It just keeps getting better and better this weekend.
First, I love snow and winter, most of you may not agree with that but it is just one more thing that makes living in New England interesting. The forecasts beginning Thursday that we might have a major snowstorm had my attention and I looked forward to the first snowflakes.
Then to make the weekend even better, I learned that I was going to get the Hartford Courant's endorsement for my run for Hartford City Council. I haven't been able to verify it 100%, but I am being told that this may be the first time in the history of the Courant that they endorsed a petitioning independent candidate.
Then I get the e-mail with a pretty moving piece comparing me to Batman. I was definitely humbled by that, but it made my day.
This was all capped off by the announcement that Sarah Barr will no longer be living off the taxpayers of Hartford. It is a year late in coming, but welcome news none the less. Barr was convicted felon Eddie Perez's spokesperson and was more about the propaganda and the "Gospel of Perez" than she was about information and any truth or honesty coming out of City Hall.
Barr will be leaving for a position with Webster Bank. Like I mentioned in a post a week or so ago, those Credit Unions are looking better all the time.
Maybe with the right person we can actually start trusting the information that comes out of the Mayor's Office now.
Here is the City's press release:
PEDRO E. SEGARRA
NEWS AND COMMUNITY RELEASE
(October 28, 2011)--- After almost seven years serving the residents of the City of Hartford, Sarah Barr, the Director of Communications and New Media, will be leaving her position to become Vice President of External Communications at Webster Bank.
“I can’t imagine City Hall without Sarah,” praised Hartford Mayor Pedro E. Segarra. “She is the consummate communicator and a true professional. While I am very sad that she will be leaving our team, I am very happy for her and her family. Sarah is a dynamic leader and she assures me she will continue to be very involved in Hartford’s communities. I look forward to her continued passion and participation.”
“My experience serving the residents of Connecticut’s Capital City has been very rewarding. I have established many strong relationships and will continue to find ways to serve the community. However, I have always put my family first regarding future career decisions and this new opportunity is no different. It is the right move at the right time and I am looking forward to this new and exciting professional challenge at Webster Bank,” said Ms. Barr.
In addition to her duties as Director, Ms. Barr served as Chairperson of Hartford’s 375th Anniversary celebration. She is currently a member of the Carousel’s Countdown to 100 Committee.
Her last official day with the City of Hartford will be Friday, November 11th.
It continues to amaze me the recognition I am getting as I am out meeting people during my campaign for Hartford City Council. One young person who I met recently is someone that has grown up in Hartford and continues to call Hartford home after graduating from college. These are the people that we have an obligation to mentor and bring along as the future leaders of our City. I think that is where we have failed miserably, and the main reason our "leadership" is the mess it is.
We have adults who continue to maintain their strangle hold on power into their 70's and 80's without bringing along any young people to fill our leadership vacuum. To be successful we need young people with new and fresh ideas and a better understanding of an ever changing world to be encouraged to get involved in our city governance.
The person I mentioned above sent me this message below in an e-mail today and I have to admit I am extremely flattered by his opinion as well as his writing style, I think he is boosting my ego, but a lot of his comments are true, even though I was never a big batman fan, maybe I should watch the movie on this snowy night.
And as far as I can remember, this is the first time I am posting someone else's writings on the blog, but then again, how often do I get compared to a "super-hero"
Brookman: Hartford’s Dark Knight
Most people who have seen the movie, Batman: Dark Knight, vividly remember the final scene. As Batman is running away from the police, Detective Gordon’s son, a symbolic character representing innocence and honesty, asks why Batman is running away from the police. Gordon responds, “Because we have to chase him.” The son says, “But he didn’t do anything wrong.” Gordon responds with the final words of the movie, “Because he's the hero Gotham deserves. But not the one it needs right now. And so we'll hunt him. Because he can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A dark knight.”
