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Saturday, June 24, 2017


And no, that title has nothing to do with the former Commander of the Hartford Police Academy.(Although it could)

No this posting is more about the incompetence that allowed HPD and the Hartford Police Headquarters to be plunged into darkness and a crisis situation last night. Now you would think that a Deputy Police Chief charged with the maintenance and operation of police headquarters would likely maintain a checklist for critical items,

 1. Emergency generator tested and operational, check yes or no, if no schedule emergency maintenance
2. Uninterruptable power supply for radio system, tested and operational- check yes or no. if no schedule immediate service before radio system crashes during a power outage

I could go on and on, but that is why we pay Deputy Chiefs very large salaries to manage the PD. Any DC could probably call the smallest police department in the state and ask them to email their  checklist and put it on City letterhead and it would most likely be much better than what HPD currently has in place by the looks of it.

Last night, disaster was averted in Hartford, but not because of any pre-planning or preparation. More likely we got lucky.

Due to a power outage last night because of several transformer failures by Eversource equipment, HPD's headquarters was plunged into darkness when the backup generator failed or provided very  limited power to the Complex. The outage affected both telephone and radio operations and eventually, dispatchers were transported to East Hartford PD with portable radios to answer 911 calls that were diverted to our neighbor over the river. The dispatchers also carried with them a large amount of paper pads to keep  track of what they were doing.

No case numbers or routine information could be provided to officers in the field until about 1PM this afternoon when the systems began coming back on line. Officers couldn't complete any reports as all of the computers at Headquarters were down.

According to one source at HPD, the generator may have been restricted to limited power by a vendor over unpaid bills. I will work on that Monday with  an FOI request, but considering the City's financial situation and chronic mismanagement, it sounds reasonable, and I know the emergency generator has worked in the past.

Maybe it is time for someone to break out their City credit  card and pay the bill before the power goes down again

I also have to wonder where  was HPD's nearly million dollar command post that sits idle and rusting in the parking lot except for the one or two days a year it is currently used, Maybe the same Deputy  Chief responsible for testing the generator should also loosen the grip on the keys to the Command Post and train a few more people how to start and set it up in case of an emergency.  ..

According to HPD sources, numerous other problems arose during the failure. The access control system to unlock the entry doors into the building failed , and officers  were instructed to come to the front lobby as those were the only doors they were able to unlock. But apparently locks on some other doors didn't have the same issue. Sources advised me that when the systems failed, all of the doors on the jail cells in booking did unlock immediately . Now how could that be a problem, they are only jail cells Hopefully whoever designed that system doesn't do any work in our prisons.

But then again it was a slow night in booking sine officers were advised to avoid making any arrests since the cameras and fingerprint scanners and booking computers wren;t working. I guess no one could find the ink pad and print cards and roll the fingerprints the old fashioned way. Modern technology.

But to be fair, the Deputy Chief who should have been  supervising the systems that crashed last night, apparently is caught up in the investigation of the former Academy Commander, so he has his hands full. With failures like this , Acredidation seems like a long shot .

Monday, June 12, 2017


This past week on the blog and on Facebook has been very active and a lot has been said about HPD and claims made against specific officers, some good and some bad.

Specifically, people have made comments regarding on retired officer in particular, Sergeant Sean Spell.

One comment said that Spell had 15 citizen complaints made against him. The local media has also made the same claims, but apparently no one went any further to actually look  at the complaints or God forbid, actually explain them.  I guess explanations don't make headlines and sell papers.

You never hear anyone saying that if a Police Officer doesn't have citizen complaints, they probably aren't doing their job very well. Well, let me say it. Any Police Officer that doesn't occasionally have a complaint filed against them isn't doing their job.

Let's put this into perspective. Typically most  contact we have with a police officer doesn't usually evolve into a warm and fuzzy encounter. It may be after an accident, and I don't know anyone that is in a great mood after an accident (especially if you had to wait a couple hours for an Officer to be dispatched. Not their fault, but they get the blame) Or maybe you got a traffic ticket or a parking ticket. Now we all know how we drive, and of course we could never be wrong, the Cop must be overreaching or trying to fill some nonexistent quota.

You hardly ever get pulled over by a cop wanting to give you a coupon to Starbucks for exceptional driving. I think you get my point, it does happen, but most people don't have raving reviews of their Police interaction, so citizen complaints are part of the job. Every complaint is entertained and investigated, no matter how serious or ridiculous, they get the same response.

 So I decided to ask the questions and see how serious those 15 complaints were. So here you go; I am not putting the complainants names though

#1- HPD IAD #200-44 Profane language used by Officer Spell on Barbour Street

#2- HPD IAD #2006-101- alleged excessive force used at Substation
                           NOT SUSTAINED AFTER INVESTIGATION

#3- HPD IAD #2007-050 Bondsman loitering at HPD, verbal for procedure, no Field Interview Card submitted

#4- HPD IAD #2007-050 Wrecker driver claimed discourteous attitude

#5-HPD IAD #2007-118 Off Duty Altercation
  Complaint Sustained-
                             30 Day Suspension for Conduct Unbecoming an Officer

#6- HPD IAD #2007-139- Harassment complaint
                            EXONERATED AFTER INVESTIGATION

#7-HPD IAD #2008-026 Complaint made by Wethersfield resident who saw Spell leave his personal car idleing in a parking lot while off duty
                                         NO ACTION TAKEN BY HPD

#8-HPD IAD# 2008-048 Complaint against Spell and another Officer after a prisoner attempted to escape from a substation  after a firearms arrest.
                            COMPLAINT NOT SUSTAINED- EXONERATED

#9- HPD IAD #2008-069- Complaint made against numerous officers at 23 Martin Street after incident.
       NO SPECIFIC COMPLAINT IMPLICATING SPELL, BUT  STILL PLACED IN                                                   HIS   FILE

#10- HPD IAD 2008-103  Spell was the supervisor, complaint made against an officer he was supervising

#11  HPD IAD# 2008-161- Citizen approached Spell to report her purse lost, while Spell and other officers were breaking up a melee at Club 960 on Main Street on Christmas then a vehicle being pursued crashed in the same are and complainant felt she wasn't getting proper service during the chaos

#12-  HPD IAD#  2012-073- Stolen car recovered, complainant apparently claimed money was missing from the center console when the vehicle was recovered. Since she knew the thief that took the car, she complained that it had to be Spell and the Chief Inspector from the States Attorney's Office who were responsible.

#13-  HPD IAD#2012-083- Complaint made against 2 Officer's Spell was supervising

#14- HPD IAD #2014-006- Force complaint made after arrest of subject high on PCP
                                     NOT SUSTAINED

#15- HPD IAD #2014-100- Complaint made claiming Spell interfered with a civilian photographer at a Homicide scene on Park Street
#16-  HPD IAD #2015-074 Complaint made against  Spell and CSP Trooper after arrest of individual who kicked an HPD vehicle during West Indian event

So there is the list, and it is actually 16, not 15. Only one incident concerns me, and Sgt. Spell paid for that error with a 30 day suspension.

Sean Spell is one of many officers that earned every penny they made keeping our City safe and our officers are human beings, and yes occasionally human beings make mistakes. But not everything is as it appears to be made out to be.

The research might take a while to complete, but it is part of being fair.



Friday, June 9, 2017


FROM :Sgt. John Szewczyk
President, Hartford Police Union

June 9, 2017

This statement is a formal response to the negative comments made against members of the Hartford Police Department by State Representative Minnie Gonzalez on the floor of the House Representatives at the State Capitol on June 5, 2017.

