Mayor Pedro Segarra was on Where We Live this morning.
Here is what he had to say:
Hartford has a new mayor. He says “there will be changes, and these changes will come quickly.”
The capital city is in need of change, after becoming the latest city in Connecticut to lose a mayor to corruption. Eddie Perez stepped down after being found guilty on 5 charges pertaining to bribery and extortion.
But is Perez an anomaly, or the product of a system of city government that uses its poverty to enrich its politicians? Is the needed change coming because of a mayor headed to prison, or because of drug violence, troubled schools and a civic identity that is often at odds with its suburban neighbors.
Stepping in to try and make these changes is Pedro Segarra, attorney and former city council president. He took over from Perez on Friday evening, pledging to reach out, to listen and to reconnect with the state.
Today, where we live, we’ll talk with Pedro Segarra about his vision for Hartford. Join the conversation.
When he was done with the interview, I caught up with him for a few minutes. Among other things, Segarra confirmed he has asked for resignation letters from all city department heads. He said the mayor’s office should expect cuts.
And, from the I-should-have-known-this-but-didn’t department, Segarra also said that the contract of Police Chief Daryl K. Roberts is up at the end of this month. (We’ve asked the chief for a comment.)
Listen to our newscast this evening for more, or listen here online later on today.
Looks like Segarra will cut the staff at the mayor’s office.
Segarra Asks For Resignation Of All Department Heads
Says He'll Evaluate Each Person Individually
Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra has asked for resignation letters from all city department heads and mayoral staff.
Segarra says he'll be considering each resignation letter individually but adds that the mayor’s office specifically should expect staffing cuts in order to save money.
“I will review the work records, I might even interview or meet with some or all, I’m not sure. And then I will start the process of not accepting a letter of [resignation,] which means they stay on board, or making replacements.”
The city already faces two major personnel decisions. The contract of schools Superintendent Steven Adamowski will expire in the next school year. And the contract of Police Chief Daryl Roberts expires much sooner.
“The chief’s contract is over at the end of this month, so now it becomes an issue of whether to extend the contract or not. We’ll need to enter into a dialogue.”
Roberts said through a spokeswoman that he would like to stay on the job.
And even though Eddie Perez resigned his duties last week, Segarra says it appears Perez may still be on the payroll. Although the city’s personnel department told WNPR that Perez’s formal separation paperwork has not yet been submitted, Segarra says that Perez – like any employee – will likely be due some payment for sick and vacation time.
Segarra also said he expects Perez will resign his seat on the city’s board of education, but that that hasn’t yet happened.
Meanwhile, in an appearance on WNPR’s Where We Live, Segarra said he’s looking to create an environment at city hall where people are free to disagree. And he said he needs people with professional experience.
“I don’t need campaign managers, I don’t need political advisors to the extent that it’s to perpetuate myself in office. I no longer have that burden because I do not intend to run.”