Like Gotham, Hartford is broken and like Gotham, Hartford also has a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Dark Knight. Kevin Brookman is not always liked but he is overwhelmingly respected by the political class that governs us and the citizens that bond our communities together. Over the past few years, Brookman’s ability to make an honest effort to hold our city leaders accountable for their actions has enabled the residents of the city of Hartford to become more aware of the problems we face and, more importantly, the consequences we will reap if the city does not change course and head in a direction that promotes a healthy and sustainable environment to live in, work hard, produce capital, and attract investors to our state’s capitol.
Is he Perfect? No.Is he a hero? No.Does he claim to be? No. Does he have a plan? Yes and its simple: Raise the awareness of our past and present problems and return our city back to fiscal sanity, moral responsibility, and a multitude of opportunities for every citizen of Hartford.
Without our Dark Knight, we, like Gotham, will continue to breed corruption, and sacrifice our liberties for short-term security that places band-aids on gashes and screen doors on a floating submarine unaware of and not seeing the dreadful consequences of what will happen when the body runs out of blood and the submarine, like our economy, takes a dive and falls beneath the sea.
Brookman is and will continue to be chased. He will be hunted and he will be persecuted but Brookman knows that truth and justice are never to be sacrificed for power and privilege and the potentiality that our city has is a cause that he will continue to fight for, protect, and honor even if that means the light he sheds must live in a shadow, a dark shadow, a dark shadow protected by a dark knight.
And before the comments begin, no, I will not be wearing the outfit any time soon
The complaint seems to hinge on whether Segarra violated the Hartford Democratic Town Committee's own bylaws when he cut the deal with the Republicans and accepted the cross endorsement.
The argument by Vargas's attorney, Robert Ludgin, seemed pretty clear cut, the bylaws say it can't be done.
The defense by the attorney for the HDTC, Thom Page, as well as Mayor Segarra's attorney, John Kennelly, were somewhat interesting. Although they seemed to agree that the rule was part of the by-laws, they were essentially rendered irrelevant because they really don't follow their by-laws. I'm paraphrasing there, but that was pretty much the argument.
Page also made the point that the bylaws were "old" and hadn't been updated since the 1970's. He also stated that every year someone talks about updating the by-laws but for one reason or another it never gets done. (I think that could be blamed on leadership, or more accurately the lack of leadership on the part of the HDTC)
An interesting moment occurred after Page made his comment that the bylaws were old so they weren't really followed. Vargas's attorney replied that we have a lot of "old" laws that are followed every day, one of them is a couple hundred years old and we call it "The Constitution".
It will be interesting how the panel will rule, most likely it will be business as usual and the whole matter will be swept away. But the repercussions from that decision should be wide ranging. Essentially if the panel validates Segarra's actions, any Town Committee has no need to have bylaws or even follow them since they mean nothing.
I think the big question though on the minds of many in the room is why Segarra is fighting so hard to keep this nomination. The reality is the endorsement will probably deliver a couple hundred Republican votes to Segarra at the maximum. The other side of the coin is that if Segarra was really in touch with community sentiment, the actions might actually be costing him votes from upset voters.
In the spirit of leadership and party unity why wouldn't Segarra and Holloway step up and say the endorsement just isn't worth it and they reject it? Is there more to this than we know and what could possibly be in play that the Mayor won't reject it? Segarra is most likely a "shoe-in" for the election and it is not like the margin of victory is going to be that close. Besides, if they can find him on the Republican line, they can definitely find him on the Democratic line.
I seriously doubt that there are many Republicans that will be confused, or even tricked, into believing that Segarra is actually a Republican because he appears on the "R" line.
The decision should be issued within three days.
Interestingly absent from the hearing was HDTC Chair Jean Holloway as well as Vice Chair Lou Watkins. Surrogate Chair Marc DiBella was in attendance with his clipboard, taking notes.
Here is Attorney Kennelly's brief outlining his defense for Segarra.
The Hartford Courant has released their editorial endorsements for the November 8, 2011 City Council elections, and apparently they agree..."BROOKMAN FOR COUNCIL".
