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Saturday, January 29, 2011


I don't think anyone knows the real numbers but some estimates for Hartford's budget hole aren't pretty. I have been given estimates on the City budget deficit anywhere from a few million up to a number I was given Friday of $40 million or more and the Board of Education's is possibly even worse than that.

With a huge budget deficit looming. Superintendent of Schools Stephen Adamowski has just compiled his most recent list of "bonuses". Some of them are contractual, some defy any reasoning , but which ever way you look at it one question looms large. Should we be paying out huge bonuses at a time when we are cutting back on the core staff in schools; teachers, para-professionals and even custodial workers.

I'm probably beating a dead horse here, but would an educator or even the "non-educators" who constantly say that "it is all about the kids" consider a giveback of the bonus to actually benefit the kids?

I know in some cases it is a tough job, especially for a Principal or teachers, but can some one explain to me why the spokesperson for the Hartford Schools David Medina received a bonus of $ 1250.00. Is his excessive salary not enough to cover the job he was hired to do?

Former Perez staffer and 4th District State Representative Kelvin Roldan received a bonus of $7961.00. How much time has Roldan spent in a classroom raising test scores? If anything, his and Adamowski's bonuses should be given back as a gesture of good will to cover the catering costs for the lunches in their offices that they rack up on the City credit cards.

Below are the bonus recipients in alphabetical order:





Iknowitall said...

Paula Alteiri 10995? She is the most over paid employee in the history of the hartford public school system. Shes never at work and incompetent when she is

peter brush said...

I am no doubt missing something. Connecticut Constitution:
ARTICLE ELEVENTH. SEC. 2. Neither the general assembly nor any county, city, borough, town or school district shall have power to pay or grant any extra compensation to any public officer, employee, agent or servant, or increase the compensation of any public officer or employee, to take effect during the continuance in office of any person whose salary might be increased thereby, or increase the pay or compensation of any public contractor above the amount specified in the contract."



As I am sure you are well aware by now, laws on the books, Hartford's Charter, the Connecticut Constitution and the US Constitution are interpreted by our Council as merely suggestions for them to follow. They have somehow given themselves the power to "waive" anything they feel they don't need to comply with.

Just look at the requirement that Department heads reside in Hartford. When was the last time you saw that upheld in a hiring?

Anonymous said...

Pedro is passionate about the city but unfortunately is not a strong enough leader the position requires after a corrupt Mayor.

Didn't the Hartford republican party request the state of CT to come in and take a look at Hartford a few years ago? I think they even recommended the state to take the city over until it's back in line with the laws and budget issues. What ever happened is the state not interested in the corrupt practices of our capital city?

Just because they took down the king pin of it all, Eddie Perez, their work is not done.

peter brush said...

You may be right, Kevin, to be so cynical about Council, but I would note that this is the school district, not the council. Adamowski answers to the State not to the municipal govt. I really doubt he is knowingly violating the Constitution. If he were doing something wrong, I'd expect someone at the State would have something to say about it. Do other districts hand out "bonuses?" Perhaps, the "bonuses" are not considered "extra compensation" because, as you suggest, they are "contractual." Or, it's possible that nobody has bothered to enforce that provision of the Constitution. In any case, I agree that a.)the folks at Ct's Htfd. School District are already adequately compensated, and b.) the district doesn't have a lot of extra $.

Anonymous said...

Where are the Board Of Education Members?

Why are they not speaking out against this travesty?

Oh thats right you need a Backbone!



you may nor remember it or be aware of it but there is a state statute that requires the Board of Education to submit their budget a certain period of time, i think it is 6 weeks, prior to the time that the body that approves it has to adopt a budget. A couple years ago John O'Connell attended the budget hearings and raised the issue as to why the Board's budget hadn't been submitted to the Council yet. The response from , I believe, Councilman Kennedy was "Oh, we waived that law". How does the Council waive state statutes? This is the mindset pervasive throughout Hartford government and that is why we are in such a mess.


Anonymous 12:08PM:

to be fair, my understanding is that the issue was raised by a Board member who demanded the list of bonuses. That member has not returned my call or e-mail so I am reluctant to say more, but it sounds like someone on the Board is paying attention.

