Mayor Pedro Segarra likes throwing around the word "transparency", but the reality is he much prefers secrecy.
Think back to the 18months leading up to the stadium deal, 18 months of secrecy. Secrecy on the part of Segarra and Deller that led to a rushed deal that was forced upon the people of Hartford. A rushed deal that now appears to have serious problems holding together.
The supermarket that was supposed to be part of a done deal. It was originally supposed to involve a well known supermarket, that vendor has apparently now backed away from the project.
The Hooker brewery deal is in question also now. I probably shouldn't call it a deal because apparently nothing in writing was ever in place. No memo of understanding , no written agreement, apparently nothing other than architects renderings to make the stadium look flashy. A source that spoke with me, wishing to remain anonymous, stated that the deal wasn't dead, but was very precarious.
The source said that the owner of Hooker brewery was looking for other space outside of the stadium to locate his operation. Hooker's owner, Curt Cameron did not return repeated calls for comment. Segarra's spokesperson Maribel Laluz also did not return phone calls for comment. The topic was brought up at Tuesday's Stadium Authority meeting with no specifics as to the direction, only that they were working hard to save the deal.
Wednesday the announcement was made that Dunkin Donuts had been awarded the naming rights for the stadium. Once again shrouded in secrecy, no information would be released on the financials of the deal
It is a public facility funded in most part, or at this point entirely, by public (taxpayers) dollars. The suspicion is that the deal fell short of the Mayor's estimates of the amount needed to make the project viable. If the announcement has been made, the deal should already be in place and negotiated so releasing information to the public, the people footing the bill for the stadium is important. And if the deal has already been negotiated, why not?
Mayor Segarra was quoted in the Courant as saying "I have not been given exact figures" Nonsense. Any good manager would be on top of the project and know exactly what was going on, especially when the annual deal is critical to the project making its financial projections. More likely, the projection made by Segarra is off the mark of the final deal. $500,000 was needed or the projections would fall short.
Whether it is deals done in secrecy or secret "public excluded" meetings held in the Mayor's Office, it raises suspicion about Segarra's operation much more than it builds public confidence and trust in City hall.
I have FOI'd the documents from the Stadium Authority to see the real numbers