I would like to start by recognizing the amazing work done by the hardworking members of the Hartford Police Department.  Every day the men and women of the Hartford Police Department serve our capital city with honor and distinction. Despite this fact, Representative Gonzalez made a conscious decision to publicly ridicule, demean, and resort to nasty name calling on the floor of the CT State House of Representatives by referring to Hartford Police Officers as “cowboys who shoot young kids”.  She also made totally false and inaccurate statements such as Hartford Police Officers receive paid lunches and dinners.

Members of the Hartford Police Department have positive and meaningful relationships with the community.  Representative Gonzalez has attempted to drive a wedge between the members of the Hartford Police Department and the residents of Hartford.  However, she cannot and will not break our bond and loyalty to the community we serve. We will continue to build these positive relationships with the residents of Hartford regardless of her actions.  

I would also like to recognize the families of the Hartford Police Officers who provide tremendous support to their loved ones. These family members are the true backbone of support for our police officers.  They are forced to endure the good and the bad that our officers experience on a daily basis and yet continue to provide the support we need.

Thank you to the many members of the public who have reached out to me and other members of our police department offering their support and praise for our work.  This includes numerous state and local elected officials, from both sides of the political aisle, and most importantly numerous residents of Hartford, including those in the 3 rd  District that Representative Gonzalez represents.  They have all been thoroughly supportive and have either contacted me personally or made public comments through social media denouncing Representative Gonzalez’s unprofessional and undignified actions.

Lastly, I would like to offer Representative Gonzalez the opportunity to spend time with the amazing men and women of the Hartford Police Department.  Whether you visit the police station, speak with officers in the community, or participate in a ride-along, spending time with our officers may help you understand and recognize first-hand the positive relationships that our officers have with the community. 


On March 11, 2017, at approximately 7:01pm, HPD patrol officers responded to the area of 2621 Main Street in response to a report of an armed robbery and carjacking. The victim reported that he had arranged to meet with an unknown individual to purchase an i-Phone solicited on the on-line internet site "Offer Up.".

 The victim was approached by three suspects, one of which produced a firearm. The armed suspect struck the victim with the firearm and took possession of various personal items, money, and the victims vehicle. The victim received emergency medical care on scene for a head injury. Further investigation of the incident was later assigned to Major Crimes Division Detectives. HPD Detectives were able to develop probable cause to charge a suspect, Raekwon Gaines, in connection to the incident.

 An arrest warrant was drafted, and later approved by a Superior Court Judge, charging Gaines with Robbery 1st Degree, Conspiracy Robbery 1st Degree, Larceny 2nd Degree, Conspiracy Larceny 2nd Degree, and Conspiracy Larceny 3rd Degree. Members of the HPD/U.S. Marshals Violent Fugitive Task Force began actively investigating and attempting to locate Raekwon Gaines.

 On June 7, 2017, intelligence was received that Gaines was present at 17 Barbour Street, Hartford, CT. A surveillance operation was conducted by HPD Detectives and USDM Perreault that subsequently led to the safe apprehension of Gaines without injury or incident. Raekwon Gaines was transported to the Major Crimes Division for debrief then booked and processed for the aforementioned charges.

Gaines is currently being held on a $500,000 bond. Arrested: Raekwon Gaines (dob 5/24/96) of 17 Barbour Street, Hartford, CT Charges: Robbery 1st Degree, Conspiracy Robbery 1st Degree, Larceny 2nd Degree, Conspiracy Larceny 2nd Degree, and Conspiracy Larceny 3rd Degree These on-line transactions like “Offer-Up” and “Craigslist” continue to be a problem for HPD.

 Please, if you are using one of these sites for a transaction, conduct the transaction in the safe HPD parking lot.

Thursday, June 8, 2017


I received this e-mail today from the wife of a Hartford Police Officer, condemning the ignorant remarks of Hartford's 3rd District State Representative Minnie Gonzalez. Gonzalez made her remarks before the Legislature's General Assembly regarding a Police Accountability bill.

This e-mail lays out the facts quite clearly. Just for the record, the officer's wife did identify herself by name in the e-mail. I chose not to identify her since I haven't spoke with her

I am the proud wife of a Hartford Police Officer and Air Force Veteran. The men and women of the Hartford Police Department are some of the finest people I know, and have more integrity than you could ever wish to  have. They serve their communities with pride, dedication, and distinction. These officers put their lives on the line every single day, for little pay, little recognition, and with very little support from elected politicians. These men and women go into their neighborhoods every day truly trying to make a difference, something you know nothing about.

The comments made by you on June 5, 2017 in defense of bill HB6663 were appalling, ignorant, and unnecessary. while you stated that you support the HPD and its officers, your statements were a direct contradiction to that. Let me address them one by one.

You stated that the officers were cowboys with guns, and bats. I'm not sure I have ever seen them wear cowboy hats or boots to work, I have seen officers on horseback, however they were not herding cattle. I have seen my husband come home with blood on his boots and tears in his eyes as he has faced some of the most horrific acts humans can do to one another. I've watched him on phone calls with other officers, consoling them as they attempted to come to terms with the suicide call, or child abuse case, or the senseless murders that occur all too frequently.

You stated that there are good and bad cops, you are correct. There are far more good ones than bad, which is more than I can say for politicians. The vast majority of police officers joined the force to do good, to make a change, and to be positive influences in their communities.

You stated that HPD officers have good pay, good benefits, and a good pension. What you fail to mention is that their good pay comes from countless hours of overtime, or road jobs (which are not paid for by the city, and the city actually makes money off of,) you fail to mention the missed birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, and special occasions they have missed in order to protect your ignorance. From my understanding, you get paid a hefty stipend for being an elected official, receive benefits, and will receive a pension.

You stated that "you" pay for the officers lunch and dinner. I'm not sure how you determined that, as I send my husband with his meals daily, while he works his 16 hour shifts. He frequently comes home with his meals still in his bag, as they do not get a lunch break, and is often lucky if he can even get a bite in between calls.

You stated that these "cowboys" are killing young kids in our community with no consequences, and this abuse needs to stop. Since 2005 there have been 20 Officer Involved Shootings according to HPD data. That's one shooting every 219 days by an officer. Considering the amount of public interaction, and the calls for service this equates to a less than 1% chance of being shot by a police officer in Hartford. The last time a person was killed by a police officer in Hartford was in 2013, a whole 4 years ago, and it was entirely justified. Again, your ignorance is glaring, and your abuse of police officers needs to be stopped.

You stated that you pass laws frequently to protect, and train police officers. The training is mandated by the State of CT, and you have done nothing to indemnify, or protect officers of your community. In fact, based on your history, I am not even sure how you can remain in office. Your family has been called a "crime syndicate." You have been found guilty of elections violations, you have the "Minnie Gonzalez Little League", which receives over $75,000 a year in tax payer money, and is managed by your husband. In fact it seems as if you have a significant conflict of interest in presenting or debating any type of law enforcement bill, as taking power away from the police directly benefits you and your family.

It is very easy to sit in your safe office and make ignorant, untrue statements towards our officers. They need your support not your condemnation. You lack integrity, honesty, and decency. You should take a ride along with a Hartford Police Officer on a Saturday night during the summer, and see what they are exposed to. Have you ever taken simulation training?  I'm sure you would not make accurate split second decisions that you expect from our officers. You truly should be ashamed of your statements against HPD and in fact should issue a very public apology for condemning them in the way you did.

