GOP Leader Wants Special Election For Hartford Mayor In November
By JENNA CARLESSO
July 02, 2010
Republican Town Chairman Michael McGarry has filed a petition with the town and city clerk's office seeking to force a special election this November for the city's mayor.
McGarry has said the city charter is unclear about what should happen if a mayor resigns, and that a special election should be held to ensure all voters have a voice in the process.
But city and state officials say the charter is explicit about what happens after a mayor resigns: The city council president assumes the position.
City Council President Pedro E. Segarra was sworn in as mayor on June 25 after Eddie A. Perez resigned from the post following his conviction on corruption charges. Segarra will serve out the remainder of Perez's term, which runs through January 2012.
McGarry filed the petition, which has 20 signatures attached, to the town and city clerk's office on Thursday.
"Other cities have simple procedures for filling vacancies, giving voters the right to pick their mayor," the petition states. "Hartford voters deserve the same consideration."
McGarry could not be reached for additional comment Friday.
Town and City Clerk John Bazzano said the city's charter is clear that when a mayor resigns, the city council president takes over. He said he forwarded McGarry's petition to Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz's office on Thursday for consideration.
Av Harris, a spokesman for Bysiewicz, said Friday there is no provision in Hartford's charter that allows for a special election due to a vacancy in the mayor's office.
"All we would tell them is to refer back to the city charter. We know what the charter says about succession. It's not an issue we would deal with," Harris said.
He said the city's corporation counsel, John Rose, would have the final say in the matter. Rose recently submitted a letter of resignation, which was accepted this week by Segarra. His departure date has not been determined.
Rose did not return a phone message seeking comment Friday.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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