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Wednesday, April 4, 2012


City Hall sources are telling me that city employee Union's leadership have been summoned to the "Green Room" in Mayor Segarra's office tomorrow afternoon. The purpose of the meeting is apparently to discuss potential "givebacks" and furlough days from the Unions to help close Hartford's budget gap for the next two years.

It should be interesting to see how that goes. The term "good faith" just keeps jumping into my mind as I wonder if the Union's will buy into this, especially after the raises given out in the Mayor's office.

It seems like only a couple of years ago that several of the Unions bought into the "shared sacrifice" plea, only to find out a few weeks later that the Mayor at the time, Eddie Perez,gave his Chief of Staff Matt Hennessey an almost $15,000 bonus for all of his hard work.

I guess as much as some things change they still remain the same.


Mr Buiscuit said...

Maybe he's going to give them all cars and a $20,000 raise?

peter brush said...

We don't have any money. Neither do any of the other towns in Danny Malloy's tax district.
DANBURY -- Mayor Mark Boughton unveiled a proposed $220 million budget before the City Council on Tuesday night that calls for a nearly 3.5 percent tax increase in the 2012-13 fiscal year.

Read more:
HAMDEN — Retired police officers and firefighters were among those who turned out Tuesday for a public hearing before the Legislative Council on the mayor’s proposed budget for 2012-13.

The retirees are concerned that the pension plan is close to being depleted, and urged the council to take care of it now. The pension plan is underfunded by about $200 million; the proposed budget of Mayor Scott D. Jackson calls for a payment of $9.3 million.
Proposed tax increase of 20 percent too much for some city residents
New London - Across the city Tuesday, residents and business owners were trying to digest a proposal by the mayor to increase the budget by about 6.4 percent and raise taxes about 20 percent.

BRIDGEPORT -- When Johanna Cruz heard the new fiscal year's budget could contain a 2.7 mill tax increase, she got nervous.
So nervous, that the normally shy Edna Avenue resident shared her concerns with Mayor Bill Finch Tuesday in front of more than 50 individuals at City Hall.

Read more:

B Positive said...

Even if the mayor feels the raises are deserved, do you think the mayor has the balls to ever admit the timing of his raises were bad? Do you think the mayor will say "I probably should have waited to give the raises, this was indeed bad timing"? No way. Regardless of how obvious it is; in typical Hartford fashion, the mayor will hide from his gaffe, never admit fault, dig in and battle to protect his decision. The cover up is always worse than the crime....

Nobody, not one person can come on this blog and say the timing of the raises was a good idea. Plain and simple, it was a horrible PR move, poorly thought out. BAD TIMING. But Pedro would never, ever admit it. Yet look at the shit storm it is creating. Mr. Mayor, you kinda screwed up, sorry. Back lashing the cops is not the answer. For once, just one time, please just admit you made a mistake with the timing. We want to support you, please show some integrity.

Anonymous said...

Well lets not forget about this.


The city has hired Thomas Deller as its new development services director, replacing David Panagore, the chief operating officer who has been working in dual capacities.

Deller worked previously as director of planning and urban development in Providence, R.I., as deputy executive director for the Rhode Island Housing and Mortgage Finance Corporation and as planner for the city of East Providence.

Deller earned a Bachelor’s degree in urban studies and a Master’s degree in community planning from the University of Rhode Island. He is scheduled to begin work in Hartford on April 23, though his appointment must still be confirmed by the city council.

Deller will be paid an annual salary of $150,000, city officials said

peter brush said...

Superintendent Christina Kishimoto's $400.1 million budget proposal requests eight more teachers, but it also includes eliminating two principal positions.
Hey. It's for the children. I haven't heard any further about the reported rape at Hartford High.
Probably related to insufficient spending.,0,4378934.story

Rich Wareing said...

Peter, if adopted, that budget will be $9 million less than last year's budget. It is only about $6.5 million more than the Board spent in the 2007-08 (less than a 2% increase over a 6 year period).

In contrast, the West Hartford Board is looking for more than 4% more for next year than it spent this year and since 2007-08 it's budget has increased by just under 20%.

Also, for the 2nd year in a row our Board has requested the absolute legal minimum from the city (the "MBR" or "minimum budget requriement" is the minimum a municipality can contribute to its Board of Education without being penalized by forfeiting some of its ECS money).

I am not saying that there aren't further efficiencies at 950 Main Street and it is my intention to find them and squeeze out as much as we can. What I am saying, however, is that the Board has already begun a long (overdue)process of trying to get its fiscal house in order.

In terms of allocation of resources, 75% of our budget is spent at the schools. Of the other 25%, a significant portion is transportion and special ed (including transportation of special ed students). Again, I am not saying things are ideal in terms of the ratio of overheand to point of service expenditures (or the allocation within those categories) but student based budgeting (which has parental involvement) and a commitment to spending 75% of our dollars at the schools works to tamp down central office overhead.

Anonymous said...

Pedro should also stop driving around that gas happy SUV and start driving the white honda echo firendly car again, but wait elections are over, no need to kiss the ass of the 5,000 people out of 120,000+ that voted for you.

Anonymous said...

