Hartford's Mayor Pedro Segarra today did something he should have been doing months ago, he terminated an incompetent Department head. After a couple days of planning, the head of Hartford's Department of Emergency Telecommunications Andrew Jaffee was shown the door this morning and walked out of 253 High Street..
It was a long time coming, but for whatever reason, Segarra sent someone packing who had been living off the taxpayers of Hartford for far too long. Jaffee's failures are well documented, just enter his name in the search bar above to read more about probably one of the most ineffective Department heads in Hartford's recent history.
Unfortunately , unlike an incompetent Finance Director or stumbling COO, Jaffee's incompetence could actually cost Hartford residents their lives. Recent examples of mishandled calls have been well documented, at least one resident who was eventually found in her home rotting and decomposing after a botched medical call was the first. The Linnmore street homicide was the latest.
We will never know if a proper response would have made a difference, but when Hartford residents dial 911, they should be confident in knowing that they are getting a professional timely response from one of Hartford's most important Departments. Whether a medical, police of fire call the 911 Center is the lifeline to all residents able to dial a phone.
Surprisingly, from a media standpoint the termination was also handled properly. Segarra has been criticized for isolating himself from any negative scrutiny or answering the tough questions. His media spokesperson is trying her hardest to manage the 'Segarra Message" but is failing miserably. Television reporters have now resorted to basically "ambushing " the Mayor when he heads to his car to get their questions answered.
I am not sure who orchestrated today's response, but it was textbook. A "media Availability" with the Mayor was called and Segarra stepped up to the microphone and laid out his explanation. He needed to restore confidence in the system and Hartford's residents deserved better. Done, no spin, move on.
I am not convinced that we are moving in the right direction yet, but it is a good start by Segarra. Lets see what happens with our COO and Finance Director, that will tell much more of the story. Is Jaffee the start of the remaking of the Segarra Administration or is it just an anomaly?
It is up to you Mayor to convince us.