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Hartford's Segarra Sworn In, Wooden Chosen As Council President

By Jeff Cohen

January 03, 2012

Pedro Segarra was sworn in as the Hartford's mayor yesterday, beginning his first elected term in office. But as WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, a fight over control of the city council dragged on until the bitter end.

Segarra was already Hartford's mayor. He took over in the summer of 2010, after the criminal conviction and resignation of former Mayor Eddie Perez.

On Tuesday, Segarra took the oath of office in a packed city hall atrium. This time, it's for an office he won. State Attorney General George Jepsen gave the oath.

Segarra: I do.

In his speech, Segarra spoke about creating jobs, education, and public safety. But his broader message was about restoring Hartford's sense of self.

"Hartford. For too long we have allowed ourselves to be defined by your challenges. Yes, we have much work to do. But we are not helpless. We are not hopeless. We have the strength, the resolve, and the sheer will to dictate our right to the capital city. Today is a new day, Hartford. Will you stand with me?"

When Segarra was done, it was time for the city council to pick its new leader. Since the election, the group of six Democrats and three members of the Working Families Party has been unable to agree on who would be its president.

Veteran Councilman Kenneth Kennedy wanted the job, but so did newcomer Shawn Wooden, who ran for mayor before he ran for council. In the end, the political battle played itself out in front of a packed city hall crowd -- as Kennedy lost his vote, and Wooden won his.

"Thank you. Now it's time to get to work. With that, the meeting is adjourned."

And with that, Hartford's city council began its new day divided.

Reprinted with permission of Jeff Cohen, author of the blog Capital Region Report. To view other stories on this topic, search Capital Region Report at http://capitalregionreport.wordpress.com/.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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