Search This Blog

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I guess that is what some are thinking because I haven't sunk my teeth into the Segarra Administration as I had with the previous Perez Administration. So far my posts have been relatively positive regarding Mayor Segarra's first few weeks in office.

A couple of comments today somewhat aggravated me suggesting I was giving Mayor Segarra a free pass and that a transfer of Sixto Lazu from the Mayor's Office to a permanent civil service position was ripe with cronyism.But if nothing else, that's one of the things I like about the blog and the comments is that I can hear the other side of issues and respond. Many bloggers don't allow comments, especially anonymous comments, but if I can't defend my position or if I realize I am wrong, I'll say that.

Here's what "Don" thought in his comment:

"The interviews and the final decision seem to have been made without any influence from the Mayor."

Yeah, whatever.

We've been told about new hirings for the Police, Fire and even Parks. I don't recall seeing a posting for a position at the Town Clerks office.

How many people did the town clerk interview? Who were the final candidates? Are there more openings? What is his starting salary?

The Mayor has already stated that he will not be here more than the 18 months remaining in the term. This smells of someone taking care of an ally.

Also, is this person related to Edward Lazu?

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

July 28, 2010 1:36 PM

I posted my response also in the comments section, but I need more space to vent, I mean explain.

I'll be the first to say that if I was a first time reader of the blog, I'd think that the postings were overly favorable of Mayor Segarra since he took over. I like to think that my blog is guiding the actions of the new Mayor. I would hope that his first order of business each morning is to read my blog and see what suggestions I have for him and if I approved of his work for the previous day. I'd like to think that.

Unfortunately I know that isn't true. If it were, Sarah Barr would be on the unemployment line, followed by Lillian Ruiz, Erick Jackson, Lydia Rosario and a few others. Chief Roberts would have a new contract, Dan Nolan would be back to work and Matt Secore would once again be walking a beat after signing an agreement to be satisfied with getting his job back less the 90 day suspension ordered by the Labor Board.

With that being said, most people would have to admit that our former Mayor, now convicted felon, Eddie A. Perez lowered the performance bar so low that anything Mayor Segarra does will make him look good. But I think that in the first couple weeks he has taken the challenge of inheriting a corrupt, and what many considered a racketeering operation, and attempting to rebuild and restore confidence in Hartford.

For some reason this blog has developed a reputation as being fair and honest. I have had people call me and apologize because they just assumed I would be all one sided and then they read the blog and realized I actually go out of my way to try to be fair.

I would hope that those that see me as a "mouthpiece" for Mayor Segarra, and even Mayor Segarra if he actually reads the blog, will realize that. Right now I think Mayor Segarra is in the honeymoon period from a shotgun wedding. Does he need to remove more people from City Hall that are holdovers from a corrupt administration? Absolutely. Am I happy with the speed that he has moved so far? No, definitely not, but I'm not the Mayor.

Does that mean a month or two from now that I will still be so supportive of Mayor Segarra if Perez kool-aid drinkers are still lingering in City Hall. Probably not, I think that every day people like Sarah Barr (sorry Sarah but you know the respect level for you is zero)are still wandering around City Hall undermines any rebuilding of Hartford's image.

Most people never trusted Sarah Barr when she was spouting the "Gospel of Perez" and to see her anywhere near Mayor Segarra she spreads her stain onto the Segarra Administration. I know the Mayor can not remove everyone immediately, it would be a very lonely place if all of the Perez cronies and puppets were gone, all those empty desks. I also think that the Mayor realizes that everyday some of the Perez holdouts are allowed into City Hall the efforts to undermine his turnaround continue.

I do think it is important that we give Segarra some leeway for a short time to see what he does. We tolerated a Mayor that we knew was corrupt and potentially a criminal for several years. Am I willing to tone it down for a couple months to see what Mayor Segarra does? Absolutely, so far the indications are that he is moving in the right direction.

Back to Lazu now. As with Eddie Perez, it got to the point that even if he did something that could be seen as positive for Hartford, he was suspect because of his reputation. He could have walked across the Connecticut River and people would have thought there was fraud involved. Unfortunately that cloud hasn't completely lifted and the suspicions continue.

Look at the facts though. Sixto Lazu has been loyal and made Mayor Segarra look good as a Councilperson through his organization skills and the things he did everyday behind the scenes to keep Councilman Segarra on top of things. In transitioning to the Mayor's Office, Sixto Lazu was the one person Mayor Segarra was very familiar with and who Segarra could count on to "have his back". Segarra was entering a den full of wolves loyal to a corrupt Mayor, who would eat the new Mayor alive if they could.

Does it make sense to anyone that Segarra would pull strings to get a job outside of his office for the one person he knew was loyal? Maybe 15 months from now as he prepared to leave office to make way for a newly elected Mayor, but not now as he needs people around him who have his back.

And it is not that I "focus" on Torres or Winch. If I should hear of the Mayor taking any trips such as the jaunt to San Antonio that Councilwoman Winch took and billed to a city that is one step away from bankruptcy, I'll make sure to post it. In case yo don't remember, it's the trip that she "forgot" how much it cost until I posted all the vouchers here. Somehow I doubt Mayor Segarra will repeat her stunts.

