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Friday, August 22, 2014

THE MEANING OF INSANITY -SEGARRA STYLE

The Rock Cats Crew
 
I am paraphrasing here, but I think many have said the definition of insanity is repeatedly doing the same thing while expecting a different result.

Maybe there might just be a touch of insanity in the Segarra Administration.

After being widely criticized for 18 months of secret negotiations to lure the Rock Cat's away from New Britain. apparently the secrecy continues. Yesterday a "secret group" met out of the public eye to look at the proposals submitted for the develo0pment. According to the Hartford Courant, the public was not permitted to sit in on the meeting Thursday.

I have to ask why?  If you as Mayor were widely criticized for the secrecy that was a major part of sinking the deal in the first place, wouldn't you want to go in a different direction if you wanted the public acceptance. The deadline for submissions has already passed, so nothing can change now. Reviewing the proposals in a public discussion will not cause any issues as far as confidentiality . The public does not need to speak or even be heard, but they do have the right to know that everything is being done aboveboard and be given the option to observe the process.

When it comes to trust in Segarra and his administration, that seems to be eroding every day. A little common sense might start turning that around and he needs to throw the windows open to every aspect of business at Hartford City Hall. The good , the bad and the ugly.

This is the public business and tax money and they have every right to know what's going on before it is too late. A group of bureaucrats making decisions behind closed doors will not move this project forward one inch and will not win any support from residents. And yes, with the exception of one business person on the panel, they are all bureaucrats .

The secret meetings may also be a violation of the FOI Laws as they apply to Executive Session or "meetings from which the public is not permitted"

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

ROCK CATS PAY UP, HARTFORD DOES NOT

News this afternoon is that the Rock Cat's delivered their past due property tax check to the City of New Britain. They may still be going to court to try to get a Judge to reopen negotiations  for their tax deal, but they might want to try repairing the bridges to New Britain that they destroyed based on false assurances of a "Done Deal" with Mayor Segarra.

This deal apparently may be causing more problems for Segarra , according to City Hall sources. There have apparently been questions circulating as to where the  money has been coming from to fund the attorneys fees and consultant's fees associated with the 18 month secret deal and planning sessions. Since the Hartford City Council never voted on or appropriated  the estimated half a million dolllars  and no where does it show in the current budget.

So the question arises, how is Segarra doing this legally? The answer now may be that he wasn't and instead may have tapped into School Construction Building money, essentially creating his own "Rock Cats " slush fund and attempting to maintain the secrecy without anyone noticing where the money was being spent.

According to a source familiar with finance and payment processes at City Hall said that this week City Treasurer Adam Cloud has refused to sign a check for over $76,000 cut for payment to the law firm of Updike , Kelly and  Spellacy. According to the source who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Cloud questioned the expenditure when presented with the check to sign and where the money was coming from and which account.

 It was apparently found to be drawn from an account for Architectural and Engineering Design work on School Building projects. According to the source, both Federal law and State Statutes are clear on using grant or bond money for purposes other than which they are authorized. Criminal charges could potentially apply to any misuse. A proper investigation by appropriate authorities would be needed to determine if that line has been crossed.

The source stated that the City Council would need to pass a new bond resolution for a substantial re-use of any bond dollars. No record of that being done can be found at this time. Re-purposing school dollars for use on a baseball stadium would be considered a substantial change requiring Council approval.

A clause in state statute also holds anyone releasing funds improperly can be held personally liable, which means Cloud could be on the hook for the $76,000 or possibly any other checks he signs and releases if the funds aren't being drawn down properly.

This deal stinks with every corner turned, and now it might be time for outside authorities to begin taking a closer look, especially if money intended for Hartford children and schools is being used to fund the Segarra Field of Dreams.

City Treasurer Adam Cloud was unavailable for comment at the time of posting.

IT STILL STINKS, THE COURANT WEIGHS IN ON THE WALLER SCANDAL

The Courant has just posted an editorial on the Assistant Chief posting at HFD and what has become the latest scandal for the Segarra  Adminstration to address

Here is the Courant's editorial .http://www.courant.com/news/opinion/editorials/hc-ed-fix-was-in-for-top-spot-in-fire-department-20140820,0,4519900.story

I have to ask the same question that many people calling me are asking. What does Saundra Kee-Borges have that she can hold over Segarra's head. It must be good to be be able to embarrass Segarra time  and time again and still survive.