Here is the link to your inaccurate, cowardly statements, to refresh your memory.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


I remember years ago there was a bumper sticker "WHO NEEDS POLICE?...EVERYONE"

I don't think  that could ever be truer than it is today, but we seem to be losing sight of that.

Yesterday, Connecticut's House of Representatives debated a bill aimed at Police Brutality.

 Abusive officers can not be tolerated,and theHartford Police has done a pretty good job of dealing with the issue  but Representative Gonzalez of Hartford seemed to paint Law Enforcement Officers with a pretty wide brush yesterday. Gonzalez also seemed to not have a problem with incorrect information during her rant. Despite her comments, Hartford Police Officers do not get free meals or get their meals paid for as part of their lucrative benefits. And they don't carry "bats".

The Connecticut State Police do get a meal allowance, but that is as a result of a Collective Bargaining agreement approved by the same Legislative body that Representative Gonzalez is a member of.

 Although Gonzalez portrays the men and women of Law Enforcement as "Cowboys" with "Bats and Guns".  ( I think she probably meant badges and guns, but I'm sure for her performance, cops with bats probably fit her image better)

The other three videos below are just an example of what Police Officers in Hartford and across our Country face every day as they work to protect us.

The officers in these videos exhibit great restraint and professionalism as they deal with unruly parties. Listen to the anguish in the officers voice as he tries to talk a gunman down before he had to shoot him to protect his and others lives. Watch the Philadelphia Officer as he puts up with the rant and behavior of a drunk or impaired TV reporter. I doubt many of us mere mortals could show the restraint  this officer did. At the very least she should have received a face full of pepper spray or a Taser dart .

The last video has some pretty poor police tactics as a suspect pulls a gun from his waistband and opens fire on the officers , as they talked to him the entire time before the shooting and treated him with respect. I think it shows the human side and how bad things can go bad with our officers. There clearly is only instinct and survival mode as these incidents unwrap very quickly.

And yes, they are still humans doing a tough job.

This type of behavior is more the rule than the exception.

 Representative Gonzalez and her fellow critics need to get out of the confines of their Sanctuary at the Capitol and get in touch with what goes on on our streets.

Friday, June 2, 2017


Maybe we should think about replacing dead trees on City property to show we support green energy and a cleaner environment. But no, instead we are going to burn electricity all night to bathe City Hall in a sea of green protest. (or support as Mayor Bronin calls it)

I wonder if anyone ever considered  bathing City Hall in pink out of respect for the Komen Race for the Cure to support the efforts to raise funds to combat breast cancer and support research being held in Hartford this weekend.

That probably isn't enough of a political statement for the administration ''

Bronin Press Release:


HARTFORD, CONN (June 2, 2017) –   At the direction of Mayor Luke Bronin, Hartford City Hall will be lit green tonight to signal Connecticut’s opposition to the federal government’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, and to underline Hartford’s significant efforts to conserve energy, increase the number of green jobs, and support the quality of neighborhood life for residents.  Earlier today, Governor Malloy added Connecticut to a coalition of states committed to upholding the Paris Climate Agreement.

“The decision to abandon the Paris Climate Agreement is an unforgivable surrender of American leadership on one of the most important issues of our time,” said Mayor Bronin.  “In virtually every other country in the world, the debate is about how to confront climate change responsibly – not the absurd idea that it’s a ‘hoax’ created by China.  Not only do we have a moral responsibility to reduce carbon emissions, we should also be seizing the opportunity to build a robust green jobs economy by investing clean energy.”

The Mayor continued, saying, “I’m proud to join with cities and states around the country to commit to filling the void on environmental responsibility that this decision leaves.  In Hartford, we are on the path to reduce our energy consumption by 20% by 2018 with the dedicated work of City employees and leadership of our Climate Stewardship Council.”   

As a signatory of the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement, Hartford has committed to both reducing overall energy consumption by 20% and increasing renewable energy use by 20% across its City operations by next year.  Significant progress has been made towards that goal through building energy retrofits, the recent launch of a cutting-edge fuel cell microgrid in the Parkville neighborhood that will reduce carbon emissions by 40% in connected buildings, the solar array at the landfill in North Meadows, the streetlight overhaul across the City, and a number of other smaller renewable energy projects.

To achieve the 20% reduction goal, the 30-member Climate Stewardship Council, which includes stakeholders from a cross-section of nonprofits, businesses, and government agencies, will finalize the community’s Climate Action Plan and chart the path towards further emissions reductions.  The City recently hired a 100% grant-funded Sustainability Coordinator to assist in those efforts.


The front desk at HPD , known as Teleserve, is supposed to be a secure area surrounded by bullet proof ballistic glass.

That bullet proof ballistic glass was put to the test on May 27,2017 by a 40 year old female who  attacked the window with a "rusted bike pedal" shattering the $2300.00  glass.

Hopefully the glass will prove more durable if it is ever challenged by an actual bullet instead of the rusty bike pedal. Maybe the next Legislative session can ban the possession of rusty bike pedals without a permit, opening another revenue stream for our cash  strapped State.


The State of Connecticut is at a budget stalemate, unable to pass a State budget before their adjournment next week. That stalemate will most likely require additional money for a special Legislative session(s), adding to the State's deficit.

The State of California had a similar dilemma a few years ago. The California Comptroller came up with a simple solution. No California Legislator would receive a paycheck until a budget  was in place.

California's budget crisis was quickly solved and a budget was passed promptly,

 Maybe Connecticut should try that.

Here is an example of why our government budgets are a mess.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017


I am disgusted. Quite frankly I am sick of what our City has become. It hasn't just happened under our current Mayor. The incompetence and poor leadership has gone on for some time now, and we just sit back and take it.

I have spent most of my adult life as a resident of the City of Hartford. I have become used to the all too often question of "Why the hell do you stay there?". I have been a victim of crime, I have witnessed more crime as a Hartford resident than most people see in a lifetime. But yet I choose to call Hartford my home. A city that I have embraced with open arms and fought hard to see change.

Hartford is my home .It is sickening to see my next door neighbor contemplating a move out of the City that I love and deliver a devastating blow to my hometown. It is even more devastating that the so called leaders of our City and State could be so ignorant of their surroundings to be caught off guard of the move. I warned the Mayor and his Chief of Staff over a year ago when a source at Aetna told me that a move was imminent.

I was aggravated last fall when a high ranking official at Aetna told me personally that their communications with the Mayor were "virtually nonexistent". Not a good way to treat anyone. especially a large corporate neighbor like Aetna.

Although Hartford has its warts and failings , it is still my home. I am extremely fortunate to have met so many people that I probably would have never met if I chose to settle elsewhere. My good friends, like Hyacinth Yennie who has been there to prop me up for years, even during her own trials and tribulations. If there was ever anyone to win the award for Hartford cheerleader, it is Hyacinth and her energy for the people of Hartford is incredible.

I would love to start naming everyone but I know I will miss many, But a few keep coming to mind.

Bob and Candy Killian I met relatively late in my Hartford residency. Judge Killian and his wife are two of the finest people I have ever met. Bob and Candy have both adopted me and have taken me under their wings.  Bob has taught me valuable lessons in a relatively short time about humility and thoughtful reasoning. Even occasionally having to put the brakes on me and saying "are you going to let me finish or do you want to talk?". I have not met anyone yet that knows more about Hartford and its history and is able to tell the story with anecdotes that only a lifetime involved in Hartford can provide.

