Today I had the opportunity to speak somewhat privately with Mayor Segarra after the appointment of James Rovella as Hartford's acting Chief of Police. Mayor Segarra seemed somewhat stunned when I mad the comment to him that my confidence in him was building as I thought the appointment was a great step in restoring both morale and confidence in the Hartford Police Department.
Well Mr. Mayor, let's keep building that confidence, here is another perfect opportunity.
Last week I posted about Courant reporter Vanessa de la Torre being barred from what was essentially a public meeting held by Superintedent of Schools kishimoto at the troubled and under performing Burns School. Kishimoto's overpaid mouthpiece David Medina stated that Kishimoto wanted time with parents and felt the media would be a distraction.
Maybe the correct, and more honest version, would have been for Medina to state that the smaller the audience, the less chance of anyone hearing the facts so the media was not welcome.
Click here to read that posting
Mr. Mayor, "transparency" needs to mean something, and not just as a catchphrase thrown around when politicians are trying to prove to people that they really are honest.
Well Mr. Mayor, it gets worse. Last night another meeting was held by Kishimoto and her mouthpiece and the same events were repeated once again. Here are two other bloggers posting their thoughts. Rather than rehashing the "legalese", read "The Real Hartford" for a detailed explanation of what happened and the State of Connecticut's legal requirements. Click her for "Real Hartford".
And here is another take on the matter by Matthew Kauffman, a reporter from the mouthpieces alma mater. Yes, for those unaware, David Medina was formerly an editor at the Hartford Courant. Unfortunately a six figure paycheck has a way of allowing someone to forget where they came from. Rather than Medina being a champion for the public's right to know, he now goes out of his way to make sure the door to the Kishimoto bunker remains tightly latched and closed to any public view.
Mayor Segarra, you are in a position to change this. I'm not saying your administration has been to most receptive to Freedom of Information requirements, but why not start convincing us you really are going to change this. At least one of your Corporation Counsel attorneys is playing loose with the FOI laws, and she knows better. Assistant Corporation Counsel Melinda Kauffman should not be advising on FOI laws if she doesn't know them, but I can almost assure you that she is purely providing cover for Medina and Kishimoto.
It might send a message if your own Corporation Counsel shows integrity by actually filing the proper FOI complaints against Medina and Kishimoto and request the maximum fines for their violations. (I can even help them to write the complaints if they are unsure, I have become pretty good at it.)
Transparency means transparency....period. It should mean something when you say it, and now you have the opportunity to show us that you mean it. Which way will the confidence rating go?