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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

THE CONCESSIONS THAT WERE NEVER CONCEDED

It  seems that it should be criminal to submit a municipal budget based on phony numbers, but apparently Mayor Pedro  Segarra has no problem doing that. Last year Segarra's budget included $3 million dollars in revenue apparently obtained from concessions from Hartford's Municipal  employee Unions.


The fact of the matter is that  at the time that the numbers were built into Hartford's budget, not one penny was given back by any of the Union's to achieve the cost savings. The Segarra Administration didn't even seriously talk to the Unions until late last fall to even discuss concessions.


The result was pretty much predictable. A solid "NO" from the Union's. I can't say I blame them. For years, the reckless spending that goes on at Hartford City Hall has been initiated by Segarra and his predecessors and allowed by the Hartford City Council.


Going back to the Union's every year at budget time to balance the budget on the backs of City employees is wrong. It is especially a tough sell asking some of Hartford's lowest paid employees to give back when the reckless spending by Segarra is so publicly obvious. You knew it would never fly after the caviar incident and then the abuses of credit cards and City vehicles. This administration is just bleeding tax payers dollars without any regard to where those dollars come from.


If the Union's did give back the $3 million dollars, our reckless Mayor would just find a way to spend it all.


Employees in City Hall witness the reckless spending everyday. I still get phone calls about the few hundred thousand spent to move the Office of the Corporation Counsel from the third floor to the second floor. For what? So Pedro could be closer to Sandy to be able to get her excellent advice quicker?


And don't forget the Mayor's "scheduler". Almost $60,00.00 a year to follow Segarra around tracking his e-mails and appointments. If only the Unions had given back the Scheduler could get a larger I-pad and maybe a nice City car also.


Reckless, reckless, reckless, there is no other way to describe Segarra's spending. Any Union President that would take any request for concessions back to their membership ought to be impeached immediately.


I was amazed yesterday when I read in the Hartford Courant that the Mayor has decided to give $1 million dollars to the Bushnell Park Carousel. Here is Steve Goode's story from the Courant.


Now I do believe in the things that draw excitement to Hartford, but I also believe in taking care of first things first. And the first responsibility of the government of the City of Hartford is to provide the basic Municipal services required to run the City.


The article starts off by stating that the Carousel is getting a $1 million dollar gift. Too bad the Union's didn't give back, we could have at least given some of Hartford's hard working Municipal employees credit for the  million dollar gift.


Why not call on the Bushnell Park Foundation to kick in to sponsor the Carousel (they might already, but then again isn't that why the foundation is there?). Why not start the Bushnell Park Carousel Restoration fund and get others to kick in. If the year round opening and restoration of the Carousel is going to generate that much business, it shouldn't be a tough sell to get the City businesses that will benefit, to help out.


What about using the park and getting the Public  to help raise the funds? We have a beautiful bandshell that could be used for a series of Concerts for the Carousel to raise funds. And I tend to think that riders from the suburbs probably spend a lot more time on the gilded horses than Hartford children do, yet we are expected to foot the full bill?


 A quote in the article highlights one of the benefits of the restoration says that it will "enable students to learn about its ( the Carousel's) rich history" how about taking the students another block up the Hill to the Capitol and let them start learning about the rich history of our state and what Civic involvement means.


And the fact that the money comes from the Capital Improvement Budget should not put any one's mind at ease. That is money we will pay the interest on for the next 20 years. And take a look at Hartford's streets. I think that $1 million dollars could be used to repair our City's infrastructure. What good is a renovated Carousel if you ruin your car hitting potholes to get to it.


And I know budget time is coming so if Segarra is in the "gift giving" mood, maybe rather than giving a $1 million gift to the Carousel, he could show some leadership and start a fund raising effort for the Carousel. I think the people of Hartford might also appreciate a "gift" . My suggestion would be a class of police officers to give us a gift we could really use, safer streets and neighborhoods. That might actually draw more people downtown. Probably more than freshly painted horses bouncing in a circle

Sunday, March 30, 2014

AN UPDATE ON MY NEPHEW ANDREW

   
Park City , Utah
Some of you may remember me writing about my nephew Andrew. Andrew turned 18 last December and has been training for several years to compete in the Winter Paralympics. Rather than re-type all the details, Andrew was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy (CP) at an early age and he has a very difficult time walking. Surprisingly, or maybe more appropriate Not surprisingly, if you know Andrew, he didn't let that slow him down, and a few years ago he realized he was very capable of skiing.


