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Wednesday, May 14, 2014


On May 3, 2014, twenty two members of the Hartford Police Explorer Program  competed in the Connecticut Cadet Stations Day Completion at POSTC (CT Police Academy) located in Meriden, CT.  Stations Day is a one day competition where Explorer/Cadet Programs from all over Connecticut and  New England area compete. Explorers/Cadets use the skills they have learned during their weekly classes to respond to different scenarios as if they were the officer on scene. This year Hartford Explorers won seven awards in the following events:

1st place:
Domestic Disputes
Suspicious Person
Tactical Response,

2nd Place:
Building Search
MV Stop
Male Physical Agility
Female Physical Agility.

The Hartford Police Explorer Program is for youth residing in Hartford, from the ages of 14-21 years old, and who have an interest in pursuing a career in Law Enforcement. The Explorer Program currently has 35-40 active members that participate each week.  The Explorers Program has classes every Sunday, from 1000 – 1300 hrs, that is held at the PAL building located at 50 Williams Street, Hartford, CT.

The Hartford Police Explorer Program provides hands on career training in the Law Enforcement Field, build life skills, leadership skills, provide personal fitness and community service. The Hartford Police Department has many current and past officers who were successful members of our Explorer program.

The Explorer's program is a great way of recruiting future Hartford Police Officers from the ranks of City youth. Unfortunately both the Explorer program and the HPD Cadet program are taking budget hits this year. This comes back to the old saying "penny wise and pound foolish" As you can see from the awards listed above, these are Hartford's youth who are already fine tuning their Law Enforcement skills and potentially can be a huge asset to the future ranks of the Hartford Police Department.

Congratulations on your efforts


The Hartford City Council needs to step up and show that they are capable of leadership and putting Hartford back on the right track, despite a delusional Mayor that has no concept of fiscal responsibility

For any Mayor that advocates for increased taxes in the City with the highest mill rate in the state just tells me that he is out of touch with the majority of residents and business owners who will be burdened with the tax increases. I think it also shows he is out of touch with Hartford's corporate world who won't necessarily be willing to shoulder his reckless spending much longer.

The Mayor made it a point recently to let me know I was wrong about my opposition to his hiring a scheduler. Yes, you read that right, his scheduler. The man that follows him everywhere he goes at a salary of $65,000 a year. Not bad work if you can get it.

Segarra became indignant and said I didn't know what I was talking about, his scheduler was so much more and besides "he has a masters degree" .I don't care if he can spit Gold, it is a position we can't afford, no more than we can afford Segarra's "Secret Service" style protection detail . I am sure you have seen them with Segarra, complete with dark sunglasses and their earpieces.

Ads I said at the Budget hearing, if I have a choice between a scheduler walking behind the Mayor or a police officer walking a beat, I will choose the police officer all the time.

The Council needs to show leadership. The Hartford City Charter is very specific about the positions to be authorized for the Mayor's Office, and nowhere i the Charter can I find a $65,000 a year scheduler.

311 also needs to go, I honestly don't think I have met anyone that can recite a 311 success story, plenty of failures, but I would really like to hear a success story. I recently called for over 3 months to get burned out bulbs replaced on three downtown street lamps on a busy street. I still think they are out. Technology needs to be used and advanced as City Hall needs to be more efficient. the "SEE,CLICK,FIX" App is something that should be used to faze out 311

Similar apps should also be used for Public Safety and many other City Hall functions. Twitter and other social media sites have proven a great resource for the City to get information out and should be used in the opposite direction to make Hartford more efficient.

A couple other necessary cuts need to be made. Council President Shawn Wooden last year tried to move a plan through that would have cut the Council staff in half. We can no longer afford to be so top heavy. Each Council person does not need their own Administrative Assistant. I might question why a couple of them even need an assistant based on their work product.

Several years ago the State legislature went to a system that assigned one Assistant to every 3 legislators. It seems to have worked there without any undue harm and it should be the same at City Hall.

One of the largest draws on City revenue is the money dumped into Hartford's Schools. I think with the money allotted, we should be able to demand better results than a 71% graduation rate, but more on that at another time.

One of the first things a new superintendent should look at is how much of that money goes to educating children and how much is wasted on just making adults wealthier. Do the Hartford Schools really need a spokesperson to address media inquiries once or twice a month? Is that the best use for $120,000 a year  plus maybe another 30% additional for benefits. Eliminate the position .

Do we really need all the Assistant Superintendent's and Special Assistant's for this or that. And if we are paying all these assistants for who knows what, shouldn't at least one of them have been groomed to fill in when the next Superintendent skips town to escape the heat instead of paying a fill in $900.00 a day to keep a seat warm

There is plenty of wasted money flowing through City Hall, but we need a Council that can cut reckless spending and look Segarra in the eye and say "enough is enough" no more Empire with it. Cut the Mayor's budget to what the Charter allows, eliminate the scheduler, and cut the fat out of the City budget. It is a matter of survival for the City of Hartford


That was apparently the message of Mayor Segarra's press release issued earlier today. Segarra was touting the numbers released that showed 71% of Hartford's High School Seniors are graduating now. Granted, that number is up, but what about the other almost 30% who don't graduate. Is that a number Segarra is proud of?

It seems like he is almost feeling good saying "we  are no longer failing half of our kids, we are only failing a third of them now" .