Alyssa Peterson is someone else that has an extreme love for Hartford. Often misinterpreted due to her strong sense of right and wrong, often called a naysayer, but she serves a purpose in keeping Hartford from going off the rails regularly. Alyssa also has an uncanny knack or sixth sense of knowing when I land in the ER. She has a way of convincing hospital staff she is family to get her way beyond the locked hallways.

I have befriended my share of underdogs also, and they are far from anything close to an underdog to me, they are some of the most genuine decent people, if anyone took the time to appreciate them. Lt Rob Allan from HPD, Deputy Chief Dan Nolan from HFD, and quite a few others that are probably better unnamed because they still have time left to work at HFD and HPD. Sadly, Lt Allan announced today that he is calling it a career and moving on from HPD.

People like Shirley Surgeon, Angel Arce and Doug McCrory all have opened my eyes to life in Hartford and Hartford's odd way of politics and have helped me appreciate all that our City has to offer.

Chief Rovella is also someone that has taught me a lot about our City and both his and Chief Freeman's vision and planning to try to keep Hartford a great place have been underrated. One  major thing Chief Rovella has taught me is that when I am really pissed, stay away from the keyboard, take the time to breathe deeply before the venom starts flowing through my keyboard. That is why tonight's posting is not what many people expected when they called me today The upset and the venom can wait until tomorrow

And so finally, for anyone I didn't mention above, you already know if you mean something  special to me. And I wouldn't change my experiences  in Hartford for anything.

The video below is something I found on youtube tonight, and pretty much has nothing to do with the posting above, but I found it inspirational, enjoy,  and keep fighting for Hartford. If we keep trying, sooner or later we will get it right and elect some decent leaders for our City.


The exodus continues from the beleaguered Bronin Administration. The latest to jump ship is the Director of the Emergency Services Telecommunications Department, Clayton Northgraves. Northgraves has apparently informed Mayor Luke Bronin that he will be leaving.

Northgraves took over the troubled agency in November 2014 and restored management to a City Department  that was frequently criticized for its inefficiency under its previous Director, retired HPD Sergeant Andrew Jaffee.

Northgraves is only the latest in Hartford Department heads that have parted ways with the Bronin Administration in the 18 months the Mayor has been in office.

Northgraves was previously with the Town of Enfield and the City of New Have in 2014n before coming to Hartford.

In addition to Northgraves there have also been numerous departures from the Police and Fire Departments in the last several days adding to the leadership void in City Departments. Much of this is being caused by the indecisiveness of the Administration and the concern over the course of Hartford's future and the lack of any structural change to put Hartford back on a solid foundation.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


Last week, comments were posted questioning a training seminar that was conducted by the Hartford Fire Department for some of its members.

I haven't bothered Chief Freeman since he is out on paternity leave after the birth of his second daughter last week. Congratulations to the Freeman's on the arrival of their daughter.

I have spoken to several other people familiar with or who had attended the training. The course was regarding "Situational Awareness Training". From what I understand, the course was taught by a Fire Chief from Minnesota who was in the area to teach a course to the US Navy. The City was able to get a reduced rate on the training since he was already in the State of Connecticut for the Naval course.

Chief Freeman may not have risen up through the ranks of HFD and because of that may not be accepted by everyone at HFD. As someone who has observed HFD from the outside for a while now, I have to say I think the HFD is under the best leadership it has seen in quite a while. We aren't hearing of the discipline problems and chaos we have seen under the previous few Chiefs.

Chief Freeman is functioning under some of the most difficult circumstances seen in years. Between financial constraints and staffing problems, the HFD is still called upon every day to provide Fire Services for the City of Hartford and its residents. For anyone not aware of the situations facing Public Safety in Hartford, both Police and Fire are headed for a definite crisis due to the lack of commitment from City Hall.

The number for both Police and Fire are dropping steadily and they are not being replaced to keep ahead of the attrition. Sources at both HFD and HPD are telling me that those numbers will likely get much worse after July 1st as large numbers of Police Officers and Firefighters retire or leave for other jobs. Much of that attrition is being forced by the uncertainty and insincerity from Mayor Bronin and City Hall..

One high ranking HFD source told me that the training was held to help offset the damage of the upcoming exodus. The person explained that the loss of many high rankling officers is going to require the promotion of many people at HFD to important command positions The source made it clear that many of those people "were not ready for the promotions", but that everything was being done to prepare the future Captains and Deputy Chiefs to be ready.

Even though they may not be "ready", the promotions will be necessary to provide the Command Structure necessary for day to day operations at HFD.

Chief Freeman has had the vision and foresight to prepare for the possible disaster caused by City Hall and take the necessary steps to mitigate the impending disaster. Although some commenter's called the training a "waste of money", it seems to me like it will be money well spent if it keeps our firefighters safe with proper leadership in the field.

For those that claimed they learned nothing from the training, one source who attended the training told me that if anyone attended and learned nothing, "they were either asleep or not paying attention"

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


Last night I posted about an informational meeting to be held Thursday by Mayor Bronin to discuss concerns over the Police Department's ongoing negotiations. Chief Rovella's informational e-mail was met with an e-mail from the HPD Union President encouraging Officers to put in for overtime or compensatory time if they attended.. I posted that I felt it was wrong for anyone to consider putting in to be paid for attending the meeting.

Here is a link to that  posting

This morning, Chief Rovella clarified in an email to all HPD personnel  that "by no means will the Police Department  pay overtime or credit Compensatory hours for attendance"

I haven't heard from anyone today that was upset or planning to put in for overtime for attending. In fact most were encouraged by Bronin's attempt to clarify information, or misinformation, regarding HPD's ongoing negotiations.

From: "Rovella, James" >
Date: May 24, 2017 at 9:26:02 AM EDT
To: Police Dept - Sworn >, Police Dept - Civilian >
Subject: RE: Conversation with the Mayor


For clarification purposes only, the conversation with the Mayor is not mandatory attendance, it is in fact optional. The Mayor is making himself available to employees of different departments, including the Police Department, to respond directly to your questions and address your concerns. I  picked one of the earlier blocks of time available.

By no means will the Police Department pay Overtime or credit Compensatory hours for attendance.

I hope to see as many people that can attend tomorrow at Quirk beginning at 4:00 pm.

As always, best regards.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


It is not too often you will hear me singing the praises of Mayor Bronin. I just don't usually agree with his management style or his communication skills, or maybe I should say lack of communication skills.

But when he does something right, I want to be fair and say it.

Bronin's interaction with our City's Unions has been terrible. Much of it accomplished through his condescending management style and the lack of communication skills I previously mentioned.

 Maybe Luke has started to realize that he is not always necessarily the smartest person in the room and he actually wants to listen.

To that end, Bronion has apparently offered to meet with the various Union's membership for an informational session. The invitation to all personnel at HPD was extended on behalf of the Mayor through an e-mail from Chief Rovella earlier today.

Apparently the Mayor "is making himself available" for employees to ask questions and for the Mayor to address their concerns. If this is a sincere effort, it might actually produce some results.The meeting has been scheduled for Thursday May 25th from 4:00 to 5:30PM at the Quirk Auditorium (also home of the Hartford Police Academy)

The media apparently is not open to the Media, according to Rovella's email.

Sadly though, Chief Rovella's e-mail was met a couple hours later by an e-mail from Hartford Police Union President John Szewczyk, Jr. urging his membership to attend. That request was followed by a reminder from the Union President to his membership to "not forget to put in for overtime/comp time" for all off duty personnel who choose to attend.

