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Saturday, June 25, 2016


Will it ever end?  The Hartford Stadium Authority, which is supposed to have been created to protect our interests with the Dunkin Donuts Stadium project has once again failed us.

And yes, at his point it is Bronin's Stadium Authority, he owns it, he can no longer blame it on the Segarra Administration. Mayor Bronin has refused to make any changes or hold the Hartford Stadium Authority or others at City Hall accountable. Even one of his catch words throughout the campaign was "accountability", which he promised to bring to City Hall if elected.

Last week the big issue was the lack of insurance on the property. Now it appears that insurance may actually be irrelevant for losses.

According to sources, there is no fire protection operating at the stadium. The sprinklers are not operational and there is no monitored fire alarm functioning for the property. Again, according to sources , there was no notification of this made to Traveler's Insurance and no rider was obtained to cover the City from the lack of fire protection .

The "builders risk policy "would have covered the City during construction, but once Mayor Bronin threw Centerplan and DONO,LLC off the project, that policy was no longer in effect  and the City had to scramble to obtain conventional property insurance.

Now you would think Darryl Hill, who is currently the City's Chief Operating Officer (COO) and also a member of the Stadium Authority would have set up a check list of things that needed to be done to protect the City's interests in this $63 million dollar plus project.

But, this being Hartford , and accountability in very low demand insurance and fire protection  were never thought of.

At least not thought of by the brain trust at City Hall and the HSA. But at least someone is thinking about protecting Hartford and its residents on this investment.

The Hartford Fire Department and the Hartford Fire Marshall has mandated that a "fire watch" be conducted 24/7 until the Life Safety Fire Alarm systems are operational and on line. This would be done to any private business owner or property owner required to have a fire alarm, so the City of Hartford and the HSA is not, and should not, be exempted.

The fire watch consists of three Hartford firefighters on overtime , a supervisor and two firefighters, around the clock at the Stadium. The cost of the coverage will rise into the thousands of dollars, and it is unclear at this point who will foot the bill. I would think it will eventually be the City of Hartford, since the fire watch was not required while Centerplan was actively involved in construction and the builders risk policy covered them. It was a result of the City's actions (Mayor Bronin's termination of Centerplan ) that created the issue.

Once again, it is inexcusable and unconscionable that such a body (the HSA)of failed members be allowed to remain in place and jeopardize this project even more. What else is there to still come out?

Below is the Hartford Fire Department overtime or Private Duty listing for this week showing the required hours and we are coming up on a holiday period which will increase the hourly rate even more.

Thank you I. Charles Matthews for your continued leadership

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


Despite assurances today from Mayor Bronin that he "has never even met and never spoken with Casanova", my sources stand by their information that Assistant Chief Casanova from New Haven will be transitioning to HPD soon.

 In preparation, all HPD officers are encouraged to familiarize themselves and learn the words of the new HPD theme song below.

Ohhhhhh, Casanova..........



From Monday Nights agenda for the Hartford City Council; 

MAYOR BRONIN, with accompanying resolution concerning the appointment of Darrell V.
Hill as the City of Hartford's Chief Financial Officer and Director of Finance, effective July 5, 2016

I don't normally use profanity, but a few choice words come to mind when reading this. Darryl Hill should be nowhere near Hartford's finances when you consider the mess he has already created. Dillon Stadium quickly comes to mind, and the Hartford Stadium Authority is a close second.

What is Luke, (or whoever is making these decisions) thinking?

And where in Hartford's City Charter does it say anything about a Chief Financial Officer? As a broke City, what are we going to pay for this newly created position? And how can we possibly go to the region and try to explain we are being fiscally responsible and ask for their help  while doing things like this.

The Hartford City Council needs to step up with a loud and clear "NO" 


Chief Rovella
According to several sources both inside  HPD and at Hartford City Hall, a new Police Chief may be in the future plans for the Hartford Police Department.