The full editorial can be read by clicking here, but needless to say, I am extremely humbled by their support and confidence. There is still a lot of work to be done, but it is very gratifying that the editorial board of the Courant sees what the Hartford Democratic Town Committee ignored.
In a nutshell, here is what the Editorial Board said:
•Kevin R. Brookman, 52, petitioning candidate. Mr. Brookman, a small business owner, may be the city's first cyber-candidate. He started a blog a few years ago called We The People, which attacked many of the excesses of the Perez administration. Via the blog, Mr. Brookman established himself as a tough, honest commentator, with common sense and some innovative ideas.
But Mr. Brookman must realize that if he is elected, he can no longer immerse himself in personnel or labor disputes, as he sometimes does. That's the price of going from the shop floor to the board of directors.
On Monday, David Medina, the Minister of Propaganda for the Hartford Schools took the time to issue a press release of "high importance" to condemn me and this blog for information I posted regarding an art exhibit at Hartford High School.
This is the first time I can remember Medina taking issue with anything, but none the less, it was good to see Medina at least doing something to earn his salary of $120,000 plus. Medina's press release drew traffic to the blog so I want to show my appreciation to him
Unfortunately though, it seems that Medina "misses" much of what goes on in the schools. Whether that is intentional is not known. In an effort to assist Medina in his job, I will try to post information I learn about the inner goings on at our schools. Much of this I am sure the administration would like parents to know what their children are being subjected to in their schools.
FIRE REPORTED AT BELLIZZI MIDDLE SCHOOL
The Hartford Fire Department was called this afternoon to extinguish a fire that had been set in a trashcan in a girl's bathroom at the Bellizzi Middle School. The fire was extinguished by a security guard at the school. Initially, the administration of the school chose not to notify the Fire Department, but the School Resource Officer requested the Fire Department due to the smoke condition in the school.
The incident has been turned over to the Hartford Police Department Arson investigators.
See how easy that was Dave. As a public service I will try to post any incidents of guns, weapons, drugs or arson's occurring in Hartford Schools so the public can get a true picture of what goes on in our schools.
Word around City Hall is that the position of Chief Operating Officer may not be the most stable path for career development these day's, but in light of that, maybe we should try getting some answers to questions before any changes take place. It seems like our elected officials either don't know the answers or just don't want to answer the questions.
Let's start with an easy one. Where is the theater at Front Street? It was announced with fanfare and press releases the first time it was presented. Then I guess that developer backed out and the project was picked up by another developer to fanfare and press releases all over again. Those press releases heralded the opening in "Fall2011". Unless I am mistaken, fall is here and not one piece of drywall has been hung yet.
Next question... when is the Market @ Hartford 21 reopening. We were told they were "regrouping" when they abruptly closed, well...maybe not so abruptly, I think most of us saw it coming. And while we are at it, what was the approval process for the $400,000 "loan" given to keep them afloat? Members of the Council are claiming ignorance to any knowledge of approving the funds, but then again, ignorance is very plausible when looking at many of this Council's actions.
Question number 3...what oversight is in place to make sure the "Festival of Lights" or "Winterfest" ,or whatever we are calling it this year, is being organized properly to avoid another embarrassing public relations nightmare similar to last years "squirrel and bird protection" event. To read more about that, click here or here
Question number 4... Several years ago, our wonderful corporate neighbor, Northland cut a deal to develop the former YMCA on Jewel Street into luxury condos. All of the male occupants who rented rooms there were forced out, most likely increasing the numbers of Hartford's homeless population. The building still sits empty to this day as the ugly twin to Capitol West, a sign of a city that just doesn't get it when they are being played for fools. Why isn't the "Y" at least re-opened to serve a need for housing a segment of Hartford's population that is really needed as we head into winter.
