I have been accused of being over protective of Mayor Pedro Segarra. Some have even accused me of being a "mouthpiece" for the Mayor.
With that being said, I have to say to Mayor Segarra...WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU THINKING?
Steve Goode at the Hartford Courant and "Cityline" just posted a column regarding "Disgraced former Hartford Mayor Eddie A. Perez". You can read Steve's column by clicking here
Apparently Mayor Segarra was in attendance at the "State of the Schools" address this morning at SAND School. "Disgraced former Hartford Mayor Eddie A. Perez" was also in attendance. According to Goode's article, Mayor Segarra's comments included remarks about "Perez, who served for a time as chair of the board of education, for his dedication early reform efforts, including his effort to bring Adamwoski on board and his choice of fellow board members to support Adamowski's vision."
Mayor Segarra, no one can deny that Perez did positive things while in office. No one can deny that he has done some terrible things that have done huge damage to our City and its reputation also.
That Board of Education that you mention is also the same Board of Education that recently approved a lobbying contract for Matt Hennessey for $58,000. I have not heard any comments about that, yet praise is heaped on a Board and a Superintendent that continue to support individuals who played a key role in the corruption scandal.
To have a convicted felon parading around an elementary school and then being praised as some sort of hero is wrong. It sends a terrible message to the very students we are trying to set on the right path in life. Is doing wrong and being sentenced to prison a Hartford value? To a student viewing this fiasco it might seem that way.
This administration has made some large strides in attempting to make people feel good about our City in a short couple of months. I fully anticipate seeing a news story soon showing Mayor Segarra on a ladder rescuing a kitten from a tree. He has that personality that people want to trust and support.
On the other hand though, from the phone calls I get, people also want to hear him setting the tone that business as usual in Hartford will not be tolerated. Sending mixed messages does nothing but confuse people as to what is acceptable. I had a long conversation with Mayor Segarra about this last Saturday.
Mayor Segarra is by no means naive. He knows that City Hall is still full of Perez supporters who would like nothing more than to see him fail. Some of them are quite clearly undermining him every chance they get, and I think the Mayor knows that. The question is then, why are they still there. I fully get the concept that we can't terminate everyone, but we can't sit back and wait for those same people to finally plunge the proverbial knife with the fatal blow as they stab Mayor Segarra in the back.
I'm not going to get into specific names here because I think Mayor Segarra is fully aware of who needs to go.
Sending these mixed messages though is confusing, and in some cases the silence is also confusing. Eddie Perez is hired by a non-profit receiving major funding from the City of Hartford.....silence....nothing said. No comment from the Mayor, no comment from the Council. Former Corporation Counsel John Rose gets a job with a law firm he paid almost a half million dollars to in the last couple years.....silence....nothing said.No comment from the Mayor, no comment from the Council.
Former Chief of Staff to former Mayor Perez gets a $58,000 lobbying contract as part of a deal with the Hartford Public Schools.....silence....nothing said. No comment from the Mayor, no comment from the Council.
In my conversation Saturday with Mayor Segarra, he said that the money had already been approved for the Connecticut AIDS Resource Coalition and there was nothing they could do. I strongly disagree. A clear, unambiguous statement from the Mayor needs to set the tone. I would even be happy to allow the Mayor to "cut and paste" this into a press release, not that anyone pays any attention to press releases coming out of the Mayor's Office due to obvious reasons(speaking of backstabbing and undermining by Perez loyalists).
"The funds were already appropriated to the Connecticut AIDS Resource Coalition for this year, but as Mayor of Hartford I have to say I am extremely disappointed in the decision to hire someone who left Hartford City Hall in disgrace after his conviction on felony charges resulting from a corruption investigation. The people of Hartford deserve to know that their tax dollars are being spent responsibly by any organization receiving those funds. Although our hands are tied to do anything now, rest assured that future funding requests from any organization will be scrutinized to make sure they are being used properly and in a means beyond reproach"
That seems pretty simple, doesn't it? The tone is set, the message is clear and the residents of Hartford are getting what they expect from our Mayor.
To praise a convicted felon is wrong and sets back any progress being made. Please , lets move on and start setting a clear tone that all of the good deeds someone may have done do not erase the corruption and damage brought to the people of Hartford.
Feel free to copy this and send it to all of the Council members, they have voices also that they need to start using.