Mayor Luke Bronin has had his fair share of blunders since taking office, but a change in Chief's at this time could potentially be his biggest to date, even bigger than the stadium mess.

Again, according to numerous sources, Assistant Chief Luiz Casanova from the New Haven police Department is potentially being tapped by Bronin to replace Chief James Rovella.

                                                                       Luiz Casanova

There probably is never an optimum time to change the top leadership of a police department, but now is definitely not the time for such a change. Many of the problems HPD is dealing with now have been of a political nature and to add in another decision driven by politics is wrong.

The largest problem facing HPD currently is driven by staffing deficits and budget issues. And even the budget issue, over $ 9.5 million in overtime costs this year, have been the direct result of the lack of attention to staffing and hiring, driven by our politicians.

For several years, Chief Rovella has put the Mayor and City Council on notice that HPD's attrition rates were unsustainable. No one paid attention until the staffing resulted in a crisis situation which began the dismantling of Hartford's nationally recognized Community Policing program.

No Police Chief is perfect,  but Chief Rovella has built strong ties to the community and is well respected and trusted for his efforts. Those ties have proven very beneficial for a manpower strapped Department as the community is called upon more and more to be responsible partners with HPD.

Innovative concepts by Chief Rovella , such as the creation of the Shooting Task Force several years ago have reaped huge results for Hartford in reducing the number of guns and violent crime on our streets. STF was such a success in Hartford, it was eventually used as a model for other cities , including New Haven.

Chief Rovella has been on the cutting edge of leading the way to "do more with less" as his resources continued to drop in numbers. And Hartford's crime numbers have continued to drop also. Now is not the time for change for the sake of a political change.

For the week ending May 28, 2016, the most recent crime stats available on the HPD website show a steady reduction in Crime for the City, year to date. That doesn't indicate a change is necessary to me to satisfy someones political agenda.

Homicides down 41.7%, rape down 12.5%, robberies down 20.3%, aggravated assault down 8.8%, burglary down 9.6%, larceny down 4.0%. The only reporting category that was up were auto thefts, 3.9%, and I think I can live with that overall.

We have just seen an uptick in shootings and homicides in the last two weeks, but up to that time the numbers had been pretty good, considering the lack of proper staffing on our streets, but even another  couple hundred cops on street corners probably wouldn't prevent the gang shootings and gun violence

Are there problems? Yes., but name any organization of the size of HPD that isn't going to have problems. It is how the administration deals with those problems and sets the tone fore the organization. Many of the problems that have gained media scrutiny have been brought to light by Chief Rovella because he hasn't been willing to sweep bad behavior under the rug to avoid embarrassment.

The next major problem for HPD is how they deal with reports and related video of possible Police brutality claims. Once again, a situation that was brought to light by Chief Rovella when he requested an IAD investigation into what he thought may have been the use of excessive force by a couple of his officers.

That investigation has the potential to be a powder keg for the City of Hartford and HPD. It is how we handle it that will determine the outcome and the community's reaction.

People trust Rovella. He has been alongside the community , shoulder to shoulder with them , facing difficult issues. It is that trust and those relationships that will take a newcomer from New Haven months, if not years to build, and a lot can happen to negatively impact our community and our Police Department in that time.

Word is that New Haven's Assistant Chief Casanova will be in attendance at tomorrow nights Public Compstat meeting at HPD, we need to show our support for our Chief,  Chief James Rovella at that meeting and let Mayor Bronin know we count on Chief Rovella's leadership to guide our Police Department and we don't want a change, especially for purely political reasons and to pander to one group or another to try to gain their support. We have too much riding on the future of our City and the future of HPD.


