If anyone needs proof that we just came through six years of incompetence and reckless financial
management ( or maybe I should say mismanagement) the info above should be all the proof you need. It is a screen capture from a payroll report, known as "page 1" around HPD. It is the total wages paid to the top earner at HPD for the 2015 year.
LET BE VERY CLEAR ON THIS POINT. This officer did nothing wrong, who wouldn't quadruple their annual salary if given the opportunity. Especially if it was your last year before retiring and that salary contributes to your pension calculation... for the rest of your life.
The 'PJPay Amount" doesn't bother me as much as the "OTPayAmt". Although I have to wonder what shape any officer working those hours would be in, both physically and mentally. It has to take a toll on someones family life and even their attitude when they report to work after working all those hours. Keep in mind that many of the PJ hours are accrued working "road jobs" or construction jobs during summer months. Who wouldn't be exhausted after standing in 90 degree heat directing traffic all day on a hot street during July?
The City of Hartford does make money off these road jobs though, last year alone over $3 million dollars in profit was seen by the City on PJ invoices billed
But the greater concern to me is that these earnings , especially the OT and pensions, are not sustainable for the City's budget..
For the last several years, under former Mayor Pedro Segarra and Council President Shawn Wooden, the City has turned a blind eye to its financial responsibility and accountability. Mayor Luke Bronin has inherited a mess. That mess must now be addressed and it is going to mean some tough decisions that aren't going to make everyone happy. It will, in reality, probably make very few , if any happy.
The choices now have become a necessity after years of neglect and incompetence. Hiring in the police Department has pretty much been ignored by Segarra for years. He can't say he didn't know. The documents to both Segarra and the reckless former Council are there. The warnings were loud and clear, the documents and e-mails prove it
But to be fair, anyone with a scintilla of management skill should have been able to look at the numbers. In the 1980's and 1990's , Hartford was hiring large numbers of Police Officer's. Common sense would tell you to keep an eye on the calendar because those large numbers being hired would be retiring in twenty ( now twenty five years) after their hire date.
We never kept track or planned for the future, so now HPD as well as Hartford's residents are in a crisis situation, paying huge OT costs and trying to scramble to rebuild HPD staffing levels.
Thank you Pedro, Shawn and our former OMB Chair Ken Kennedy for driving us off the financial cliff. I only hope Mayor Bronin can bring us back on track before a State take over or a bankruptcy is necessary.
I guess the one positive thing that could come out of a State takeover is that apparently all contracts and agreements would become null and void and we could begin over with some common sense.
In the meantime, it would be nice to see some of those salary dollars going to qualified Hartford residents. They are out there, we just need to do a better job of finding and recruiting them