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Monday, April 19, 2010


The recommended Hartford Budget has been released for the upcoming year. More on this later, but to review the budget on-line, click here


Anonymous said...

Is this man crazy..a 3 1/2% mill increase. By the time I pay my taxes we will reach the moon...Hartfored raining star! The mayor office and the council is not cutting their staff, however the tax payer must scrifice, no food, no medication, but pay more taxes, so that each coucil person must have their won staff person. Where is there sacrifice? Where is the sacrifice councilmen? I guess since the HTC chairwoman is a council staff, they are off limit. The duped Hartford voters gave them a pay raise of $26,000 starting 2012 year.

Bruce Rubenstein said...

you get what you deserve if there is no outrage and outcry to this proposed tax increase.In the old days outraged citizens would storm city hall and speak out about injustice and unfair taxes...but not anymore.

Robin Oprysko said...

Bruce, This could really be the end for us after 25 years of home ownership in Hartford. Ever since my husband was robbed at gunpoint in front of our house last month, we've been seriously considering getting out. Now,it looks like we may simply have no choice, as we cannot absorb another tax increase.

We watch our neighbors get free rent, free medical care, free heat,food stamps etc while no adult in the house works. Meanwhile, we are killing ourselves working multiple jobs to survive. Our kids are grown and we thought this would be a time in our lives when we could slow down a little but it's just keeps getting worse, thanks to Eddie's reign of terror and a spineless City Council who seems to be totally out of touch with the homeowners of this city.

I would be happy to 'storm' city hall but when most people here rent and have no vested interest in our city, I wonder how many of us would be there to make a stand? I would be more than willing to help organize a protest but don't know where to start. If anyone has any ideas as to how to this please post here.

The homeowners in this city will soon be gone, the businesses will follow and all that will be left are absentee landlords and poverty pimps. City Council are you listening and do you even care or are you more worried about your own self interests? Time to step up, make cuts and save the homeowners before it's too late.

Anonymous said...

Unless the homeowners are ready to mail their keys to the bank and walk away, I am not sure how they are going to leave Hartford. Who do you think is going to buy your home, with a 76 mill rate and a dump of a city? Real estate in GOOD areas isn't moving.

As for "storming City Hall" -- what bloody good would it do? Do you think Eddie Perez or the City Council cares about the citizens of Hartford at any time other than the months running up to election? Hell, Eddie doesn't even need to worry about re-election anymore, so he can do whatever he wants. The only time your anger matters is on Election Day ... and most people in Hartford either don't vote or vote the way their local Abe Giles tells them to.

Robin Oprysko said...

Dear anon person, Yes, we are prepared to walk away from our house and of course we know that very few houses in Hartford are selling. No,I did not vote for Eddie and nobody tells me how to vote and finally, I did not suggest an anti tax rally, Bruce did but until people who are invested in this city have the courage to speak out, things will never change. Those in power in Hartford, for the most part, like nothing better than to have people feel that nothing they do makes a difference. I refuse to be one of those and I have the guts to use my real name, how about you?

Bruce Rubenstein said...

Until you all summon the courage to go in a mass group to city hall,demonstrate your outrage of ever increasing taxes and ever decreasing city services and demand change,nothing will change.You can cry all you want to on this blog but nothing will change unless and until we all organize some mass group to take back our city from those that have squandered the city assets.I would like to see some of you meet and organize a group to do exactly that...and I will join it, otherwise the state of the city will remain the same.

peter brush said...

The state has arranged for our cities to be made up of recipients of government services and who don't directly pay property taxes. They are happy to elect (Democrat) politicians who promise more spending. And, ever increasing spending is what we get. Having said that, the state itself cannot stop spending, and it heaps mandates on municipalities. The board of education, remember, is an organ of the state, not the municipality. Moving out of Hartford won't help that much. While we spend more per capita than the other big towns (see below) half of our revenue comes from outside sources. I'd be happy to join a demonstration outside city hall, or should we protest outside the mayor's office at Superior Court.

Stamford 118,475 $451 million

New Haven about 124,000 $476 million

Hartford 124,512 $554.3 million

Bridgeport 137,912 $486 million


There seems to be plenty of passion about this issue.

