I honestly thought that I could make a difference in returning Hartford to some of the prominence of earlier years, but I guess the voters of Hartford had different ideas of what Hartford needs. Apparently they haven't had enough of spending Hartford into oblivion yet with no regard to how it is being paid for.
I guess the pressure we put on our small businesses and commercial property owners to pack up and leave Hartford isn't a big issue. Besides, it might just be a status thing to have the highest mill rate in the state as well as some of the highest commercial space vacancies in the region.
As much as I thought I could make a difference on the Council, at least one person who led Hartford during some of its better days put it all into perspective for me. Former Mayor James Kinsella, who served as Hartford's Mayor from 1957-1960, spoke to me outside his polling place after he cast his vote.
Mayor Kinsella told me that he was a regular reader of the blog and he like it. He liked my writing style and liked the issues I addressed. He said he had reservations about me being elected because he thought that I was most likely doing more on the outside through the blog than I could do on the inside as a Councilperson.
Bottom line is he knows the system a lot better than I ever will and his words make sense. As the Courant pointed out when they endorsed me, the blog and the position of Councilperson might not be the easiest mix. I thought about that a lot and eventually realized that my hands might be tied on many issues and how I could approach them.
Well, the voters made it an easy decision for me. I do not intend to go away or have my hands tied and as much as I think I could be a positive force on the Council, everything works out for a reason. Chances are pretty good that by 2015 when Council elections roll around again, I can say I made more positive change from the outside than some of those elected yesterday will have made from the inside.
With your help and support I feel confident that we can continue to expose issues that affect our City and hold our elected officials accountable. Keep the e-mails and information coming as you have been and it should make for an interesting four years
For those of you who supported my campaign, contributed, or even showed your support by voting for me, I sincerely thank you. And to Mayor Kinsella, thanks for putting it into perspective (and my apologies for calling you "an old time politician", that's not a bad thing when you see how the system is run today)