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Councilocracy or Democracy?

By Mike McGarry

June 06, 2013

With the demise of any real governing coalition - a mayor with five or six council votes - we look forward to a couple of tough years for the citizens of Hartford and it's business community.

The voters voted for a strong mayor, but, obviously “Congress­man” Wooden thinks that he was elected Vice-Mayor when he gathered three Working Families Party supporters to put him in the Council driver's seat. After all, he was elected as a Democrat on the Demo­cratic team. Did your vote matter?

The image of a split government may benefit the egos of a few Councilpersons but what damage is being done to the image of our city by these petty politics? $700 over and over while grass goes uncut around the city employee parking lot. $700 over and over forcing a huge turnover in city hall right in the middle of massive cuts and a shrinking grand list. The only reason the list holds up is that apartments are seeing big tax assessment increases. Yes, a tax on the poor - just like Keno on the state level.

And, councilocracy, why are you ignoring the fact that the current system of steady ruinous tax increases on these apartments will lead to abandonment, less maintenance and higher rents? $700 is more important to certain councilmen than poor people being forced unto the street. Look for a rash of boarded-up buildings soon.

Lastly, the councilocracy running the Registrar of Voters office (by budget manipulation) is another distraction from the big picture. It was social services that caused the lines in the last election, and by nickel and dimeing that office we will see the West Hartford solution (lines at all the polling places) in our future.

Councilocracy, remember, the voters will is our system not the will and wisp of ambitious council leaders. It looks like our four-year council terms are way too long. What recourse do we voters have?

Reprinted with permission of the The Hartford News.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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