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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.  

Monday, April 3, 2017


The video below is from the evening session held for the public to hear from the two candidates for Superintendent of Schools. See who you think is the best equipped to lead Hartford's Schools into the future.

 This video was posted by Stan McCauley to under a contract with the Hartford Board of Education


According to Judicial records the long awaited lawsuit that has been dragging on against Hartford's former Mayor Pedro Segarra for years, is now moving forward

Jury selection has been scheduled for April 25,2017 at 9:30AM at 95 Washington Street.

 I am not sure if  Pedro's hopes for a Judgeship are still alive, but I would think a malpractice judgement against him would not relfect well on his stellar legal career.

Scheduled Court Dates as of 04/03/2017
#DateTimeEvent DescriptionStatus
104/18/20172:00PMTrial Management ConferenceProceeding
204/25/20179:30AMJury Selection / TrialProceeding


The  selection process  for Hartford's new superintendent of school's was corrupted from the start.

I am not sure why someone would be appointed to the selection committee who has a clear conflict of interest based upon contractual relationships with the Board of Education.

Then we have Mayor Bronin who attempted an end run around the selection process by having clandestine meetings at his home to apparently try to gain support for his candidate he wanted to introduce into the process. I am not sure why he didn't have his choice enter the fray with the rest of the applicants, but that's politics. At least Bronin was clever enough to skirt the laws by only inviting half of the Board members he wanted to impress to one of two meetings he held at his home.

Inviting the full group would have constituted a quorum and therefore Bronin would have been liable to Connecticut's open meetings statutes, but by only inviting half at a time he was able to skirt the laws. For a full story on the efforts to sidetrack the process by the Bronin's, you can read Jeff Cohen's account here.

Now back to the Selection Committee.Maybe we should ask some of the people involved to do a quick study of Mark Twain. Twain was known for one his quotes "If you always tell the truth, you never have to remember your lies". A good rule to live by, especially when the media starts asking questions and you get five different answers.

I started getting phone calls about the selection process Friday morning. One caller said  they overheard the Chairman of the selection committee, John Motley, telling someone that the selection process was a done deal and the Committee had chosen the Interim Superintendent Leslie Torres Rodriguez as the next Superintendent.

When the person called me, I said that couldn't be true because the Selection Committee had already made its recommendation of Tim Sullivan and Torres Rodriguez as the two finalists the Board would vote on at Tuesday nights meeting. The more I checked though, the more I found that a dirty deal was underway.

I spoke to two members of the Selection Committee and they both stated that Motley had called a meeting last Thursday and then suddenly changed the location of the meeting from the Board of Education offices to the Pope Park Recreation Center. Apparently Motley "overlooked" notifying all members of the new location. It appears in particular those members who were less than supportive of Motley's choice of Leslie Torres Rodriguez were left out. One of the people I spoke with said she had called Motley after she found no one at the BOE Offices, and Motley stated "Oh, we must have forgot to notify you of the new location"

 She left and headed to Pope Park. She swears that there was no vote take to narrow the recommendations to one person as Motley's Friday media statements claimed. That appears to be supported by media accounts this morning. Former Hartford Superintendent Hernan LaFontaine was quoted as saying  he"echoed Yennie's account, saying that the search committee forwarded both names – Torres-Rodriguez and Sullivan – to board members at the meeting."

I spoke with Hyacinth Yennie and she claimed that no vote was taken and that she insisted that the Board had to make the choice of either Torres Rodriguez or Sullivan and the responsibility for the choice should rest with the Board, rather than trying to make the search committee the eventual scapegoats for the decision. The Hartford Board of Ed hasn't had the best track record in their selections and it has been a revolving door of questionable selections, so I can understand why the Board is trying to provide themselves cover from the inevitable blow-back.

I also find it troubling,and even disgusting ,that they can claim they are working for the best interests of "the Children" and then decide to operate in secrecy.How are parents supposed to have confidence that the best person is being chosen ? Julio Flores a board member was quoted as saying "The deliberations of the search committee are confidential, so we do not speak of them," 

Are you serious, "confidential"? What are we trying to hide or do we only talk about transparency when politicians are trying to get votes. There is nothing that should be confidential , it should all be on the table, strength's weaknesses and all the ugly blemishes so we can be confident that the best choice was made. And how can people that were actually in the room not be sure if an actual vote was ever taken? That makes me question the capabilities of anyone involved in the process if that is their level of attention and comprehension.

Even Achieve Hartford is refusing to release the surveys conducted after the public forum. I am told the responses overwhelmingly supported Timothy Sullivan. A source familiar with the surveys claims they were told by John Motley that the surveys are the property of the Search Committee and they are not to be released. So much for the process being open and fair. I can see why they wouldn't release the surveys though. Just watch the video of the forums, It is interesting to see the standing ovation and the response when Tim Sullivan finished his presentation and the response when Leslie Torres Rodriguez finished hers.

I think Tim Sullivan made it pretty clear that there was going to be a top to bottom evaluation of all consulting contracts and salaries in the Central Office. I can see why Motley and others might be concerned if a new Superintendent pulls back the curtain on Oz and we finally realize what has been going on. We can't allow for Sullivan to start peeling back the layers of the rotted onion  and expose where the money is going. People might be upset to learn that the Hartford Schools is not a system about educating children as much as it is about keeping adults happy by continuing to throw education dollars down the black hole to keep lining their pockets.

I do have to say though, that I gained huge respect for Tim Sullivan because of this process , as dirty and corrupt as it is. I called Tim Sullivan Friday night to get his thoughts before I wrote this posting.

Sullivan was an extreme gentleman and said he was telling his supporters not to be angry but rather to support Torres Rodriguez because ultimately this choice needs to be about Hartford's children. That should be the focus of the Hartford Board of Education, keep in mind this is a decision about Children. Not about  adults posturing for power, not about adults scraping for the shrinking grant money for their sometimes useless projects and not about keeping a constituency happy because of the pigment of someones skin

The choice needs to be about the best candidate period...end of story

It is about the Children, and how many of the decision makers can look in the mirror and tell themselves they did the best they could and kept the process about the children. Can Craig Stallings?Can Julio Flores? Can John Motley?Can Rich Wareing? Can Robert Cotto?   I think Tim Sullivan can.


Word is that Hartford's dethroned Mayor Pedro Segarra is still lobbying Josh Solomon to throw out the first pitch at the Hartford Yard Goat's opening game. If the word is true about Segarra's attempts to gain the pitcher's mound , we all need to have our heads examined for mental competency if we allow it . After his crazy plan to prop up his failed re-election is now estimated to plunge the City further into debt, to the tune of a couple million dollars per year, and that is just to start

Any effort by the Solomon's or the Yard goat's to allow Pedro Segarra anywhere near this field would be a huge Public relations mistake for an organization that is desperate to gain acceptance. I would hope that any appearance by Pedro Segarra ,to what will become a permanent monument to his incompetence, will; be met with loud boos and jeering fans. Not a good way to start.

And while I am on it, what's up with the Yard Goats signing with an out of town hotel to be the host hotel for the teams? What about all those hotel night stays they used in their proposal to try to show why the stadium made sense. Maybe they should have been noted as an economic boon for the Rocky Hill economy rather than Hartford.

And lastly, before I move on, why did the Yard goat's waste the time to hold auditions for singers if they were going to bring in an entertainer from out of state to sing the national anthem on opening night.

Not a good start for a team that claims to be all about our community

Maybe we could get the guys in the blue windbreakers with the big FBI letters on the back to finish their investigation and escort Pedro ,I.Charles and others out of the stadium. Now that would be a home run