photo from flickr.com, attributed to urban compass
I was hopefully optimistic that the new year would mark a new beginning for the Hartford City Council under the leadership of its new president, Council President Pedro Segarra. As of today I am convinced the tide is turning.
After spending two years watching the previous Council President seemingly taking enjoyment in shutting down public comment at Council meetings, President Segarra has done a complete 180 degree turn.
Ex-President Torres used to use a ridiculous "stop light" contraption to time members of the public. Once the three minutes on the "stop light" expired and the light turned red, he'd bang the gavel and cut the speaker off.
As I mentioned in a previous post a couple weeks ago, at Council President Segarra's first meeting as President, the light was gone and not one person was gaveled down as they spoke. A very positive sign that things might be changing.
Then in today's mail I received a great letter from Council President Segarra. The letter is below for your viewing. A couple personal comments by President Segarra were made in the letter thanking me for my efforts, but I have also been told that the letters are going to be common practice during Council President Segarra's tenure.
Apparently President Segarra realizes the importance of acknowledging those that take the time to attend council meetings and express their concerns. Segarra also mentioned to me that he intends to keep speakers updated on the issues they raise by sending follow up letters regarding specific issues raised.
Hopefully this will motivate more people to attend council meetings as they realize that as of January 1, 2010 they are actually being listened to and their concerns are being addressed.
If justice prevails, I can only hope that Council President Segarra assumes the new title of Mayor in the not too distant future and continues to breathe fresh air into Hartford City Hall. It is definitely good to see some level of respect returning to Hartford City Hall. Please keep it going President Segarra.
Only until January of 2012 though, after that I have another suggestion for Mayor. Besides, after cleaning out that mess you'll probably be ready for a long rest.
PRESIDENT SEGARRA'S LETTER
Pres Segarra Letter