This is a posting I had wanted to write a couple days ago, but I thought it would be best to calm down before I started writing. Our City is being run by some of te most incompetent people that have ever entered the public arena. It is like watching re-runs of a 3 stooge's episode, but the 3 Stooges never ran a City into the ground. Every day it becomes more obvious that the Mayor and his staff are total amateurs and incapable of getting the City's business done.
The examples arise daily, the HPD Cre3dit Union mess, the Police Chief search, the LSNI implosion ripe with apparent fraud and now the Rovella appointment seems to be hanging by a thread.
The common thread amongst all of these messes has to be the question who is advising Mayor Segarra, and why are we paying these people six figure salaries to create these disasters. We could probably get some elementary school kids to do a better job for free.
The Rovella hearing was the final straw for me. How do you have people questioning Rovella about his integrity and ethics when they themselves would probably have to look up the definition in the dictionary. How do you have a Councilperson questioning Rovella when the Councilperson himself was fired from the Hartford Police Department. I find that to be a huge conflict.
And who orchestrated the process for Segarra. Would anyone move into a house before the deal is done and you have the actual closing. The smart answer would be no, so why would the Mayor drag Rovella before the Council before the contract was signed? I would imagine that if the Governor's Chief of Staff created such a mess with a potential Department head, he would be looking for a job the next day. That's is how leaders work, they hold people accountable.
I have been fielding phone calls for the last three days from people asking me how I can support Rovella when he is holding the City hostage for free health care. This is where accurate information might be helpful, but this all should have been worked out before it was aired in the public. I don't need to speak for Rovella, but I know he is not necessarily looking for free health care. He is more than willing to pay his fair share, what he is looking for is the promise that if he doesn't make 5 years as Chief, it is Hartford you know and anything can happen, that he has a promise that he can purchase insurance from the City's carrier at the going rate retirees pay.
Rovella will be leaving a State job that allows him to purchase insurance from the State's plan, but only in July of each year during their open enrollment. The confusion I think came with the reference to the City's "EMBERS" plan which is given to all Department heads as well as Council people after 5 years of service to the City. Rovella was looking for the promise of a 5 year term as Chief, something that is not possible under the City Charter. the Police Chief and all Department heads are appointed by the Mayor and since the term of Mayor is 4 years and no one is assured re-election, any contract term over 4 years is not possible.
Although the whole process was bizarre, this is even more confusing as to how Segarra has handled Rovella's appointment. Segarra served as Council President in the final months of felon Eddie Perez's pre-conviction term.Segarra knew all too well what it was like to be disrespected by the Mayor and now he is treating this Council the same way. There were no pre appointment meetings or consultation with the Council asking " here is what I am going to do, what do you think?"
Especially if you knew you were headed down a bumpy road, wouldn't you treat the Council as management partners knowing they could make or break your decision. Why would you not tell your Corporation Counsel to "get the deal done, no ,matter what" before the hearing? That is what leaders do, they express their vision and then make sure it happens. Not Segarra though, and not his staff.
And heading to Miami on vacation without the deal being done is reckless.
The Hartford Police Credit Union building purchase is another issue. How do you let your staff essentially kill a deal in the final hour for a building that will be renovated and returned to the Grand List to produce taxes for a cash strapped City. Is this the way we handle economic development deals in Hartford? And that "Federal Money" that was supposed to be available to move the building, apparently isn't "Federal Money "at all and the Credit Union was told it would be "City Money" to move the building. Don't we have better things to spend City money on?
And the articles in the Courant about the Mayor's "LSNI" program should send the Council over the edge on the Segarra Administration mismanagement. The latest article refers to fraud and paperwork submitted for work that was never done. Immediate hearings should be held, and referrals made to the State's Attorney for prosecution if any fraud is uncovered.
We deserve so much better than what we are getting from this Mayor and his incompetent band of fools surrounding him. I hate to say this, but at least Eddie Perez knew how to get business done. The Rovella mess would have never happened under Eddie Perez. The Council needs t step up now and send a message and turn this sinking ship around