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Monday, April 27, 2009


Last year I was initially critical when a curfew was imposed on city youth. I thought it was going to be a total waste of time, as well as one more burden placed on an already understaffed and over burdened police depoartment. If Hartford Police officers couldn't handle their basic calls for service, how could they now take on the additional task of baby sitting minors walking the streets?

Well, in the end I think most would agree that if nothing else, the curfew was another tool to be used by police officers to identify and move potential problem youth off of the street corners before problems occurred. It also sent a message that HPD was being proactive and addressing the violence problem on a street by street basis,

As of now I have not heard any talk or the curfew beginning this year, Wouldn't it make sense to start a curfew enforcement now, set the ground rules for the game before the bodies of young men killed in another summer of violence start piling up?


As Hartford residents and business owners prepare to attend Tuesday nights budget hearing at Bulkeley High, it seems as those lining up to feed at the pig trough we know as Hartford City Hall haven't heard the message that there is a severe economic crisis facing the City of Hartford.

Since the early days of the Perez regime,"spend,spend,spend," seems to be the mantra coming from Perez's office. Much of this spending seems to benefit political cronies and those beholding to the Gospel of Perez, Whether it is Evelyn Mantilla and her $70,000 plus job at the Health Department after her "consultant" contract expired in the Mayor's Office, Kelvin Roldan's $120,000 plus a year job at the Board of Education, our new "energy czar" at a $100,000 plus a year, the "capital improvements" director at $165,000 a year plus his luxury SUV city car, the former "capital improvements" director enjoying his $85.00 an hour "retirement" job in the Mayor's Office, and let's not forget Lew Brown, the Mayor's courthouse shadow. I could go on and on with the list of cronies rewarded for allegiance to Perez as he navigates his troubled waters, also known as an ever growing and expanding corruption investigation. And I can't forget that wonderful 311 system that everyday rewards incompetence on the part of City employees who need another layer of insulation from resident complaints. Do we really need 311 to make sure city employees are doing their jobs? Isn't that why we pay the numerous levels of supervisors, Director's, Deputy Director's, Assistant's to the Directors and Deputy Director's? If a phone is on a desk and a resident calls, is it too much to expect that employee to pick up the phone when it rings, answer it politely and deal with the caller on the other end? I guess that can only work if it is a 311 operator equipped with a special software,(software purchased in a no-bid deal from the neighbor of another political crony) locked away in a special office answering every call to a city hall phone number to justify the number of calls. It seems to me that if thousands of phone calls to 311 monthly only result in a couple of hundred actual "case numbers", the service is not needed or justified by the results. In March 2009, 8690 calls were received, but only 627 required action or a "case number. Does that mean less than 8% of the calls were necessary to be handled by 311?

Since Perez has become Mayor, his budgeted spending has increased over $125 million dollars. Many would argue that any correlation between increased spending and increased services is non-existent. Streets are in the worst shape many people have seen in years, hiring of Police Officers and increases in the number of officers promised in election years by Perez have been put on hold , crime is still a major problem, failing schools are still a major problem, job losses under Perez's tax and spend policies are a major problem, employers moving out of Hartford are a major problem and if Weaver High School is any indication, many of our schools are in deplorable condition, Where is the money going Mayor Perez?

City spending increasing in a period when every suburb around us are freezing and cutting spending, shows that Perez and his band feeding from the pig trough have no clue. Whether it's use of city vehicles, trips to Ireland at the city's expense, fruitless lawsuits and court appeals to reward John Rose's buddies, or the multitude of wasteful items of spending, it all adds up. Senseless appeals of court decisions, FOI decisions, Labor Board decisions have added,and promise to add much more, in lawsuit decisions to the city's budget .

A perfect example was handed to me this morning by a city resident who had received a mailing from Councilwoman Rosezina Winch (aka known as rJo by her followers). A letter which was in a City of Hartford envelope, on City of Hartford stationery, and according to the post office, using a City of Hartford postage meter, was sent out by Rosezina soliciting donations for an upcoming convention to be held in Hartford. The person that gave me the information questioned if this was even legal for an elected official of the City of Hartford to be using city resources to raise money for a political group. I guess that is a very valid point , we'll have to wait for an explanation from the Councilwoman. I don't suggest that anyone hold their breath waiting for that explanation to come. Another interesting point that shows the mindset of wasteful spending at City Hall though is that apparently every letter that was sent had double the postage it needed. Rather than the 42 cent stamp that the USPS said was required for the 3 page mailing, apparently every envelope had 83 cents worth of City of Hartford postage on it. I know it seems small in comparison to next years projected $40 million deficit as a result of Perez's incompetence , but it all adds up. How many mailings were sent with double the postage needed, 100? 1000? 10,000?

It just makes you wonder what shape the budget might be in if someone was actually managing the city finances, rather than trying to figure out how to keep themselves out of prison on corruption charges .

Read Rosezina's fundraising plea and see the money wasted on the postage below.

Winch Fundraiser