And if the projected schools deficit is as bad as I have been told, Dr. Adamowski should be the first to give his bonus back for financial mismanagement. His position is not just about test scores and building schools, it is the proper management, financially and otherwise, of the Hartford Schools

peter brush said...

Fact that muni govt. involved in funding of the state schools is obviously a problem. The muni guys have precious little control over how the money is spent, but they have to levy taxes to come up with the dough. On the other hand, the board of ed. has some control over the schools (although, again, the board is an agent of the State), but no authority, or responsibility for, taxes. Not only is the notion of "local control" a sham, but it's a sham with built-in non-accountability.

Does Hartford school district customarily hand out these bonuses, or is the first time? In what sense are they "contractual?"

As to Council "waiving" of inconvenient rules, ordinances, constitutions, statutes, etc.; I generally disapprove, without knowing about specific instances you enumerate.

Thanks for your work.

Anonymous said...

Most of the people on the list are teachers, and the bonuses must therefore be provided by contract because otherwise they not only wouldn't but couldn't be paid.
The constitutional provision Peter quotes was amended in 1982 and, as amended quite obviously does not apply to these payments:

.Section 2 of the article eleventh of the constitution is amended to read as follows: Except as provided in this section, neither the state nor any political subdivision of the state shall pay or grant to any elected official of the state or any political subdivision of the state, any compensation greater than the amount of compensation set at the beginning of such official's term of office for the office which such official holds or increase the pay or compensation of any public contractor above the amount specified in the contract. The provisions of this section shall not apply to elected officials in towns in which the legislative body is the town meeting. The compensation of an elected official of a political subdivision of the state whose term of office is four years or more may be increased once after such official has completed two years of his term by the legislative body of such political subdivision. The term "compensation" means, with respect to an elected official, such official's salary, exclusive of reimbursement for necessary expenses or any other benefit to which his office would entitle him."
Adopted November 24, 1982.

John Beresford Tipton said...

the bonus paid to folks not under a contract are appalling especially when the BOE and City are facing hug huge deficits. I suppose that Adamowski and Pedro dont care about where the money goes.

peter brush said...

Section 2 of the article eleventh of the constitution is amended
Thanks. That would appear to be what I missed. This would address the same question I had about the "bonuses" paid to Hennessey, et al.

peter brush said...

Hennessey, et al
But, I wonder if there's a distinction between the union contracts providing for bonuses, presumably under some sort of set formula, and the handouts seemingly arbitrarily arrived at in the case of the "exceptional service increments." Hennessey, et al, not elected officials, but did they have contracts providing for bonuses?

Anonymous said...

Iknowitall doesn't appear to know anything. If it weren't for Ms. Altieri the city schools would be bankrupt. She's worth every penny and more.

Heynow said...

Nice to see you looking at the school system Kevin, lots of interesting stuff there. One of their financial officers bankrupted his own company a few years ago.

The end is near said...

Wow, the kids can't read, there are possibly employees getting laid off and they give out bonuses? The tax payers should be outraged. Can't anyone do anything about this? Does anyone care?

Anonymous said...

The problem is that the Hartford city council members, and the Board of Education members, Are afraid to speak up,Or are so inept that they do not know to do so!!
10 Months, we will have a New Mayor, City Council, And board of Ed. members.The Present "Leaders need not apply". Hartford is spiraling downward and is out of control, and this has to be stopped.

Bonuses indeed,
These employees are lucky to have a job!

Anonymous said...

Please post the salary of all department heads and all the consultants hired by the City.

Anonymous said...

By law all public employee pay rates have to be available to the public. In most towns it's on record at the town library and department of personnel. Of course this is Hartford so who knows if they even make it available or even record the truth.

Anonymous said...

Yes, please post City of Hartford compensation information, as well as the results they have accomplished. The teachers of Hartford, which I understand are the biggest beneficiaries of these bonuses, have produced results for students for a solid three years. What have city officials accomplished? An ousted mayor, early retirements, and a property tax crisis. This entire blog is a joke and most of you are misinformed idiots.

in.dreams said...

As a teacher of Hartford who received this bonus for continuing to close the achievement gap, I can understand all sides of this issue because I, too, am angry that I am in the classroom every day with my students, making a difference, and most of the employees not under contract are receiving more in bonuses! AND even though I received $2500, I have spent way more than that last year on classroom supplies. Every purchase order I have submitted has been rejected because "we have no money." Well, now we know where all the money went.... Thanks Adamowski....

in.dreams said...

