Mayor Pedro Segarra addressed a crowd at the Bushnell today as the speaker for the MetroHartford Alliance Rising Star Breakfast.
He touched on long-term job growth and economic development. Below is a recap from city spokeswoman Sarah Barr:
MAYOR SEGARRA MAKES MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENTS
REGARDING VISION FOR HARTFORD'S FUTURE
FEATURED SPEAKER AT RISING STAR BREAKFAST
---NEWS AND COMMUNITY RELEASE---
(January 11, 2011) --- Mayor Pedro E. Segarra unveiled both an immediate and long-term vision to grow Hartford, create jobs, and embrace a more positive and productive future. In his speech, "Hartford: One City, One Plan to Create Opportunities Together," the Mayor emphasized collaboration and creative thinking in order to move the City forward.
Building upon the past several months of rapid-paced progress that includes making Hartford more accountable; more ethical; safer; more attractive; more fun; better education; and an Arts leader, Mayor Segarra announced that a full scale grocery store will be opening Downtown in the coming months.
"The Market @ Hartford 21" is a collaboration between the City, the Hartford Community Loan Fund, and Northland Investment Corporation, who had the foresight to anticipate the needs of Downtown dwellers for an urban market to the end that they contributed more than $2 million to make it a reality. We all have every faith and confidence that this venture will add to the vibrancy of our City and the employment of local residents," said Mayor Segarra.
The Mayor also said that his administration is working on an economic development strategy that focuses on new trends, opportunities and business needs. The City's Chief Operating Officer, David Panagore, has begun the search for a dedicated Development Director who will be pro-business and a champion of Hartford and who will guide these projects through the regulation and permit process. There is also a recommitment to efforts to pursue and retain employers by establishing a Business Development Office.
For decades, the argument has been made to attract and develop a strong student and youth population in Hartford to enhance the dynamics of the City. Capital Community College, the UCONN School of Business and the Saint Joseph's School of Pharmacy are already lifting the mood and tempo of life Downtown and increasing the opportunities for residents to achieve higher education. The UCONN School of Law continues its efforts to engage in Hartford's diverse community and the Mayor challenges them to train even more local talent. A few months back, the Mayor extended the invitation to the UCONN School of Social Work to relocate to Hartford to ensure social justice and progress and be more accessible to the people who would benefit from their programs.
"If that isn't enough, I'm now stepping things up a notch. I will lead the movement to recruit the UCONN Medical and Dental Schools to Hartford. As the job-hub of the State, it is essential that the Capital City be the focus of intense medical research, training and technology," said Mayor Segarra.
The Mayor stated that it cannot be "business as usual" to achieve goals. "Last year, I led the charge of no new taxes and I continue to work to close the funding gap in a fiscally prudent manner. Government must look at itself in the mirror to be responsible and be more efficient. We must also work with the business community and neighborhood activists to find fair and equitable solutions to our budget dilemma."
The Mayor called for comprehensive tax reform that eliminates the unfair burden that business has been forced to bear over the past few years and simultaneously provides relief to residential property owners in a balanced and equitable way. He has already taken steps to reorganize city government in a way that increases efficiency and accountability. Last night, City Council enacted the Mayor's amendments to pension ordinances for senior executives. These and other post employment benefits must be fiscally sound and in line with the business community.