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MadVlad

You are now the Mayor!

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You throw your hat into the ring as a Mayoral candidate as a joke. The day before the election, something happens, all the other candidates decide to elope and move to Fiji together, or they valiantly sacrifice themselves to save the city from suicide bombers from Providence. So, by default YOU become the mayor. What do you do first? I have to think about mine, so I'll post in a bit with my answers.

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Obviously your first official act would *have* to be to dispatch a squadron of suicide bombers to Providence.

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I would stop the union nonsense at the Convention center.

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Hmm...

Here is what I'd do for the two years in office --

1) I would meet with Hartford's ex-mayors - and brainstorm with them for information -- with the city council in on the meeting. I bet Mayor Mike would give me ideas.

2) Meet with the leaders of Hartford businesses (from Aetna and Travelers to Scott's Jamaica Bakery and Tony March. I'd see what they would like to improve the city -- to see what I could do to help them create jobs.

3) Create a school vouchure system. I'd ask the HFT (Hartford Federation of Teachers) to go along with improving Hartford's school. I would talk to Watkinson's (the private school) about helping the city schools - and I'd ask the CREC (Capital Regional Education Council) to create a few magnet schools in Hartford.

4) Create a city where families -- no matter what you call a family -- can afford to live in. I would restruture the tax base so families can AFFORD to live there.

5) Build a new arena and ask LG to buy an NHL team. (21K seating)

6) Now, see if I could get CTTransit buses to run 24 hours a day. Nowadays, people don't only work from 9 to 5, but some could be 2nd and 3rd shifts, but they - at the time - have to drive to work. If the buses were 24/7, it would help the city.

7) Promote the Riverfront -- build a few docks at State Street Landings - so people can take a break from boating and tour the downtown.

8) Now, rebuild Brainard Airport. My idea would be creating a small airport that would help Bradley.

9) Create with the suburbs a Regional Commuter rail, also with the state's help - see if we can get Connecticut Southern to void the STUPID exchange with Conrail only. If CSO could interchange with the NEC, it would help.

10) Have monthly meetings with a group of Hartford's business leaders, Hartford's firefighters and police, the city council, the mayors of the towns in the suburbs and average citizens. I'd still like to get people involved with my administration.

and

11) Uncover the Park River!

If I did those, few things -- I'd tell the Citizens that I was honored to be their mayor for two years -- and not run for the office again.

Jim S

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Those are all really good ideas Jim. I agree with just about every one of them. In addition, I would:

1) Overhaul the HPD and hire more police officers and station them downtown.

2) Establish more after school programs for kids in the city

3) Devise a 10 year plan to A) uncover the Park River, and B) re-route or bury parts of I-84

4) Build a large parking garage across the street from Union Station.

5) Tax the hell out of surface lots.

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OK, I have a minute between baby cries, so here we go.

Mayor MadVlad has released this missive:

I, the new Mayor, hereby declare that these are my priorities for the city.

1) Change the tax structure so vacant lots will be taxed at a much higher rate than buildings. The days of parking lots will be over.

2) Speak with the various business consorteums and see what is needed to better the city's business environment. I would then appoint or reappoint (if there already is one) a city/business liaison to try and keep business' here and bring new business' in.

3) Get the funding necessary to build a new 20k seat arena on lot 12b. I would then work together with all potential pro-sports owners (Howard Baldwin, Larry G, Fingold) and see if there is any common ground for all the forces to work together for a common goal.

4) I would look into burying I-84 from Sisson Ave through the current tunnel. I would then work to integrate the newly open areas to help reconnect the various parts of the city.

5) I would increase police presence throughout the city. I would entail a roving unit to stay in hotspots for small amounts of time. If criminals don't know when this unit will be around, maybe they'll assume it could be at any time.

6) I would embark on a media/marketing campaign the likes of which the city has never seen. All those travel books that market Des Moines, Kansas, and Omaha? That would be nothing.

7) Work with Brainard Airport so it could remain active, and still develop the South Meadows into a mixed environment with easy river access. the same with the North Meadows.

