The Hartford City Council needs to step up and show that they are capable of leadership and putting Hartford back on the right track, despite a delusional Mayor that has no concept of fiscal responsibility
For any Mayor that advocates for increased taxes in the City with the highest mill rate in the state just tells me that he is out of touch with the majority of residents and business owners who will be burdened with the tax increases. I think it also shows he is out of touch with Hartford's corporate world who won't necessarily be willing to shoulder his reckless spending much longer.
The Mayor made it a point recently to let me know I was wrong about my opposition to his hiring a scheduler. Yes, you read that right, his scheduler. The man that follows him everywhere he goes at a salary of $65,000 a year. Not bad work if you can get it.
Segarra became indignant and said I didn't know what I was talking about, his scheduler was so much more and besides "he has a masters degree" .I don't care if he can spit Gold, it is a position we can't afford, no more than we can afford Segarra's "Secret Service" style protection detail . I am sure you have seen them with Segarra, complete with dark sunglasses and their earpieces.
Ads I said at the Budget hearing, if I have a choice between a scheduler walking behind the Mayor or a police officer walking a beat, I will choose the police officer all the time.
The Council needs to show leadership. The Hartford City Charter is very specific about the positions to be authorized for the Mayor's Office, and nowhere i the Charter can I find a $65,000 a year scheduler.
311 also needs to go, I honestly don't think I have met anyone that can recite a 311 success story, plenty of failures, but I would really like to hear a success story. I recently called for over 3 months to get burned out bulbs replaced on three downtown street lamps on a busy street. I still think they are out. Technology needs to be used and advanced as City Hall needs to be more efficient. the "SEE,CLICK,FIX" App is something that should be used to faze out 311
Similar apps should also be used for Public Safety and many other City Hall functions. Twitter and other social media sites have proven a great resource for the City to get information out and should be used in the opposite direction to make Hartford more efficient.
A couple other necessary cuts need to be made. Council President Shawn Wooden last year tried to move a plan through that would have cut the Council staff in half. We can no longer afford to be so top heavy. Each Council person does not need their own Administrative Assistant. I might question why a couple of them even need an assistant based on their work product.
Several years ago the State legislature went to a system that assigned one Assistant to every 3 legislators. It seems to have worked there without any undue harm and it should be the same at City Hall.
One of the largest draws on City revenue is the money dumped into Hartford's Schools. I think with the money allotted, we should be able to demand better results than a 71% graduation rate, but more on that at another time.
One of the first things a new superintendent should look at is how much of that money goes to educating children and how much is wasted on just making adults wealthier. Do the Hartford Schools really need a spokesperson to address media inquiries once or twice a month? Is that the best use for $120,000 a year plus maybe another 30% additional for benefits. Eliminate the position .
Do we really need all the Assistant Superintendent's and Special Assistant's for this or that. And if we are paying all these assistants for who knows what, shouldn't at least one of them have been groomed to fill in when the next Superintendent skips town to escape the heat instead of paying a fill in $900.00 a day to keep a seat warm
There is plenty of wasted money flowing through City Hall, but we need a Council that can cut reckless spending and look Segarra in the eye and say "enough is enough" no more Empire building...deal with it. Cut the Mayor's budget to what the Charter allows, eliminate the scheduler, and cut the fat out of the City budget. It is a matter of survival for the City of Hartford