This columnist believes that the shamful dropping of C.E.O. Sandra Kee Borges is a big mistake and that the council leadership that engineered this folly should be held accountable for the inevitable mess to come. In the ten years or so that Sandy followed policy directions, our tax levy went down every year . In the next ten, with the leadership - experienced city manager with great credentials - the levy (and the mill rate) rocketed up. Those days about 30 mills, now over 70.
This said, the dye has been cast and new leadership (answering to elected official, of course, and correctly) should take a completely new direction. The new Chief Executive Officer needs to be a sales person, a deal maker, a connected player. Hartford's main problem is lack of investment and we need an individual who can reverse that trend.
Suggestions have been that the city look into the private sector to find a newly-retired nationally known Chief Executive, somebody who can crack a deal, sell a concept and bring jobs, goods and services and tax revenue to Hartford. That person should be able to pick up the phone, call an old acquaintance and fill some office/warehouse/factory space. Here should be the conversation:
Joe/Mary C.E.O: Hi Sam, I understand you are looking at the Northeast for your Twiddle dee dee facility.
Sam: Yes, we need 25,000 square feet with highway access.
Joe/Mary C.E.O: Got just what you need in Hartford's North Meadows. What do you need? Tax Break? Training? Introduction to local customers? Just ask.
Sam: I never thought of Hartford, thinking it too expensive (after all, you are in Connecticut) and maybe unsafe.
Joe/Mary: We can help keep costs down with utility help, employee training grants and maybe some state/pension fund/local bank financing. And, Hartford is safe the North Meadows has practically no crime.
Sam? So, what's next?
Joe/Mary: Get on a plane tomorrow and, yes, we'll put you up and buy you lunch (if the Council leadership doesn't mind, if so, I'll pay for myself).
Sam: OK, see you next week.
How often do you think our system reaches out to potential taxpayers in this way? Who in our government has the life experience and circle of friends, customers and business contacts to bring the action to Hartford?
What we will probably get is a politically correct, life-long Democrat who belongs in a left-leaning university classroom. Governor Perry, how about a nice retirement job?