We have been a constant critic of Mayor Perez spending time and effort as the school maven and not enough time and effort on taxpaying, job creativition, goods and service creating economic development, etc.
However, still of that mindset, we must give credit for new developments in the city brought on by the complete change over of the Hartford school system this year. We sense a citywide sense of calm that is essential to learning and acceptable social behavior.
Is it the uniforms? Higher expectation? The curfew? The emphasis on career development? School and teacher re-shuffle? Who can be sure which magic wand actually worked, but our experience is that the streets have reflected a no-nonsense, let’s get to school attitude that has not been seen since the days of a dozen Catholic schools in the city.
An example – Farmington Avenue near Hartford Public High used to be a real zoo. Kids crossing illegally, many giving the finger to drivers just wanting to make their way along the avenue. Today, smartly dressed young men and women cross the street in a fairly orderly fashion and we have yet to see anybody smoking pot (like last year) on the corner of South Marshall and Farmington Avenue at 7:30am.
So, the numbers are not in yet, but we’ve been told attendance is up and discipline actions are not as drastic or needed as much so far this year. Keep it up, Doctor Adamowski, teachers and teachers, let’s hear your side if you disagree.
All this said, it is high time that the city get more serious about economic development. The mayor should spend several hours a day and really try to sell the city. No meetings, no conferences, no calls – other than making the pre-qualified calls that will get the three responses needed to make those three sales. Yes, its work but the only real salesman for the city is the mayor. Leads should come from economic development but only one guy can close a deal – like hiring the superintendent – the strong mayor, Eddie Perez.