I am not sure Mayor Segarra has not grown out of touch with his constituents. To try to justify a $10,000 bonus to one of his buddy's who is already making over a $150,000 a year salary doesn't sit well with most residents I have spoke with. One former City employee I spoke with yesterday was telling me how glad they were spring was here because they were struggling to pay their heating bills. Other seniors tell the stories of cutting expenses to pay for medications.
Those are the realities Hartford resident's face., City hall employees who actually show up for work and do the jobs they were hired to do are handsomely rewarded with bonuses. But at City Hall , the orchestra is still playing loudly on the Lido Deck as that first iceberg begins scraping the hull and impending disaster should appear obvious to anyone watching.
The iceberg begins to rip open the hull ,mainly because Captain Segarra was in his quarters signing ESI bonus checks. His Media spokesperson runs below decks frantically trying to close the watertight doors to prevent as much damage as possible, but the damage has already been done. City Hall is taking on water and beginning to list to port side.
Luckily the Mayor's Cabinet members were already on deck and they are able to shove their way into the lifeboats, leaving Hartford's residents sitting in the deckchairs as the icewater comes up around their ankles.
The fate of the residents of Hartford is sealed because the life boats are full and they have no where to go except listen to the Band playing as their futures slip away.
While the media spokesperson was trying to seal the watertight doors, she was also meeting other people at the railing, myself included to explain that Segarra wasn't nearly as reckless as his predecessors and the whole story needed to be told.
Segarra's ESI bonuses were more palatable because they were a fraction of his predecessor, Eddie Perez. Perez had a high annual figure $179,484 while Segarra's highest was a mere $38,184.
While I looked at the list it was interesting to me that with the exception of one assistant Police Chief, there appeared to be no bonuses to any police officers or firefighters, some police officers who had actually been shot in the line of duty. Now to me that would be exceptional service. But then again they know what the salary is when they accept the job, and getting shot, unfortunately is part of the job they accept when they sign on and the salary they agree to.
Why that same thinking doesn't apply to a department head making $150,000 dollars a year is beyond me, They were hired to do a job, now do it and be happy with your salary, if not, get out the wanted ads.
The rhetoric continued this afternoon as another press release was fired off, seeming to blame the criticism of the Mayor on a Councilman who has a political agenda. Maybe, just maybe the Councilman might have a little bit better gauge of the public sentiment regarding bonuses given out by a cash strapped City. The release even took a shot at the Councilman's assistant because she received an ESI.
Below is Mayor Segarra's response to Councilman Kennedy's ESI resolution. (statement posted above)
In January 1994, I was interviewed by Robert Jackson, Chairman of the Hartford Democratic Town Committee and North Hartford leaders for a position as Executive Assistant to former Councilman Louis Watkins, Jr. From 1994 to 2011, I received 2 pay raises at the request of Chairman Jackson, Deputy Mayor Frances Sanchez, and Majority Leader John Stewart. Council President John Bazzano gave the staff the second pay increase. Council President rJo Winch gave the Council staff an ESI in 2011.
It's unfortunate that Mayor Segarra developed amnesia today, because this ESI was discussed in leadership meeting and signed off by Mayor Segarra, his Chief Operating Officer, and his Personnel Director.
Councilman Kennedy was never in leadership.
Executive Assistant to
Councilman Kenneth H. Kennedy, Jr.