It is time for us to stop talking and lets start doing something about it. We Have a couple weeks before the next regular "public session" Council meeting. Lets organize something and start getting the message out that enough is enough. If you agree, let me know and we can set up a time for people to get together to begin to organize it.

It has to be more than just talk though, we need to turn out the bodies to show we are serious.

Especially with a couple of our Councilpeople already announcing runs for the legislature, it doesn't do any good to send them to the state level so they can tax us even more than they are here.

Bruce Rubenstein said...

The only change worth a dam is a change of the proposition that after being saddled with 6 straight tax increases we will quiety aceed to yet another tax increase.I suggest some mass group of residents be formed, with a reaching out to,for instance, the tax group headed by John O'Connell and other groups...gather together as many people as we can and storm the hearing at Buckeley High School next Tuesday,demanding an end to tax increases.And we should not be nice about it.

If we can stop the political class from taxing us yet again the next step is to grow the mass group into a permanent force that can change the entire system at city hall and the political class that supports them.

Bruce Rubenstein said...

Mr Brush...Please refrain from the very simplistic notion that Republicans will stop the run away spending...after all your Republicans aren't any different.Ms Rell as Governor has presided over record breaking spending,without a veto and your President Bush..and before him Reagan increased record breaking government's medical drug beuracracy...and our involvment in a war that we had no business being in.


I can't figure this out.

All I did was post the budget and I think I've gotten more comments than any posting. I didn't even write anything. What are you trying to tell me.

Bruce, there is more than enough blame to go around for both major parties. What we need to do is start coming up with solutions.

I think Stan McCauley had a piece of literature during the last mayoral campaign entitled "people before politics". If we tried to use that theory the systme might actually start working. Politics has killed this city as well as damaged our state and country. I definitely don't think it was the system our founding fathers envisioned. We are the only ones that can change that, lets work for solutions, I think we are off to a good start, staying above the fray so far

peter brush said...

Dear Herr Rubenstein:
I don't think you can point out any comment of mine that is partisan in nature. But, facts are facts. Hartford, and all of our crumby towns have been "run" by Democrats for decades. The State is out of control, as well. If it pleases you to think that it is the responsibility of Jodi Rell, have at it. But, please tell me, how many Republicans are there in the legislature? My opinion is that the state and our little municipality are spending way beyond their means. What say you? Do we need all the social programs and unionized public workers? Where do you propose we cut spending?

Anonymous said...

I found it interesting that the Common Council is supposed to collaberate with the Administrtion. Hmmmm-which one is the Nazis?

Bruce Rubenstein said...

Mr Brush....I propose that the spending cuts begin with the Mayor's driver....and the approximately 30 aides he has...he has more aides then the addition the city could save 300k on the useless foia might be the top heavy management at the board of education and funding non profits that dont work well for people anymore.Canceling memberships in groups that the city is a member of,like the MetroAlliance could be a huge savings.In further addition we should rethink the necessity for 311.

workeroncouncil said...

Thanks are due to this blog for publishing the City Budget and comments.
Council will need all the help it can get, including pressure inside and outside.
This Councilman is committed to:
1. NO tax increase - and remember, the real cost is a combination of mill rate and assessment, so that change one way can be confused by change the other. Watch out!
2. NO more layoffs; and no "new" programs hiring anyone but call-backs of workers already laid off.
3. NO more demands for concessions: they were already given last year.
To get this done, it will need specific notes, written in to any and all Council people, such as:
"Check Sec. 39, page 39-5, Program Payment to Outside Agencies, Service Employee Develop: funds for prof. staff development, $223,000" AND "how could it be used? for which people or categories? How will it be checked to see if it serves the city's people? Could it be wasted such as the $58000 for someone like Hennessy's trip?"
Be specific, even line by line with any background information. We (Council), even the sharp and concerned ones, can't possibly know and find as much as you and others can!
Larry Deutsch, Council, Working Families Party

Anonymous said...

Larry, look in your own back yard first. Salaries for the Registrars office are at $400,000 for 6 people who do absolutely nothing. Ask the registrars how many people they have registered since coming into office, if it's a negligible amount, cut the budget.

