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Wednesday, November 24, 2010


That seems to be the stance that has been taken by Hartford's Mayor Pedro Segarra as to his mayoral run.

Initially it was no, definitely not when he assumed the Mayor's Office in July.

Since becoming Mayor he has been evasive as to whether he would run for a full term or not. This past Sunday on Face the State he still wouldn't commit. He stated he "had taken out the papers" for a possible run but he was still considering it. Then a few hours after the program aired, the Hartford Courant announced that Segarra was running for a full term.

Although I might agree that as of right now the Office of the Mayor is Segarra's for the taking, it seems like the honeymoon period after his shotgun wedding that put him in as Mayor might be quickly ending.And just my thought here, the comments that Mayor Segarra is waiting for someone qualified to step forward and no one has yet is reminiscent of the Perez ego when he appointed himself to the Board of Education because "no one else was qualified".

The people that call me and those that follow City Hall have a great concern for the Mayor's sudden case of laryngitis when it comes to speaking out about the continuing corruption in Hartford. Specific examples are the hiring of former Mayor and now convicted felon Eddie Perez by a non-profit receiving major funding from Hartford's taxpayers, the lobbying contract to Matt Hennessey funded through the Hartford School system and John Rose landing at a law firm that he paid almost a half a million dollars to while he was Corporation Counsel.

And quite a few people are very disappointed that the Mayor has not addressed the air of corruption that permeates the Council Chambers. During the period of the Perez Grand Jury and eventual conviction, Segarra was someone that seemed to still be able to bring integrity and honesty to the Council. Segarra was able to ask tough questions when they needed to be asked and he was also able to avoid the distractions of the corrupt Perez Administration and focus on the business of Hartford, especially during tough, borderline disastrous, budget times.

By luck for the people of Hartford, Segarra was able to persevere and attain the position of Council President. I think this was partially due to his sense of fairness but also in great part because he was able to focus on getting the job done without the grandstanding we see frequently on the part of the Council. I honestly shudder to think where we would be now and where we would be headed if someone else besides Segarra had become Council President and eventually became Mayor.

Mayor Segarra made a couple of quick decisions when he first took office. Although I commend him on those moves, in all honesty they were no brainers. John Rose, Susan McMullen and Lillian Ruiz shouldn't have been tough decisions for anyone attempting a clean sweep of City Hall. It seems as though one of the other crooks at City Hall must have stolen the Mayor's broom though because the housekeeping suddenly stopped.

I have had conversations with the Mayor about others at City Hall that should be shown the door, but in respect to him, those were private conversations and I respect the Mayor as someone I consider a friend and he shouldn't have to differentiate between our talks as friendly conversation or fodder for a blog, so I'll draw the line there.

But, more importantly, the people that I am speaking with seem to share a lot of my thoughts.

Whoever becomes Hartford's next Mayor needs to set a clear tone and we need to know where he (or she) stands. Mayor Segarra has been quite clear that he wants people to feel good about Hartford. His actions show that and in part I think it is working. That is entirely understandable and with a Masters in Social Work i fully understand, I think, where Segarra is coming from. If the Mayor isn't rescuing a cat from a tree or consoling a fire victim, I'm sure we will be able to find him serving hot chocolate in Bushnell Park at the skating rink.

If that is what makes Hartford interesting and draws people back, good job Mayor Segarra. But that is only half of the job. We need a Mayor that can determine when to be the nice guy and also be able to flip the switch and make the tough decisions when needed.

In trying to recover from a corruption scandal, a clear tone needs to be sent to everyone. Whether it is the resident's of Hartford, a business owner looking to move to Hartford or even the people firmly entrenched and profiting from Hartford's corrupt political system, the message needs to be clear...THOSE DAYS ARE DONE!

For someone that has brought dignity and integrity to Hartford City Hall, I would think Mayor Segarra is as offended, if not more offended, as many of us are with what we still see at City Hall. A Councilwoman still sitting there while she is on probation for her arrest in the Perez corruption scandal. The Councilman who is actually Segarra's replacement is neck deep in a federal investigation, and malpractice and fraud allegations. I won't even go into the names I'm hearing that are going to be shoved down our throats for Councilman Ritter's replacement when he goes to the Legislature.

I'm sure this bothers the Mayor, and yes he is only one person, but people want to hear him setting a tone that Hartford is going to move forward and prosper. We are going to do this with every effort to be corruption free and beyond reproach and those who can not play by the rules aren't welcome in Hartford City Hall.

Only doing half of the job, the "feel good" part, is not what the people of Hartford are looking for and we need and deserve the full "Mayoral Package" not just the feel good options.


Anonymous said...

Pedro didn't jockey his way into the Council President seat out of order and close his law firm down just to run Hartford for 18 months. He will be running again.

