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Wednesday, June 19, 2013


As I Keep hearing more and more about Hartford's Budget struggles, I keep thinking what would happen if Hartford was actually run like a business? Accountability for job performance, requiring timely performance, everything that would keep someone employed in the private sector.

This started occurring to me as I sat through the Hartford Internal Audit Commission meeting this afternoon . I listened to Hartford's Acting COO, Saundra Kee-Borges bob and weave as she was asked some tough questions about the recent P-Card report.

She explained that many of the missing receipts  were actually always in the Finance Department in a shoe box on a shelf. They weren't really missing. WHAT? A shoebox on a shelf, yes you read that right. A half a billion dollar a year operation stores their receipts in a shoebox on a shelf.

I then remembered the original report that detailed the Finance Director Julio Molleda essentially being asleep at the switch and allowing these problems to occur under his watch..Yes the travel policy violations, the P-card shoebox on a shelf deal, the MDM Golf letter of Credit, All Molleda as he continues to collect his six figure salary.

You can hear some great things at Audit Commission meetings. That letter of credit thing was discussed a couple months ago.

Apparently Molleda , in conjunction with the Office of the Corporation Counsel (yes, if you are paying attention, that is also a familiar name,( Saundra Kee-Borges) Apparently when MDM Golf was awarded the contract to manage( manage being a legal term, what it may better be called is a criminal act) Anyway, MDM was required to put up a letter of credit for $300,000 to ensure that they performed under their contract.

The six figure salary earners  were again asleep at the switch and allowed the letter of credit to expire and it was never renewed , so now the tax payers are left holding the bag and the council just approved dumping $10 million into the 2 courses since MDM has run them into the ground.

Even worse is the flagrant violations of the City Charter. At today's Audit Commission  meeting Mayor Pedro Segarra identified Juan Figueroa as his Chief of Staff. Wait a second, aren't we already paying one who won't leave? Jared Kupiec still hasn't announced his departure date from City dis-service. So is Figueroa working for free? I doubt it. The Charter allows Segarra one Chief of Staff. No big deal though, we can eliminate another Police position to cover the salaries.

As long as no one is paying attention, Kupiec can extend his departure and roll over his six weeks vacation time he gets July 1st , that should only amount to $10 or $12 thousand based on his current salary. Hang in there Jared, no one is looking, just please make sure to return the I-pads and all the electronics. And feel free to keep the City car as long as you need, It is part of the Administration's Economic Development plan. If you can't get around to Happy Hour, our businesses might suffer.

And as far as the COO position. How long will this farce continue? The Hartford City Council essentially took a vote of no confidence in the Segarra Administration when they refused to approve Kee -Borges as COO. Now what will it take to find her replacement? six months, a year, how long will Segarra be allowed to run his temp employment service out of the Mayor's Office for Al Ilg, I guess it is not that bad though, at $80.00 per hour how much police overtime would that add up to?

Who paid for Segarra to find his first COO? And who paid for his previous Chief of Staff searches? Isn't that the claim that was made when Figueroa was brought on board. "Special Assistant to the Mayor for the Chief of Staff selection process" I think it was called.

Let's call it what it is, "let's keep Juan happy until we can slide him in as Corporation Counsel and no one will notice he didn't get it in the first place".

All of this incompetence adds up , all as we are talking about selling liens on residences and potentially forcing people out of their homes to close a budget gap. Kudos to the Council for putting the brakes on that tonight.

The list of the incompetence costs can go on and on. Don't forget the $60,000 spent on a national search for a police Chief, even though the right pick was right here among us. The dollars spent for outside legal opinions when we have a room full of City lawyers that have to look out the window to see which way the wind is blowing to determine how their opinions will go, these all add up.

I can go on and on, but again we need to start using some solid business principals to manage this City and accountability needs to be at the top of the list. Not everyone is cut out for the jobs they are hired for, proper managers know how to identify that and move on. Apparently not in Hartford.


City Hall Worker said...

Can you really beleive ANTYHING SKB says, she will throw her own kid under the bus to make herself look good. Don't beleive the lies

Anonymous said...

Kevin, will you help me dig up Mayor Athanson and the entire city council from back then and re-animate them? I think its the only alternative to save the city. These last two Mayors should go read the dedication monument at the education corridor on Washington St. They have embaressed those latinos who came before them who had hopes of making a "better" America. I have more respect for those bricklayers and seamstresses from a couple of generations ago than this "bunch" with their fancy titles ,degrees,diplomas, etc.,what a disappointment for "all" us!

Anonymous said...

SKB what a lair, I still say take the whole bunch of them and fire them, and start new and fresh, including the Mayor. What ever happen to the honest people? I hope the taxpayers get angry and fire the greedy money hungry people trying to run Hartford down,and realize it's the worker bees with the low paying jobs that work for the City that keep it afloat and are tired of these COO's and upper managements.

Anonymous said...

The column was vintage Brookman. A little rambling, but you hit every point. And that's the sad reality, how many points there are to make. Congrats on Jared, sounds like Julio is your next target? Please post the Audit Commission reports or notes when you receive them. It is inconceivable that a major municipality would be storing anything in a shoebox?? I hope your City Hall sources will help point you in the right direction. Also, please post the latest on the irrational expense of sending a retiring fire chief on two trips. Either the City Council or Audit Commission needs to investigate and establish a policy: If staff is retiring, someone else should go to an event or on a trip. If there is no one, cancel the trip.

City Hall Worker said...

Apparently, SKB will continue as COO, because Pedro allows it, the Council doesn't seem to care, and no one is looking into it. SKB is not trustworthy, She is a big liar, she portraits herself as the most caring person, whom loves her city, but yet she doesn't even own her home in Hartford. If she was a Hartford Taxpayer, she would be a little bit more concern on how her tax dollars are being spent.

Anonymous said...

They fired her!

Anonymous said...

Kevin, do the math on the police contact and tell me how much it is costing the tax payers. Until then being unbiased would be smart.

Anonymous said...

With Kupiec gone, now it's time to get rid of the Acting COO, double dipping Bee, she is only hanging around long enough so she can have Terry Waller promoted to Fire Chief. There is no plan for a new COO search. The city will save a lot of money by getting rid of her. Why keep her when the City is loosing so much money under her leadership. As the Corporation Counsel, adviser to the Mayor, look at all the bad decisions, $400 Market Htfd 21, $1 SAMA deal, the $300 MDM Golf, P-Cards, etc. Does any one knows what else is being kept in that infamous shoe box?