8) I would set heavy blight rules where fines would increase over time ending in property seizure for non-cooperative owners.

9) Uncover the Park River at least the length of Bushnell Park.

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Off the top of my head...

I would end Hartford's days as a social services center. If not, the city will just continue to become poorer and poorer. I would take the funds cut from these services and put them towards job training instead. I would offer some kind of incentive plan for manufacturers to come back to the city providing factory jobs.

I would overhaul the police department. I would have two or three precincts. One in the north, one in the south and possibly one in the west. All IN the neighborhoods they police to create a much greater police presence where it is needed. The current location of the police department is a joke. HPD is also one of the only departments in CT that don't drug test. I would put together a civilian board to review and act on all police complaints. Bad behavior for too long has been accepted at HPD.

I would speak to the large insurers about offering incentives for workers who buy homes in the city. Same for all police and firemen.

I would begin judiciously expelling chronic troublemakers in the high schools. If you aren't there to learn and your parents care less if you get an education, go be someone else's problem, join the army or whatever. It is entirely unfair to the Hartford students who DO want to learn. I have a friend who is a teacher at Quirk Middle School. She said she spends 75% of her time babysitting and 25% of her time teaching. Her good students suffer. Hartford spends more per student than any town in CT except one. Hartford schools aren't the problem. Its some of the people IN the schools and their parents that are the problem. People will never move to the city if this problem isn't addressed.

I would restructure property taxes so that parking lots and abandoned properties are taxed at a much higher rate than in-use properties. Develop the property or sell it to someone who will.

City departments and agencies are scattered all over the city. I would build a city hall downtown that could bring all of these entities under one roof in order to improve services and make them more efficient.

I would work with the University of Hartford to start a school of finance and insurance downtown. It would help to retain college grads in Hartford and work as an incubator for new businesses.

I would work with MDC on their marina idea, but move it closer to downtown. A small marina development would do wonders for increasing use of the CT river.

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1. If I were the mayor I would put more of an emphasis on trade schools for many Hartford youths. Many of them just do not have an educational background condusive to learning a liberal arts curriculum. We are running low as a nation in plummers, electricians, certified nurses, etc. All good careers that kids could graduate from High School ready to do with the right training.

2. I would pump more money into the college prep schools and make sure every kid in Hartford that wants to go to college learns about ways to help them with that goal. I would do this by showing them where to look for grants and scholarships and more affordable choices such as maybe starting at a community college to make sure they are ready for college and won't only go for 2 years and have nothing to show for it but debt to the Federal Government.

3. I would also create a large Entertainment Technology and Communications Themed High School aimed at getting kids ready for careers in Broadcasting, Graphic Design, Web Design, Music Recording, ect. Things the kids I talk to are interested in already but have no where to go to learn how to do.

Those are just some things I would start with.

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Those are all really good ideas Jim. I agree with just about every one of them. In addition, I would:

1) Overhaul the HPD and hire more police officers and station them downtown.

2) Establish more after school programs for kids in the city

3) Devise a 10 year plan to A) uncover the Park River, and B) re-route or bury parts of I-84

4) Build a large parking garage across the street from Union Station.

5) Tax the hell out of surface lots.

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jcrc:

If I was mayor, I'd see if there would be support to start a 4 year college. Maybe start 'Connecticut Valley University.' CVU would be another business school especiallizing in insurance/financial, entreprenuership and other courses.

However, 'CVU' would not be the only thing -- I'd bring downtown. I'd try to get some housing (Condos) for families -- 3 and 4 bedrooms. Maybe near the Connecticut River. With it, you'd have a mix of all ages in downtown. Also, with that, I'd create a skatepark for rollerbladers and skateboarders.

Another, issue would be an improved Dillon stadium and the area around it.

Any comments?

Jim S

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jcrc:

If I was mayor, I'd see if there would be support to start a 4 year college. Maybe start 'Connecticut Valley University.' CVU would be another business school especiallizing in insurance/financial, entreprenuership and other courses.