Being paid to attend  an off duty informational session is not a show of good faith to be partners in working on the City's financial problems. I am sure many of the Union's members have questions to ask directly of Bronin and may actually put some of their fears at rest.

City employees need to understand that they have had a good deal for many years and now it is time to bring them into line with private sector employees. No where in the private sector would attendance in Union meetings be allowed on Company time and definitely not while being compensated with overtime pay.

President Szewczyk, your efforts to obtain a reasonable contract for your membership have been applauded by many here on this very blog. Urging your members to put in for time and a half pay to ask questions , and get honest answers , hopefully, from the Mayor, should be reconsidered to continue building on goodwill with both City Hall and the community .

Saturday, May 20, 2017


"Country before party". That is a quote from Senator Richard Blumenthal last week on CNN referring to Congressional action toward President Donald Trump.

After hearing that , I had to think "what a great idea, if our politicians actually started thinking about us and our Country first".

The more I thought about it though , I had to ask myself, "When does this Country before party thing begin Senator?"

Now I realize  that Donald Trump is a lightning rod, and no matter what I write or post is probably not going to be popular with at least half of the people. But a sense of fairness should be the same, whether viewed by a Democrat or a Republican or an unaffiliated person.

I don't think anyone, except maybe the blindest of staunch Hillary supporters, can deny that we had a couple of very flawed candidates to vote for last November. Only time will tell if voters made the right choice. History will be the referee of that, butI hope they did, and even I have my doubts some days, but those doubts would be much stronger if the Clinton's regained control of the White House. I think one thing no one can deny is that we know what we got with President Trump, warts and all.

I think with the Clinton's, we would never know. I often wonder what the outcome would have been if Democrats realized Hillary Clinton did not have ownership or some God given right to the Oval Office. A decent candidate probably would have been a landslide against Trump.  A Biden /Trump race may have quite possibly been a much different outcome today. No scientific polls, just my gut feeling. Especially since we now know how wrong those polls were right up until the last hour the voting booths were open.

So back to Connecticut's renowned Senator and Vietnam veteran  Richard Blumenthal. When does that Country before Party thing begin?

Where was it after the Benghazi operation that resulted in the deaths of American patriots? Or was it in the words of Hillary Clinton, "What difference does it make?"

Where was "Country before Party" in the Clinton's private server? Trump was the focus of attention this past week after a meeting with Russian Officials and he allegedly divulged "classified" information. How much classified information was divulged in emails possibly hacked from Hillary's private, unauthorized server? I guess we may never know .

What was the deal with the Clinton Foundation and how much political influence was purchased through "donation's" to the Clinton's toy chest?

And finally, I have to ask why Russia only became an issue after Hillary Clinton lost. I guess if Hillary won the election she could have used her Benghazi quote again if questions arose regarding Russia  "What difference does it make?". If she was in the White House, who would even care about Russian influence?


This picture below was posted on Facebook this morning.

It would appear to me that people are finally seeing through the "Kingdom of Luke" and his "Town Hall Tour" and his related publicity stunts to attempt to further his political career, and the careers of those around him.

Luke how about some reality and leadership instead of stunts.

How about treating people with dignity and respect instead of treating them like subjects of your monarchy?  I would think we would get a lot more from our unions if you left the room and we could get someone to sit at the table that they could trust and treated them with respect.

And enough of the false hopes and promises. To tell residents that $40 million dollars from the State was almost assured was disingenuous, if not an outright lie. And the front page of the Courant this morning pretty much assures us the opposite.

How could any legislator vote to bail out Hartford when we still refuse to help ourselves. That might be a tough sell to their constituents. Explain why you voted to give money to Hartford while at the same time they cut funding to their own towns. Sounds like a tough sell

I know, PILOT.., unfair, It's the States fault, blah blah blah. Keep repeating it , someone might start listening. In the meantime, what are you going to do to fix it? It might work in the Kingdom of Luke, but isn't working with the real people in the real world.

And what good will $40 million dollars make if you still refuse to make any structural changes as you have not done in your first year and a half. Your crash and burn mentality when it comes to City employees and Labor Unions is getting us nowhere , as you continue to fund useless positions that only make you feel more secure as opposed to making the City more secure.

It is kind of sad though, some of Luke's ideas might be somewhat sound, but his delivery and communication skills are terrible and the rapidly growing mistrust is not going to help.

In the meantime, if you would like to be part of the Wildlife Safari Tour, mail your checks in today to be first in line. All deposits are non-refundable. In true Bronin style, the money will be spent before it is even received. Please make checks payable to "Bronin for Mayor 2019 Re-election Fund".

The last sentence of the flyer mentions "to win Donald Trump style" Do we have our own "mini-Trump" in the making?

Wednesday, May 10, 2017


For anyone that wants to take the time to read  it, the attached link lays out the steps required for a Federal Bankruptcy for a municipality.

It could be a bumpy road for Hartford.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017


Mayor Luke Bronin appears to be bankrupt of any solutions or strategies to turn Hartford around. I am convinced that since he took office on day one, his only strategy was to move toward bankruptcy to bust Hartford's unions and balance the budget and clear a deficit on the backs of Hartford's employees.

I think he has partially succeeded since our Police and Fire Department are both on the verge of a major crisis. HPD is well over a hundred officers short and severely understaffed. Last Saturday alone the midnight shift had almost ten officers on overtime. That is close to half of the officers on duty at the time  (minimum staffing is apparently 21 officers). On Sunday, almost one quarter of the HPD officers were on overtime.

The previous weekend, the special events detail for the Circus at the XL Center and the Yard Goats game were understaffed by 14 officers, about half of the entire detail. How do you think that will float when public safety is an issue for people coming to the Dunkin Donuts Park because the Police are unable to staff the events?

HFD is in the same position facing upwards of 40 seasoned firefighters ready to bail before Jul;y 1st. 

Currently HPD may be facing an exodus of almost 40 officers eligible to leave and in addition, sources  within HPD have told me that anywhere from 20 to 40 officers are pursuing opportunities with other agencies  and towns and have requested information from the City as to their benefits if they were to leave.

In case Mayor Bronin is too busy campaigning for himself and others across the State to realize this, Hartford is about to face a huge Public Safety crisis. Actually, we are already in a crisis, it is only going to get worse, much worse , as the summer months approach.

 Luke is bankrupt on any solutions or leadership to get Hartford back on a sustainable footing and I think that has become clearly evident to anyone paying attention. His threats of bankruptcy for the City are most like a ploy to pressure the State into coughing up the needed funds to bail Hartford out. It would be disastrous to file for bankruptcy, as well as immoral, to file without  doing anything and everything possible to avoid it.

Take a moment and think back, what has Luke Bronin done to change the systemic problems in Hartford. Does the word "NOTHING" come to mind. Sure he laid off numerous low end, lower paid employees to bolster his argument to the Union's that they needed to make concessions and be part of the solution....or else! But at the same time he loaded up the opposite end of City staffing with numerous salaries approaching or over $100K a year.

His Youth job Corp might have been a good idea, but who knows, we will probably never see realistic numbers on that program

Bronin's tendency to blame the City's problems on its employees is not doing anything to build our City or its neighborhoods. If anything, just the opposite if we lose more dedicated and hardworking employees who feel their benefits and financial security are in imminent jeopardy.