And read back a week or two about Hector Robles. I took a lot of heat on that because Hector is actually a friend of mine, with comments like "with friends like you who needs enemies". But in the end it is the truth and that will most likely become quite evident in the not too distant future. So not even friends skate, and a new Mayor won't either. But keep the comments coming.


Matt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Kevin, you are far from being a mouthpiece. But at some point you have to admit that your drive is run by your bias. If it was Eddie's person who got a job somewhere, you would FOI God to get the info on how that happened. But in this case, everything "seems" ok because the man Lazu is a good guy and also because he watched Pedro's back and made him look good. Solid credentials by the way.

You never answered "Don's" original questions about whether there was a number of candidates or how much the job pays which leads me to think that you haven't bothered. Why haven't you bothered? Maybe because you're picking your battles and this one isn't worth it. Maybe you'll grant the new administration a honeymoon period from your wrath like.

Whatever the reason, it doesn't matter.

But for those of us who don't trust any of those politicians up there, when we see a convenient promotion such as this happen it just stinks.

Bruce Rubenstein said...

It is fine to distrust ALL politicians and it is smart to keep focused on what city hall does.However, until I here more on the hiring that might be in variance with what Kevin has already said...I believe Kevin.

Sixto seems to me to be very friendly and competant...if he transferred from within,for a job with better pay, i have no problem with it assuming there was a fair process and assuming that Sixto meets the credentials for this new job.

DiDi said...


You are absolutely correct to presume the best from Mayor Segarro until he proves himself otherwise, and hopefully he never will.


Of course I'm driven by my bias.

Do you think I do this for my health? Read my escapades for the last month and you'll see that's not the case.

Rich Wareing said...

My own experiences wtih Sixto are limited, but very positive and I can't recall ever hearing a bad word said about him (unlike me, or about 1/2 the people that post to this blog, for that matter). He clearly understands how the council functions, which will hold him in good stead in his new position and having a good relationship with the Mayor can only help expedite Council business. It is also aboslutely unfair to attack him because of his brother absent any evidence that they are peas in a pod.

Was it a "political" appointment? Of course. He was hired by the Clerk, who serves at the pleasure of the Council, to do work relating to the Council that sometimes involves the Mayor's Office. It doesn't get much more "political" than that. Does that mean it was wrong or unfair, in and of itself? No. You have to look at the person - in this case a capable, respected employee - and the position - a job he can do and by all accounts (seeing how many people the clerk's office has lost in the last few years) a job that needs to be done.

What would have been "political" and wrong would have been to let Sixto leave the City (taking his knowledge and experience with him) and then hire the relative of an important person for the job even though that person has no experience and perhaps not even the right qualifications. There are examples of this in City Hall about which one could complain, if one cared to look.

Bruce is right, it is good to cast a suspicious eye at City Hall both as a general matter and especially in light of recent events, but let's also not succumb to the sort of all or nothing paranoia that helped sink the Perez administration.

As for Kevin's objectivity, I don't know too many people in Hartford politics who would have posted about a friend what Kevin posted about Hector. Even if you think he is going light on John Bazanno and the Mayor over Sixto, I think Kevin is owed the benefit of a lot of doubts before you can fairly say he is a mouthpiece.

Anonymous said...

As mentioned above, Kevin is anything but a mouthpiece. But let's call this what is, a political favor in the same spirit as action as before. The only difference now is that we're in love with Pedro so we won't make a big deal about it.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why EVERY job, other than elected positions, are not open to all applicants. Anyone currently in the administration who is the best person for the job will still get the job but without the smoke and mirrors dialogues we're hearing. This latest appointment is most likely above board but it's an easy slide to someone who isn't quite as well qualified but is such a nice guy .... you get the drift. Hold open applications for all available jobs and everyone should be happy.


A little clarification here. I did something today that I should have done yesterday before posting about Sixto Lazu. I spoke with John Bazzano and asked him about the process. John informed me that he interviewed eight applicants for the position and Sixto was by far and away the most qualified. The position involves cataloging Council business and moving toward putting all Council actions, minutes, resolutions, etc on line for the public's access. Bazzano stated that Sixto's previous experience will allow him to be a huge asset.

As far as money and salary, Sixto had just received a raise when he moved from the Council office to the Mayor's Office. Council aides are really underpaid for the hours they work and the responsibility they have, somewhere around $42,000.His salary will remain the same when he moves to the Clerk's office, as it is now in the Mayor's Office, somewhere around $50,000 or so.

Bazzano assured me he had zero conversation with Mayor Segarra about the appointment. Bazzano said that in fact Mayor Segarra was disappointed when he was told that Sixto was moving to the Clerk's Office because the Mayor considers Sixto an asset and didn't want to lose him at this stage in the transition.

Take it for what it is worth, I believe them.

Sarita said...

"The position involves cataloging Council business and moving toward putting all Council actions, minutes, resolutions, etc on line for the public's access."

The phrase "moving toward" is confusing to me as the town clerk's website ALREADY has all on this info online. Perhaps this is because Bazzano is still relatively new to the position as well.