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Monday, November 23, 2015


I try to be fair with this blog, so here goes. Yesterday I posted about Democratic Registrar Olga Vazquez and her meltdown last Friday at City Hall. After getting a couple phone calls and thinking about this incident, I am having some second thoughts.

I am in no way condoning Vazquez's behavior. I have always felt that people that have to use the 'F' word and such language to communicate shows a sign of ignorance, There might be a time and place to use such language, but in a public building and in a supposedly professional environment is not the time or the place .Especially not by an elected official.

Vazquez has shown her lack of professionalism from the very beginning of her tenure at City Hall. Her behavior alone has built a very strong case to revamp the Registrar's Office.

With that being said, maybe some City Hall Office's also apparently need to be reworked. If the Payroll Department had done their job properly, there probably wouldn't have been a need for Vazquez to make the trip across the hall to argue for payment for her workers. I am pretty sure if the clerks in the Payroll Office were waiting for their paychecks from September , something would be corrected quickly .

It is very difficult to get poll workers. The salary, when averaged out over a long election day, probably comes out to much less than minimum wage. To then have to wait months to get paid is very wrong. Many poll workers actually choose work at the polls because the money is needed, not because they like elections. I am told by some poll workers that this is routine treatment by City Hall.

If employees in a private business hadn't been paid their wages since September, their employers would be facing a Judge on criminal charges of failing to pay wages or worse.

Olga's behavior is still reprehensible and uncalled for , but there is enough blame to go around, Also, in this day and age of workplace violence, I am also troubled by the supervisor who overheard the commotion and instructed the employee not to call the police as the supervisor went back to her desk without trying to find out what was happening . Would she have actually waited for the violence to escalate and someone being injured before she decided to take any action? That does not sound like very good decision making on the part of a supervisor who is paid to deal with such workplace issues.


Anonymous said...

A dysfunctional administration and an unruly and unprofessional elected official. This is Hartford. What else is new?

Anonymous said...

Let's make one point absolutely crystal clear - this payment delay was not due to a payroll 'glitch' but due to Olga's gross incompetence since she did not file the proper paperwork with HR, as always. Olga procrastinates every election year - every year - refuses to follow proper HR/payroll protocol and she is always to blame, no one else, when the election workers are not paid correctly or on time. Olga believes that her elected status makes her an Empress and gives her the right to treat everyone around her like garbage - she fails to recognize that as an elected official, that her behavior should be beyond reproach - instead she is frequently seen running around city hall barking expletives, blaming others for her gross incompetence and procrastination. This recent blowup is just another example of Olga's incompetence and her maltreatment of others for her shortcomings.

Anonymous said...

In most places, for obvious reasons, payroll does not unilaterally pay people on their own. They process pay requests that are properly submitted and approved. I'd be careful about laying the blame on payroll not doing their job properly. Garbage in = garbage out.

Anonymous said...

Olga has made her mistakes but if people worked for their wages an didn't get paid an Olga spazzed out on the people who jacked up the payments I don't see a issue here it would be nice to know that a union president would fight this vigorously for his due paying members not condoning how Olga handled it but if this was anywhere else they would get sued an if it was on the street prolly worse !!

Anonymous said...

Kevin, I have confirmed through a mutual friend that Olga Vazquez has been bombarded by upset and outraged poll workers--not only by email and by phone, but they have also come to City Hall demanding answers, and their pay.

It's very possible--even likely--that this whole affair was a set-up to discredit Olga, get her to resign, or even get arrested for her outburst. Why? Because some city officials are angry that they lost the court case to have the registrars ousted. This lawsuit cost the taxpayers a huge amount of money, and if the city lawyers had done their due diligence, they would probably have realized that their case was futile, and would have known how the judge would rule. Also, Shawn Wooden's proposed resolution to have two registrars appointed by the City Council, and take away the public's right to elect them, was met by huge opposition--enough so that the resolution was withdrawn. I'm sure Wooden wasn't too happy about that, as he was behind both attempts to get rid of her.

Again, I'm not defending her bad behavior. But as you said, there's a lot more to this than can be seen at first glance. And there is no excuse, no viable reason for the ridiculous amount of time it takes for the poll workers to be paid for work performed.

Thank you for your objectivity.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 1:19 PM: I must disagree. Olga Vasquez has--since the problems from the last election put her on the hot seat--been very careful to conduct the business of her office meticulously and avoid further blame and/or censure. Conversely, many departments within City Hall are dysfunctional in the performance of their duties, or are subject to outside influences. City budget allocations have frequently been "re-appropriated" from one department to another--nothing new here.

Alyssa said...