If Luke thinks our Police Officers and Firefighter's are riding the City of Hartford gravy train, I would urge him to run down Franklin Avenue with one of those dedicated officers as some lunatic with a gun is firing back, after they just shot a couple people in broad daylight on a busy street. Maybe he could follow a couple police officers as they run into an occupied apartment building filled with thick black choking smoke as they try to rescue residents, ending up in the hospital themselves for their heroic efforts. That is what our overpaid public servants do, day in and day out Mayor Bronin.

Maybe, just Maybe Mayor, instead of playing the political games to advance your own career, you could come up with solutions to help the people that voted for you. Maybe it is time to roll up your sleeves to actually get to work, and not just as a gimmick when you saunter out to the podium at  your dog and pony shows. (It would be interesting to see who Luke's PAC just paid  $7,000 in direct mailings for in February)

Why haven't we filed a lawsuit against the State of Connecticut to force them to pay their statutory requirements under PILOT. Paying only 35 or 40 percent of what they owe us is not right. Maybe everyone from Hartford should only pay 35% of their DMV registrations when they come due. Hey, it is only fair, if the State of Connecticut can do it, why shouldn't we?

And a PILOT lawsuit is a court filing that would do a lot more for the City of Hartford than the damage any bankruptcy ever would. And it might just force the State's hand instead of threatening them with bankruptcy.

Sunday, May 7, 2017


Hartford Police officers were dispatched to 24 Front Street this morning on the report of shots fired.

Upon HPD's arrival, officers located a 2010 Ford Fusion with multiple bullet holes in it parked at the entrance to the Front Street parking garage. The victim detailed to officers that she had been involved in an argument with here "friends" boyfriend. The boyfriend removed a firearm from his waistband and fired 12 rounds at her vehicle. He apparently needs to spend more time at the range,  since only 7 of the 12 rounds actually struck the vehicle.

Based upon the victims information , the suspect was identified and HPD contacted him. The suspect and his girlfriend agreed to return to the scene where HPD conducted a felony motor vehicle stop and the suspect was placed under arrest.

The suspect, identified as Austin Treadwell, 28, of 20 Front Street, Apt 318 was arrested and charged with numerous charges, including carrying a pistol without a permit, unlawful discharge of a firearm, Reckless endangerment 1st degree, Weapons in a Motor vehicle, Criminal Possession of a high capacity magazine, Criminal Mischief 1st Degree.

Treadwell had apparently disposed of the weapon, a 40 caliber pistol in East Hartford before returning to the scene. The weapon was recovered through the efforts of HPD.

Thursday, May 4, 2017


On April 5th I posted about false claims directed at me during a community meeting by Mayor Bronin. You can read that posting about the meeting here :

Bronin claimed that I was being critical of his hiring of a new communications person, at the same time he had laid off lifeguards for Hartford's indoor pools. Bronin told the people in attendance that I was upset because I had applied for the communications position and he wouldn't hire me. In retrospect, it is probably a good thing I never applied because I would most definitely have quit by now.

As I had stated in the April 5th posting, Bronin had come into my hospital room at Mount Sinai Hospital where I was going through physical rehabilitation after a stroke in July of 2015. Bronin, who was running for Mayor at the time was trying to get my support for his campaign. I told him that I was already supporting retired Probate Judge Bob Killian and that wasn't going to change, Before leaving Bronin said that if I changed my mind, there would "be a spot for me" if he won. If I remember the conversation correctly, he asked me where "I could see myself" and I believe I said  "in Communication's".

That was the end of it for me, There was no application, no submitting a resume, NOTHING.

I think Bronin knew he was lying, as he had to have known I never applied for anything, but it was an attempt to discredit a critic of his in public. Typical politics.

Again to quote Mark Twain, "If you always tell the truth, you never need to remember the lies". Good advice for Mayor Bronin.

The truth is I never applied for anything with Bronin as evidenced by the FOI request below. The truth is Mayor Bronin "You can't handle the truth". And Luke,  you still have my sympathies for being in so far over your head.

My FOI request for the application Mayor Bronin claims I submitted:

And the response from City Hall receive today:

"No records were found", so who is telling the truth Mayor Bronin? That "transparency you campaigned on can be a double edge sword. Maybe it is  time for Mayor Bronin to take a trip to the Mark Twain House.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017


On Saturday, June 4, 2016 Officers of the Hartford and West Hartford Police Departments and Connecticut State Police engaged in a motor vehicle pursuit that began in Hartford and ended with the arrest of the driver and his passenger in West Hartford. The pursuit began when a Hartford Police Officer determined that the car in question was stolen. When officers attempted to stop the car the driver sped away and led police on a chase through several residential streets in Hartford. When the pursuit reached West Hartford, and after the police deployed “stop sticks,” the stolen car was brought to a halt. In the course of arresting both occupants of the stolen vehicle, officers used force-including the use of a TASER-to affect the arrests. Both arrestees suffered visible facial injuries at some point.

Preliminary review of the incident and available evidence raised serious concerns of possible excessive force used by some of the officers. As a result, the Hartford Police Department launched an immediate internal investigation on Sunday June 5, 2016. Police cruiser video cameras captured footage of possible misconduct. Contact was made between HPD, the West Hartford Police Department, the Connecticut State Police and the Connecticut State’s Attorney’s office. This incident was investigated criminally by the Litchfield Connecticut State’s Attorney’s office to determine if criminal charges were warranted.  Any questions related to the criminal investigation should be directed to the Litchfield Connecticut State’s Attorney’s Office.

In sensitive incidents related to police use of force it has been our practice to release as much information as possible as soon as it is available. We have already shared information and had community conversation about this incident on several occasions. The Hartford Police Department has previously (10/05/16) released all video evidence related to this incident to our community as well as the media. The Hartford Police Department administrative investigation has now been completed. The 68 page Internal Affairs investigation and findings are attached (The summary begins at the bottom of page 56). We have also attached a document that describes the discipline that was applied to many of the Officers involved.

We take great care to partner and dialogue with our community every day, and we appreciate our community's input and ideas. While this internal administrative investigation is complete, we will continue to share the information we gather and communicate it openly.

Monday, April 24, 2017



Last Thursday Hartford Firefighter Jimmy NGO was shot several times in Rocky Hill. One shot was apparently to his face and several more were to his back. Ngo survived and underwent a couple surgeries last Friday, and from what I am told, he was very lucky and  is recovering well.

According to sources, a suspect was identified and a warrant was "walked through" the New Britain court on Friday. I am not going to post anymore information about the suspect until he is in custody.

In the meantime please keep Jimmy Ngo and his family, as well as all of our first responders , in your thoughts and pray for a speedy and complete recovery for him


Hartford has a problem. Actually , no Hartford has a crisis and it is going to get much worse if City Hall doesn't get serious.

The numbers of Police Officers and fire fighters are decreasing everyday. This is not news. Neither is the fact that both HPD and HFD have warned of the impending crisis as the City fails to get serious about hiring replacements for the attrition of Police Officers and Firefighters. And if my sources are accurate, which they usually are, it is going to get much worse as June and July approach and numerous retirements are expected.

Combine that with the uncertainty created by the Mayor's efforts to balance the City's budget on the backs of employee salaries and pensions, and we have a real recipe for disaster.

It is somewhat interesting that the New York City Police Department can recruit and graduate over 600 Police Officers in one shot, yet Mayor Bronin tells us he can't even find a dozen qualified applicants to enter the HPD Academy as recruits and HFD is finding the same fate.

