Search This Blog

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

IS A STATE TAKEOVER IN HARTFORD'S FUTURE?

According to several well placed sources, the answer is yes. According to sources, a meeting will be held tomorrow night between Hartford's Mayor Luke Bronin and representatives of Hartford's Legislative delegation. The apparent intent of the meeting is to begin drafting legislation to move toward a State takeover of Hartford's troubled finances.

More accurately, the proposed legislation will form an "oversight board" comprised of Connecticut's Treasurer Denise Nappier, the Governor's OPM Director Ben Barnes, Hartford's Treasurer Adam Cloud and other Hartford business people. This board should not be, and can not be a group of political hacks. We already have that with the Stadium Authority, and look where that has gotten us,over $10 million more in debt This board has to be able to make decisions to get our City back on track without worrying about political ramifications


This is a drastic step for the City to take because much of the local control of City government, especially financial, will be relinquished to the oversight board.


Throughout last years campaign, Bob Killian and others repeatedly said that Hartford was broke. This action now apparently proves that. The incumbent, Pedro Segarra chose to ignore the problem and committed Hartford to an ill conceived baseball stadium deal that plunged us further into debt. And let's not forget the Dillon Stadium deal that plunged us into a Federal Grand Jury investigation

Luke Bronin has repeatedly been telling residents that tough decisions were going to have to be made in relation to Hartford's budget and upcoming deficits and this is probably the most difficult decision Bronin has had to make in his short tenure. This is why we elect competent leaders, to clean up after the incompetent ones we vote out of office. This move should in no way reflect on Bronin, other than commending him to do what is needed at a very difficult time.

But, it has to be noted that this is the mess that Luke Bronin inherited when he assumed Office January 1, 2016. It is also the price Hartford is now being forced to pay for years of incompetence by Mayor Segarra( and his predecessors) and a Council who preferred to bury their heads in the sand, instead continuing to kick the can down the road and hoping things would work out.

The only way to fix a problem is to first admit you have a problem, and this seems to be the first step to getting Hartford back on a solid financial footing.

57 comments:

Alyssa said...

WOW, Kevin, if what you're saying is accurate -- this will be the biggest news story of the past several years. Although, we've all been saying it for years. I hope all media organizations credit you with breaking it. Again, if it's true . . .

KEVIN BROOKMAN said...

Alyssa,

you know me by now, I confirm with numerous sources. I am very comfortable with this one and one source told me the deficit numbers are much worse than we were ever led to believe by Pedro Segarra and Shawn Wooden. And as far as credit, you know where you saw it first and there are couple media organizations that do give me credit, I think that's called ethics. Of course there are others who will be jumping on the "breaking news" because they know how to read a blog and give no credit

Anonymous said...

Because the hacks at the state level have done such a good job managing the states finances...

John said...

The first thing that has to happen is that the mayor needs to resign. To give up management control, even the rumor of giving up, shows such a total lack of leadership. That said, this is the way it will probably play out. The mayor is clearly posturing to make big cuts and lacks the political support to do so. He has been talking with his financial leaders to cut departments and outsource work and eliminate services.

So he hangs the specter of the over site board over the heads of unions and departments just as a means with the implication that if they don't do voluntary cuts then involuntary ones will come next.

If this is going to happen the council and mayor need to step down and accept their personal failure to lead.

peter brush said...

I appreciate Mayor Bronin's refreshing openness and relative intellectual honesty. His old boss, Governor Malloy, could use some of that. And, speaking of the State, its finances are now being exposed for the shambles they've been becoming for decades. The problem in both City and State is too much spending on too many failed social programs, exacerbated in both by the willing blindness of the electorate and management indifferent to waste and abuse. Maybe we could get someone from Indiana or some other well-managed jurisdiction to consult with both Malloy and Bronin.

Anonymous said...

Adam Cloud!? Seriously? Adam Cloud of Stadium Authority fame? Of bond premium fame? The same guy that refinanced the city's debt 2 o4 3 times in the last 5 years? The same guy that gave himself an unauthorized, illegal $20,000 raise that he's going to pay back in $100 a month payments? This city deserves what it gets.

KEVIN BROOKMAN said...