Pedro, aren't you tired of looking like a fool at the hands of SKB yet? Clearly you can do it on your own without her help.

And as a sidenote, here we are over 24 hours later and Mayor Segarra's Lack of Communication Director Maribel LaLuz has not responded to requests for comment   I am not sure we really need it or that anyone would trust them with an explanation at this point

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

YOU CAN'T FIGHT CITY HALL

OH YES YOU CAN!!! And sometimes you may even win. After posting over a week ago about the tailor made job posting for Assistant Fire Chief. It appeared to be tailor made for the significant other/fiancee'/boyfriend of Hartford's Corporation Counsel Saundra Kee Borges.

Terry Waller was the heir apparent until about 5:00PM today when the heat in the kitchen must have gotten a little too hot for Mayor Caviar. Segarra suddenly reversed his position and ordered the position re-posted and open to all, minus the residency requirement.

We will see how this progresses but I am sure people still want to hear the truth as to how this happened and who orchestrated the original posting.

It will probably be blamed on some clerk who added the residency requirement in without any one reviewing it for accuracy. Although they did have plenty of time to fix the mistake since it was posted here over a week ago. I guess a threatened editorial from the Courant might have pushed Pedro over the edge.

Requests for comment from the Mayor's  spokeperson Maribel LaLuz were not returned

Let the comments begin!!

Monday, August 18, 2014

THE GOOD NEIGHBOR POLICY

Apparently the City of New Britain and their beloved  Rock Cats are headed to Court as detailed n the filing below. Their next court date is apparently  scheduled for 8/21/2014.  This apparently revolves around a dispute over delinquent tax payments due the City by the Rock Cats and their possible eviction from the New Britain Stadium

Let's roll out the red carpet and welcome them with open arms to Hartford. The Rock Cats motion for an injunction to hold off any eviction proceedings was denied by Judge Abrams on August 13, 2014

 Information Updated as of: 08/18/2014
Case Information
 Case Type:   M82 - MISC - HOUSING CIVIL MATTERS
 Court Location:   NEW BRITAIN
 List Type:   No List Type
 Trial List Claim:   
 Referral Judge or Magistrate:   
 Last Action Date:   08/15/2014  (The "last action date" is the date the information was entered in the system)
 
Disposition Information
 Disposition Date:  
 Disposition:  
Judge or Magistrate:  
 
Party & Appearance Information
Party No Fee Party
P-01
NEW BRITAIN DOUBLE PLAY, LLC
 Attorney:        WILLINGER WILLINGER & BUCCI PC (023585)
855 MAIN STREET
BRIDGEPORT, CT 06604
  File Date: 08/13/2014
D-01
CITY OF NEW BRITAIN
 Non-Appearing

Viewing Documents on Civil Cases:
  • Documents, court orders and judicial notices in 2014 and future civil cases are available publicly over the internet.*
  • For cases filed prior to 2014, documents, court orders and judicial notices that are electronic are available publicly over the internet and can be viewed by selecting the link to the document in the list below.*
  • If there is an e in front of the docket number at the top of this page, then the file is electronic.  Documents and court orders can be viewed at any judicial district courthouse and at some geographical area courthouses during normal business hours.*
  • You can view pleadings or other documents that are not electronic during normal business hours at the Clerk’s Office in the Judicial District where the case is located.*
  • Viewing of documents protected by law or court order may be limited.