This is definitely not something for Segarra to be proud of until that number is much lower and every Hartford child has a fair shot at a decent education

Statewide last year, the graduation rate was 85.5%

Increase of 43 Percentage Points Over Seven Years of Reform

(Wednesday, May 14, 2014) Hartford’s high school graduation rate, which seven years ago stood at a low of 29 percent, has completely reversed itself and hit a landmark high of 71.2 percent in 2013, according to figures released today by Connecticut’s State Department of Education. The figure represents a steady climb of more than 43 percentage points, since 2006 when Hartford Public Schools launched an ambitious effort to reform its education system and began calculating its graduation rate based on a four-year cohort.

“This is great news for our entire city, especially our students, parents and schools,” said Mayor Pedro E. Segarra. “Absolutely nothing is more important than the education of our young people. This increase is the result of collaboration, parental engagement, rigorous academic standards, and the focus and attention needed for our students to succeed. I’m pleased with our progress so far and I encourage all those invested in this issue to stay involved so more Hartford students graduate in the future.”

The cohort graduation rate is determined by dividing the number of students who graduate in a given year by the number of students who enrolled as freshmen four years earlier. This method of calculating graduation rates, first proposed by the National Governors’ Association in 2004, is considered the most precise way of measuring them. The NGA method is now the standard in many states.

For Hartford Public Schools, today’s news means that of every 10 students who enrolled as high school freshmen in 2009, more than seven of them graduated. In all, Hartford graduated 1,009 students out of a pool of 1,418 entering freshmen. The figures also represent an increase of 6.4 percentage points from the previous year’s rate of 64.8 percent, when the district graduated 905 students out of a pool of 1,396 freshmen.

Statewide, the cohort graduation rate for 2013 was recorded at 85.5 percent.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, Mayor Segarra, State Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor and Dr. Jacqueline Jacoby, Special Assistant to the Hartford Board of Education, announced the state and city graduation rates at a noon press conference held at High School, Inc., the city’s insurance and finance academy at 275 Asylum Street.

“These numbers reflect the great work that our schools have done, our efforts at building leadership that contributes to success and the incredible contributions from all segments of the larger Hartford Public Schools community,” Dr. Jacoby said.

She cited credit retention programs, where students who are far behind in their studies are given time and opportunity to catch up; student success centers that offer tailored academic instruction and personal support to “off-track” students and previous drop outs who returned to city schools; the conversion to smaller themed academies that offer more personalized instruction; and a higher degree of parent engagement in the education of their children.

All but three of the 14 city high schools experienced significant gains in their graduations rates. Among the leaders was High School, Inc., under the leadership of Principal Terrell Hill, where the graduation rate jumped more than 18 percentage points from 52.4 to 72.8. At the Law & Government Academy, led by Principal Frank Samuelson, the graduation rate increased from 47.4 percentage points to 71.7, a gain of 24.3 percentage points. And Principal Steve Perry’s Capital Preparatory Magnet School graduated 100 percent of its 33 seniors in 2013.


I'm not really sure what the mechanism is to enforce  or correct violations of Hartford's Charter. But at least Hartford's Internal Audit Commission is taking the first step to make that clearer.

The Commission today unanimously voted to file charges against Mayor Segarra with the City's Ethics Commission for failing to carry out his duties as required under the City Charter.

Specifically, the Commissioners are bothered by Segarra's failure to follow Charter requirements in the hiring of Department Heads.

The issue was brought to a head after a complaint filed with the IAC over the continued appoinment of Hartford's Director of Public Works Keith Chapman. Chapman has been in an "acting role" over the 6 month period allowed under the Charter. The key issue is, according to sources, is that Chapman refuses to move to Hartford as required if he were to accept the permanent position. Sources have also confirmed that Segarra has offered the permanent position to Chapman, but he has refused to accept it.

The Hartford City Council has authority under the Charter to Conduct hearings and investigate Charter violations but for some reason they seem to choose to ignore the violations and Segarra continues to violate the Charter requirements.

This one should generate some media attention, but also keep in mind that the Mayor appoints the members of the Ethic's Commission. They haven't paid attention to much that has happened so far, so I am not holding out much hope. Maybe it is time for a taxpayers group that might consider filing a Superior Court law suit to force compliance.


You can give someone the title of leader, but that doesn't necessarily make them one. Such appears to be the case of Hartford City Council's "Majority Leader" Alexander Aponte.

For a refresher, here is a previous posting  that caught Aponte up in a Federal Food Stamp Fraud Investigation

As a result of that investigation and the resulting complaint from the woman Aponte claimed as his client, Aponte and the Statewide Grievance committee accepted a deal to avoid further action against Aponte.

According to recent documents, Aponte has breached that deal and even bounced a check that was sent as restitution ordered by the  "Bad Lawyer Committee". The check was issued in July of 2013, and according to the documents, apparently has not been made good after it bounced.

Be sure to read the "Aponte Fraud Complaint" below and  it should put Aponte's actions into question as far as his integrity and honesty. Is he really someone we want to call a Hartford "leader"? Is this really someone who should have a leadership role on the Hartford City Council. Is it any wonder why voter turnout is so low in Hartford and why most people are so turned off with the system?

I would ask Councilman Aponte to do the right thing and resign, but it is pretty clear he isn't known for doing what is right. Maybe he should focus on his law practice so he isn't bouncing checks to his victims.

What is next for Aponte, a judgeship?