’s Bullying & Vitriol Poison the Public Arena and Make Progress Impossible *
Just in case Carl Paladino is deluding himself and thinks that it’s only African American clergypersons who wish that he would resign from Buffalo’s board of education, I have news for him. THIS ITALIAN-AMERICAN LAWYER FEELS THE SAME WAY.
The good people of the “Park District” gave the erratic developer nearly 80% of the vote in March 2013 and elected him to the City of Buffalo’s School Board. What were they thinking? The responsibilities of a board of education member is serious business, not “reality TV.”
Mr. Paladino’s antics three years earlier – during his unsuccessful bid for New York State governor – were embarrassing and disheartening to anyone who values civil discourse and rational behavior from its public servants. The last thing that Buffalo’s public school students needed was the hostility and dictatorial personality that Carl would bring to the already-charged board of education table.
Carl’s latest demand – that interim Superintendent Donald A. Ogilvie be fired immediately – is merely the latest example in an endless stream of ill-conceived and unnecessary confrontations by the board of education’s Park District representative. Whether he is threatening a civil rights expert to “get out of the way,” or berating school board members or employees who disagree with his proposals, Mr. Paladino appears to lack an internal thermostat to regulate his words and actions. While he might “thrive on confrontation,” a board of education does not.
Of course, no one should be surprised by Carl Paladino’s ill-tempered, immature, and inappropriate behavior. Who can forget Paladino’s scuffle with a New York Post reporter, Fredric U. Dicker, during his 2010 gubernatorial campaign, and the accompanying threat, “I’ll take you out”? Or the fact that “impulsive” Carl gave the same columnist “the finger” while passing him in the State Capitol building a couple years later? And, of course, there’s Mr. Paladino’s admission back in 2010 that he had forwarded to a group of friends emails described as “pornographic and racially degrading.”
This is not the type of behavior that elected school board members owe to their constituents, especially the school district’s children.
Unless the inconceivable happens and Carl Paladino resigns his seat, we can only hope that Buffalo’s school board will overcome Mr. Paladino’s presence the next 15 months [his current term ends on June 30, 2016], and that the voters in the “Park District” will recognize that the City of Buffalo’s children will be best served if Carl Paladino were not a member of the Buffalo board of education.
With All Due Respect,