Search This Blog

Friday, March 1, 2013


Recently, Councilman Joel Cruz requested a residency report on all of Hartford's Department Heads. Under Hartford's Charter, all department heads must reside in Hartford, with the exception of a department head who is an upward promotion within the department they were already working in  (i.e DPW Director Kevin Burnham who was promoted from DPW traffic engineer to DPW Director).

The report apparently is in and and if you are bored this weekend, it could be entertaining to see how many of their addresses are actually occupied by the department heads as they claim. I'm not sure how the Chief Operating Officer created the report, it looks like they might have just taken them on their word as to where they live. Residency  normally requires more than just a mailing address.

Important questions to ask are where are they registered to vote? Are their vehicles actually registered and taxed in Hartford? Do they have any utility bills in their name for Hartford addresses?

You can start your daytrip Downtown at the listed residence of Human resources Director Valda Washington. Don't plan on staying too long to visit though since word is most of her furniture is still in storage. The storage fees are being paid for by the City apparently.(A good question for the Audit Commission...Why?) She might be waiting to see if this whole Hartford employment thing works out before she commits to moving the couch in.

Then head south , grab a hot chocolate at the Dunkin Donuts on Washington Street and as you exit the lot onto Madison Street, look for the address of Segarra confidante and Department Head, Jose Colon-Rivas. I haven't been able to find him at home, but maybe with a hot chocolate for him you might have better luck..

Then head over to Woodland Street and the listed residence of Andrew Jaffee, Department Head for Emergency Service Telecommunications. You probably won't find him there also, I never have. You will probably have better luck waving to him from a highway overpass each day as he comes into Hartford from his real residence in West Suffield, using the HOV lane in his City car.

When you leave Woodland Street, head a few blocks west to "Little Hollywood" and the Clemen's Place Apartments to find our Director of Development Services. His residency is an act worthy of Hollywood, but most nights and weekends he is still doing his performances in Providence ,Rhode Island, his permanent home .

You don't need to travel to the residences of John Bazzano, Police Chief Rovella or Fire Chief Casares. Most people see them out in the community regularly as actual residents who take their contracts and commitment to the people of Hartford seriously. They are actually out in the community , living what we live everyday, experiencing the same things we do everyday and not fleeing to their real homes whenever they can. They all are actually registered to vote in Hartford and have vehicles registered  and taxed in Hartford

Whether eating at a restaurant downtown, smoking cigars on Pratt Street or just walking around the City, the people;e that actually care about our neighborhoods are visible. The frauds using Hartford as a stepping stone and a means for a paycheck should be shown the closest entrance to the highway and sent packing. If you can't make a commitment to Hartford, we don't need you, move on.

And the issue isn't just with Department Heads, more on Hartford's residency issues coming soon.


Anonymous said...

So what happens if its found that they don't live there? Will the council be able by charter havevthe ability to remove the dept. heads or do they need the Mayor's consent? It will be interesting to see if Council President Wooden can and will make the Council abide by the charter or will this dysfunctional family of misfit toys just keep on being dysfunctional like the Director of HR.

Honest Abe said...

What about Jose Sanchez and some of the other dept heads that dont live in Hartford? Why are you only after Jaffee?

Ernie said...

What is the rationale for waiving the residency requirement in an "upward promotion within the department"?



You would have to ask the people that served on Charter Revision for the exact reasoning, but I would think as a condition of employment it is just easier to require that from an outsider coming in than it is on an employee who has already been here.

As far as labor law, I know there are certain things that you may not be able to require of a current employee.

The greater question though is to why it is even in the Charter if the Mayor and Council are more than willing to turn a blind eye to the obvious violations.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff, keep it coming Kevin.

Anonymous said...

In my dept,the majority of our worst employees either were born or raised in the city. They abuse sick leave,fake injuries, use alcohol/drugs and just dont do their jobs. Most of our top performers dont have any connection to the city. So where is the benefit to the residents? An address should not be grouped in under qualifications on a resume, it should remain in the general info section

Anonymous said...

You got to be talking about the Fire Department because you hit the nail right on the head. All talk about accountability for your actions but when things boil down to it, they look the other way and blame someone their company officer!

Anonymous said...

CP Wooden has the B-Variants to carry this out ???

Anonymous said...

Serious we can't complain about being employed by the city. If you can't sit back and watch the show you are just as dumb general wiffle bat and the vmillage idiot. It's hard to hide now a days.

Anonymous said...

At the firehouse, why is it that the guys who live in the city are the ones getting to work at 7:59? The out of towner's get in at 7am.
During the blizzard, out of towner's came to work. City residents were the ones calling out with lame excuses, having to get picked up by fire engines. Some of the resident firemen, when told they will be picked up for work, requested to be picked up at 7:50! God forbid you get to work early for once!
Don't get me wrong, there are great firefighters who do live in Hartford. The majority are out of city residents though.
Check with the 3rd floor or the Union, most discipline problems are city residents. Check sick cards of residents vs. non residents, see who uses more. Go over A-injuries, residents seem to get hurt more often, and for longer durations.
Bottom line is the residents see the job as just a paycheck, the out of towner's are the ones who love their jobs, take pride in their jobs, and care about the safety of everyone in Hartford.
I chose to not live in Hartford. Where I live the streets get plowed. There is no trash laying in the street all the time. I leave my car unlocked and it is safe. Kids play outside safely. I sleep with open windows during the summer and don't hear sirens, loud stereos and exhaust pipes, and screeching tires. There are no hookers, drug dealers or gang members walking my street.
If Hartford could get their sh*t together, I wouldn't mind moving back. How nice it would be to walk to work or take a free bus ride. Hartford has a long way to go to lure people back.