Through the support of many , including Mount Snow and other sponsors, Andrew has received some of the best ski training available and has become recognized as a Paralympic contender. He has travelled extensively throughout the US and Canada this past winter competing and training. Colorado, British Columbia, this past week Park City Utah, upstate New York and the US Olympic Training Facility have all been regular stops for him this past year. At the same time he is able to keep his grades up as a High School Senior and has been offered a four year $100,000.00 scholarship to Westminster College in Utah ( close to the best ski areas).

His hard work is paying off and this past week he won his first Bronze medal in a National Race. Below is my sister's take on the past week that she just spent with Andrew as a proud mother watching him in Park City Utah. Here is her take below as well as more pictures.

To read Andrews full story as well as more info on fundraisers , go to andrewraces.com. Information on supporting Andrew's efforts are also available on the website


My sisters posting on Andrew's website:


     After we landed in Salt Lake City, we went straight to Westminster College for their incoming freshman open house.  Andrew is the recipient of their Exemplary Achievement Award totaling $100,000 over the course of four years.  He is very excited about going to school there.
     We spent the first two days  skiing together which was a rare treat.  Usually he is off training and I don't get to see him ski very often.  It is truly a thing of beauty.  
     The first three days of racing, he came in fifth and sixth.  The last day he hit the jackpot.  Yesterday was a fun race to raise money for the National Ability Center.  We met Picabo Street and she was impressed with Andrew's skiing and  wanted to try his outriggers.  It was another great day.




 We would like to thank Ability



PLUS at Mount Snow for supporting Andrew this season and also to the Mount Snow Race Center.  Their coaches worked hard to get Andrew ready for these races.  A quote from the program director when we were trying to figure out training with them was, "we will work with Andrew and help him  be the best athlete he can be."  Very heartwarming!





     Special thanks  also go out to Mau and Eric at Team Summit, CO.  They have been training with Andrew for the last few years and have guided him through this crazy world of adaptive ski racing.  
 
Coach Doug at Pico, VT
Andrew and Mau after bronze finish in Park City, UT.
 




   



Figuring out he was in third.
So the big news is, after two and a half years of competing on a National Level, Andrew has earned his first bronze medal in slalom, and I was there to see it.  I can't begin to tell you how happy I am for him.  It has been a long slow process and he has worked very hard for this.  Hard to believe my child, who I watched struggle to walk for all those years in on a podium with athletes who had just competing in the Paralympics in Sochi, Russia.  
     The other amazing thing about this week was I got to meet some of Andrew's friends and their families.  These athletes have to compete against each other and then they cheer each other on and hang out together after the races are over.  You never hear them complain and the experienced athletes go out of their way to encourage the younger racers.  It is something to witness and this week has been an experience I will never forget.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words...

For more pictures of this wonderful week, click on the link.     


On the podium with Ralph Green and Ian Jansing.
Team Mau winners.



    


  
This has been a life changing experience for our family and this is just the beginning.  We are thankful for all the support on this amazing journey!
We are back to fundraising mode.  We have a new fundraiser at Red Robin coming up in a few weeks.  Hope to see you there.
  


This email was sent to krbrookman@earthlink.net by framedes@aol.com |  

AndrewRaces | 16 Shady Oak Dr. | Enfield | CT | 06082






Thursday, March 27, 2014

MORE NONSENSE FROM A FOOL

I have tightened up on the comments I let go through, but here is one I thought I should highlight just because of the stupidity.

This was posted Monday under the name Malcolm X Lives:

Kevin Brookman your nothing but a racist and a coward and your day is coming its funny how your headline only speaks of officers of color no mention of Sergeant Kessler an his racist antics an no mention of the lawsuits that your Boy Chief Foley is involved in in which I may add all involve people of color you are not a part of the solution but a part of the problem and when the smoke clears you and the police chief are going to be swimming in lawsuits for defamation of character and finally you will never be nominated for anything in the city of Hartford because the word is out you are nothing but a bigot!!!!! PS you know damn well who typed this but im sure you wont post it 

It is interesting they start off by calling me a coward and then have to post under the name Malcolm X. The next part is that he(or she) says that my headline only speaks of "Officers of Color". Can anyone point out to me anywhere in that headline where  race or color is ever mentioned? Is "Low T" a racial term I haven't been made aware of?

The poster really shows their ignorance when they make the posting about race. I guess that is what you do though when the truth doesn't matter and you have no facts to stand on...make it about race. If they had any idea what they were talking about, they would know that the Patrol Sergeant and the Major Crimes Sergeant I mentioned are both white. I purposely didn't name all of those involved because I didn't want to make it about race or personality.