Kishimoto is another individual with no concept of money mangement. 400 million dollars, so Hartford High students can skip class, and walk down the street wearing their blue nursing uniforms? I find it odd that dozens of students can leave campus when they want...

Anonymous said...

400 million, for schools, really, that is classic. Refresh my memory, what is the passing average of Hartford Schools in the State tests. Im sure they are not all geting passing scores. So when are we going to build that statue of Perez on Park Street....

Anonymous said...

The city operates like the muppet show, Im super glad I don't live here. I live far away in Never Never Land.....Sorry Kevin...

Aetna Employee said...

Hey Kevin,
What happened at the super secret meeting today the mayor had with all Department heads? The HPD union prez also has a meeting today with him. I wonder...........

federal Jury said...

Eddie Perez can appeal his case only for so long. The fact is he will be an stamping kevin's new license plates in federal prison very very soon.

Bruce Rubenstein said...

Why is everyone crying about the raises for the Mayor and his staff? You all voted him in and now you must live with the consequences.

peter brush said...

Peter, if adopted, that budget will be $9 million less than last year's budget. It is only about $6.5 million more than the Board spent in the 2007-08 (less than a 2% increase over a 6 year period).
I'm glad you are on the Board of Ed, and I will appreciate it very much if the Board keeps spending under control. I don't have the numbers in front of me, but last I knew we had about 25,000 kids in the schools. That would put our expenditure per kid at $16,000. For that kind of dough it would be nice if we had zero rapes in the Hartford High School bathrooms.

Dr. Kysmias said...

Hey Rubenstein,
I did not vote him in. Only about 2% of the Hartford Population did. But the mayor still has to make viable correct decisions while currently in office. Hartford is on life support in so many ways. Vargas would have made drastic changes, which is needed, but he will be back, and maybe we can get kevin in too. The school system is a mess, just because you renovate the buildings does not mean that these kids are being instructed correctly. I am no school teacher, but when rapes and students throwing desks at teachers is still happening, my opinion is .....the wheat field still needs some tending......

Rich Wareing said...

Peter & Dr. Kysmias, your criticisms are fair - we have to do a better job of keeping kids safe and preventing illegal activity on our school grounds. We are not alone in this problem (note the alleged narcotics ring at Glastonbury H.S.) but we face numerous challenges in this regard that we have to meet if we are going to provide a good environment for learning.

There is progress in the classrooms, but it is slow - you can't compensate for the challenging circumstances of many of our students, nor overcome years (if not decades) of neglect and incompetence overnight and it is fair to judge us by our shortcomings, as long as you also consider our successful schools (Classical Magnet, University High School, and others) and our much improved graduation rate (from 40% or around 60%) in the last few years.

At our recent Board retreat, we had a facilitator who asked each of us "are you satisfied?" My answer was "with what? The end product? No, of course not. With some of the steps we've taken to improve? Yes. With some of the results we've gotten? Yes."

He then asked me "when will you be satisfied?" My answer was "when we have the best school system of any city our size in this part of the country and that will last 10 minutes. I will then be dissatisfied because we're not as good as our inner-ring suburbs."

If you've read this far, you have probably concluded that I am quite naive. I don't think anyone who knows me, however, would say that.

The problems are enormous and the odds aren't great. We do, however, had considerable resources, some good school models and operating strategies from which to work and a lot of people (not everyone) who work for the board who work a lot harder, are a lot smarter, and who care a lot more than they are given credit for.

If we apply ourselves, we have (in the words of Churchill) "good and reasonable hopes for final victory."

That said, - and again in the words of Churchill - "I never promised anything but blood, tears, toil, and sweat. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory. Victory at all costs — Victory in spite of all terror — Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival."

We either turn this system around in the next 10 years or it will collapse and this city will die.

peter brush said...

We either turn this system around in the next 10 years or it will collapse and this city will die.
Again, Rich, I am grateful you are on the board.
Recently, the interim principal at Burns School, Tim Sullivan, came to our little neighborhood meeting. Conditions in the school were reportedly putrid, and Mr. Sullivan is merely hoping to establish order in the place so that the new principal may attempt to make it a place of learning. I give the guy great credit for his honest assessment, his positive attitude, and his passion, and I think improvement is possible. Same at the district level.
The problem is not money. If money were the solution we should expect improvement by now both absolutely and in comparison to other less well funded districts. The issue is, in shorthand, the students. Any programmatic or administrative improvements are limited to the extent that the students are fundamentally unprepared, or worse. (Is it just my imagination, or would a gang rape in a public school not merit more notice?) And, the issue there, with the students, is, in turn, the districting of Connecticut's government schools. Not to worry about the city dying as a result of the collapse of the school district. The districting has long ago done its damage, driving out most reasonable folks who don't want their kids in the Hartford district. There is no more destructive public policy of our towns and cities than administration of the State's schools by district.
But, again, I commend you and wish you well. Just because I believe the government schools are inherently problematic, and have been demonstrated failures (not just in the cities, eithe)for decades, doesn't mean that I wouldn't have them run more effectively, and if possible, less expensively. I thank you for your willingness to sacrifice your time and energy on the task.