Live Blog: School Board Meeting On Paladino Conduct
3:36 p.m. That concludes our blog. Feel free to send me any questions on Twitter @RyanTWCNews. Watch this evening for extended coverage.
3:33 p.m. Vote just concluded. Six members vote in favor of the resolution. Two vote against. Paladino is absent.
3:31 p.m. Nevergold said she has heard from people all over the country who are “incredulous” that a sitting board member would express the sentiments that Paladino did. She said they would like her to tell him, “You’re fired.”
Nevergold uses Donald Trump’s catch phrase but said those are not her words. Paladino, of course, was the honorary co-chair of Trump’s New York campaign.
3:29 p.m. “Words matter, Mr. Paladino. This community has been rocked,” Board President Barbara Seals Nevergold said.
She explains why she believes Carl Paladino should resign from the board.
3:26 p.m. Hope Jay, who sponsored the resolution, offers board members Pierce and Quinn the opportunity to sign on to the resolution. Members of the audience scream out, “Remember, we vote! It’s okay to admit you’re wrong.”
3:24 p.m. Board member Jennifer Mecozzi is the first board member to speak without a prepared statement. She acknowledged it.
It’s noticeable, but the off-the-cuff style is being well-received by the crowd.
“This man is old enough to know better. We expect our children to be old enough to know better,” she said.
3:20 p.m. Now Belton-Cottman makes accusation that Paladino used his influence to buy a building for less than $1 million dollars that should’ve been worth $1.9 million. She said if he didn’t abuse his power, that money should’ve been profit for the school district.
President Nevergold attempts to interrupt Belton-Cottman but she continues, arguing she felt it needed to be said because she represents the student in the district.
3:18 p.m. Belton-Cottman is now specifically addressing Patti Pierce because she said Patti Pierce “has a good heart.” She shows Pierce and the crowd a stack of documents she said is proof of just a little bit of the negative actions Paladino has taken.
3:17 p.m. Board member Belton-Cottman said the perception Paladino can be an objective policy-maker is “irreparably damaged.”
3:15 p.m. Belton-Cottman preemptively taking on any “freedom of speech” article Paladino might make. She said the constitution does not allow someone to lie and slander.
She is now reading an email Paladino wrote yesterday in which he allegedly said “The nutcases are running the asylum and the news has nothing to say.”
In email, Paladino allegedly calls Belton-Cottman racist.
3:14 p.m. Now board member Sharon Belton-Cottman is up. She has long been Paladino’s most vocal critic on the school board.
She, like the other board members is reading a prepared statement. I expect it to be biting.
3:11 p.m. Harris-Ting continues to read written statement. She said there is widespread agreement that Paladino engages in bullying behavior toward students and adults of color.
She said there is a feeling he is allowed to bully with impunity. Harris-Tigg said with Paladino on the board, it undermines teaching and student achievement.
3:07 p.m Board member Theresa Harris-Tigg asks who are Paladino’s friends who he said his comments to Artvoice were actually intended.
“How close are his friends to our children,” she asks.
Some members of the crowd say his friends are Quinn and Pierce. With Paladino not here, they are receiving a lot of the crowd’s ire.
3:05 p.m. Harris-Tigg said she will not say Paladino’s name again. She said she will not continue to empower him.
From now on, she said she will refer to him as “Orange Cheetos.” Harris-Tigg said as recently as yesterday the African-American women on the board received an unsavory email from Paladino.
3:04 p.m. Board member Theresa Harris-Tigg said, “Today is a time for reckoning.”
3:02 p.m. Paulette Woods said, “This level of hatred for African-Americans can not and should not set policy.”
2:59 p.m. Now board member Paulette Woods is speaking. She is not as willing as the first to speakers to allow Paladino to apologize.
She said if any student had said things Paladino has said they would be suspended.
2:56 p.m. Quinn tells story about how an African-American woman helped bring him up as a child. I heard scoffs throughout the council chambers.
Quinn reinforces Pierce’s call for Paladino to address what he said to every child in Buffalo. He said he’s not making excuses for Paladino though.
2:53 p.m Paladino’s friend and ally, board member Larry Quinn calls Paladino’s comments in Artvoice “heartless” and “racist.” He said he’s having a hard time with the comments because he knows Paladino has a big heart.
2:51 p.m. Board member Patti Pierce said to ask Paladino to resign within 24 hours is “giving him a pass and he does not deserve a pass.” She is calling on Paladino to step up and apologize.
Nevergold said she did not contact Pierce about the resolution. She said the six board members who signed the resolution contacted her and they were “forceful” about what needed to happen.
At the same time, Nevergold tells Pierce she believes she is sincere about wanting to help children.
2:46 p.m. Pierce said this is an opportunity for the school district to give Paladino an opportunity for forgiveness. The crowd does not respond well to it.
On multiple occasions, President Nevergold requests they give her respect. Pierce said Buffalo should take a page from Charleston, South Carolina where relatives of those slain in a church forgave the shooter.
One person here screams at Pierce, “I don’t appreciate you using the people of South Carolina for your own gain.”
2:43 p.m. Board member Patty Pierce, a Paladino ally in the past, is now reading a prepared statement. She said just because her name isn’t on the resolution doesn’t mean she approves of what Paladino said to Artvoice.
Pierce said she hadn’t seen the resolution before today. She also said she hasn’t spoken a word to Paladino since the story broke.
2:40 p.m There is a standing ovation from the crowd as Hope Jay demands Paladino resign from the board. If you want to read the whole resolution, it’s here.
2:36 p.m. The board typically requires 48 hours before it can act on a resolution but they just voted to waive the rules. Board member Hope Jay is introducing her resolution calling for Paladino to resign within the next 24 hours. She is reading his answers to Artvoice outlaid to audible groans.
2:32 p.m. The meeting has just been called to order. The board accepted the Buffalo Common Council’s invitation to hold it in council chambers, a larger venue. The entire room is full. Board President Barbara Seals Nevergold begins by explaining that public comment will not be allowed.
2:25 p.m. The Buffalo Public School Board is meeting today to discuss the recent conduct of board member Carl Paladino. Alternative Buffalo newspaper Artvoice recently published derogatory and racially charged comments made by Paladino for an annual survey, about President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
Six of the boards nine members have signed on to a resolution calling for Paladino’s immediate resignation. They plan to introduce the resolution at today’s special meeting and discuss potential legal action if he refuses to step down.
Paladino said he does not plan to attend the meeting. We will continue to provide live updates here on New York State of Politics.
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