Kevin -- always like it when you either post another side to a story or reconsider an item. Lends greater credibility to this blog as a valued news source for Hartford. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Kevin,Statistics and facts validate just how broken Hartford is. Someone or somethings are sometimes at the bottom of the list and in rare cases "stay" at the bottom because of irrepairable circumstances. Hartford is beyond any viable solution to climb from the bottom.My advice is to "bail" out of there! Just as my grandparents left there birth country for a better life for themselves and their family. There is no shame in moving forward,in fact if they were alive I would kiss their feet that made the journey over here.Why be a marytr? Who is going to benefit from your sacrifice?

Anonymous said...


I certainly agree that many city departments are in fact, dysfunctional. I suspect that has been allowed to fester on account of the inability of leadership across multiple administrations, to seek capable personal to work for the City of Hartford. The rush to fill the employment posts with Hartford residents instead of the best applicants is probably one reason for this inferior labor performance. Any place else, the best and most capable would be hired. Not so in Hartford.

I have often heard the mantra that the city must hire people and find jobs for its residents. Guess what; It is not the job of city government to employ its residents. Mayor-elect Luke Bronin will have this legacy to confront. He too, will have pressure to only hirer city residents. Same old politics. Can he and will he find the brightest and the best? I hope so.

Some would call my attitude a Hartford hater. I reject that notion. I simply want Hartford to function. I want it to continue to trim the fat (no pun) from unneeded positions and consolidate others. Conduct new negotiations on future pension agreements. Health care plans need to be addressed. Hartford should enact a statute that residents must vote only any expenditures costing over one million dollars. The stadium is a major bust for the city. The administration ends on a very disgusting place having put Hartford into further debt and lower d bond ratings which is now costing the city more to service. The waste doesn't end.

I know that there are positions that could be cut in the development office. Some employees have had positions for decades and their positions are not needed. They have been saved by the old boys network. The network that says, "your seniority gives you the right to stay even when you are an unneeded expense for the city."

At this time, I will give an example of waste and inarticulate behavior in Public Works. There is a gentleman named ( you knew I wasn't to end comments without pulling some character out) Constantin who is a deputy director. He placed speed bumps along Brookfield Street to slow traffic. But since there is a bike path, he ended the bumps at the point where they meet the bike path. His reasoning was that he didn't want to create a dangerous situation for bike riders riding on the path. Well guess what all car drivers avoid the bump by driving into the bike path. After complaints, he added bumps on each side of the road but giving bike riders about 3 feet of road unhindered of the bump. Guess what. Car drivers now drive their right side wheels into the bike path in order to lessen the bump.

Did Constantin bother to call the CT Bike Association to ask if riders would mind riding over a little bump? Of course not. That would have required intelligent reasoning which no one in Public Works has. His directive has placed bike riders in jeopardy since cars now veer into the bike path to avoid half of the bump. This is costing the city thousands of wasted dollars to fix his stupid problems. And it has NOW endangered bike riders, the very thing he sought to avoid. Exhibit 2: Public Works has imprinted bikes symbols in the middle of Fairfield Avenue going in both directions. In the middle of the road. I think this indicates that Fairfield Avenue is now exclusively a bike lane and that cars are banned. I'm not sure. Who would be so stupid to imprint huge bike symbols in the middle of a street? Let me guess. Hartford Public Works Department and it was probably Deputy Director Constantin the the Smart. Do you want more examples of his ineptitude? Just ask. If you pay me 3 cents a word expounding on waste and foolish behavior in just the Public Works, I would soon be wealthy.

Anonymous said...

@2:06 PM

Wow. What an interesting thought. It is not that far-fetched as one might think. Machiavellian intrigue at city hall. No fooling. The pay is really embarrassing but hey, what isn't. From Public Works to cops stealing and leaving a gun in their car in order to get some nooky in an apartment to the fire department so dysfunctional. Even the tax department doesn't understand the process of ending taxes charged on cars that have been sold. Yes, it happened to me even after I visited them with all the requested paper work in advance so that there would be no confusion when the next tax bill went out. Do you think they filed all the paperwork? Is this Hartford? Of course they didn't.

The organ of city government that functioned smoothly and with a good deal of humility was Judge Robert Killian's probate office. God bless him. We may never see such a trusted, kind, organized servant of the people. Especially when we hire a characters like Mayor Caviar and company sucking on Hartford's Titt along with the most dishonest council ever to be elected.

Anonymous said...

Its a shame that all of the election workers who haven't been paid hadn't go to City Hall and created a ruckus. But I bet if they did that the supervisor would have called the cops and more and folks would have been threatened with arrest. One thing is certain, since the Working Family Party Register has been replaced the voting process at my polling place which she oversees went a heck of a lot smoother. Everyone knew what they were doing and the moderator was excellent. Really in all of my years I have never seen anything like Hartford City Hall. What a bunch of losers. Please clean house mayor elect.