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Wednesday, October 28, 2009


It seems that anyone outside of City Hall realizes Hartford has some real problems, but once you enter that building something seems to happen to reality.

I keep griping about the lack of leadership at City Hall, and each week it seems to become more and more obvious. I could go back and bring up example after example, but let me just mention a couple of the most recent examples.

Back in the early summer, Reverend Henry Brown stopped by my home and we spoke one night about his frustration with gang violence and the city's response, specifically Mayor Perez's response. Rev Brown told me that he had approached the Mayor in an attempt to set up a meeting to address what Brown saw as the rising gang violence in the City. Perez's response was that Hartford didn't have a gang problem and essentially brused Reverend Brown's efforts off. Surprisingly, or maybe not so surprisingly if you take into account Perez's issues with honesty and integrity, at about the same time that Perez said we didn't have a gang problem he was supporting a Federal grant application stating that Hartford was suffering from a "gang infestation". Although I'm sure that at the time the grant application and the Police Department's Intelligence report were being prepared, Perez, and others, never thought that report would see the light of day in any public way. Only through the diligence of a couple of reporters from the Courant did the report become public. Once the report got out, the spin machine went into overdrive. We heard the Police Chief trying to educate us on "formal" gangs versus "informal" gangs, like it makes any difference. Are we supposed to feel any better if a family member is shot or robbed by a "formal" gang member instead of a less trained "informal" gang member?
The Mayor's staff also went into overdrive doing the radio talkshows, speaking a lot but saying nothing. Do five homicides in seven days still keep us in contention as a safe city? And then, one of the most ridiculous comments by our esteemed Council President/Puppet Calixto Torres, "we need to protect the image of the City". No mention of protecting the residents of the city or visitors to Hartford, just the image of Hartford. Newsflash Calixto, take care of the crime issues and the image will fall in place. Most people are getting tired of the smoke and mirrors, and it has become quite obvious that it is a false facade. The bottom line is the question that needs to be asked, and hopefully answered; was the report a fraud or was the grant application itslef a fraud? The answer seems to clearly be one or the other. The Police Department Intelligence report was misleading and contained fraudulent information or the City submitted a fraudulent application to get the $500,000 grant money knowing they didn't have a gang problem. Which was it? Luckily though the truth finally came, it was the media trying to make Hartford look bad, it was all the media's fault.

Then we get the hiring in the Registrar of Voters Office of a person guilty of voter fraud and appropriately fined by the State of Connecticut. When the Democratic Registrar of Voters Olga Vazquez was asked for a comment by the media about Prenzina Holloway being hired, her response was "how much damage can she do on the inside?". ARE YOU KIDDING ME?????????? Not even an attempt to disguise this hiring as legitimate. Maybe "she will be an asset during the election period", maybe "we need the help", maybe even "she's still suffering from that financial hardship she used to have her fines reduced so we gave her a job". Nope, none of the above just the brilliant remark "how much damage can she do on the inside". If only that Grand Jury report would be released in its entirety, we could probably answer that question much better as to "how much damage can be done on the inside?".

And finally, in less than a weeks time we have another prime example of the stellar leadership exhibited by those at the helm of the USS Hartford as we steam fullspeed ahead toward that iceberg that threatens to sink us. After layoffs of some of the lowest paid city employees, after cutbacks and concessions by the unions, furlough days imposed on most workers and tax increases imposed on struggling small businesses, we continue to hear about ridiculous spending. As I posted earlier, Mayor Perez's Chief of Staff and ten to fifteen others are in Florida this week at a trasining seminar for the City of Hartford's software system. Would it not have made more sense to fly one instructor to Hartford than it would be to fly fifteen individuals to the instructor, paying their airfare, hotel, meals and who knows what else? It would be interesting to note how many of those individuals in Florida for "training" would readily agree to sit in three days of classes at City Hall for the same purpose. I'm sure several of them would find a reason not to attend the training if it didn't include airfare to Florida and a hotel stay in Orlando.

