His low-key profile notwithstanding, John V. Bazzano has been a major influence in Hartford city government for most of his adult life.
He is in his fourth year on the city council, serving the last two as its president. Before that, Mr. Bazzano worked for two years as an analyst with the city treasurer's office and eight years as chief of staff to former Mayor Mike Peters. His involvement in Democratic Town Committee politics predates his association with Mr. Peters by several years.
It is therefore surprising and disappointing to hear him announce that he doesn't intend to run for re-election because "it's time to move on" to other opportunities.
Mr. Bazzano will be missed. He has been a decent public servant who has handled the city's business with integrity and is proudest of the changes he has helped bring about in Hartford's quality of life, such as a pending noise ordinance.
Mr. Bazzano has struggled mightily to dispel the perception that under the new strong-mayor form of government the council had become a rubber stamp for Mayor Eddie A. Perez's initiatives.
Most recently, for example, Mr. Bazzano raised serious doubts about whether the council would approve the proposed sale of a North End park to a developer whose former company still owes the city $150,000. He was also a strong supporter of establishing a business improvement district in the downtown and Asylum Hill areas.
Mr. Bazzano not only can leave with his head held high, he should be looked upon very favorably if he chooses to return to city government.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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