 The comment that I didn't name Sergeant Kessler is also amazing and shows the writers profound ignorance. Look back and ask yourself how anyone found out about Kessler's antics. I'll help remind you. it is because I was the first one to expose it here. Yes here, and then the media jumped on it and it became very public, but it would have probably never been exposed if I didn't do the digging first.

And if we are going to talk about being a racist and covering for racial incidents, ask yourself how the other big incident involving race came about last year. The Dispatcher using the "N" word over the radio. It was here on "We the People". Sure sounds like a cover up to me, Malcolm.

 The comments about Chief Foley are laughable. Clearly you know nothing about him or his personal life. And that is enough said, I don't need to help clarify your ignorance. The only lawsuit  I am aware of is one against the City and former Chief Daryl Roberts for homophobic comments he directed at Foley. Stupid comments made by a Supervisor which are ignorant regardless of the commenters race... black white or other.

And the "defamation of character " claim...more nonsense.The truth is not defamatory. You might not like the truth or may have a tough time dealing with it, but it is what it is. Stop hiding behind claims of racism and start dealing with the truth. If you don't like the truth being exposed, maybe you should start dealing with whoever you are trying to support and tell them to clean up their act so I have nothing to write about

Friday, March 21, 2014

LOW "T" AT HPD

Anyone that reads this blog on a regular basis knows that I take ownership of what I say here, the good the bad and the ugly. In most cases , I attempt to contact most of the subjects  of my postings to give them an opportunity to present their side. They don't always return my calls, but I try. If I can't say something to your face, I am not going to gossip behind your back.

Apparently that isn't the way several at the Hartford Police Department conduct themselves. A campaign is underway by a select few to discredit me and the blog, I am not sure why , since I doubt that most Hartford Police officers enjoy being compared to Eric Smith, Latoya Guthrie  or Tishay Johnson. At least I hope they don't.

Almost every day now I get a new call about the latest volley being lobbed in the "kill the messenger campaign" being waged by a Deputy Chief, a couple of Sergeants and a Police Union Vice President. The other interesting part is the witch hunt to try to find out who is reporting their comments back to me. The answer is simple, people of integrity who don't appreciate their cowardly acts,

Yes, cowardly. My phone number is posted here on the blog and not one of these cowards has had the integrity to call me and say they have a problem with the blog or anything I post. The interesting part is that they knew how to get a hold of me when they wanted to have something posted and supplying me with documents. I guess it served their needs back then.

The Deputy Chief sent a letter to the Hartford Courant complaining about the blog and that I post "confidential" Police Information . To set the record straight, I have never posted "confidential information"  I will admit to posting "PUBLIC Information" Just about every HPD document I post is obtained pursuant to a legitimate FOI request and can be gathered by anyone asking for them. They might not be flattering to HPD but they are public documents. Don't commit the acts if you are embarrassed by them becoming public knowledge.

On several occasions, I have been asked to hold off on posting things so as not to jeopardize open cases. I don't have a problem with that. As an example, the IAD into the shell casings being kicked into the sewer was one I held off on so as not to jeopardize a criminal investigation. There have been numerous   times I have been asked to hold off for a few days posting a story , I readily agreed, without even knowing why, but I have the discretion to do that.

The Union Vice-President apparently told his members at the Union Meeting last night that they (the Union) were working to shut the blog down. Good luck with that, you have about as much of a shot of doing that as I do in shutting down the Union or bringing back flagmen at Construction sites.

And back to the Deputy Chief's letter to the Editor, good luck with that one. I think the Courant most likely appreciates the US Constitution and the First Amendment. In case you forgot, that is the one that addresses Freedom of Speech, the one that gives me the privilege to write this blog and post the truthful information I post. As well as the same right that commenter's have to post their comments here.

I understand part of the D/C's anger I think. The actions of a City Councilman put a cloud over the D/C's promotion when the Councilman made it a point to tell everyone that would listen that he "cut a deal" with Chief Rovella to make the promotion happen. I doubt that is true since I don't see Chief  Rovella as cutting deals with anyone. The real truth probably is that the new D/C was at the top of the list because of his qualifications and training well before the Councilman ever got involved.

I think the D/C's gripe is with the Councilman and his bragging for putting the cloud over him, not me.

