Wednesday, December 1, 2010
ADVICE FOR rJo WINCH: TAKE YOUR FOOT OFF THE GAS AND SHIFT IT INTO NEUTRAL
Luckily I have unlimited minutes on my cell phone because it seems to be ringing constantly. Probably the number one subject now is regarding the replacement of outgoing Councilmembers. One is leaving on a high note as he ascends to the State Legislature, the other on a low note after a corruption scandal and her arrest toppled her 17 year political career. Thank you Matt for your service to Hartford and continued success at the Capitol.
What they both have in common is the rush by Council President rJo Winch to fill those seats. Although it took weeks to fill the Council seat vacated by Mayor Segarra's rise to the Mayor's office, the rush to fill Matt Ritter's seat before the body is even cold (sorry Matt)is highly questionable. The theory being laid out earlier in the week was that Winch had the five votes on the Council to slide her pick in under the "political" radar without any problem. It appears that Winch's pic is her close friend, Sean Arena.
Winch apparently isn't concerned with information that came out earlier this year regarding Arena's registering his vehicles in New Canaan to avoid Hartford's high taxes and mill rate. To read that entry, click here
The votes seemed to be in place for Arena and Winch earlier in the week, but that was also thrown upside down after the announced "retirement" of the corrupt Councilwoman mentioned above, Veronica Airey-Wilson. It seems that Airey-Wilson is Winch's fifth vote for Arena.
Now here is where the problem arises. According to Hartford's City Charter a vacany can only be filled AFTER it occurs, and then it must be done within 60 days. Any attempt to fill Ritter's vacancy before he resigns January 3, 2011 would be a violation of Hartford's Charter. The specifics can be found in Hartford's Charter, Chapter 3,section 4, subsection C, subsection 2. It clearly states that a Council vacancy "shall be filled by a majority vote of the Council within sixty (60) days following the vacancy.
Now, Airey-Wilson's resignation takes effect on December 31, 2010, which is 3 days BEFORE Ritter's resignation. Hence, Airey-Wilson can not legally vote for Ritter's replacement and Winch's fifth vote for Arena disappears into thin air, like a check written for countertops. Not that Airey-Wislon or some others on the Council pay much attention to laws if past practice is any indication. This most likely will put into jeopardy the plans to replace Airey-Wilson with her nephew Corey Brinson, but more on that in another posting.
Although the current Council President may consider herself a political power broker after she squashed her competition for the Council President's vote by getting Aponte to flip and support her, she may want to listen to her constituents. Just as a reminder, Winch was the low vote getter last go round for Council elections by almost 1000 votes to the next closest Democrat. She recently lost her bid to unseat the incumbent State Representative Doug McCrory in her home district by close to a 4 to 1 margin.
That might seem to indicate that her support in her own home district is tenuous at best, some might say close to non-existent, and how that lack of support translates to citywide votes would not seem to be strong. People are sick of the back room deals being shoved down our throats. Has anyone heard of Winch calling for any resumes or any consideration of a pool of qualified candidates?
This backroom politics is what has killed our city and it needs to change. If Winch continues down this path though it should prove beneficial next fall when the voters will hold Winch and others accountable for their acts.....hopefully. Anyone who under estimates the voter discontent that just swept this country, is either blind or most definitely doing it at their own peril.
Is another shellacing in the works, Hartford style?