With that being said, what Hartford needs right now is not a "good guy", we need a leader. Someone that is actually capable of leading, not someone that strives for every photo op cutting a ribbon or handing out hot chocolate at a skating rink.
By most accounts, Segarra has abdicated his authority to his Chief of Staff, who is far from being the "capable leader" we need . Over the next few weeks, I am pretty confident that Jared Kupiec will prove to be a source of embarrassment for Segarra as numerous things in and around City hall begin to unravel. From questionable motor vehicle accidents and how they were handled to large amounts of unsubstantiated spending in question on his City credit card.
The credit card issues for all users are the focus of an investigation being conducted at the Council's request at this time.
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It has been irritating for me to see our Mayor focus on Newtown, while the violent crime and homicides in our City aren't even worthy of his attendance at a vigil. Last Monday, after a double homicide on Clark Street, Rev. Henry Brown told me that Mayor segarra had assured him that he would attend the vigil for Kelly Cooper and Kwante Feliciano. Segarra was a no show.
The vigil was probably one of the larger attended vigils I have attended. I was struck by the number of young people in attendance. If even one person in the crowd had heard words from a leader that made a difference , it would be worthwhile. But what is the message sent when the Mayor of the Capitol city can drive an hour to Newtown to lay down a bouquet of flowers but he can't drive 5 minutes north on Main Street to show respect for one of his residents gunned down in a driveway.
Kelly Cooper was apparently an innocent victim in the wrong place at the wrong time. Cooper was leaning into a car in the driveway of 138 Clark Street, talking to the occupants in the car. From what I have been told, when the gunfire started he stood up, only to have his skull shattered by a gunman's bullet.
The nonsense that goes on in this City that prevents leadership is disgusting. In the recent veto of the resolution restricting overtime, Segarra, or more accurately the author of the Veto memo, said to be Kupiec, the memo cites the constitution and the City Charter.and states that the separation of powers is critical. That is true providing that both sides are doing their part to balance the scale of power.
In Hartford's case when the Office of the Mayore either refuses or is incapable of exercising its leadership role, it is incumbent upon the Council to step up and swing the scale back to protect the taxpayers of Hartford. I don't believe that the Council should micromanage but in the absence of management from the Mayor and the Chief Operating Officer, someone has to do it.
Pedro Segarra is a a good guy, having known him for several years now, I think that is a fair assessment. The problem being is that he missed the number one lesson in management school. You are only as good as the people you surround yourself with and Segarra has surrounded himself with some real duds.
Segarra's "Cabinet "couldn't even run a McDonald's Restaurant. His Chief of Staff can't even submit receipts to apparently justify over $17,000 in City Credit Card purchases since November. The City has yet to comply with an FOI request for Kupiec's credit card records, even though they are readily available.
His other trusted Cabinet member Jose Colon Rivas apparently has no problem lying to Segarra and the people of Hartford as to where he actually lives. If they really are as close as people tell me I would think that the Mayor would be upset that Colon -Rivas can lie about his address, knowing that it will eventually be a source of public embarrassment to Segarra.
People you trust don't put you in a position like that. His Chief Operating Officer has been recycled once again and seems to be using the City of Hartford as her personal employment agency for friends and relatives. And Segarra's Emergency Service Communications Director still apparently enjoys his daily commutes from Suffield. A leader would say enough is enough, not Segarra though.
Segarra also mentions in his veto the "Office of the Mayor" and the respect bestowed on it by the Charter.. No Mayor, you earn respect by being a leader and doing what is right ,no document can do that for you. Only you through your actions can make that happen.
In case you don't realize it, get out in the streets and listen. You are losing more and more respect every day that you are surrounded by your friends from Clown School.
Do the right thing, we need a leader, not a politician.