It was fun to sit and talk for a few minutes with Dennis House, longtime host of WFSB’s Face the State, about the Mayoral race, my plans for Hartford, and my take on the race dynamics.
If elected, I am prepared to fight hard for Hartford every day of that four-year term, and I hope beyond that. I want to work fast to get Hartford on the right track, to put a city government in place that’s accountable and responsive, to tackle our public safety problem, to strengthen neighborhood schools, and to get job growth and economic opportunities for our residents.
For those of you who would rather read than view, here are some key concepts I covered:
We need leadership that takes responsibility, that lays out a clear plan, and that follows through. When I’m out knocking on doors every day, I hear from voters all around Hartford that that there isn’t enough accountability in City Hall, and that when residents call with concerns, there’s no one on the other end of the phone. People want a Mayor who’s focused on the whole city, on neighborhoods, and on making sure that the City is providing basic services like public safety, strong neighborhood schools, growing jobs.
What we ought to be thinking about now is what’s the future for Hartford, how do we take Hartford to the next level. We need to be more aggressive and more ambitious for our city.
The first thing we’re going to have to do is get our own fiscal house in order. We’re going to have to start being good stewards of taxpayer dollars. We need to reduce duplication of city services, and we need to look more into regionalization. We can’t be absent from opportunities to work together with our neighbors like being active in the Capital Region Council of Governments.
We’ve spent a huge amount of money on consultants and we’ve spent a huge amount of money on plans that then sit on the shelf. We don’t prioritize well; we need to stabilize the police force and stop paying a huge amount in overtime. We need to plan for a stable and stronger police force that can support real community policing.
Hartford has to be perceived as a city that is safe. Making our city safer has to be our number one priority.
We have Great Depression-level unemployment in Hartford. There are thousands of people in Hartford who want desperately to work, and don’t have that opportunity. There are thousands of kids who grow up in Hartford and who are going to schools that don’t prepare them for the workforce. And we’re not doing nearly enough to make sure that we’re retaining jobs and growing jobs in Hartford that will create those opportunities.