The special Committee of the Whole meeting of City Council on Thursday offered no surprises.
The motion was divided so that each potential appointee could be voted on separately.
Rich Wareing and Cherita McIntye received yes votes from all present councilmembers. Matt Poland and Dr. Jose Colon-Rivas both received seven votes in favor with Councilperson MacDonald abstaining. Mayor Segarra received seven votes in favor, with only Councilperson Cotto showing objection.
Councilperson Deutsch was absent from the meeting.
During discussion, Councilperson Aponte said he “looked for candidates willing to do the hard work” and who “care about our children.”
Councilman MacDonald said he was troubled by the message that the nominees as a whole send to the community, explaining that there is a lack of diversity and too few parents. Councilperson Wooden also noted that concerns have been expressed by the public about the lack of diversity, but that he would be voting for all regardless.
MacDonald said that by Segarra appointing himself and two other City employees there are too many conflicts of interest. MacDonald cited how within the short span of his time serving on the Board of Ed and City Council simultaneously, he has had to recuse himself several times already. He suggested that such conflicts of interest would create too many opportunities for BOE members to recuse themselves during their tenure.
Councilperson Cotto objected to the Mayor serving on the Board of Education because of the conflict of interest. The rest of Cotto’s party, however, did not all follow suit. Councilperson Jennings gave her vote to all of the appointees.
Councilperson Kennedy remarked that he sees nothing wrong with lawyers, perhaps alluding to the criticism that too many lawyers are currently serving in the City.
Reprinted with permission of Kerri Provost, author of the blog RealHartford.
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