Last Friday, Jeff cohen at WNPR reported on more raises that were being given out to top level employees at Hartford city Hall. Those raises were in addition to the Mayor's own raise as well as the $20,000 raise given to his Chief of Staff Jared Kupiec. Click on the link in the right column to go to Jeff Cohen's blog to read his articles
According to Jeff's article, Hartford's Chief Operating Officer David Panagore stated "As a management philosophy, it's within the confines of the budget to be able to keep management and upper level staff focused and be able to keep them happy at their work because certainly the demands and the stress during these financial times just continues to build."
I can understand the stress though. Luckily only upper management feels the stress, imagine if our police officers, firefighters or even teachers had to deal with stress on a daily basis, imagine how much that could potentially cost us.
Newsflash Mayor, you might want to consider the stress levels of the taxpayers of Hartford who have to pay for the raises for these unfortunate, over-stressed city employees , most of them making over $100,000 a year in salary. It must be tough, I certainly can feel for them.
I guess those other residents that don't have the luxury of over inflated city salaries will just have to continue to decide whether to pay their steadily increasing tax bills or pay for their medications or put food on the table.
I guess it is just part of the shared sacrifice we all must buy into for the good of the Mayor.
But now, at the same time that the Mayor is trying to sell Hartford's unions on carrying their weight and being part of the solution,the Mayor actually calls it "shared sacrifice", the latest list of bonuses from City Hall is available. The largest bonus issued, $15,000 was given to one of the Mayor's "cabinet advisers" Jose Colon-Rivas, who also receives a six figure salary already as the City's health director.
In good times, I might actually be able to support the bonuses, but in a cash strapped city facing a $56 million dollar deficit next year and the potential for an estimated budget gap exceeding $150 million in 2017, there is no other term that applies other than "reckless spending".
In the Interdepartmental memo below detailing the justification for the bonus for Colon-Rivas it is stated that he has " improved the quality of service rendered by his department...generated savings of revenue for the City, improved service to the public in a manner not achievable by established procedures and processes". Isn't that what a department head is actually paid a salary to do? Do we really need to pay someone a $15,000 bonus for doing the job they are expected to do?
I still am unable to comprehend how you can possibly explain "shared sacrifice" to any City employee when they see raises and bonuses being paid out while they are asked to give back.
It just isn't right or honest and definitely doesn't show good faith.
Colon Rivas ESI Letter 0001
2012 ESI spreadsheet0001