Search This Blog

Friday, February 4, 2011


Last week I posted on nearly $2.7 million in bonuses given out by Superintendent of Schools Steven Adamowski to Hartford Schools employees.

Today WNPR's Jeff Cohen is reporting that Mayor Segarra is concerned that the bonuses might be "inappropriate" and has called Adamowski to task to explain the expenditures.

You can read Jeff's story by clicking here

To read last weeks posting and see the list of those receiving bonuses, click here


SEAN ARENA said...

Inappropriate you bet.
Hartford is in a budget crisis and the Board of Education is giving Bonuses. I say we need to question this and ask why no one else is?Let the recipients know this will not be happening.
We are losing small busnesses all over Hartford. There are homeowners struggling,renters struggling,the highest commercial space in the whole state not being rented,30.4 percent at last count.
It is time to stop these giveaways
and let the residents of Hartford know we will stand with them and begin our journey to a better Hartford. Encourage businesses to stay and bring new businesse in to the city. We need to bring our business together and discuss tax incentives, and small micro loans to keep them in our city. We are taxing the small business community right out of Hartford. This is the same business community that employees most of the Hartford residents, that keep the neighborhoods alive.
I encourage eveyone to get involved and let all know that you will be voting in November!!



All very solid points, but we also need to ask who (if anyone) is running this "Cruise of the Titanic"?

Is this proper management that the Mayor decides the bonuses may be "inappropriate" after a reporter calls him for a comment only after a local blog reports it? Where is the COO? Where is the Council? I'd ask where the Chief of Staff is, but we know he's in the basement printing "Segarra for Mayor" lawn signs.

The Council President is too busy printing the flyers for her "fan club" appreciation event in the Atrium and lining up a caterer and a DJ.

It all reminds me of Nero fiddling while Rome burns.

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.

Iknowitall said...

How can this happen? Do the tax payers mean anything to "Dr" Adamowski? This is outrageous. The City is falling apart. Isn't there a better way to spend $2 million? How long can these people get away with this? If someone robs a 7-11 of $100 they go to prison. There should be a tax payer revolt, refuse to pay your taxes unless they give this money back. Kevin, you are doing everything you can to report this stuff but if people don't care nothing will happen.



It probably doesn't take too much to figure out where you work or what you do.

let me ask a simple question, why does anyone in the Hartford Schools deserve a bonus, especially on the administration side?

Do firefighters receive a bonus when they save a life or enter a burning building? Do police officers receive a bonus for every arrest they make or when crime percentages are reduced? do DPW workers receive a bonus for every mile of city streets they pave or for every acre of lawn they mow?


If the salary you were hired at isn't enough, go find another job.


I know it all:

I agree, but I think Sean's comments sum it up.

People need to get out and be part of the change to take our city back.

November is coming soon and the opportunity for change is coming also. We need to organize people together to turn out and say enough is enough and sweep city hall clean. we need to have councilpeople and a Mayor that represent us and not their own self interests.

These type of things wouldn't be happening if our elected officials were listening and knew they were going to be held accountable.

Adamowski will be laughing all the way to the bank in the next city he lands in to ruin their school system.

Quibble said...

I gave my $1250 bonus to MADD. Kevin keep up the good fight. You called me last week on a different subject and I really appreciate what you are doing. I have worked for the City a number of years and really feel for the people who live here. Mr. Adamowski is out of touch with reality. To be so arrogant as to give bonuses to employees who are earning a great wage and have benefits that the residents of Hartford can only dream about is very sad to me. How many children could go to college, get proper medical care, have heat in their houses for $2.7 million? This is an outrage and needs to be corrected. The taxpayers should demand this money back. It's time for them to take over.

Randy Corvasier said...

Mayor Segarra is acting mealy mouthed..the problem starts with him and Adamowski cleared the bonuses with him....Pedro got caught with his hand in the bonus jar.

peter brush said...

Segarra: "Obviously, as the CEO, I need to be in the position where I can justify and explain the rationale for these bonuses..."

