Tag Archive | "Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra"

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Luke Bronin Bids for Top Job at City Hall

By Ann-Marie Mesquita, Staff Writer

HARTFORD  — In an open letter to city residents, Luke Bronin on Wednesday formally announced his bid  to unseat Mayor Pedro Segarra.

Bronin, 35,  recently resigned from his position as the General Counsel to Gov. Dan Malloy. He also  served in senior positions at the U.S. Department of the Treasury and as an intelligence officer in Afghanistan. He is a partner at Hinckley Allen & Snyder LLP.

“Our city stands at a moment of opportunity and promise,” writes Luke in his letter posted on the site.  “But we also face tremendous challenges, and we’ve let too many opportunities slip away. What we need is a mayor who gets down into the messy details of governing day after day… and who holds people accountable.”

In addition to the letter, Luke rolled out three areas of immediate focus for the campaign: growing jobs, strengthening neighborhoods and closing the achievement gap.

“Today, Hartford is at a crossroads when it comes to education.  For thousands of Hartford’s kids, magnet schools have created opportunities that weren’t there ten or fifteen years ago.  But we’ve also created a two-tiered system, where too many children are in schools that haven’t gotten the attention or investment they deserve. Hartford’s children deserve better.”

Luke also pledged to run a campaign based on an open and sustained dialogue with Hartford residents by knocking on doors, meeting with groups at people’s homes or in community centers, and making phone calls.”

Celestino Jimenez, a member of the 3rd District Town Committee and the Democratic State Central Committee, said that this election “can’t be about one community versus another — it’s got to be about what’s best for Hartford and about who is the best person to make city hall run effectively.  The reason I’m supporting Luke is simple: I think he’s the right person for the job.”

Segarra said he welcomes other candidates into the democratic process.

“I welcome other candidates into the race, as that is part of the democratic process,” said Mayor Segarra. “I am very proud of my record and the tremendous optimism and momentum in our city today.  I have a consistent record of service and a deep commitment to our city, and the significant progress we have made together in transforming Hartford in the past five years is very evident.”

Segarra announced his candidacy on Jan. 5 outside City Hall.

He touted the city’s graduation rates which, he said, is now over 70 percent from under 30 percent when he took office. he also listed the lowest crime rates in decades,  blight reduction programs that have begun to transform neighborhoods; and of attracting more businesses to the city as a few of his accomplishments for the city.

Others have also announced their intentions to run: Hartford attorney John Gale formed an exploratory committee; council members David MacDonald and Joel Cruz both said they plan to run; Town and City Clerk John Bazzano is also considering a run for the top job at city hall.

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Former Hartford Chief of Staff Arrested

HARTFORD — Jared Kupiec, Mayor Pedro Segarra’s former chief of staff who resigned in June, has been arrested for allegedly operating a city-owned car without permission after his departure from city hall.

In earlier reports leaked to the press, Kupiec was arrested on Tuesday.

The 30-year-old politico is expected in Court on Aug.8 on charges of operating  a motor vehicle without the owner’s permission and interfering with police.”

City officials are expected to seek  about $3,000 in restitution for damages that occurred after someone broke into the vehicle.

At press time, Hartford Police said there was no additional information available.

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Hartford Mayor to Give State of City Address

HARTFORD — Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra will give a state of the city address on Monday before the Court of Common Council in City Hall.

In his second adress after being elected last November, Segarra will highlight the city’s recent accomplishments, “truths” and challenges that face the  community in the coming year, officials said.

“Tomorrow evening, I want to share with the people of Connecticut’s capital city our truths, and share with them the ways we can build on all that is positive in our city,” Segarra said.

The address will be followed by a public hearing and a City Council meeting on the second floor.

In other matters, Segarra has asked the city council to enter into an executive session to discuss the Rahshim Campbell lawsuit against the city. Campbell is a former police officer, who was fired in December 2010.

That’s because an internal  investigation by a three-member panel said in a report that Campbell was caught on camera beating a suspect in custody in 2009. Campbell was arrested and charged with third-degree assault and tampering with physical evidence.

He was acquitted in May 2011.


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Hartford Mayor Rejects Treasurer’s Salary Increase

Updated: Tuesday 12:39 p.m.

HARTFORD — Mayor Pedro Segarra has put the Hartford City Council on notice that he has vetoed a resolution to increase the treasurer’s salary.

The council will address the matter at Monday’s meeting in City Hall at 550 Main Street.

In a letter dated Nov. 30 to City Council President rjo Winch, Segarra outlined his reason for rejecting a raise for Adam Cloud.

The mayor cited Article 11, Section 2 of the state’s constitution, which states that the decision to increase Cloud’s salary rests with the incoming city council —not the outgoing council.

The mayor’s veto came two days after the Hartford City Council voted for a resolution to increase the city treasurer’s salary.

Seven council members approved a $10, 000 salary hike for  Cloud to take effect January 1, 2012. Cloud’s annual salary would be $150,000.

The city ordinance authorizes 75 percent of the treasurer’s salary from the city’s pension fund. The other 25 percent comes from the city’s general operating budget.

