Last year was a low point for the Republican party in the city of Hartford. The year after a Democratic mayor was convicted of corruption, it chose not to field a mayoral candidate, and as a result, saw the GOP kept off the city council.
One would think Republicans could have made a strong argument that it should be given a chance to run the city. After all, since the Democrats took over for the city’s last Republican mayor in 1971, the city has suffered a steep plunge in population, from 158,000 people in 1970, to 124,00 in 2010. Along with residents, the city has seen virtually all of its downtown retail go to the suburbs, and waved goodbye to countless companies which set up shop in the less expensive environs outside the city limits. The capital city of the country”s wealthiest state routinely makes the dubious list of the poorest cities in America.
New buildings have gone up over the years, but for every step forward, the city seems to take a half step back. Progress has been excruciatingly slow and shows no signs of shifting out of first gear. Less than four miles away, the town of West Hartford is sifting through some reported 35 proposals to build a hotel, while the Goodwin Hotel in the heart of downtown has been vacant for more than three years.
This past Sunday on Face the State, I asked Governor Malloy essentially if this is the new normal; if we should just get used to Hartford always being a poor city. The governor admitted the city has suffered from poor management at times, and he said one party rule has not been helpful.
Governor Malloy also talked about his desire for more housing downtown and his disappointment in the Connecticut Convention Center.
You can watch the interview right here: http://www.wfsb.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=7482270