As a teacher of Hartford who received this bonus for continuing to close the achievement gap, I can understand all sides of this issue because I, too, am angry that I am in the classroom every day with my students, making a difference, and most of the employees not under contract are receiving more in bonuses! AND even though I received $2500, I have spent way more than that last year on classroom supplies. Every purchase order I have submitted has been rejected because "we have no money." Well, now we know where all the money went.... Thanks Adamowski....

Anonymous said...


I should start by saying that I admire what you're trying to do with this blog. I will not attempt to debate the validity of the salaries and/or bonuses given to HPS central office employees, as that is a subject on which I, admittedly, know little.

However, as an earlier commenter astutely pointed out, most of the bonus recipients are teachers. Many of these teachers were given small bonuses as incentives for increased CMT/CAPT results. I'm sure you are aware that HPS has historically underperformed on these tests and it's only recently that scores have improved. The bonus for CMT/CAPT results was introduced as a way to boost morale and give the hardest working teachers a reward for their effort. Clearly, it's working.

Surely, you are not insinuating that the hardworking teachers of HPS - who receive less pay for working more hours under worse conditions than their counterparts in other districts - should not receive a reward for going above and beyond their contractual obligations. I find your posting of the entire district's bonus list to be tactless; it seems to imply that the recipients are to blame, rather than those in power. I understand that these are public record. However, it seems discourteous to post names and employee numbers without regard for privacy.

I urge you to consider the real target of your vendetta and to be cautious that you are not - intentionally or unintentionally - implicating and insulting district employees who may stand beside you in your quest for justice.


Anonymous at 8:06pm:

I understand what you are saying and I fully understand your point. I have spoke with and received numerous calls and e-mails from teachers that do struggle under this "leadership" day in and day out. I've heard from teachers that have to but their own paper and supplies because "there is no money". I've heard from custodians who are buying hand soap and paper towels for their schools out of their own pocket because "there is no money". I've also heard from people that got a bonus and donated them to MADD or other groups because they didn't want them.

With that being said, explain to me why the spokesperson David Medina received a bonus? Why did Kelvin Roldan get a bonus? Why did Adamowski take over $18,000 for himself?

Also, by posting all of the recipients, I did that so that it is not selective or only highlighting a couple individuals.

And you are correct that the list is a public document and in my opinion , to start editing a public document or using selective portions diminishes the value of the information. If you feel comfortable with your decision to accept the bonus, then I am fine with the explanation and I'm sure most people would be, especially with the explanation that you seem to actually be re-investing it into the kids in the form of supplies , etc.

And there is no vendetta on my part in providing this information, the truth is the truth and the facts are the facts, and these are things that people wouldn't know if myself or others weren't putting the information out there.

Anonymous said...

As I stated before, I do not purport to know (or approve of) the reasoning behind the bonuses for individuals in central office. I would not have dignified this blog with a response if I didn't think your argument had merit.

It should be obvious by now that I am a teacher in the HPS district; apparently, I neglected to mention that last time. But, acceptance of my bonus does not constitute acceptance of the terms under which ALL bonuses were given. It goes without saying that this money (along with part of every paycheck) went directly back into my classroom.

As for the logic behind posting the documents in their entirety, your reasoning seems contradictory to your mission here. I thought your point was to be "selective or only highlight a couple individuals" (David Medina, Kevin Roldan, Supt. Adamowski) to support your assertion that these people in HPS "leadership" do not deserve bonuses. You say that you have no target, but the simple fact that you name individuals implies that you do. Your distinction between the validity of bonuses given to "leadership" and teachers provides further evidence of that fact.

As a teacher, I am highly offended by the fact that my employee number is now public information, as well as the fact that my name is now on the "culprit" side of an online debate without my authorization.

I implore you show respect for hardworking HPS teachers by at least removing the employee numbers on the document. They are not essential to your argument, yet are an infringement on our privacy and potentially dangerous in the wrong hands. This may be public record, but by posting it online, you are making it easier for wrongdoers to access the records of many well-intentioned, morally upright teachers who are just trying to make an honest living.