Segarra Farms Out Some Responsibilities To Take On Others
Says He's Strengthening the office of the mayor
By Jeff Cohen
September 01, 2010
Two months into the job, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra is trying to refocus and restructure the city. WNPR’s Jeff Cohen reports.
Mayor Segarra came into office two months ago following the resignation of Eddie Perez. Now, he says he’s settling into his new role, and he says he wants to strip his office down in order to strengthen it.
“Given what we’ve been through I think I owe it to the people of the city to sacrifice anything that I need to sacrifice on my end to bring some accountability back in a way that benefits the people.”
That means taking two significant functions out of the mayor’s office – the 311 constituent service call line, and the office of capital improvements. It doesn’t shrink the city’s staff much. But Segarra says that it will help refocus him and refocus the city.
"What I thought wasn’t needed any longer is for me to be this sort of octopus in my office that’s trying to control 20 different things. I’d much rather be at Washington and the state. I'd much rather be meeting with community residents and strip myself of some of the baggage that in the past really has been counterproductive."
In a meeting this week with the city’s department heads, Segarra outlined some strategic goals – including ensuring fiscal accountability department by department, making health and safety a priority, creating jobs, and growing the city’s economy. Segarra says he expects greater accountability from his department heads.
Luis Cotto is the minority leader of the city council from the Working Families Party. He says he has some questions about Segarra's moves, but that he generally likes them. Still, Cotto says it's now up to Segarra to make good on his vision.
“If Pedro feels as the mayor that the best way that the mayor’s office could be most efficient with a set amount of employees then he has 18 months to prove that.”