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Segarra Likely To Be Next Council President

By Jeffrey B. Cohen

November 09, 2009

Councilman Pedro Segarra will likely be the city council's next president come January, various members of the city council said Monday.

The city's charter provides for two-year terms for the council president, and current President Calixto Torres is nearing the end of his two-year leadership role. Councilman Jim Boucher had originally agreed to serve as the president for 2010 and 2011, but it now appears that Segarra -- the council's budget chairman -- has more support, according to several people involved in the discussions.

"Pedro is the council president starting next January," Councilman Kenneth Kennedy said.

The council president is the next in line to the mayor's office should the mayor no longer be able to serve. Earlier this year, several Democrats tried unsuccessfully to oust Torres -- who they considered an ally of Mayor Eddie A. Perez -- in favor of Segarra. Now, though, Segarra appears to have the support he needs.

"I think that the next council president should be someone who draws everybody together and seriously considers some of the challenges we're having," Segarra said.

"It's either going to be me or it's going to be Jim," Segarra said Monday, saying both men supported each other. "It's probably going to be me."

Kennedy said that Segarra is a good choice, especially given Perez's legal troubles.

"The mayor is going to have his day in court, but I think most of us don't have our heads in the sand," Kennedy said. "We are aware of the possibilities and that's not a reflection on Jim. Most people thought Jim could do the job."

But, Kennedy said, Segarra - a lawyer and former corporation counsel for the city - has the nod.

"As far as I'm concerned, it's a done deal," Kennedy said. "But you don't know until you know."

A formal vote on the new president is not imminent, council members said.

Reprinted with permission of the CityLine blog of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the CityLine at http://blogs.courant.com/cityline/ and the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
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