I spoke to someone that attended a dinner in Stamford last week as part of the "Save Chris Dodd's Job Tour" by President Obama. The person told me that they sat at a table and the topic of conversation turned to politics in Hartford. What about that corrupt Mayor of yours, what about the mess that Hartford is, what about those gangs, what about that crime, why has Hartford become such a joke? I felt bad for the person that was attending a fundraiser, only to hear such negative comments. And the person that relayed this to me is one of the good people that cares about the future of Hartford. If only our Councilmembers and Mayor would listen to these comments and realize they have made a joke, a very sad, sad joke, of a once very proud and prosperous City.

Why is it that everyone on the outside of City Hall gets it?


Earlier this week I posted about the latest political crony and Perez puppet to be added to the City of Hartford payroll. Today Helen Ubinas from the Courant posted a comment on her blog at about the Democratic Registrar of Voters Olga Vazquez's comment about the hiring. In light of Prenzina Holloway's actions in 2005 resulting in charges of voter fraud and subsequent fines imposed by the State, Vazquez commented "how much damage can she do inside?"

Look at Helen's blog for the answer to that question, and be sure to click on the link at the last sentence for the real answer. click on "Are you?"

click here to go to Helen's blog



Apparently those in the Mayor's Office at City Hall would answer yes to the above question.

As Hartford faces one of the toughest financial years in its history, Perez Chief of Staff Susan McMullen and at least 12 other city staffers have jetted to Florida for "off site training". From what several sources are telling me, McMullen along with Budget Director Rick Galarza, Tax Collector Marc Nelson, MHIS Director Eric Jackson, Deputy Finance Director Christian Johnson and others are spending several days in Florida, all expenses paid by the taxpayers of the City of Hartford. The "off site training" is apparently regarding the "Munis" software, Hartford's in house software program. The entourage flew to Orlando on Sunday and is staying at the Gaylord Palms Hotel , pictured above. The cost for the classes are listed as $624.00 per person. No total cost estimates for the trips are available at this time, but early estimates are that it would most likely cover the salary of at least one of the employees Perez laid off to balance the budget.

Hopefully Hartford's unions will consider more givebacks in the near future so that McMullen can take a winter vacation at the expense of Hartford taxpayers also . For anyone wishing to welcome the entourage back, they arrive at Bradley at 8PM tonight on Southwest Airlines

Monday, October 26, 2009


Well, one of the items on the Hartford City Council Agenda tonight is an appropriation of additional funds for the Registrar of Voter's Office. Apparently they can't manage the budget with the allocation provided to them at budget time in July. Surprisingly, one of the items that is helping to drive them over budget is the hiring of Democratic Town Committee operative Prenzina Holloway as a "consultant" for 40 hours a week. Yes, that Prenzina Holloway, mother of Councilwoman Rosezina "rJo" Winch, and the same Prenzina Holloway that was found guilty of voter fraud by the State of Connecticut Election's Enforcement Commission and fined $10,000. In July of 2005 Holloway was found to have been illegally in possession of absentee ballots and had signed the name of another person to an absentee ballot application, according to the Elections Enforcement Commissions website. Holloway was fined $10,000 by the EEC. That fine was subsequently reduced to $2,000 when Holloway claimed "financial hardship", at or about the same time she purchased an H2 Hummer. So much for the financial hardship.

And to prove the old adage that "politics makes strange bedfellows", the same person that filed the complaint resulting in the charges and fines against Holloway is now the same person that hired Holloway, Democratic Registrar of Voters Olga Vazquez-Aviles. ALthough I guess this is part of the "quid-pro-quo" we keep hearing about in Hartford politics. Holloway was the swing vote who eventually jumped up during the Democratic nominating convention and changed her vote to the Olga Vazquez-Avila camp, resulting in the eventual ouster of Shirley Surgeon as Democratic Registrar.

And we wonder why Hartford is stuck in corruption and political patronage.