The Mayor seems to be under a misapprehension. I guess he can jawbone with Adamowski, but the latter doesn't work for the City; ie. Segarra isn't the CEO of the district. And, if the bonuses were provided by contract, in what sense are they inappropriate? I mean other than in the sense that neither city nor state taxpayers who fund the excellent district schools have the money. Maybe going forward the contracts should be adjusted downward. Maybe we (Ct.) should get rid of public sector unions and their contracts altogether.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Sean, but why can't Kevin FOI the bonuses for the last three years and analyze the trend? If these are contractual, as some here say, we'd see these bonuses are about the same as before. To eliminate them now wouldnt be fair to the hard-working teachers and staff of the district. Don't forget, they vote Sean! If you're running for office you'd better start thinking about the importance of education. At least Pedro is beginning a dialogue about the issue, right?

Bruce Rubenstein said...

Sean and Kevin are correct.Bonuses that arent contractural in nature were wrong to do during this time of huge budget deficits that we are facing.Contractural bonuses should be re-visited and ended.Undoubtedly Mayor Segarra made a mistake by clearing and approving the bonuses with Adamowski and it is only when the media has raised "questions" that he is now back-tracking.

Anonymous said...

I see Peter is back to his union bashing and speculation that everything is linked to union contracts. While I'm against the bonuses let me tell you Peter the government is broke on all levels in America because they lack the discipline to set up accounts and leave them alone. You're free to hate unions, to each their own, and I think unions have lots of problems that lend themselves to being disliked but if you buy into the notion unions are bankrupting governments your ignorant. The percentage of extra cost is almost non-existing to the millions (local), billions (state, trillions (Feds) the government spends on crap every year, including dipping into accounts that should be left alone.

Did you know the HPD union members contribute to their own pension fund? That fund is managed by a private company and not the city. That account has had a surplus for decades. Why? because the money is left alone and allowed to earn interest and do what it was intended to do, unlike our well intended social security system that the Feds dip into constantly and is now going bankrupt. I guess they can't blame the unions on that one or the thousands of other programs they mismanaged. Eddie Perez wanted to borrow 10 million from the HPD retirement fund to use to cover wasteful city spending. The union told him to stuff it because they knew the city would waste it and have a very hard time paying it back.

Look at what happens when CT has a winter with light snow and the snow removal fund has a surplus. The surplus gets moved to another account and spent almost immediately with zero regard for the future. Then when we get hit with a bad winter, like this year, the government snow fund is broke so CT starts crying they can't pay the "union" snow truck drivers $40 bucks an hour. The government is just trying to shift blame and hopes everyone forgot they spend the surplus a year ago. The average person buys right into it and thinks "wow that union pay is killing us." No, the wasteful government spending is killing us. The union pay doesn't even make a dent in the percentage of cost.

You're right removing state and local unions would save the government money, There's no disputing that but it would be peanuts. Also, what do you think the government would actually do with that extra money? It would be spent in the blink of an eye even in strong economic times.

SEAN ARENA said...

I am all for Public sector unions, without them Municipal employees would not have the appropriate means and actions to be represented for their jobs.
I am not for employees being paid to their jobs and then getting bonuses if they indeed DO THEIR JOB.We do not give Policemen a bonus if they catch a criminal, a Fireman for putting out a fire, a DPW Employee for picking up the trash curbside, or a Teacher for teaching students to read. We need to stop this immediately. The city has enough problems, let's all come to the table put our differences aside and start working on what's best for Hartford.We are putting the small business community in jeopardy, Without which there is no Hartford!

peter brush said...

your ignorant...
Doesn't everyone have one?

I'm not blaming conditions on Hartford's streets/schools on unions. I'm grateful to our cops and teachers. My minor point is only that if we are concerned about the "inappropriate" bonuses, and if the bonuses are dictated by contracts, and if the contracts are a function of state law... q.e.d. Perhaps they are not dictated by contract, but are more in the way of the kind of arbitrary crap the late Mayor did. I'm only going by what is reported.

