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alternative to regionalism

Bill Mocarsky

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I thought there was a regionalism thread in the "sticky" section, but didn't see it.

I would like to bring an idea to this forum that I just posted on a facebook page.

From afar, Hartford (with its often unfavorable statistics) represents the region. It doesn’t really matter if you are from Wethersfield or East Hartford. It’s not until you are familiar with the area when you learn that these small towns hold their own identities that are separate from the neighboring town or city. If you look even closer, the same thing happens between neighborhoods inside the borders of many of these towns.

Could the towns and cities in the Hartford area retain their governments, identities and names while technically becoming boroughs under the umbrella of a city? That means Hartford would be a borough of this city as well.

My idea is that there would be virtually no government in the umbrella city unless it benefitted all to consolidate a redundant service.

One of the biggest benefits is that the capital city would be viewed more fairly (in the media and around the world) when comparing cities that cover more than 18 square miles.

Would more fortunate towns be pressured to sacrifice to help less fortunate towns? No. If that was part of the package, it would probably be a deal breaker.

Does this proposal address Hartford's internal problems? No. That is another challenge separate from this concept.

Would the "umbrella city" be called Hartford? It could be. Then again............

Does it change the perception of the city from outside the region. Yes. Some of these statistics on crime and demographics give an unrealistic impression of the area.

So that is my 2 cents on regionalism. I didn't mean to say the dirty "R" word.

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I think this is a great blueprint for what the State needs to do to turn the tide in Hartford. I think that there could be a way to have the component towns stay as separate towns but still together make up a larger city. Maybe even just have them form a new city, Connecticut City, where Hartford would essentially become Manhattan and the other towns would be like boroughs. We could have a real take it slow approach regarding restructuring the political configuration but create a national city, in name at least, overnight and improve the statistics for our region on paper almost effortlessly. I think it's a no brainer personally. It's too bad we don't run things. I imagine a city that encompassed much of Greater Hartford would also pick up some serious population numbers regarding the size of the MSA as well due to the change in how commuting patterns would be measured whereas other town's numbers would now be included as people working in the center city instead of outside of it.

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Here is a basic overlaid city. The stats are approximate. Don't hold me to it.


____________________________sq miles_________population_______per capita income

West Hartford _________________22______________60,000______________33,000


East Hartford__________________18______________50,000______________22,000

overlaid city (basic)__________58_____________235,000______________22,667

This is an expanded overlaid city.


____________________________sq miles_________population_______per capita income

All the above +





overlaid city (expanded)______140_____________340,000______________26,571

If the overlaid city encompassed Hartford county, it would still be considerably smaller than Jacksonville, Florida in area. It would also replace Jacksonville as the 11th most populous city in the United States.

____________________________sq miles_________population_______per capita income

Hartford county_______________750_____________894,000______________26,000

Jacksonville, Florida_________885_____________822,000______________20,000

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  • 2 weeks later...

Any and all of the above!! We need to get something going here, and regionalization is a perfect place to start. It's a shame too many people want to snub their nose at the city that drives the economy that feeds their families...

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Maybe something along the lines of the Metro Council that governed Toronto and the then-surrounding towns and cities on regional issues from 1953 to 1998. Might that be an acceptable model to go on in Greater Hartford?

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  • 3 weeks later...

i like the idea of a supra-city. think of the administrative savings of say paving roads or plowing roads. this bigger area would have more bargaining power and better scope, so that a road wouldn't stop being re-paved at a town line.

the MDC could certainly fall under this.

also, why don't we have county governments? This could help a lot with regionalism.

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Because people seem to want local government and end it there. Anyone higher than their town must not know what they are doing and doesn't "accurately" represent their opinion, despite the fact that the local people tend to be buffoons...

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