The starting salary for a NYPD Officer is $42,500 while Hartford is slightly higher at about $43,800 but Hartford is still lower than most surrounding towns. Most Police Officer's and Firefighters get into the business because of family tradition or their desire for public service, many of them have already served their communities and their Country through military service. The second leading reason is probably, to be completely honest, the job security and the benefits, including the pensions.

The uncertainty in Hartford over the future of the City finances and the future of those benefits and pensions is a big reason for the attrition, early retirements as well as people just applying to other towns where the future looks brighter. And where the support of Administrators looks more sound than Hartford.

Another major reason for finding qualified applicants is the cumbersome state of Hartford's hiring process. If someone is serious about finding a job and starting a career. they will go to a town where the process takes months, as opposed to a hiring process in Hartford that sometimes (actually most times) drags on for a year or longer So during that delay time, good applicants are going to get grabbed up by other agencies that know how to streamline the process.

Hartford also needs to get serious about recruiting efforts.  If applicants aren't walking in the doors at 253 High Street, then they need to go out and find them. That may involve a little bit of salesmanship at places like career shows, college campuses and military installations. It also should involve people that take pride in their uniform and wear it proudly and take pride in their chosen career. Not "toning it down" by wearing a smurf colored Polo shirt.

Look at the two web links below and decide which one will draw in applicants. NYPD that provides pertinent information or that says fill out the card and we will get back to you.

And finally, is Mayor Bronin serious about hiring or is he more interested in the budget dollars saved by not hiring. Do the math , failing to hire 100 police officers at $50,000 roughly in annual salary for each is $6,250,000 saved for each year those positions are left unfilled. Add the same number for Fire Fighter unfilled vacancies and that is almost $13,000,000 a year saved. That is $26,000,000 over the time Bronin will be slashing the budget so far. A big help for a precarious budget deficit to save $ 26,000,000 plus roughly another 40%of that amount for fringe benefits

If NYPD can do it, why can't Hartford? Or is it just our inferiority complex we are led to believe exists that is keeping applicants away

Let's get serious about recruiting to avoid the impending disaster headed our way for Public Safety

Tuesday, April 18, 2017



It appears that the incompetence of Hartford's Deputy Director of Public Works, David Tanner, has finally caught up with him. Correction, make that Hartford's former Deputy Director Of Public Works.

According to sources at City Hall,  Tanner has been removed as Hartford's Deputy Director of Public Works because he wasn't up to the job. But as is usual with the City of Hartford,  Tanner's incompetence has been rewarded by burying him in another City Department while he still  collects his large City salary.

Tanner can now be located within Hartford's Economic Development Department, where his wife is the Deputy Director.

You might ask why DavidTanner was given the City Hall shuffle rather than being shown the door if he wasn't cutting the job. Especially in a City where we lay off DPW low paid employees but then keep the $90,000 plus a year employee who has collected a salary for over a year while not being up to the job. The answer is simple.

David Tanner was (or is)  a POS. Not in the usual way you might be thinking of POS , but more appropriately a POS as in Pal Of Sara. Tanner and his wife both came in to the Bronin Administration because of their friendship with Luke and Sara Bronin before the election and that has apparently resulted in his survival on the City of Hartford payroll.

UPDATE:  April 18, 2017 6:0PM

Even though David Tanner is no longer working at the Department of Public Works Headquarters,  Tanner has been allowed to keep the title of Deputy Director of Public Works, apparently in order to be able to also keep the salary, even though he is not performing the duties of the Deputy Director. 

According to City Hall sources, Tanner is now handling some "clean up issues" related to the Dunkin Donuts Park completion. Dunkin Donuts Park was never under the control of DPW  and it is unclear why the so called Deputy Director of DPW would now be overseeing anything involved with the project. It is also unclear as to why, if there is any involvement in the Park by DPW.

 Why would Tanner have been moved out of DPW headquarters and now report to Constitution Plaza where the Development Services offices are housed and where his wife is the Deputy Director of Development Services. It is also unclear where Tanner's salary will be accounted for and budgeted, from Development Services or DPW.

More questions than answers right now. I guess sometimes it pays to be a POS.(that means Pal of Sara, as explained in the above posting)


Well, Mayor Bronins 2017-2018 budget has been released. It is far from a done deal and will most likely be tweaked over the next several weeks as the Hartford City Council begins their work before submitting a final budget, probably tweaked to add more special favors and garner political support, rather than tough decisions to bring financial sustainability to Hartford.

But one thing is clear in the budget, Bronin has no trouble gambling with Hartford's future. Whether it is borrowing $20 million plus for "short-term" budget gap closing measures or failing to show any vision or leadership with budget cuts, Bronin's budget is short on vision and leadership for Hartford's sustainability.

Some days, I  expect Bronin to ask City Treasurer Adam Cloud for a sack of cash with a couple hundred thousand dollars so that Bronin can head to Foxwood's and put it "all on red" or maybe see him in line buying a couple hundred thousand Power Ball tickets at a corner bodega , hoping to hit it big to solve Hartford's deficit crisis.

The casino or Power Ball both have about as much chance of hitting it big as does Bronin's hopes of a huge windfall from the State of Connecticut next year. Much of that hope is based on revenue from the Hospital Tax being contemplated by the Legislature. I would go with the Power Ball option Luke, the odds of hitting that are probably better than the Hospital Tax passing.

But what the heck, lets borrow $20 million hoping it can be paid back. Bankruptcy is always an option for Hartford, so why not roll the dice.

I again have to ask, what is the plan and where is the vision? An $11 million dollar budget increase is reckless, especially when we keep hearing the threat of Bankruptcy. And the continued excuses really are wearing thin. It is time for tough decisions and that needs to be done now. It may not further the Bronin's political aspirations , but  Bronin wasn't elected because of where he hopes to be on the political ladder 10 years from now. He was elected to run the City of Hartford today and for the next two and a half years and some of those tough decisions he needs to make won't make him politically popular.

How does New Britain do it? Maybe Mayor Stewart would be willing to give some mentoring lessons to Luke

Really, $250,000 for heated bus stops and laptops in the libraries? Are we serious about positioning Hartford for the future or are we all about the feel good now? Can you hear our suburban neighbors doubled over in laughter. We can't even pay our sewer bills, but now heated bus stops? Are  the manicurists providing services at the bus stops going to be City employees or independent contractors? Just asking because I can see it coming. And will the bus stops have cable TV and internet ? I think many people using mass transit in Hartford would just be happy with a bus stop, period, heated or not.

Heated bus stops at the same time we lay off lifeguards at the City pools and contemplate cutting over $200,000 from senior Centers and programs for our senior citizens? Really Luke?

And just another quick observation, if the Citizen budgeting is supposed to encourage participation, then why in a City of over 120,000 residents did less than 1% participate. Apparently about 1,200 people actually turned out to cast a vote. But at least they could feel good when they did vote.

Those tough decisions are part of the strings attached to the $50 million pledge made by Hartford's Corporate leaders. One of the strings were that the money need to be accompanied by a Viable plan for sustainability for the future of Hartford. Increasing the budget by $11 million while revenue and taxes are pretty much flat and hopes of additional State funding are a long shot at best and the Union concessions we keep banking on don't seem to be coming through. These are not viable plans for sustainability.

There is still an awful lot of fat at City Hall, even though we keep hearing about the "bare bones". When is someone finally going to have the guts to cut the number of City Council assistants? That is not directly under the Mayor's control, but it would be a good spot to start. How effective is the Office of Corporation Counsel, and do we still need all those attorneys if just about everything legal is already contracted out to other outside law firms? The use of City cars is still an issue, especially with the number of SUV's in use as opposed to economy and energy efficient vehicles. And the City regulation that the cars only be used for City business seems to be about as much a waste as the paper to print the regulations.

