Tonight’s forum hosted by the Hartford Public Library was aired live and will be rebroadcast on Hartford Public Access. If you missed the thrill of local politicians politicking, let me explain how the forum was supposed to work. Because of the number of candidates—even with Luis Cotto and Urania Petit not making an appearance—only four candidates were allowed a full two minutes to respond to a given question. After they had their say, other candidates could give their one minute rebuttals. Unlike other events I have attended where this method was attempted and poorly executed, it seemed to work well tonight, moving people along. It helped that all of the candidates were respectful to the time, only finishing their sentence after time was called.
Roster: Pedro Segarra ( D ), Matthew Ritter ( D ), Kevin Carroll ( R ), John Lupo ( R ), Michael Lupo ( R ), Veronica Airey-Wilson ( R ), Thom Page ( D ), Kenneth Kennedy ( D ), James Boucher ( D ), rJo Winch ( D ), Gerald Pleasant ( R ), Michael McGarry ( R ), Calixto Torres ( D ), and Larry Deutsch ( WFP ). Got all that?
On the issue of education and the superintendent’s new plan there weren’t any surprises. Michael Lupo and Page considered school uniforms to be a positive measure, along with the plan to allow school choice throughout the city, in essence turning all public schools into magnet schools. Ritter, to much applause, promoted universal preschool so that students perform better on tests later in their educations. Winch suggested that funding be based on services for the child, not the building; Airey-Wilson seemed to acknowledge the link between a building and student need when she said that there is a need to break “up these massive warehouses” that are Hartford’s high schools. Boucher’s comment that education is underfunded? No-brainer.
The next question posed was how the candidates would improve public safety besides increasing the police force. Continue reading “Passion and Passive Aggression at the City Council Forum”