Your aides makes $405,000 and rumor has it that is going up. Will you stand up against funding that?

Is there $223,000 allocated for Staff Development? If so, don't ask questions, cut it! But know that if you cut it down to $23,000, you still might too be happy on how they choose to spend that $23,000.

peter brush said...

"To get this done, it will need specific notes, written in to any and all Council people."
Councilman Deutsch:
It is to your credit that you are engaged in this discussion. I fear, however, that your comment is indicative of a problematic mindset. To wit, you seem to me to be more concerned about "the workers" than you are about the city. The purpose of the municipal government is not to provide employment. Why should layoffs, or elimination of departments altogether, be taken off the table? Why should "concessions" be off the table? I would say that Mr. Rubenstein's and Ms. Anonymous' recommendations are pretty specific. Does the corrupt strong mayor really need the staff he currently has? I realize your control of spending at the Board of Ed is limited, but cannot pressure be brought to bear? Is the business of the registrar's office being conducted in a cost effective way? Nobody is opposed to the workers, as such, but at some point it has to be recognized that the financial stability of the government takes precedence. Property taxes have more than doubled since 2000. Don't look to "revenue enhancements," but, please look to spending cuts. If cuts can be made without injuring the interests of the workers, fine, but please be open to layoffs and salary/benefit adjustments. At a minimum, the budget should be held constant, certainly not increased, as proposed by the lying mayor.

Jeff said...

My friend owns a business on Airport Road and regrets ever moving his office/warehouse to Hartford. He has 2 years left on his lease and has already lined up a facility in another town.

Too many of Hartford's politicians care more about taking care of their own pals and themselves then they do the very people who entrust them to do the right thing and who finance their very existence.

Between raises, creating lots of unneeded positions for friends and constant tax raises it's pretty clear the bulk of the "leadership" is just milking that city for everything they can legally (and in some cases illegally) get away with. (I say bulk because many on city council buried their heads in the sand while Eddie Perez systematically raped the city for 9 years and apparently continues to do so. If you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem.)

The people that truly care about restoring Hartford, such as Kevin, are becoming increasingly fewer as people with the means flee to other towns. The ones that can't flee lock themselves in their homes after work and crank up the TV to drown out the gun shots outside.

If there ever was a time the people could make a difference that time is now. The state is doing their part trying to remove Edie Perez from the top. The citizens of Hartford need to stand up and do their part as well.

To remain silent on how Hartford is governed is not abstaining your opinion. To remain silent is casting a vote that you wish for the self serving politicians to continue abusing you.

peter brush said...

With respect to Councilman Deutsch's concern for "the workers;" He is a member of the "Working Families Party." It has an explicitly big-government agenda. If one is concerned with fiscal sanity as a public policy objective, one probably doesn't elect folks from this union-backed group. But, we can hope against hope that both he and Councilman Cotto, recognizing that the limits of taxation are upon us, will come to their senses, if for no other reason than preservation of the goose that is laying the golden eggs for the city's workers. From wikipedia: "The Working Families Party (WFP) is a minor political party in the United States founded in New York in 1998. There are "sister" parties to the New York WFP in Connecticut, South Carolina, Delaware, Vermont and Oregon, but there is as yet no national WFP. It seems likely that the state WFPs will form a federation of sorts before 2012, but nothing definitive has been announced.

New York's Working Families Party was first organized in 1998 by a coalition of labor unions, ACORN and other community organizations, members of the now-inactive national New Party, and a variety of public interest groups such as Citizen Action of New York. The party blends a culture of political organizing with unionism, 1960s idealism, and tactical pragmatism... The WFP was launched with the agenda of well-paying jobs, affordable housing, accessible health care, better public schools and more investment in public services."

Erma Esangbedo said...

I know that I am going against the grain by first of all posting on this site and secondly, publishing my name, but as a City employee I see firsthand how taxpayers are constantly being duped. Not to pat myself on the back, but I can honestly say that I give nothing less than 100% when I report to work. On the other hand, I see undeserved promotions and questionable positions being created and assigned on a regular basis. No, I do not live and Hartford and I am rather grateful. I too think that there should be some sort of revolt.