On 06/21/16 at 7:24pm, Hartford Police Department patrol officers and STF investigators
responded to 97-99 Enfield St. for a ShotSpotter activation with 4 rounds having been 
discharged in the driveway area. Upon arrival, officers located a female victim in the 
drive-way suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to the torso. The female victim was 
transported to St. Francis hospital where she was subsequently pronounced deceased. Officers 
located a second male victim in the rear yard of 98 Enfield Street, suffering from a gunshot
wound to the upper torso. The male victim was pronounced deceased on scene by EMS personnel.
A short time later a third male victim arrived at St. Francis hospital suffering from a 
single gunshot wound to the buttocks. MCD, CSD, OCME and an Inspector from the Chief State's
Attorneys office responded. The investigation is on going. Anyone with information on the
incident is asked to call the Hartford Police Department. Anonymous tips can be left at the
HPD website.

Victim#1: Ashley Spence, 04/12/95 (female deceased)

Victim#2: Cameron Mounds Jr., 02/15/97 (deceased)

Victim#3: Harold Cook, 04/04/77, Non-fatal GSW to buttocks

All victims are from Hartford.

Monday, June 20, 2016


Is anyone held accountable in Hartford City government ?

No, that question wasn't meant as a joke, I'm serious. Is anyone held accountable at City Hall?

 We pay some very big salaries to people who are supposed to be "managers" of City government, yet we continue to see , day in and day out the continuous missteps, mistakes and "lack of oversight". Sadly , many of those City salaries are also way out of whack with comparable jobs in the private sector.

The other sad part is that we see many of the "mistakes " being made by the same people repeatedly with hardly any accountability or repercussions for their acts. Darryl Hill is one name that immediately comes to mind, yet he is still left in charge to move on to the next mistake, driving Hartford further off the cliff every day.

I won't rehash it here all over again, but the Stadium is just one more example of people put in charge of oversight for things they know nothing about

In a recent blog posting I described normal construction management procedures. You can read more here.

Briefly, I wrote ;"Typically on a construction project someone is monitoring, and enforcing all relevant requirements. Is your licensing up to date and current? Do they have copies of you current license? Is your liability insurance up to date and current? Do they have copies of your current insurance certificates? Is any required letter of credit or bond up to date? Do they have current copies?"

Where was the checklist. I would think that would be critical to any move, especially before throwing a contractor off a project as large as the Stadium. Did anyone ask our "owners rep" from Chicago what was the best way to proceed before taking the shut down actions? Isn't that what we are paying them for, to protect our interests. Or did we rely on a couple of people who have already shown they know nothing about crisis management and planning?

The names I. Charles Matthews and Darryl Hill keep coming to mind. Maybe they should be working for FEMA instead of the City of Hartford since they are so good at running into disasters. Unfortunately many of those disasters have been created by them. But also, Mayor Bronin is the Administrator who is responsible for keeping this mess in check, he can't continue to blame the "previous Administration" for the mistakes, especially when he is willing to give his PAC money to prop up that previous Administration.

With the stadium I just wonder what else they have overlooked, what is the next screw-up we will hear about? The lights and water have been shut off because no one transferred the bills from DONO when the Mayor threw them off the project? This stuff would also be comical if it wasn't the reality of the way the "Keystone Cops" brigade at City Hall operates.( No offense to our real cops who are doing a great job under difficult circumstances)

Maybe it is time to create a new position for Darryl Hill of Chief Financial Officer since he has done such a great job so far as COO ( hopefully that reign for Hill is about to come to an end with the arrival of Bonnie Malley now that the Phoenix merger is complete)

I can almost envision the day the Mayor, Darryl Hill and I . Charles Matthews  pull up in front of City Hall in the Shriner's little clown cars and laugh and tell us the last six months have all been  been a joke.

These aren't abstract concepts, much of it is called common sense, and that is what we are paying the big bucks to some people to protect our interests, not put a potentially $100,000,000 plus project in jeopardy by failing to carry insurance coverage. It is called "MANAGEMENT". And the same person who continually screws up has also been given more control as the "Acting Finance Director" for the City of Hartford? What could possibly go wrong there?

The Union issues, the Stadium problems, the lack of insurance the stunning failure of Senate Bill 464 have all been crash and burn moments for an administration that we all hoped was bringing in sweeping change January 1st. What happened?