  •                                                                                                                                                  * unless otherwise restricted
Motions / Pleadings / Documents / Case Status
Entry NoFile DateFiled ByDescriptionArguable
101.0008/13/2014     P MOTION FOR TEMPORARY INJUNCTION EXPARTE
  RESULT: Denied 8/13/2014 HON JAMES ABRAMS
No
102.0008/13/2014     C ORDER HEARING AND NOTICE
  RESULT: Order 8/13/2014 HON JAMES ABRAMS
No

Individually Scheduled Court Dates as of 08/18/2014
HHB-CV14-4035742-S - NEW BRITAIN DOUBLE PLAY, LLC v. CITY OF NEW BRITAIN
#DateTimeEvent DescriptionStatus
1 08/21/2014 2:00PMHearingProceeding

AN OPEN MEMO TO HARTFORD'S FIRE CHIEF HUERTAS

I first met Chief Huertas several years ago , and whether you agree with me of not, I found him to be an honorable man willing to stand his ground.

At the time Hartford Police were experiencing staffing issues and Huertas was on the road as a District Chief for HFD. A medical aid call had been dispatched , I believe it was a shooting after a robbery. Huertas and the Fire crew dispatched responded quickly but they couldn't enter the shooting scene until HPD was dispatched  and determined the scene was safe. Knowing that the victim was laying only a few hundred feet away from help, yet HFD was helpless to potentially save the life of a victim who may be bleeding to death

Huertas repeatedly called the Police dispatcher asking for a cop so they could enter the scene .Several times he was told no officer was available. Huertas finally told the dispatcher that he didn't care what they had to do, get mutual aid from another Police Department or request a Trooper to respond, but he needed a cop, and he needed them now.

Somehow , once Huertas reached his frustration level, he made sure the right thing was done, a  police officer was found to respond and most likely the victim's life was saved. Later that evening I found Chief Huertas at the former Fire Headquarters building on Pearl Street and thanked him for what he did and for standing up for a Hartford resident  and potentially saving the victims life by standing his ground.

He was surprised that anyone was even aware what he had did, but that left an impression with me that Huertas wasn't into the image games, but was  willing to do what was right when it was needed.

I thought it was important to tell that story to emphasize  why I think Chief Huertas has integrity and character.

Now once again I am calling on Chief Huertas to do the right thing and set an example by doing what he knows is right when he is pushed to his frustration level. I have heard all of the stories of how Terry Waller was promoted to Deputy Chief. As the story has been retold to me by numerous people, Former Chief Casares  was called into the office of at the time Acting COO SKB and asked right out "you are going to make Terry a Deputy Chief, right ?" to which Casares apparently replied "NO". That sealed Casares's fate and he was forced into retirement almost immediately.

Then comes along Casares replacement, Chief Huertas. According to numerous sources familiar with HFD and Chief Huertas, the Chief was told that his appointment was contingent on his Assistant Chief choice. Chief Shapiro, who was more than competent as Acting Assistant  Chief, was returned back to the streets of Hartford as a District Chief and Waller ascended to his throne , apparently courtesy of SKB.

Now apparently the fix is in courtesy of a corrupt administration  led by Mayor Caviar and his rack of lamb crew. Surprise, surprise Terry Waller is the only capable, qualified candidate. No testing, no training assessment, not even management experience requirements. Terry is the guy because he is Sandy's guy.

It is demoralizing for anyone who wishes to move up through the ranks based on merit and not based upon sleeping with a political hack. I know that is a crude assessment, but it is the reality.

Chief Huertas, we all know how the game is played. The choice is now yours. Play the game and potentially endanger the lives of the men and women you have worked with all your career, or say hell no to the little Gigolo and stand up for what you know is the right choice. If they force you out you can at least leave with your head held right , knowing you did what is right for the men and women of the Hartford Fire Department and the people of Hartford.

No job is worth selling your soul, especially to this group. Although I doubt that they have the guts to force you out if you do the right thing. The Hartford Courant is now digging into this, and if the calls I'm getting are on the mark, calls are being made to numerous outside agencies requesting a full review of how the Caviar crew are using the City of Hartford for their own game. I think it is hard to get the attention of  the US Attorney's Office, but when you do...watch out.

When it comes to low hanging fruit of corruption, it doesn't get much easier than Hartford City Hall.

Chief Huertas do what you know is right and stand your ground, for your own reputation and the legacy of your time as the Chief of HFD and for your fellow firefighters. Read some of the comments... we will have your back and support you for doing the right thing

To read the Courant's article ,click here