John,

I disagree, the only reason we are at this point is because Pedro Segarra and his Council gave up their management control years ago to be politically popular. This is not a situation that Mayor Bronin or the current Council created, but they were elected to deal with it, and that is what thy are doing now. I am not sure there would ever be "political support" to put any City into a position of oversight control, but sometimes leadership calls for difficult decisions that aren't politically expedient. And I don't think these are idle threats being held over anyone's head, this is called reality and we are about to get a real dose of reality one way or another.

Anonymous said...

How about I. Charles Matthews, Oz Griebel and Daryl Hill on the oversight board, they did such a great job keeping the stadium under control

Alyssa said...

No city in this nation can survive on 53% tax exempt property. We've always known that. However, a state takeover may be too drastic at this point. If there is a way to write legislation to alter our city charter relative to pension contribution, that would plug this year's deficit. There is no need to fund it at the levels we have in the past. Also, the City Council and unions should have a say in matters first, i.e. givebacks or re-opening contracts. Otherwise, state takeover legislation could spell the end of past/present pension and healthcare promises.

As I've said every year at public budget hearings, it's long past the time to turn over many budget items in the Parks/Cemeteries, Library, Health, Youth and Public Safety departments to non-profits and foundations. Do one-to-one matching with local and national grants and foundation funds (e.g. Hartford Foundation is sitting on $1 billion -- it's too big and it's failed our City for which it was started.) Need to reinvent how Hartford operates given our extraordinary tax exempt status.

Anonymous said...

Its about time.

Anonymous said...

If we're going to have a fresh start without "political hacks" why the heck is Adam Cloud being considered? what has he done to prevent this debacle? NOTHING! And he's contributed to it in ways large and small - from wiring funds to O'Garra to repaying his ill conceived raise at $100 paycheck or some ludicrous thing. Let's get REAL business people that understand money - I'm not sure any people like that are currently on the City payroll other than Bronin and some of the people he's recently brought in.

Let's get some small business people on this board - no one knows how to make a budget work better than a business owner with 10 - 20 employees. Let's get real guys.

Anonymous said...

Make uconn pay some bills. Make changes in the way residents use their state aid to spend it on lottery tickets and liquor. People just wandering the streets with no purpose. Jobs and personal responsibility should be enforced instead of valuable tax dollars going to waste. And im sure all these parades are necessary at a pretty hefty bill. Has the west indian and hispanic parade commissions paid for their parades yet? Who is going to pay the massive police bill to shut the roads?
Cut these parades. Save some cash.

Laurie Parent said...

comprised of Connecticut's Treasurer Denise Nappier, the Governor's OPM Director Ben Barnes, Hartford's Treasurer Adam Cloud and other Hartford business people...

These people aren't "political hacks"? Hartford wake the hell up - stop making these asinine decisions (lets bail out the ball park for ANOTHER 5.5 million when you already don't have any money in the coffers) Come on now - someone must know whats going on.....

Anonymous said...

Why would Adam cloud be on an oversight board? He was involved in the O'Garro mess, the back9 debacle, is being investigated by feds, is on the stadium authority that wasn't minding the store. If the state and mayor truly want an oversight board to work, none of the current or former city officials should be allowed anywhere near it.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. Tuesday night I gave the mayor evidence of massive waste in Public Works. Well, maybe not massive. But all the bumps placed along Brookfield Street will need to be removed or if allowed to remain as is, will result in an accident or killing of a bike rider. Here is why. Constantin from Public Works opened gaps to allow a bike path unimpeded and now, every car veers into the bike lane to avoid right side tires to hit the bumps. And this was after we in Southwest NRZ warned him of doing this. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

But I guess this is peanuts compared to late breaking news. May I say I predicted bankruptcy for Hartford? I have compared Hartford to Compton, CA for almost 2 years. The chickens have come home to roost. Thank you Stupid Mayor Pedro Segarra.

Thank you Kevin, even if it is bad news. You are better than I thought.

Anonymous said...

Laurie, we in Hartfod are living in a parallel universe. We all live behind little white picket fences. The previous mayor steps out from his 2nd floor offices and speaks; " Come all ye fellow neighbors, we are lowering the tax today, building not one but two stadiums and I'll be performing the nasty on the first 50 Hartford residents to visit my offices today."

Anonymous said...

This story will become national news. Are you ready to see Anderson Cooper striding down Main St, talking to the little guy? How about him visiting former mayor Maria Caviar for an interview then staying for dinner if ya know what I mean.