Question number 5... After the previous corrupt administration forced a Hartford landmark, WFSB 3, out of the city to Rocky Hill more press releases and fanfare heralded a "green" multi story office building on the former Channel 3 site. Where is it? I still pass a vacant lot every time I exit Route 2, not a good welcome mat for those entering the city for the Science Center or the Convention Center
I'll stop with those questions, I know editing resumes and job searches take time, so I don't want to tie you up too much, but the voters might enjoy a hit of the truth when making their voting decisions on what direction Hartford is headed in.
The complaint filed by Mayoral candidate Edwin Vargas to Connecticut Democratic State Central is scheduled to be heard tomorrow night, Thursday, at 6:30 PM at Democratic State Central Headquarters at 330 Main Street.
The meeting is apparently open to the public and promises to provide more entertainment than a good night at the Bushnell Theater. Arrive early before the best seats are taken.
A wide ranging complaint against individuals involved in the upcoming municipal election was filed today by Hartford resident Alyssa Peterson. The complaint, accompanied by numerous supporting exhibits and documents, seems to raise questions about the process used for selecting candidates. The accompanying documents also seem to raise questions about the integrity of some of the candidates running.
The documents compiled by Peterson were obtained mostly from police reports and documents as well as court documents and are included in the PDF file below.
The complaint and the exhibits pretty much speak for themselves and are well worth the reading time. Exhibits "E" and "F" are very interesting.
And in the interest of full disclosure, as if anyone doesn't already know, I am also running for City Council as an independent candidate.
Democratic petitioning candidate for Mayor, Edwin Vargas has made it official. On Friday, through his attorney Robert Ludgin, Vargas began the official complaint process against Segarra's endorsement by Hartford's Republican Town Committee.
Vargas's complaint is attached below and pretty much speaks for itself
For those not familiar with the name David Medina, he is the media mouthpiece for the Hartford Public Schools. He came from the Hartford Courant where he was employed before leaving to take the job with the Board of Ed. He was also instrumental in the Courant's endorsement of former Mayor and now convicted felon Eddie Perez. Many considered his new position his reward from Perez.
From what many media people have told me, just getting Medina to comment or issue a statement is a huge chore. But Medina apparently showed his thin skin today when he issued a press release essentially condemning me and the blog for an entry I posted Saturday. You can read that post here
The posting speaks for itself, but I haven't found anyone yet that doesn't have serious questions about this as "art" that is acceptable for display in our schools.The interesting part though is that Medina tried to defend the picture as a "lesson in Free Speech vs Responsibility". Ok Mr. Medina, I guess I have to ask what was the lesson? That at Hartford High there is no responsibility when you exercise your Free Speech rights>
And isn't it interesting that Mr. Medina chooses to essentially condemn my "Free speech" rights at the same time he is claiming the rights to his and those of his "students". Where do the Hartford Schools draw the line? Would an image drawn by a student depicting child pornography or a sexual molestation be found acceptable as "Freedom of Speech"?
Maybe if our schools were actually "teaching" students something about history and civics rather than just how to pass mastery tests, a child's mind might go to thoughts of the Revolution, the Bill of Rights or the Constitution rather than "blood gushing" from some "home boy's dome" and assault weapons.
It is interesting that we have guns and weapons in schools and Mr. Medina has no response to that. A 10 year old and an 11 year old student were caught with drugs on them today at Batchelder School, the ten year old apparently sold drugs that he had found to the 11 year old girl for five dollars on Friday, I bet you won't see a press release from Mr. Medina about that. But he can find the time to fire back at me, it's all very interesting.
But then again, the Hartford Schools aren't really known for truthful messages. Mr. Medina is doing a fine job in that aspect as Director of Propaganda for the Hartford Schools.
Here is Medina's e-mail from earlier today and the attached press release of "HIGH" importance:
Subject: Hartford Public Schools Importance: High
Attached please find a very important statement from Hartford Public Schools.
After getting fed up with the lack of openness in Hartford City Hall, I decided to begin a program on Hartford Public Access Television called "WE THE PEOPLE". Through tips received we have been able to expose numerous issues that the Perez Administration would prefer to keep quiet.
Any information received is kept in strict confidence, feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 860-883-2297 with any information.