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'»
While the Committee of Inquiry — filled with City Council members — is presumably inquiring on matters related to the Hartford Registrars of Voters, others have taken action about alleged problems during the last election, and the one before that.
What Would Constitute a Denial of Voting Rights?
In November 2013, former Hartford resident Julie Beman schlepped all over the city to ensure she voted. She filed a complaint with the State Elections Enforcement Commission against Democratic Registrar of Voters Olga Iris Vasquez and other election officials.
Over one year later, the SEEC completed its investigation Continue reading 'The Voting Situation'»
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'»
Monday night, City Council adopted three resolutions that would change three streets in Hartford, entirely to accommodate the planned baseball stadium. Councilperson Deutsch and MacDonald were the only to vote “no” on all three of these items.
What does this mean for Downtown North?
The width of Pleasant Street will be reduced by five feet for a stretch of 850 feet.
The section of Trumbull Street between Market and Main will be moved 85 feet south.
Windsor Street, between Trumbull and Pleasant, will be closed off. That’s not just during construction — that’s permanent. Seen as one of the safer north-south routes for cyclists, this closure will create some inconvenience for bicycle commuters and other street users.
Nearby Ann Uccello Street became a cul-de-sac in 2013, as did Flower Street (Asylum Hill and Frog Hollow) last year. The latter was closed for reasons related to the CTfastrak; the former, apparently, happened with little fanfare. The closed segment of Ann Uccello Street is in the general Downtown North area. Continue reading 'Sparks from the Stadium: Six Months In'»
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'»
With another hearing on the Downtown North Redevelopment Plan tonight, residents might want to know how this fits in with One City, One Plan — Hartford’s plan of conservation and development which underwent a long process involving many public meetings of its own. Links to that document have been disappeared from the City of Hartford website in recent days, making that task impossible to those who did not have the foresight to download or obtain personal copies of the document meant to guide City development over the next ten years.
Here is the document for readers to peruse:
Downtown Development OCOP
There was also a document created in 2009 by the Perez administration. In this, the vision for the Trumbull-Main area is spelled out: residential, small offices, small-scale retail, and small service businesses. Continue reading 'What is Allowed in Downtown North?'»
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'»
Exactly one person spoke favorably about the stadium deal during Monday’s public hearing, yet members of City Council went ahead and approved the three Downtown North land purchases anyway, two of which are directly connected — either in print or geographically — to the proposed stadium.
Raquel, the one voice overtly supporting the stadium, said that “Hartford is a dead city” and that if people are out of work, it is nobody’s fault but their own. It’s not the City’s responsibility to get people to work, she said. That was the message in between her continued support for the stadium. No statistics, no research. The City is here to provide entertainment, she implied, but not jobs.
Ten individuals — eight residents, one former resident, and one individual moving into Hartford soon — spoke against the stadium plan. One woman did not speak directly about the stadium, but said that the “city looks like crap” and that it is a “dead land.” Continue reading 'Land Purchases Approved for Downtown North Area'»