Can I make any money off of this? I always wanted to bottle water from the Park River and call it "Mark Twain's Hog River Water." Maybe I could dig shovel fulls of dirt from around city hall and bottle it as "Hartford's Bankrupt Dirt."

Or perhaps take over the South Park Inn Homeless Shelter and tun it into a tourist destination for those who want to experience homeless environs at only $100.00 a night. You sleep on a cot in the hall with 100 others and in the morning, are served a tasty breakfast of pancakes and real non-maple sugar Syrup.

Anonymous said...

You speak the truth Kevin. But you falsely state that local government should not be taken over by political hacks and the personal you named are political hacks. Further, the Stadium Authority, and I agree, is a group of "political hacks," did not create the 10 million increase. DoNo Hartford and Centerplan created the overage. Let's place blame where it deserves to be.

Otherwise, groovy for you in coming out first with this soon to be national news event. Call CNN and let them interview you. Take credit. You deserve it even though you beat up on me every so often.

John said...

I appreciate that you disagree with my assertion that the city leadership should look on this as a failure and step down, but look at the facts. There was no secret within the walls of the city hall that the city was in terrible financial shape. Anyone seeking election must have either understood that or they do not have the ability to read and understand financial issues.

Secondly, this is the same situation that every incoming administration faces and they manage to deal with it to the best of their ability, Segara had the same thing with the prior administration. Only after working with the unions and other stakeholders would they come to the conclusion that intervention is necessary. In this case it's less than two months into the new term and the mayor is tucking tail and looking for outside help. This is neither courageous or an indication of leadership.

Lastly, outside support will only work if the parties have a strong history of nonpartisan financial leadership. This can only turn in to a political nightmare and will be a black eye on the city.

Bye Bye HPD said...

Wait till all 70 officers of HPD class of 95-96 bail out!!! You think there's a problem now? I hope CSP can police the city!!!

BOLO for R. Holton said...

Any sightings of our absentee HPD Union President? He sure was around a lot before the election.
At least Nick Trigalia sent something out to everyone, thank you nick.

Anonymous said...

State of CT finances are disastrous. How can anyone trust the state running its finances

KEVIN BROOKMAN said...

Bye Bye,

This issue is being addressed more aggressively by Mayor Bronin than it has ever addressed in the last 6 years. It is a problem but City Hall no longer has its head buried in the sand ignoring a real problem

KEVIN BROOKMAN said...

BOLO,

you should see him at least 40 hours a week, that is what we are paying him in salary while he is on detached assignment as Union President.

KEVIN BROOKMAN said...

9:38am,

You are correct , the State's finances are disastrous. One of the main reasons is that previous administrations did the same thing Hartford has done for years, ignore the problem and just hope that it will get better. That clearly didn't work. The oversight Board does not mean the State will solve Hartford's problems, it is a tool we can use to get back on track. It will still take a lot of hard work and many, many difficult decisions.

Anonymous said...

John at 8:08AM:
"Segara had the same thing with the prior administration", but Segarra made the situation MUCH WORSE, paying high salaries to the people around him, hiring unnecessary assistants (Minnie Gonzalez daughter Maldonado, Hilda Munoz and others), spending money like a drunken sailor (way beyond the caviar he enjoys). Segarra definitely made is worse, much worse.

Buy the JI Instead said...

Where is the Country's oldest continuously published newspaper? At the retirement home for old outdated irrelevant publications? How is it that a local blogger can break potentially one of the biggest stories in Hartford's recent history, NBC Connecticut is all over it reporting last night and this morning on the meeting tonight and potential oversight legislation, and not a word from the Courant, except a tweet from an editor claiming you are wrong Kevin.

Anonymous said...

Holton has been AWOL for the last two years. He's the worst union president ever. Shevshick will be president after next election, he should have been this time. He's way more qualified and actually has experience. And he actually talks to the membership and cares about them.

Anonymous said...

@9:52

You answered your own questions. Have you always had this affliction? Treat it with some drugs. Dose up on some neighborhood heroin.

Anonymous said...

Can't the town's folk march down Prospect Avenue one night with pitch forks and torches and drag Segarra out of his house and walk him over to a nearby Elizabeth Park tree?

Anonymous said...

