I think we need to change the Charter again in Hartford. Not a lot of changes, really just one. We need annual elections for Mayor and City Council. It just seems like so much more gets done and our elected officials are much more attentive in election years. Isn't it amazing how Mayor Segarra has suddenly come to life acting like a leader when he knows his job is on the line and his record of performance isn't too great
As I write this now Segarra is arriving at the latest shooting scene on Barbour Street. Now that almost sounds Mayoral, but is this the first shooting in almost six years for him to attend? Where has he been previously. I don't even recall him showing up at a scene when a police officer has been shot.
But it goes back to my reason for Charter Change. Politicians become different people when they know their jobs are on the line.
For years now I have heard Hartford's plead with the Council at budget time for more Officers. I have heard him plead for more money and to try to stop the Council from cutting spending for the Cadet program and the PAL program. Unfortunately that has fallen o n deaf Council ears year after year . PAL and the Cadet program are the first stage of HPD's minority recruitment plan. But, since it wasn't done in an election year, it doesn't matter, cut the budget.
It was almost funny if it wasn't so serious to the City. Yesterday, Segarra held a press conference in the atrium of City Hall after he emerged from his secret meeting. It was interesting to watch. I almost thought that someone had found the money to make life size bobble head dolls of Ken Kennedy, Kyle Anderson and Shawn Wooden. Every that was made by Segarra about hiring more cops, funding for overtime, Funding Community Policing programs, all those statement were met by the bobblehead bounce of support.
I am going to save that that video. When Chief Rovella goes before the Mayor and Council for the funding to accomplish those goals I may have to drag that video out to remind them of that day. But if an election day isn't in the immediate future they may quickly forget ,as if often the case it seems
Friday, Police Chief Rovella said he was down 70 to 90 police officers... Rovella has
cautioned city leaders in recent years that the department is losing staff
faster than it can replace them." Where were the boobleheads then, or do they only listen to the Police Chief in an election year? Are the bobbleheads finally realizing that proper police funding is important to the people of Hartford and maybe they should listen because it might just become a big election issue?
Maybe annual elections would remind the next Mayor and the next group of potential bobbleheads that they have to come through on their promises. Leadership requires that you step up and be a leader everyday, not just every 3 and a half years, 6 months before the next election cycle begins. Leadership requires that you show compassion and care for your constituents the entire term, not just when an election is looming.
And finally, since Hartford's voters for some reason seem to have short memories, annual will keep the failings of our elected officials fresh in our minds as we decide who to support. They will no longer be able to rejuvenate their images as fresh for the next election. They will no longer to be able to write off the history of their lackluster terms. They will no longer be able to tout "but look what I have done lately".
We won't have to worry about our long term memory, it will be fresh in our minds with yearly elections