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Pedro Segarra Shores Up Support, Seeks Mandate

By Ann-Marie Adams, Staff Writer

Updated: 8:32 p.m.

HARTFORD — Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra wants a mandate.

“I need for voters to go on record and say, ‘this is your mandate,’” Segarra said softly on a June morning in the sun-lit room that sits on the second floor of the west wing in city hall. “When you fill in a mayoral vacancy, it’s definitely not the same as when you have an electoral mandate.”

So he’s running for that approval from city residents.

That quiet yet burning desire has fueled Segarra’s trajectory from a seemingly meek and “nice” mayor to a Machiavellian marvel in Hartford’s political arena.

Thirteen months ago former mayor Eddie Perez resigned after six jurors found him guilty of corruption. Segarra, who was city council president, replaced Perez. Since then, the social worker, turned prosecutor, turned self-employed lawyer has emerged as the endorsed mayoral candidate going into the city’s September primary. He is the most palatable Democratic candidate among Hartford’s elite politicos.

On Thursday at Buckeley High School’s auditorium, Segarra was primed for the spotlight.  The Hartford Democratic Town Committee endorsed  Segarra with 51 votes. His opponents Edwin Vargas and J. Stan McCauley received six and four votes respectively. Five Committee members abstained.

Dressed in a white shirt and crimson tie, Segarra thanked everyone and gave a special mention to Shawn Wooden, whom he maneuvered out of an enviable position as a formidable opponent. He thanked Wooden for “putting aside his political ambitions” to work in unity “for the good of the city.”

Not everyone in the party bought that, though.

“Who does that? No one that really has any ambition does that,” said Frank Barrows, a former Hartford State Senator who served from 1985-1993. “That’s the kind of nonsensical rhetoric people aren’t buying into.”

That rhetoric came from a man who in the last year has treaded lightly on Hartford’s political minefields, namely the board of education search for a new superintendent. Observers said Perez’s camp engineered the board’s brouhaha earlier this year to make the mayor look weak.

When asked about the board’s snub of his call for a national search for a new superintendent, Segarra said there’s nothing in the charter that says board members appointed by another mayor had to listen to him.

He acknowledged resistance to his leadership. Like the board, others in city hall have openly defied him. A city employee said he didn’t have to listen to Segarra because he was not an elected mayor. That man is no longer employed with the city, Segarra said.

The story illustrates other dimensions of Segarra. He was a prosecutor in the State Attorney’s Office from 1988-1989.  Before that, he was a social worker at Hartford Hospital. But his political career in Hartford began when former Hartford Mayor George Athanson appointed him to the Hispanic Advisory Council shortly after Segarra’s arrival to Hartford in 1975. Segarra moved from Puerto Rico at age seven to New York. At 15, he arrived in Hartford.

The seed of Segarra’s political career was planted, perhaps, in one of his political science classes at Greater Hartford Community College, now Capital Community College.  His current supporter, former deputy mayor Nicholas Carbone, taught that class. Carbone allegedly engineered Wooden’s withdrawal from the mayoral race. The pay off was an endorsed city council with three African Americans, two Hispanics, and one White, it seemed.

Carbone thinks Segarra is brilliant and speaks five languages. Actually, Segarra speaks two languages fluently, English and Spanish. He knows enough of three languages to have basic conversations: Portuguese, Italian and German.

“I make an attempt to reach out to a lot of people without being deceitful about being a polyglot (a person that speaks many languages),” Segarra said.

Learning another person’s language and culture is a sign of respect. It’s also a means to break through barriers of communication. And it’s a transferable skill Segarra uses to forge relationships with players in all quarters.

Besides that skill, he has the experience of a social worker, a prosecutor, and one year as mayor to tackle city issues stemming from poverty, inequality and social injustice, he said.

Photo by: Marc Regis

Since June, he has formed several relationships, most notably his relationship with Malloy, corporate Hartford and other “big fish.” More importantly, he laid the groundwork for an impressive endorsement and an impending victory.

His first move was key. He wrote an op-ed piece and placed it in the largest circulated paper in the state. Next, a profile in a suburban magazine portrayed him as a pleasant, openly gay mayor who would make the city safe for them.

Other moves included accepting invitations to almost every neighborhood and non-profit organization’s function, as well as hosting town hall meetings on various issues afflicting the city.

He was also selected for the governing board of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

“That’s quite impressive for a rookie mayor,” Segarra said.

Those moves have impressed many supporters. But his opponents are still unimpressed.

“The endorsement is still limited,” Vargas said. “It’s the people who will decide who the next mayor will be.”

Stan McCauley’s Campaign Manager George Milner agreed.

“This is a bunch of bullshit,” Milner said after the Hartford convention Thursday. “Come September 13, the people will speak.”

McCauley seemed resigned with the process that elevated Segarra.

“I fully expected Pedro to get the nomination. This is the machine at work. These people are responsible for the way the city is,” McCauley said. “It is what it is. The machine is so corrupt and so incestuous.”