The Major Crimes Sergeant who has been vowing to everyone that he is "taking me down apparently is not happy because of a couple postings that pointed out his incompetence on a couple of crime scenes, one being a kidnapping and homicide in the Southend where he never even left his office or assigned detectives to Investigate until the media started questioning why no one had interviewed witnesses or secured the crime scene.. The witchhunt to find out my source was more important than finding the victims killer.  ok, i can understand why he is upset, no one wants their incompetence highlighted
 
I couldn't figure out the tirade by the Patrol Sergeant until someone reminded me about a conversation I had with him one night down by the riverfront when I brought up a fight he had at a Comacast Concert  where he was beaten up and scratched by a girl from Fairfield  County. Let me take the opportunity to apologize for that one now. I didn't think your wife was listening and I didn't know. she was going to get upset.

I also post many positive things about our Police Department. I took a lot of heat last year for posting the successes of the Shooting Task Force. apparently Patrol Officers and others felt ignored by that. But , people that know what integrity and how to act like men (and women) had the guts to call me or stop me at Stop and Shop or Walmart to let me know how they felt. That is what adults do.

No one benefits from back stabbing and gossip and I would hope that a Deputy Chief and others would learn how to conduct themselves in a way that fosters better community relations and moves Chief Rovella's philosophy of transparency along, not undermine it


I think to anyone who looks at this realistically, I have done more than my share to support HPD and yes, bring about change. If that change means exposing  bad  cops, I don't apologize for that. And I have thick skin so bring it on, the good and honest members of HPD know what is up.

In the meantime, if any of you decide to act like adults , my number is 860-883-2297. We may not agree, but at least you can make your point

Thursday, March 13, 2014

PEDRO: STEP UP OR STEP ASIDE

It is time for some tough love for Hartford.  Not by me but by our Mayor, Pedro Segarra. For someone that claims to have had this profound love affair for the City of Hartford, Segarra sure has a funny way of showing it. It is time for some tough decisions for Segarra.

If he really loves this City as he claims every time he has the opportunity to tell his tale of woe as to how he landed in Hartford, he needs to make the decision to either step up and be a leader or step aside and let someone else try. And I think a lot of that story might not stand up to any fact check. That would take a touch of class for the truth to come out

Segarra has been the political poster child for incompetence and poor leadership, almost on a daily basis. Just read the IAC Audits on everything from the abuse of City Credit Cards , the caviar Dinner, hiring practices, and the list goes on and on.

What Segarra apparently never learned was the number one basic rule of management: you are only as good as the people you surround yourself with. And I doubt there is much argument that he has surrounded himself with some winners. The Grand Theft Auto kid from farm country who thought it was appropriate to steal back his City car after he left City Halls employ.

 Crash Borges who thought it was OK to crash her City car on the way to bail her kid out of Jail (Well, just to be clear , it was her boyfriend/fiancee/significant other, Hartford's future illegitimate Fire Chief who was operating the vehicle) the Finance Director that kept the City's credit card receipts in a shoe box in his office.

The Acting Chief of Staff who loves Hartford so much he won't even move here and the list goes on and on. Most of Segarra's problems could have been avoided by some decent people around him. People that don't lie awake at night trying to figure how to embarrass him next.

Segarra is in a tough spot now with several of his key positions vacant. Under Hartford's Charter the open postiions can only be filled with people willing to accept a contract of employment for the remainder of Segarra's term. That would be a little over a year and a half (time for a countdown clock in front of City Hall?)

All Department heads serve at the will of the Mayor, and quite assuredly, a new Mayor coming in will clean City Hall from top to bottom.

I doubt that you will find a competent Chief Operating Officer or Finance Director or Chief of Staff  or DPW Director that would be willing to leave a successful career for such a limited commitment. Especially knowing what a mess this Administration is.

Isn't it sad that the majority of the so called leaders of Hartford are from outside of Hartford. The COO is from Windsor, the Chief of Staff is from Meriden, the Budget Director lives in Farmington no permanent DPW Director, no permanent Finance Director. At least our Police Chief honored his contract and actually moved into our Cityy, where he can actually be seen around town.

This budget season promises to be a blood bath at City Hall, despite Segarra's State of the City commitment to make sure that Public Safety will not be compromised, we all know what is coming from the Council. And we also know that Segarra will cave like a Franklin Avenue Bakery cream puff when it comes to fighting and standing for something he believes in.

Pedro, you need to decide, are you going to do what needs to be done and surround yourself with some decent people that actually care about Hartford and can move us forward. If not, please step aside and let someone else show their love for this City

WHY SHOULDN'T THIS BE HARTFORD?

Follow the link below, and after reading the story, ask yourself why this shouldn't be happening on the abundant vacant land in downtown Hartford.

 Read the story here

The quick answer: extremely high taxes, a lack of vision by City leaders  an unfriendly business climate and an unwillingness to " think outside the box".