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Tuesday, April 17, 2012


The recently formed Hartford Charter Revision Commission held its first meeting, or at least something that was supposed to look like a meeting, tonight.

It just seems like a bad start when at least three of the appointed Commissioner's are a half hour late for the 6:00PM start. City Clerk John Bazzano eventually started the meeting after waiting for the tardy Commissioner's to arrive, When they didn't show up a roll call was held, they had a quorum and the meeting began. Commissioner's John Kennelly, Corey Brinson and Sharon Patterson-Stahlings eventually all strode in to the meeting.

The "political" wrangling then began and the majority of the meeting was comprised of debate over whether to elect a chair or just select a temporary chair. This debate kind of surprised me since I would think that they would have appointed a permanent chair and then get down to business. I know, it is Hartford.

The next step surprised me even more. John Kennelly, who has made it known that he wants to be the Commission Chair, but apparently doesn't have the votes, nominated Corporation Counsel Saundra Kee-Borges as temporary chair. Now I'm not an attorney, but Kee-Borges sat alongside Bazzano and made it clear that she was there to answer legal questions as the Commission gets rolling.

Like I said, I'm not an attorney, but that would appear to me to be a clear conflict of interest. How can you both advise as the City's legal counsel and serve as Chair. Is she able to overrule herself on legal issues? (Kee-Borges is not an appointed member of the Commission)

It was also interesting that someone who stopped in to the meeting asked me "where are the community people?". I was asking myself the same question , but I'm just skeptical of the process anyway.

Hopefully the next meeting will be a little more productive, and maybe the Commissioner's appointed will at least take their role seriously and at least arrive on time.


peter brush said...

I can't remember how or why we have come to another reconsideration of the Charter. I'm not asking rhetorically. What imperfections in the recently revised charter are we seeking to eliminate?



a review is required every ten years, it has been ten years since the new charter was approved

peter brush said...

Thanks, Kevin.
A review is ok, but despite the fact that I don't like the strong mayor I'd prefer to rest more or less pat with the current version for another decade, at least. The devil we know.

Anonymous said...

Peter here is one imperfection...the charter with strong mayor powers allowed Perez to rule with little to no check and balance,thus enabling bad behavior like accepting the counter tops etc as a sense of entitlement I suppose.Clearly the strong mayor provisions,if we are to keep it,needs to be pared back some.

peter brush said...

I was opposed to the strong mayor at the time, and have commented, sometimes slightly less than civilly, on the matter here.
I'd love to have the provision reconsidered, but on the other hand, there is something to be said for avoiding frequent fluctuations and revolutions in organic governing laws.