While his adversaries advance their political agendas for a primary, Segarra continues to quietly shore up his support among neighborhood leaders and agencies  to address “more pressing issues” in the city and within his political circle.

A majority of Hartford voters are not in tune with Segarra’s political circle, however. So the question the mayor will be ruminating on as Sept. 13 draws near is this: will these “more pressing issues” and “important relationships” impress voters enough to give him a mandate?

Send letters to The Editor : editor@thehartfordguardian.com

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Hartford Mayor Joins Tutu, Others At Peace Summit

WEST HARTFORD — Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and West Hartford Mayor Scott Slifka join hands at the World Youth Peace Summit Peace Walk at West Hartford Town Hall.

This event served  as part of the kick-off of the World Youth Peace Summit coming to Connecticut this summer.

Archbishop Tutu, the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize Winner, held a news conference in Hartford on Thursday, spoke at the XL Center on Friday, and kicked off this event on Saturday as part of his last public appearance in the United States.

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Roldan: Investigate Segarra’s Ethics Filings

HARTFORD — Hartford State Rep. Kelvin Roldan (D-Hartford), who  might run for mayor, is aggressively playing politics. His target? Mayor Pedro Segarra.

After a front-page article in a regional newspaper about Segarra’s  ethical lapses in his financial disclosure documents with the state, Segarra has been on the defensive. Segarra, who replaced former Mayor Eddie Perez after a jury found Perez guilty of five felonies last June, is running for a four-year term this year.

“I pride my administration on being transparent and open.  To that end, I will be requesting that the City’s Corporation Counsel solicit an independent opinion from one of the law firms on retainer with the Ethics Commission to determine if any violation of the City’s Ethics code has occurred, and I will be amending my ethics filings with the Corporation Counsel’s office next week,” Segarra said.

He also added that it was ” frustrating” that some were seeking to score political points.

On Sunday Roldan in a statement called for Hartford Ethics Commission and possible the Chief State’s Attorney’s Office to investigate the mayor’s alleged failure to disclose more than $120, 000 in potentially illegal payments paid to Segarra’s spouse, Charlie Ortiz.

Roland said Segarra failed to disclose his spouse’s income from the city in his ethics filings.

“There may be a logical explanation for these alleged violations…,” Roldan said. “However, if these payments have been ongoing for six years to a business being run out of his law office and the Mayor was aware of them, his failure to disclose them is a serious violation of the public trust.”

Roldan also said the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is reviewing the possible violation of federal rules in response to an inquiry  to determine if payments made to Segarra’s spouse were illegal because they violated HUD’s strict conflict of interest regulations which prohibit payments under the voucher program to public officials or their relatives.”










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Hartford Mayor Forms Alliance Against Capitol West Building

By Fran Wilson, Staff Writer

HARTFORD — The city’s patience with the owners of  the Capitol West Building on Myrtle Street has run out.

So said Mayor Pedro E. Segarra in a recent statement to the press announcing the city’s decision to take the blighted property by eminent domain.

Today at 11:30 a.m. in parking lot 5 of the insurance company, The Hartford Financial Services Group, Segarra is expected to join business and community leaders, who his office said, support tearing down the Capitol West Building. The lot is at 36 Garden Street in the city’s Asylum Hill neighborhood.

Later tonight, the City Council is expected to act on the mayor’s resolution regarding the acquisition of the Capitol West property at 1-7 Myrtle Street through eminent domain.

Earlier this month, the Hartford Redevelopment Authority voted 4-1 in favor of this action.

The mayor applauded the  agency’s decision.

Mayor Pedro Segarra poses with Hartford CEO Liam McGee in front of the Capitol West Building

“I’ve always based my decisions on what is in the best interest of the City.  While some would have you believe that this project is too costly, the price of doing nothing would be far greater and far more devastating to the City in the long run,” says Mayor Segarra.

The Mayor, in a press release, also thanked The Hartford “for its patience and desire to be a partner with the City on this project that he feels will improve the quality of life of the Asylum Hill community and ultimately benefit the thousands of people who drive along I-84 and witness this eyesore.”

Last November The Hartford  announced a five-year $7 million investment in the Asylum Hill neighborhood, thier home for more than 90 years. According to reports, the investment includes a $2 million contribution to help the city purchase the Capitol West building, take it down, and improve the property.

The Hartford’s Chairman, President and CEO Liam E. McGee and Segarra announced the company’s plans during an event held at the West Middle School in Hartford.



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Hartford Mayor Segarra Skeds Town Hall Meeting

HARTFORD — In another push to engage the city in the 2011-12 budget process, Mayor Pedro Segarra will hold a town hall meeting on Tuesday at the Hartford Public Library.

Segarra is scheduled to unveil his budget plans before he submits it to the City Council on April 18.

Organizers of the town hall meeting said this gathering is an opportunity for the mayor to hear city residents’ ” ideas and suggestions about how to both balance the budget and make City Government more efficient, more effective and more transparent.”

They said residents are encouraged to ask questions and share thoughts on how best to achieve a a balanced budget that ” will improve the quality of life for all our residents in our diverse neighborhoods.”

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