Did you know the HPD union members contribute to their own pension fund?
That's interesting, really good to know. But, at the end of the day, not relevant. Nothing against all the public sector workers, amongst whom is the person to whom I'm married; but, we simply don't have the money to keep all the promises our (progressive) politicians have made. C'est la vie. It's going to be a mess, but it is likely to be interesting to look at (like a car crash).
"On Thursday, Malloy described the current compensation levels of state-employees as unsustainable and said that labor concessions would be part of his plan to erase a structural deficit of $3.7 billion."

Anonymous said...

I wish I had not used the word "ignorant" I know it's definition isn't harsh but it sounds harsh.

Anyway, my point on the city police pension was to show an example that when a fund is set up long term and left alone it can work. Something our government leaders can't do and now we are in the situation we are and instead of responsible leadership they try to blame unions. In the end the unions will lose but again it's peanuts in savings compared to what the government waste daily.

Mr Big said...

The HPD does not have a seperate pension fund. Get your facts straight.

Anonymous said...

Kevin makes an excellent point -- "don't like the job, find another." Thing is, they will, especially if they are science or math teachers. Bonuses are not about "rewarding you for doing your job," they are about retention, plain and simple. Hartford can't afford to lose the qualified teachers that they do have, the ones who are making the magnet schools so successful. Blow of their bonuses and they will go to some other city that won't, same as you would if your company did that to you.

Where I work, you don't get a bonus unless the company makes a profit. Apply that to America's cities and no one will get a bonus until, oh, 2175, and there will be a mass exodus from the public sector to private companies. I work at a good company in a good job, but still get a good bonus if we have a profitable year so that I don't quit and go elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Mr Big, it sure does. The city also contributes to the account but it is it's own account. I could be wrong about it being managed by a private company (The Hartford) but because it's a pension fund the city can't legally touch the account.

Iknowitall said...

All of the City pensions except for teachers and 1716 union employees are administered by the Hartford. There is no separate account for the police department.

peter brush said...

Another way of characterizing this pension spike is that the governor bestows upon this former legislator a signing bonus for joining the executive branch of state government. Since he works for the governor at the higher executive salary, the former legislator’s state pension increases more than three-fold during his relatively short executive branch service.

Quantifying this signing bonus as a lump sum involves many details and qualifications, such as assumed interest rates, life expectancies, and other actuarial variables. However, under conservative assumptions, in this simplified example, the present value of the former legislator’s increased pension is at least several hundred thousand dollars. Frequently, in practice, the amounts involved are even more.

If Governor Malloy had granted each of his appointees from the General Assembly a $200,000 check as a signing bonus, the public outcry would have been overwhelming. That, however, is effectively what the Governor has done through the legislators’ pension spikes.

Anonymous said...

These so called "bonuses" are not bonuses at all. First, the vast majority of these "incentives" are for teachers and school staff.

Across the district, and throughout many other states, collective bargaining agreements have been or are being reformed to include a provision of pay that has to be earned through performance. This change has actually saved districts throughout the country millions of dollars. These reforms include eliminating or reducing general wage increases (that everyone is entitled to regardless of performance) and replaced with pay for performance compensation structures. Staff are required to meet or exceed established standards and benchmarks in order to receive their full compensation.

This much needed reform is now included in every collective bargaining and contractual pay agreement throughout Hartford.

And as to all the "surprise", if anyone actually did their homework, these changes have been in place for the last 3 years. And let's ask, who approved these changes in the collective bargaining agreements? Well would you be surprised to learn that City Administration and City Council are on the long list of approvals? And yes I guess Mayor Segarra can certainly claim he was not the Mayor at that time, but wait, wasn't he the former City Council President?

This is nothing more than the usual political fingerpointing to avoid taking responsibility. So much for a "new and improved" administration.

peter brush said...

collective bargaining agreements have been or are being reformed to include a provision of pay that has to be earned through performance
Certainly Adamowski's position, and if true what we're talking about here is probably a so-called "reform" that might even be an improvement. God Bless Adamowski. And, agreed; would not appear to be Segarra's finest moment.

Anonymous said...

There are more Directors directing noone, this administration needs to go. The tax payers are getting so ripped off.