Anonymous said...

It should be an easy FOI request asking for Valda Washington's spending statements on City credit card. Or other purchase transactions billed to the City for her benefit. I would also ask for records showing moving, storage or relocation expenses and bills the City is footing for her. The public has the right to know her spending habits on Hartford's dime. Whether she lives in Hartford or not. And we also have a right to know what examples the HR Director is showing for all employees city-wide in terms of ethics and spending.

Law Geek said...

The residency ordinance does require more than a mailing address. Sec. 2-850(a) of the ordinance gives three requirements for a bona fide Hartford resident:
1) Mailing address in Hartford
2) Registered to vote in Hartford
3) Car (if you have one) registered in Hartford.

There is a mechanism for removal - 7 of 9 council members have to vote to remove a non-resident. Seems unlikely to ever be done.

Also, 2-850(b) probably explains Kevin Burnham -- anyone employed by the City prior to August 2005 (when the ordinance went in) is exempt.

Go to MUNICODE.COM and dig down to Hartford ... the law tells it all.

Anonymous said...

Also directly from
"The City of Hartford requires that you provide irrefutable evidence to substantiate that at the date of application for employment you are domiciled in the City of Hartford. For the purposes of this Request, “DOMICILED” is defined to be “that place where an individual has his or her true, fixed, and permanent home, where he or she normally eats and sleeps and maintains his or her personal effects.”
You are required to complete and submit this form at the time of your application for employment. You must also be prepared to submit any additional documentation, as the Director of Human Resources may require. This information will be subject to verification during the background investigation.
I believe department heads are required to maintain such residency requirements during their employment. Not just at time of hire. So if they don't NORMALLY SLEEP, EAT, and maintain their personal effects" at their Hartford address they are being dishonest.
Anyone can use the Hartford address to register their car and to vote. It really comes down to are they DOMICILED in the City of Hartford? Normally live, sleep, eat at their Hartford address?

Law Geek said...

The language in that pre-employment residency affidavit is very different from the residency ordinance itself. The law has 3 very specific tests to be a bona fide resident ... none of which say anything about where you are domiciled.

Narrow tests like that invite abuse.

Anonymous said...

Is the mayor responsible for this? His national search of talent is a disrespect for Hartford's professionals and residents! Are you telling me that we cannot find one lawyer in our city with the experience to be deputy corporation counsel? Are you telling me that we cannot find a HR professional in the city to work as the director? Are you telling me that someone from Providence knows more about our city than a resident of ours? And what about the other positions? The Mayor is a lawyer, and the acting city manager is also a lawyer, they should be making sure that this people comply with what our charter says. They are responsible. If they are not going to do their job, I think the Council should take the lead in this matter.

Anonymous said...

Does anybody remember when the city hired an outside consultant to investigate and report on how our fire dept operates? Then they made suggestions how to make one of this country's few "class 1" depts better. My favorite part is that at the time, mayor mike was in office with almost 20 yrs of hartford fire service and funnier still, john b. stewart was on the city council and he used to be "The Chief" of the hartford fire dept! Now why did these veterans need an outsider to advise them on something they already knew? Maybe we did get something out of it! The consultants might have been the ones to suggest a "sister city" in one of the biggest red light districts in all of china to exchange new and fresh ideas with the mayor ,the council and city manager Borges. I sometimes wish my memory would escape me! Outsiders are allways welcome in hartford! Ok, only in circumstances that benefit a "select" few.

Anonymous said...

Shame on the Mayor and his so call acting C.O.O., I am not sure which one is worst, two Lawyers together and they are not making smart decisions, Hartford as well other towns in Connecticut have plenty of well educated professionals that can do a better job, it is not necessary to spend taxpayers money on out of state searches, they are opening the doors to outsiders and closing the doors to our city residents. Spending our already poor budget, paying them big salaries at the expense of the Hartford Taxpayers. As lawyers they should be looking after the taxpayers who put them there. He thinks that by bringing outsiders in that they are going to make a different, they are only creating chaos. He laids off three little people with little paychecks to hire one top dog with one big paychecks,with lots of accomodation. What happen to all the promises he made to the Hartford residents when he ran for office. Hire Hartford's taxpayer, instead, just because the resume looks good, it doesn't mean that that they are good candidates. Not all City of Hartford residents are bad candidates, its that we get jump over, stepped on and disrespected.

Anonymous said...

Many of us know that former COO accommodated incompetent people to which resumes were adjusted , to get them into administrative positions with higher salaries that those working faithfully with the City of hartford for many year. Former COO brought outsiders and favorite people, overpassing senior city workers and pushing them out. I guess new COO is following the same behavior pattern. She is hiring her favorites,offering them high salaries and betraying people's trust and wasting tax payers money.
Who would stop this corruption? If we cant trust the Mayor, we cant trust nobody anymore.