New Haven mayor elected President of Board of Ed, questions raised over possible conflict of interest

New haven mayor Toni Harp (file).

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — New Haven Mayor Toni Harp will soon be taking on a new position in the Elm City, President of the Board of Education. Harp has already been serving as a member of the board and this week was elected by her fellow members to be their official leader. All but one member voted for the mayor, the only vote not going in favor of her appointment came from Alicia Caraballo.

The New Haven Independent reports her reasoning was because, “I just feel that as mayor, first of all, she appoints board members. It seems to me that its a conflict of interest.”

New Haven’s Superintendent of Schools Garth Harries disagrees telling News 8 the mayor already has an interest in making sure the city provides a good education system.

“This is not a conflict of interest because there is no more important issue in this city than education,” said Harries.

Many it appears who live in New Haven agree with that assessment.

“If you’re already working so close with the school district, you know, you’re the mayor, you kind of know what’s going on, I could definitely see that if anything it would, you know, cut out the middle man,” said Benjamin Daley of New Haven.

But not all sold, in fact some say their downright uncomfortable with the idea.

“If she can’t take care of one job hows she gonna handle two? I don’t think so,” said Ruben Negron of New Haven.

News 8 reached out to Caraballo but has been unable to connect at this time. A spokesperson for the mayor tells us she is excited to take on the new role. Mayor Harp officially becomes the President on the October 13th, which is the next board of education meeting.

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