HARTFORD — — Mayor Pedro Segarra on Monday nominated three people for the Hartford Parking Authority, which has gone months without its full complement of five members.
The authority lost two members in June with the departures of lawyers Richard Twilley and Albert Barrueco, followed by the November resignation of James Thompson, the city's assistant superintendent of elementary education.
It has been operating since then with only two members — Chairwoman Patricia LeShane, CEO of the Hartford-based Sullivan and LeShane lobbying firm, and Kenneth Lerman, a corporate lawyer.
The lack of members prompted Connecticut Parking Services Inc. to sue the authority earlier this month, claiming all decisions made without a legal quorum were invalid. The suit came nearly a month after the authority voted not to honor an agreement with the company. Prior to Dec. 9, Connecticut Parking Services operated the M&T parking lot at 1214-1218 Main St.
The authority's decision to end its contract with Connecticut Parking Services was made by only two members. Hartford's municipal code mandates that there must be five members on the panel and a majority of at least three present to vote on an issue.
Segarra said he had solicited resumes for months to fill the positions, but had trouble finding qualified candidates.
"We've been recruiting," he said. "The problem is finding suitable people for the different boards and commissions."
The mayor on Monday nominated Rex Fowler, executive director of the Hartford Community Loan Fund, an independent community lending agency; Jose Rene Martinez Onofre, an assistant state attorney general; and William Breetz, a lawyer with Farmington-based Levy & Droney law firm.
The appointments need city council approval. Council members postponed a vote on the issue until their Feb. 14 meeting so they can review the candidates.
"By no means have we been unable to take up business because of the number of commissioners. We have carried on and carried out our work here as we're supposed to," said Mark McGovern, Hartford Parking Authority's chief executive officer. But he added: "All three of these men have experience and skills that will be beneficial to the authority. We look forward to having a full complement of commissioners on the board."
LeShane said the appointees will be welcome additions to the panel.
"They come from diverse backgrounds and each brings different skills," she said. "It's a great mix. We're really looking forward to having a full board."
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at