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Tuesday, August 7, 2012


A couple weeks ago I posted an e-mail I received  notifying the members of the Hartford Redevelopment Authority that their monthly meeting had been cancelled because there was nothing "actionaable" to put on the agenda. I still question how there can be nothing related to economic development to discuss after the City just hired a new economic development director.You can read the oiginal posting here
So after I posted the content of the e-mail and expressed my thoughts, apparently one member of the Redevelopment Commission took offense with the public being made aware of their lack of forward movement.

In an e-mail to all of the Commissioners and City Staff, Board member Suzanne Hopgood wrote the following in an e-mail from her personal account
Kevin Brookman's posting (below) concerned me a great deal because it sounded like one of us forwarded to Kevin HRA's internal email to us. I am NOT interested in playing politics as part of my role on either HRA or CRDA and I thought this was totally inappropriate and embarrassed us all. I hope we don't have to worry about this kind public embarrassment going forward.
What she doesn't seem to understand is that all e-mails related to the public's business, with very limited restrictions, are all public documents and it doesn't matter how I get them, the public has every right to see them under the Freedom of Information statutes. And if you don't want public embarrassment, then don't do things that will embarrass you in the Public.
Rather than write ridiculous e-mails, the time of anyone serving on a Public Board or Commission might be better spent taking the time to read the FOI Statutes, available at or by attending an FOI training class, which the FOI staff usually gladly offers. I would also suggest contacting the Hartford Corporation Counsel's Office with any questions, but they don't have the best track record of FOI Compliance.
Hopgood has also recently been name the Chair of Governor Malloy's recently formed Capitol Redevelopment Authority (CRDA). Hopefully the secrecy of the HRDA won't extend to CRDA.


Anonymous said...

Hopgood and the others should be embarrassed. They are not appointed to increse their visibility for invites to the cocktail circuit, they are there to work for making Hartford a better place, I think they often forget this

Anonymous said...

Seems like Ms. Hopgood is quite embarrassed, NOT because Kevin revealed she has absolutely no ideas to put on an agenda for developing the City she claims to care so much about, but rather because someone leaked her now-embarrassing "internal" email to Kevin. That's sad and says alot, especially about gentrified former suburbanites who claim to be city folk although they would never set foot on Barbour Street at noon but glow when reminiscing about attending bushnell park concerts and eating at trendy Trumbull Kitchen or the newest downtown eatery.

And she’s not going to play politics? Lest someone remind her she alone put her name forward, or agreed to the position if she was actually sought out by Pedro's administration, and an elected official, aka a politician, chose her over thousands of other city residents, to a politically appointed city commission. The concept of having your cake and eating it too comes to mind.

Back to the embarrassment Ms. Hopgood was forced to suffer: if she can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen (and maybe visit Lawrence Street to figure out how the City could create a viable and cost effective economic stimulus plan in that area). Oh, I am remiss– how could she translate that work into self-ingratiating cocktail chatter?

Anonymous said...

someone better warn Hapgood to lay off the sauce.

MMM said...

Hopwood is emblematic of the kind of smug and arrogant downtowner who feels compelled to routinely push a more sanitized and PC-driven spin on some of the more negative aspects of the city by intimating and capitalizing on some piece of privileged information that she manages to use to insinuate some part of her food hospitality consultant business into current and potential development projects. She is one of several Queen Bees that dominate the Downtown Dweller site on Facebook; among some of her more dubious proclamations was the one earlier this year where she felt obligated to lecture Trinity students for dissing the campus's neighborhood over a recent spate of attacks, robberies, etc. She was downright patronizing over the concept that any resident or insititution would want to consider and adopt reasonable security measures. Mind you, Her Royalty would never walk the streets that surround Trinity unless she was very well insulated. And when the going gets a little too tough (too many emails, not enough sauce) there's always that getaway cabin in Old Saybrook or a leisurely drive though New Hampshire, her home state. Presumably she could eat all the cake she wanted and never feel embarrassed about cutting deals with a hot franchise magnate.