However, 'CVU' would not be the only thing -- I'd bring downtown. I'd try to get some housing (Condos) for families -- 3 and 4 bedrooms. Maybe near the Connecticut River. With it, you'd have a mix of all ages in downtown. Also, with that, I'd create a skatepark for rollerbladers and skateboarders.

Another, issue would be an improved Dillon stadium and the area around it.

Any comments?

Jim S

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I would love to see a 4 year college with undergrads population of 4,000 in downtown. The layout should be making it part of the downtown community, not a Trinity like isolation. Obviously if the big employers in the city can give kids from the college preferential consideration as far as job is concern, it would be not too hard to attract applicants.

I think housing for families will be tough without a good school system. With limited resources, Hartford should focus on one or two projects that can give most bang for its bucks. A 4 year college gets my vote.

Anyone know anything about Rensselaer at Hartford?

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I've revised mine:

Mayor MadVlad has released this missive:

I, the new Mayor, hereby declare that these are my priorities for the city.

1) Change the tax structure so vacant lots will be taxed at a much higher rate than buildings. The days of parking lots will be over.

2) Speak with the various business consorteums and see what is needed to better the city's business environment. I would then appoint or reappoint (if there already is one) a city/business liaison to try and keep business' here, find business' nationally looking to relocate and bring them here.

3) Get the funding necessary to build a new 20k seat arena on lot 12b. I would then work together with all potential pro-sports owners (Howard Baldwin, Larry G, Fingold) and see if there is any common ground for all the forces to work together for a common goal.

4) I would look into burying I-84 from Sisson Ave through the current tunnel. I would then work to integrate the newly open areas to help reconnect the various parts of the city.

5) I would increase police presence throughout the city. I would entail a roving unit to stay in hotspots for small amounts of time. If criminals don't know when this unit will be around, maybe they'll assume it could be at any time.

6) I would embark on a media/marketing campaign the likes of which the city has never seen. All those travel books that market Des Moines, Kansas, and Omaha? That would be nothing.

7) Work with Brainard Airport so it could remain active, and still develop the South Meadows into a mixed environment with easy river access. the same with the North Meadows.

8) I would set heavy blight rules where fines would increase over time ending in property seizure for non-cooperative owners.

9) Uncover the Park River at least the length of Bushnell Park.

10) I would create an Historic Preservation Board with teeth. This board would overlook all buildings that are deemed historically significant and create rules for doing any sort of major renovation to them, with the ability to prevent them from being destroyed ala Mass Mutual.

11) I would rebuild some of the secondary gateways into the city/downtown and make them vital and safe. These would include Windsor St, Homestead Ave, Maple Ave, Franklin Ave, New Britain Ave, western Park St, and Wethersfield Ave. It would also tie into....

12) A new development committee (or revamp a current one if it exists). I would set a goal for 5 areas a year. what this would entail is this: take an area like north Downtown (Ann, High Chapel Walnut), do what it takes to get everyone on the same page for a total redevelopment of the specific area, and get it revamped. Imagine if the first year we took that area, Congress St area, Windsor St, Albany/Homestead, and Sheldon/CHarter Oak across from Candy Cane bldg and came up with comprehensive plans for total redevelopment of those areas. Then attempt to do the same for 5 more areas the next year.

13) Work with various financial institutions to offer low income loans for renovating residential/commercial buildings (this might exist, but it isn't working the way it is). Then market it aggressively.

14) I would create a new job in city hall who's sole responsibility is to research and apply for Federal and State funding for anything possible. There is a ton of free money or low interest money out there that must be slipping through the cracks. If this is a 60k a year spot, it should easily reap over 10x that a year in money coming in.

What do you guys think?

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I've revised mine:

Mayor MadVlad has released this missive:

I, the new Mayor, hereby declare that these are my priorities for the city.

What do you guys think?

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1) Change the tax structure so vacant lots will be taxed at a much higher rate than buildings. The days of parking lots will be over.

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Does anyone know if the Hartford 21 lot has spots for public use or if the lot is just for residents?

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