The more important question is does Hartford want him back. He seems like a nice enough guy and talks a good game but you know what they say, "talk is cheap".

So far his actions are weak and if he's not willing to spearhead the ousting of corrupt officials through his city he's worthless to us.

The number one problem with Hartford is not the parks, the lack of cops, the potholes, or Park Street needing repairs. The number one problem, that's bleeding into all the other problems, is CORRUPT LEADERSHIP throughout Hartford. For whatever reason he's unwilling to stand up to this so we need to vote him out next election.

Gregory said...

I think if you one were to look at the projected deficit coming up this year, few (if any) of those millions would be tied to this so called corruption at City Hall. The factors contributing to the upcoming projected deficit and shouts corruption left and right won't help one bit.

So you don't like that Pedro didn't let go someone YOU think is corrupt. What does that prove?

The man is a politician that, like many in similar positions, has taken care of a few friends and got rid of a few enemies upon his ascension. This has happen since the beginning of time.

also, Kevin, you tout the godliness of Mayor Mike who, last I saw, made a living/reputation off of attending any social event where a pint was available. You can't knock Pedro for doing the same thing on top of making some very real day to day decisions.



I am not criticizing any of the "feel good" aspects of the Mayor's performance. He is doing a terrific job in all portions of that, and quite frankly I'm not sure how he finds the time to do that. I tongue -in-cheek mention him rescuing a cat from a tree, but he has been at almost every incident that affects the people of Hartford whether it is a fire, a bad accident or a police officer being shot. I had so many positive comments from people, many of them from the suburbs, who saw or spoke with the Mayor at the Jazz Fest in Bushnell Park where he was out there shaking hands and talking to people.

With that said though, he also has to be willing to take stands on issues that don't make him feel good or popular, but they need to be done.

That's what leadership is about, dealing with the good as well as the bad and if he thinks that people aren't noticing that he is wrong.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry, I think your prayers will be answered when he proposes massive layoffs or a hefty Mil increase this upcoming budget year. In the meantime, I would rather have him spend his time working on issues where he can actually make a difference instead of opining on things where he can't.

Gregory said...

By the way, that last comment was me.



You forgot to mention the end of the tax reval phase-in. If nothing happens with that it won't be popular when some homeowners potentially see their property taxes doubled this year.

Anonymous said...

I agree Kevin, rescuing cats and visiting injured cops is fantastic (that's more than Eddie ever did) but to stay publicly silent to all the corruption is what they call "enabling". As nice of a guy as he is, if he can't be strong where Hartford needs it most, he's not what Hartford needs.

The fact he is not willing to take a stand on things that make him look unpopular supports the notion he want's to run for Mayor next election.

I'm not so sure he can do much about felon Eddie getting a job with a private company, or Rosie.


He may not be able to do much about Perez or Rose, but people want to hear him say something and take a stand.

And a quick call to his new Corp. Counsel telling her that no outside work goes to the Crumbie Law Group as long as Rose is there is a simple fix. Anyone familiar with Rose's legal skills as shown while he was at City Hall knows that this was not a job offer based on merit.

As far as Perez and CARC, a simple statement to any group or non-profit funded with taxpayers dollars that these types of things will not be tolerated and that future funding requests will be examined closely. It sends a message and that is what people want to hear from their "leaders". We know the Council won't do it, but we can hope and expect that our Mayor will

Vito said...

Forget about a simple statement to CARC. If CARC is not in compliance with the city's procurement process as far as its hiring of Eddie, then it's contract needs to be terminated for cause. I believe this point was made by someone else the last time you mentioned this issue. Get a copy of all of CARC's contracts/funding agreements with the city so you can see for yourself.

Anonymous said...

"no outside work goes to the Crumbie Law Group as long as Rose is there."


I guess one can file that one under "things YOU feel are bad." Who cares where Rose ended up? You want Segarra to target John Rose and not do any business with whatever firm that is?!

I have a bigger problem with his current selection for Corp Council then any vindictive need to blackball the previous one.

Anonymous said...

Amazing that while Pedro is claiming poor us and is spending hundreds of thousands remodeling offices and moving staff around to all different offices. How can they even DISCUSS layoffs while wasting huge sums of meaningless renovations. This is the biggest disgrace in the City right now.

HA HA HA said...

Pedro played you all

Anonymous said...

Pedro is full of you know what. He is continuing to give jobs to family and friends and oh yes it is no different than it has always been, but in these tough times he needs to set the pace and finally do what is right for the city. Yes he is playing all of you.

Anonymous said...

I have to ask -- what could Pedro have done about the hiring of Rose or Matt? Neither was ever arrested or convicted of a crime. If the Mayor of a city speaks out publicly against their being hired for positions, they could sue and win for slander. He is a public official, not an opinion columnist, and his words carry weight. He can't condemn someone being hired for a position without some legal basis for doing so.