City Council Calls on Courant to Rehire Cleaners

Tonight, City Council passed the “Resolution Restoring Good Jobs at the Hartford Courant,” on the consent calendar with only Councilperson Wooden abstaining.

Before voting, several members of the City Council explained their motives. Continue reading “City Council Calls on Courant to Rehire Cleaners”

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Swearing at Seven

If your New Year’s resolutions included increasing your level of civic engagement, then you can take a step toward fulfilling that goal tonight. The swearing in ceremony will take place in the atrium of City Hall. This is free and open to the public, but about forty seats will already be reserved for the families and friends of Mayor Segarra and the incoming City Council.

Mayor Segarra, who was appointed and sworn in during the Perez scandal in June 2010, has been elected by the people and will begin his first full term as Hartford’s 66th mayor.

City Councilpersons being sworn in include eight men and one woman: Alex Aponte (Democrat), Kyle Anderson (D), Luis Cotto (Working Families), Raul DeJesus (D), Larry Deutsch (WF), Cynthia Jennings (WF), Ken Kennedy (D), David MacDonald (D), and Shawn Wooden (D).

Adam Cloud, who was appointed to the position of Treasurer in February 2011, will be sworn in as well. Continue reading “Swearing at Seven”

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Revised, Ready, and Waiting

A few months ago when the revision process began, there was a public hearing. Subsequently, at every meeting of the Charter Revision Commission, the public have had the opportunity to vent voice their concerns for a few minutes. During the regular meetings, less than a handful of people bothered to show up to express their opinions. Predictably, some have already begun to complain about the outcome. This kind of kvetching into the abyss is purposeless and would be more effective if directed to those who have at least a semblance of control over the matter. Draft revisions are being made available beginning on Monday and can be picked up in the Town Clerk’s Office and in City Council Offices, as well as online. Since there are actually some major suggested changes, I do think it’s worth taking the time to read through and show up at the public hearing if Hartford’s politics even remotely matter to you. This Wednesday (May 13th) a public hearing will be held at 6pm in the Hartford Public Library.

Here is a preview of some of the revised sections:

Composition of the Court of Common Council. (it is changing!)

The Council shall consist of thirteen members, consisting of one member elected from each of five Districts and eight elected at large. The Council shall designate such council districts by number. The maximum number of at-large members of the Council who may be members of the same political party shall reflect the requirements of the General Statutes with respect to minority party representation.

The following section explains how the districts will be determined, providing an idea about why there is this desire to switch from At-Large to Hybrid.

Sec. 6 Establishment of Districts for Court of Common Council.
(a) No later than thirty (30) days following the completion of reapportionment of the General Assembly, as required by the Constitution of the State of Connecticut, as further set forth in the General Statutes, the Council shall appoint a districting commission consisting of seven (7) to fifteen (15) members, no more than fifty (50%) percent of whom shall be members of the same political party (“Appointment Date”). The districting commission shall report to the Council no later than seventy (70) days following the Appointment Date, setting forth the recommended boundaries of the five (5) Council districts.

(b) Council districts shall be:

(1) of substantially equal population and otherwise consistent with all federal and state constitutional and statutory requirements;

(2) to the extent possible, consistent with preceding, maintain the integrity of recognized neighborhood planning areas;

(3) geographically contiguous and compact; and

(4) to the extent possible consistent with the preceding, consistent with existing legislative districts.

(c) The districting commission shall be supported in its work by appropriate City staff which shall have available to it the necessary support to facilitate the work of the commission and well as such other professional assistance (subject to appropriation) as it shall choose.

(d) The districting commission shall hold a public hearing at least one week before it submits its report to the Council, and shall make a tentative map of its proposed districts available to the public electronically, in hard copy available at the City Clerk’s office, and by causing it to be published in one or more newspapers of daily circulation in the City at least three (3) days before the public hearing. The districting commission may modify the tentative districts before submitting its report to the Council.

(e) The Council shall vote on the establishment of Council districts within three (3) weeks of its receipt of the districting commission’s report. The Council may amend the district boundaries recommended by the districting commission before approving districts, but the districts approved by the Council must comply with the standards of subsection (c) of this section. A resolution approving districts must be affirmatively supported by a majority of the members of Council, and shall not be subject to veto by the Mayor.
Continue reading “Revised, Ready, and Waiting”

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Hartford Charter Revision Commission: March 19, 2009

What I am learning from attending these meetings is that legalese is every bit as convoluted as reputed to be; hence, lawyers should be as far away from writing/modifying the language of law as is humanly possible. Given that EmGee has broken issues down into plain English, I know that some lawyers are capable of clear writing and thinking.

The Charter Revision Commission took a recess to decipher the draft amendments of Chapter III of the charter; it appeared that Attorney Mednick, who was not present, had omitted some information discussed at the previous meeting. Later, Commissioner Anderson asked for Discussion Item 4 to be better explained, as the language was misleading.
Most of the meeting seemed focused on discussion of four items. Continue reading “Hartford Charter Revision Commission: March 19, 2009”

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Charter Revision Rapidly Revising

The main items on tonight’s agenda:

the Commission, meeting as a Committee of the Whole, will discuss the powers of the Court of Common Council and, if time allows, the structure of the Board of Education

Unlike previous meetings, this one felt productive. Several motions were carried over to be voted on at the next meeting, pending the attorney’s creation of a document that spells out the composition of the City Council (Court of Common Council).

Councilman Deutsch and Ronald Armstrong contributed remarks during the Public Comment period at the beginning of the meeting. Armstrong expressed disappointment regarding a vote at the previous meeting. The vote in question was for Hartford to be divided into five districts, so that there would be eight at large and five district representatives. Armstrong reminded the Hartford Charter Revision Commission that “every vote you make here as a commissioner is a moral issue” and that commissioners need to be committed to justice, not to “wealth,” “individuality,” or “control.”

The commission proposed to adopt the language found in an excerpt from the 2002 Final Report of the Charter Revision Commission, with some amendments. Continue reading “Charter Revision Rapidly Revising”

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“Not Going to Cut Down the At Large”

charter revision commission
An agitated Councilman Kennedy, with his back to the Charter Revision Commission mouthed that he was “not going to cut down the at large.” Continue reading ““Not Going to Cut Down the At Large””

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