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Wednesday, April 20, 2011


In March, Hartford's Green Ribbon Task Force on Hartford's parks completed its work and presented their recommendations to Mayor Pedro Segarra.

One of the recommendations the Commission made was to hire a “highly qualified Parks Director” within FY 2011-2012.

Now here is the ethical challenge, let me know what you think.

The commission made the recommendation to hire "a highly qualified Parks Director". That recommendation essentially created a new job position. If you were serving on that Commission and made a recommendation to create the new position, could you then ethically accept that new position that you essentially created? It seems like a large conflict of interest to me.

Well, that is exactly what happened last Friday at the entrance to Bushnell Park. Mayor Pedro Segarra announced the appointment of Jack Hale, a GRTF (Green Ribbon Task Force) Member as the Parks Operation Manager for the City of Hartford.

The other issue is the position being created at the same time that Public Works has been decimated by staff layoff and cutbacks. I'm not sure if the hiring freeze still exists, but shouldn't this position have gone before the City Council for approval ?

After the press event announcing the appointment, I asked Mayor Segarra if he thought it was a conflict of interest and his response is on the video below. The audio announcing the appointment has a lot of background noise (a lunch truck with a noisy generator was running in the background), my questions to the Mayor are much clearer.

I also asked numerous people a "hypothetical" question using the circumstances I laid out above, and everyone thought it was a conflict of interest to serve on a commission and then accept a position created by that commission's recommendations.


Anonymous said...

How dare you make such an accusation; That generator is not that loud, and I love that "Thai on Wheels" ....delicious

Anonymous said...

Plastic want to be Panagore on the background. It's all synthetic, Pedro is doom!

peter brush said...

Don't know about conflict, and have nothing against Mr. Hale.
My preference would be no new positions without concurrent elimination of two existing ones.

Frank Lord said...

Must be a slow news day.

Mr. Hale (who I consider a friend) has been hired as the interim Operations Manager. (according to the April 15 news release) Your concerns would be of more value if it was a permanent hire.

Mayor Segarra wants to make things happen. Mr. Hale because of his background will be able to make an immediate contribution. It is the beginning of Spring and if someone is not making things happen now then another season will have been lost.

nancy said...

Jack is also a friend of mine. I understand he was hired for 6 months and is not applying for the position and that part of his job is to write a job description for the Parks Director. I don't see this as a conflict.

Anonymous said...

is hale really going to get paid more than K.B.?

Anonymous said...

I believe their is no conflict because the commission did not do the hiring. Making a recommendation is not the decision which would create the conflict - filling the position is the decision which would create a conflict. Conflicts of interest are one of the most difficult issues to discern, despite the often "no brainer".

However, I am glad to see Jack is apparently not applying for the full time job, because that would then start to slide down the slippery slope of the whole process being manipulated and being a backdoor maneuver.

Jack has talent and has been around a long time. He is also dedicated and will surely help out the city. We should be thanking him for 1. volunteering for the commission and 2. continuing his efforts, which at some point, like now, certainly deserve to be compensated.

Anonymous said...

Does antone get it? City Hall keeps giving all of the high paying jobs to out of town people!
Is there no one capable of receiving a job, living in Hartford? The Mayor's former law staff are alomost all working for city hall, coincidence I think not. They were hired very fast last year, during the so called hiring freeze.The Mayor had the Corporation Council staff moved one floor down so he won't be inconvenienced, for a cost to taxpayers of around $200,000.00. Then he cried state of the city emergency when the streets were not plowed !Now they are putting together a ficticious budget and telling us we have a balanced budget, does anyone realize we have been overtaxed so that this budget game can be played out.Why is the city not hiring the 16 D.P W. workers that could go to Hartford residents,why are they not being hired, so the Mayor's staff can play the budget game!! The Mayor was Council President and Chairman of O.M.B. It is time to ask him to start telling the truth, stop passing the buck, and explain his voting for almost 100% in tax increases, during his time on the City Council!