While City Council was sure to still meet and vote on the matter during a snow storm, another stadium-related meeting of sorts was recently canceled.
Local contractors and contractor-supply shops were contacted about a little gathering (“conference”) that had been planned for last week. It would have been held in Express Kitchens, a cabinet and countertop supplier on upper Main Street.
The letter, sent from Thom Deller, the Director of Development Services, to various business owners, included some misinformation. SAMA, the Spanish American Merchants Association, was named as a co-sponsor of the event. SAMA says it was surprised to find its name attached to the event and had not agreed to be a sponsor.
The event would have given Robert Landino — President of Centerplan, the construction company tied to the stadium — some time in the spotlight.
Monday’s City Council meeting happened, despite Mayor Segarra having declared a snow emergency hours before and police telling motorists to stay off the roadways.
The public attendance was what one would expect during a blizzard– fewer than ten people took chairs, and many of those individuals were media.
The Stadium Authority ordinance passed with Deutsch (WF), De Jesús (D), and MacDonald (D) all voting no:
Stadium Authority – Ordinance establishing the Hartford Stadium Authority for the purpose
of owning the property on which the Minor League Baseball Stadium will be located, issuance
of revenue bonds for construction of the stadium, management of stadium construction,
and lease of the stadium to the City of Hartford which will sublease it to the baseball team.
For their grand exit, perhaps in honor of the snowstorm, the City Council spun its wheels as elected officials allowed themselves to fishtail through some procedural minutiae before skidding awkwardly to a stop.
The City Council Committee of Inquiry has released its findings regarding the Election Day 2014 debacle.
You can read the 32 page document below. Among the gems in this report: one Registrar refused to read emails that another sent, police were called to the Registrar’s Office following an outburst by the Democratic Registrar of Voters, and that same individual invoked the Fifth Amendment when questioned.
To learn more Continue reading 'Election Day 2014: Results of Inquiry Published'»
With the release of the 2014 Year End Crime Data, the Mayor’s Office claims there has been a “steady reduction in crime,” particularly in “Clay Arsenal, North Meadows, North East, Blue Hills and Upper Albany.”
The Hartford Police Department routinely releases crime stats weekly, not just at the end of the year. Before celebrating or getting cynical, it’s worth knowing what the numbers actually mean.
Continue reading '2014 Crime Stats'»
There are people who hate year-end lists because it sounds like the creator is putting out some clickbait while spending his days going to Christmas parties.
We’re using this opportunity to review the operation of the city and the City– what helped to build up Hartford and who needs to have a time out to think about what he has done. Continue reading 'Most Best Awesome Superlatives of 2014'»
Though Mayor Segarra did not return comment about why the Registrars’ of Voters errors during past elections had not caused deep concern within City Hall, his public relations contact issued a statement today on behalf of both the mayor and Councilperson Wooden, announcing that the duo have “co-sponsored one resolution that will launch an investigation into yesterday’s voting issues and a second that will restructure the office of the Hartford Registrars of Voters.”
Last year voters had the opportunity to weigh in on the Registrars, but as we reported, there was little effort to translate the ballot questions into language accessible to the average resident.
The call for an investigation seems to replicate what is already expected to occur as a complaint is being filed with the State Elections Enforcement Commission.
There’s no need to opine over the name of a candidate’s watercraft or the illicit affairs that an elected official may or may not be having. Those may all be indicative of someone’s character, but one truly need look only at how a person is performing in the public space to reach the same conclusions.
Regardless of what the Rock Cats’ stadium may or may not do for Hartford’s economic state, this process has shined a harsh light on the character of those who are supposed to be serving the residents of Hartford. Continue reading 'DoNo How to Behave'»
As expected, the deal was voted through, with no nay votes but three abstentions: Larry Deutsch (Working Families), David MacDonald (Democrat), and Raúl De Jesús, Jr. (Democrat).
Before casting his vote, De Jesús said the serenity prayer in Spanish, then English. Continue reading 'Downtown North Plan Approved'»
As the controversial Downtown North proposal goes to vote on Tuesday, there are still dozens of questions remaining unanswered, not to mention an outstanding FOIA request placed initially to Thomas Deller and Wayne Benjamin, and now to Maribel La Luz. Two camps seem to have emerged on this issue, and it’s not pro-stadium/anti-stadium. It’s those who find it reasonable to ask questions and expect thorough, detailed answers, and those who find critical thinking cringe-worthy.
We have been compiling reader questions since June. Here is what people still want to know about this project. Some reader questions were edited to add clarity:
- What details exist on the retail space and potential tenants?
- The City would be contributing land for the the construction of a brewery. Is it acceptable to use public funds to facilitate the production, distribution, and consumption of alcohol?
- What would the rent be for the housing? Would this fulfill the demand for the type of housing that exists in Hartford?
- How exactly would a stadium drive development? Give details. How has this occurred in cities that are comparable to Hartford in terms of population and wealth?
- Why isn’t there a proposal without a stadium?
Downtown North Redevelopment is back on the agenda for tonight’s Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. This document has been prepared for the meeting:
Downtown North Redevelopment PZ 090914 V2 FINAL
Since City officials announced plans to build a stadium last June, more questions have been raised than answered. Among those questions:
- Do all parcels hold considerable market, retail, residential, and mixed-use development potential?
- Have all of these parcels been completely surveyed and do topographical maps exist for all parcels? How are developers able to do a proper feasibility study without designs overlaying the topo? Can that be done without site or land surveys?
- Did the City have a recent market appraisal done for all of the parcels?
- Are there environmental reports on all of these parcels? Are there any underground storage tanks/sewer lines at these parcels that will need to be moved? How much will it cost for asbestos remediation at 150 Windsor Street? What is the magnitude of these potential environmental issues? Who pays for environmental remediation costs?
- How much will it cost for the street realignment of Trumbull and Pleasant, along with the abandonment of Windsor? Who pays? How will this impact the flow of traffic with several nearby schools and colleges?
- Are there unpaid taxes on any of these properties? What is the City doing to collect?
- Is there a reason that the commercial developer is able to have these properties gifted? Isn’t the norm for the commercial developer to purchase the parcels they plan to develop? Is there a reason that the developers are not being asked to pay full fair market value for this land? Continue reading 'Questions Remain on Downtown North Revelopment'»