With its low self-esteem and high urban blight, Hartford is the ultimate underdog city. Sad City Hartford documents the joys, sorrows and eccentricities of New England's Rising Star.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Mayor Pedro Segarra Chats With Sad City Hartford

Pedro Segarra famously became Mayor of Hartford after the resignation of the disgraced Eddie Perez. Taking office in late June, (around the same time Sad City debuted) the former City Council President has been a visible presence and a breath of fresh air to local politics. The Mayor was recently kind enough to take some time and answer a few of Sad City's questions.

Mayor Segarra's responses are reprinted verbatim.

1) You were thrust into the role as Mayor rather than being elected. When did you first realize that you were going to be the Mayor and what do you remember about your initial thoughts?  

 Mayor Segarra: "At the time of the verdict, I felt there would probably be a push for a resignation and that was my realization that I needed to have more of a dialogue for a transition."

2) Your wikipedia bio states that you moved to Hartford in 1972 from the Bronx. What Hartford neighborhoods have you lived in and how has Hartford changed both for the better and the worse since you first came here?   

Mayor Segarra: "Wikipedia is wrong.  I arrived in Hartford in 1975.  I have lived in Forster Heights, Asylum Hill, Sodo, and the West End.  I feel the neighborhoods have changed for the better but more still needs to be done."

3) Recently the H.B. Davis building was demolished and now it has been announced that the Capitol West building is going to be torn down with financial support from The Hartford. Both of these buildings have been eyesores for years. How has your office been able to finally demolish these buildings when other Mayors have failed?  

Mayor Segarra: "Efforts regarding the HB Davis building were already in the pipeline before I took office.  In regards to Capitol West, I pushed for and embraced a more collaborative relationship with The Hartford and their role as a good corporate citizen."

4) You live in the West End. Give us a couple of your favorite hidden gems of Hartford to grab something to eat and/or have a drink.  

Mayor Segarra: "There are so many.  I enjoy O'Porto, Adreas, Costa del Sol, Salute, Trumbull Kitchen, Dish, and Effie's in West Hartford--- I do believe in regionalism." 

5) Crime and violence in the North End continue to be a problem and the South End seems to be getting worse. What plans are there to reduce crime in the city?  

Mayor Segarra: "Perceptions are inconsistent with the statistics.  However, I do feel that one crime is one crime too many.  I am proud that Hartford is establishing a PAL program to give more positive opportunities for our youth.  Preventing crime is just as important as responding to it.  I am also encouraged by the City's and State's effort in regards to dealing with issues related to domestic violence."  

6) Sad City thinks that one thing that really hurts Hartford is the inability to retain young professionals after they graduate from the local schools. Is this a concern of the Mayor’s office and have any solutions been discussed?   

Mayor Segarra: "Yes.  Recently, I asked the University of Hartford to move its School of Social Work to the City.  I am also looking to establish internships in this area for these students." 

7) When can we expect an announcement in regards to the plans for I-84 in Hartford? 
Mayor Segarra: "No announcement is expected."

8) Starting with Eddie Perez and onto various Waterbury Mayors, Connecticut has seen more than it’s share of corrupt politicians. Are there structural aspects to city politics that lead to this corruption? If you could make one change to the system to prevent this type of corruption what would it be?  
Mayor Segarra: "Broader grass roots participation and oversight, ethics training at all levels and the creation of an inspector general system to monitor activity."

9) You recently announced that you plan to run for a full term in 2011. As a lawyer by trade, did you always have an eye on becoming a full time politician? Do you want to make any major platform announcements here?   

Mayor Segarra: "No, that was not in the plan.  However, I love this city and I feel my life skills can be put to good use to create better opportunities for others."

10) How long have you been aware of Sad City and how often does the Mayor’s Office read the blog? Will any Sad City writers be considered for political appointments if you win the 2011 election? 

 Mayor Segarra: "Since it began.  I read a bunch of different information sources."

Sad City would like to thank Mayor Segarra and his staff for their time. 


  1. He is a breath of fresh air...and turned out to be a pleasant surprise. He is good for Hartford. I would vote for him! He is giving us something to feel positive about in Hartford!

  2. Wikipedia was wrong?

  3. I think you can judge a person's character based on how respectful and friendly a neighbour he or she is. He's a great neighbour, a great man, and a great change for Hartford.

  4. Mayor Segarra has given the citizens of Hartford a fresh self-image to aspire to: grace and class must start from the top.

  5. lets hope the hartfords greedy and corrupt developers dont sink their teeth into him,they are already circling like sharks,and he has already appointed one of the greediest worst slumlords to a panel on city taxes,their solution to cut commercial property taxes by raising residential property taxes through an increase in the evaluation rates.

  6. the primary is over and it is Pedro and his private boys council.

  7. Don't be bitter, Mr. Vargas - um, I mean "dr poop"