Segarra Reflects On First 100 Days In Office, Announces Plans
By Jenna Carlesso
October 01, 2010
In his first 100 days in office, Mayor Pedro Segarra has set in motion plans to demolish the infamous "Butt Ugly Building" on Main Street, championed a citywide effort to clean up parks and scaled back on city staff by consolidating several offices.
He also restored $2.8 million to the city's rainy day fund through the sale of properties and a tax lien, an increase in the rate of tax collection and decreased claims on city employees' health benefits.
And that's only the beginning.
Segarra announced Friday his plans for the weeks ahead, which include the unveiling of the newly renovated Parker Memorial Community Center on Saturday, the demolition of 1161 Main St. -- the "Butt Ugly Building" -- at the end of the month and a program that would set aside college tuition for children who go on to graduate from a Hartford public high school.
"I've learned that what is most important is to set the right tool of collaboration amongst people," Segarra said Friday at a press conference.
The renovated Parker Memorial Center on Main Street includes a new game room and reading area, a community room with an attached kitchen and several classrooms. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held there on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Though no exact date has been determined for the demolition of the building at 1161 Main St., workers have begun cleaning out the structure in preparation. A mechanical claw will be used to knock down the building, city spokeswoman Sarah Barr said.
Segarra is also gearing up to introduce a campaign called "It's About Us." The program will include a poverty study and the creation of a fund that would help pay for a portion of city children's college tuition. To qualify, a child must go on to graduate from a Hartford public high school. It is not yet clear how the program will be funded, Barr said. More details will be revealed next month.
TARGETING YOUTH CRIME
To help decrease juvenile crime, the mayor also announced a new initiative in which the Hartford Police Department will staff its Police Activities League program with two full-time officers and a full-time sergeant. Next year the department expects to deploy two more officers to the program, full time. The program previously was staffed with one part-time officer and volunteers from the department, Hartford Police Chief Daryl K. Roberts said.
City officials plan to model the initiative after a successfully run program in Waterbury, where the department increased participation from 80 youths to more than 3,500 over a seven-year period. The new program also will utilize teachers and attempt to engage the business community to a greater extent. City officials say youth involvement in positive programs will deter them from gang membership.