There also needs to be better supervision to ensure that every dollar we are spending, especially overtime, is being used effectively. That includes people that are paid double time on holidays like Good Friday and then hide in a substation all day watching cable TV and drinking espresso, while their supervisors watch.

 Now is the time for effective leadership, not gambling with Hartford's future.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017


Last night at a community meeting organized by Council President TJ Clarke, I witnessed one of the lowest moves by a politician in Hartford that I can recall, and I have witnessed several gutter politicians over the years. Unfortunately it was Mayor Luke Bronin who went to the gutter level and his actions were directed at me.

Now I know if I dish it out I have to be able to take it back, but I don't deal in lies, and I wouldn't expect our Mayor to also. But what Luke did last night was pure and simple, the actions of a liar. He was trying to call me out because I called him out with facts.

Now I was ready to hit the keyboard last night and inject my venom into mayor Bronin's lies, but the better part of me told me to calm down and relax and wait a day. The facts will still be the same.
It started at the meeting when parent after parent were talking about City pools being shut down due to budget cuts. The parents described the pools as the safe zone for some of their children and asa place to keep their children off the streets and keep these kids alive.

Then Councilwoman rJo Winch got up and said the layoffs were necessary to close a budget gap of $60,000 dollars in the Parks budget. I understand the need to balance a budget, but where are our priorities? I had just been informed by someone knowledgeable at City Hall that Mayor Bronin had just hired a new Communications Director at a salary of $69,000 dollars.

At least he is getting more reasonable, the first two that quit and left the City were closer top $100,000 a year. But a Communications person over Lifeguards? Priorities Luke ...priorities.

I finished my remarks and then I sat down. Imagine my surprise when Luke stood up to begin his attack on me. Luke stood up and said that I needed to be honest with the people in the room and that the reason I was upset by the new Communications Director is because I applied for the position and Bronin wouldn't hire me.

Totally untrue Luke and you know it. Let me go back to that Mark Twain quote I frequently use. "if you always tell the truth, you never have to remember your lies"

And here is the truth. Shortly after my July 5, 2015 Stroke, I was going through Rehab at Mt. Sinai Hospital. On a Sunday afternoon, candidate Luke Bronin showed up in my hospital room for a "visit"
Luke and I were never friends so I was a little surprised during a campaign he would take the time to visit me, but I wasn't suspicious. During our conversation Luke brought up the subject of my support of Bob Killian and wanted to know if I would consider shifting my support to him.

Now I didn't think I had that much pull and that my support would matter, But Luke seemed sincere that my support was important to him, and even after my stroke and lying in a hospital bed, I still felt Bob Killian was the best choice Luke and I talked a little more and before he left, Luke said that if I decided to support him and he got elected that "there will be a spot for you in my Administration".

A few weeks later, Bob dropped out of the race and I did support Luke Bronin because I could not see the benefit or re-electing Pedro Segarra. I still wonder what could have been if Bob Killian stayed in the race and where we would be headed as a City under a Killian Administration. The man still amazes me with his knowledge of Hartford history, his vision and his skill for coming up with a reasonable solution for just about any thing I ask him about. And when Bob Killian tells you something, you know it is the truth. I can't say the same thing about Luke Bronin

And integrity matters to him, and his wife Candy and his daughters all reflect that and we have become close friends.

Like I said in the title, my sympathy is with Luke.  Really, it is. I can almost guarantee that the Mayor's job is not what Luke expected at all when he ran. Some days he must feel like a the Captain on the Titanic waiting for the end, because you know it isn't going to get better.  It was a big leap to go from writing policy under the dome of the Capitol to now being the Chief Executive Officer of Connecticut's Capitol city as it sits on the verge of bankruptcy and that is only the beginning of the problems.

A city with a baseball Stadium that mired him down for almost all of his first year in Office and has proven to be a huge embarrassment to efforts to prove we are legitimate to our suburban neighbors. A city that is  probably running close to Chicago with the most  per capita in our homicide rate. A city that can't find qualified police applicants to boost our dwindling Police Department, which is  on the verge of a crisis .

A City where the successes at City Hall are few and far between and hopes of greater political aspirations have been dashed in probably less than a year and a half. Dashed for Luke at least, others like TJ Clarke would be smart to build their image on the back of Luke Bronin and his failed policies and lack of vision, and organizing last nights meeting shows that he is more than capable.

It might also be time for Mayor Bronin to start demanding results from his inner circle. Another quote I  like is "the number one rule of management, is that you are only as good as the people you surround yourself with"

Who allowed the Superintendent of Schools process to get so out of control to become such an embarrassment? The Mayor appoints the Majority to the Board of Education. So a smooth process should have been a slam dunk. Unless of course you are playing Harlem GlobeTrotters ball, where everything is a joke or comedy act.  And the Bronin Administration has become a joke quickly

So Luke tell the truth. If you want to attack me personally, I can take it, it comes with the territory. But if you don't know by now , I detest liars,  just ask a couple of your predecessors.


Last night another community meeting was held to address the number of homicides in Hartford. Once again Mayor Luke Bronin showed he was short on solutions, or even ideas. Except maybe to try to discredit me, but that is another posting later for the details.

Hartford's homicide is skyrocketing this year under the leadership, or lack thereof ,of Mayor Luke Bronin. The Hartford Police Department is drastically understaffed and all we hear from Bronin are excuses as to why they can't hire cops. And the shrinking number of Hartford Officers available to patrol our streets is only going to get worse as more officers retire in June and July.. Mayor Bronin paints the image at all of the community meetings as he approached the head table and rolls up his sleeves, making it look like he is ready to do the heavy lifting required of a leader.

But that's all it is, part of a well scripted play in the Bronin's playbook for future advancement. In the meantime people are dying in our streets. And let me be fair, last nights community meeting wasn't even Bronin's idea, It was Council President TJ Clarke who organized the meeting, Bronin was just there to ride Clarke's coattails. Mayor Luke must have been surprised when he showed up and there were no TV cameras there to record his soundbites for future campaigns.  Surprise Luke, they were all at the Board of Education meeting.

I almost fully expect Bronin to go back in history to attempt to solve our homicide problem . Luke will probably take a page out of the Mayor Mike handbook and stage a dog and pony show with Connecticut State Troopers as the backdrop. My gut tells me that Bronin will announce that Troopers will be coming in to Hartford to save the day, at least for the summer

Again, no plan for sustainability, just the quick fix. No solutions from Bronin, just turn to Uncle Dannel for help when it gets tough. Troopers are not the answer, a fully staffed and properly supported Police Department is the solution.

We elected people to be leaders, It is time for Luke to start leading, if he is capable, I'm not convinced he has it in him


Hartford patrol units responded to the area of 42 King Street in response to Shot Spotter activation (#105750) that recorded six rounds. On arrival, a unresponsive male victim was located lying in the driveway of 38 King Street suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to the upper torso. The victim was transported to Hartford Hospital where he was pronounced deceased at 0130 hours. A crime scene was located and secured by patrol officers. Crime Scene Detectives and Major Crime Detectives responded and assumed control of the investigation.

The victim was positively identified as Jimmy Gonzalez, 23 year old H/M, DOB 1/25/1993, of 63 Webster Street Apt. C-3 Hartford, CT. Detectives Placzek and May were assigned as the lead investigators. Investigation is on-going at this time.