State takeover = cops bail

Anonymous said...

You can't drag Segarra out of his Prospect Avenue million $$ home, he's not there.
Segarra left town, left the state right before Bronin's inauguration. He doesn't answer his phone, and doesn't call back for messages left on his voicemail.

HPD 20 Year Guy said...

Young officers, take my advice. Bail out of HPD NOW.....go to a suburb PD or New Haven or Bridgeport PD. Or better yet, out of CT. If you want a secure future and pension......LEAVE NOW!!! Take my advice!

3 pjs a week for life said...

Quick!! Someone do a 10-50 for the hpd union president! Start a search team!
Its all over now. No new contract and the mayor wants concessions!! No more 308k a year or 4 js a week. Flag men coming. No more fun of any kind, sitting in your personnel vehicle on pjs!!
Done!! Over!! These 20 year guys really hammered the pension and there will be nothing left..... Time to apply for ebt and social security now!
Im sure holton will send out a snazzy email to tell everyone that he left a message at city hall ! Non proactive union trickery afoot!!!

Anonymous said...

All is well. Sell some more useless properties. We can work for free and give back some vacations etc. where oh where is our Union Prez?? Probably teaching a fitness class or driving that shiny take home car !!
25 year guys unite and take these 20 year guys out.

Anonymous said...

Question for you Mr. Brookman. Your such a Bronin supporter. Will you still support him when he replaces your idol Chief Rovella? It is happening, I have first hand information he is interviewing candidates from outside of HPD. I give Rovella till 7/15/16 the latest before Bronin out him. Mark my words. What will be your take on that? And don't say if if happens.....it IS happening.

Anonymous said...

Pedro has not left town. He has the nerve to attend different functions with of course Charlie at his side. Pedro and Charlie have their Prospect Mansion on the market. They are already committed to the top suite at the Woodland House. Mayor Luke Bronin inherited more than the former two administrations. Who was it that brought Sandra Kee Borges on board at City Hall? He was just as bad if not worse. What bar should we go to next? Remember!! And of course he received get free drinks. Dose anyone remember? Mayor Bronin had no clue what he was getting himself into. Governor Malloy could care less about Mayor Bronin or Hartford. The new UCONN branch which will be located at the former Hartford evening newspaper The Times building is a sham. No City Treasurer Adam Cloud should not be part of anything that has to do with Hartford especially MONEY. His greed has made Hartford a bigger mess than ever. Cloud is paying $100.00 dollars per paycheck to payback $10,000 for his self inflicted pay raise. What a joke? He will be long gone by the time he pays it back. Hartford will be stuck again. Hartford Police Chief Rovella is the best Police Chief Hartford has had in a long,long time. It's a shame some officers have nothing better to do but moan and moan.

Where is holton said...

Holton could care less about the 25 year guys. You all drank the kool aid and fell for the trap! These 20 year guys sucked the ground dry and will leave this dept in shambles. Every member is no where to be found.
I sure hope our new contract is exploding with all types of raises.. Maybe fragnoli can answer the phone one of these days...

KEVIN BROOKMAN said...

4:59 PM

valid points, and to answer your question, Segarra brought Kee-Borges back out of retirement to guide the Titanic and she helped steer us into this iceberg.

I support Adam Cloud, but I wish the amount was just paid back in full to end another distraction from Hartford's real problems.

I also agree with your comments regarding Chief Rovella. I am not sure we could find a more ethical, fair, intelligent and most importantly competent and respected leader than Chief Rovella for this time at HPD

Anonymous said...

Agreed. Szewczk needs to run this union. Holton should retire. Szewczk is our best hope. Everything he warned warned us about has come true. These union guys are absent and collecting stipends. Such jokers

GPS HAS BEEN ACTIVATED said...

Someone needs to make sure the Union Vice President Figueroa is woken up each morning after his overnight nap in the basement garage of 20 Sargent Street. I guess we need to look at the bright side, at least his cruiser doesn't need to be replaced often for high mileage if it stays parked all night. Kevin , FOI the GPS tracking records for that car and the mileage/cruiser logs

Anonymous said...

BRING SEGARRA TO JUSTICE!

KEVIN BROOKMAN said...

3:13 PM

you asked "Question for you Mr. Brookman. Your such a Bronin supporter. Will you still support him when he replaces your idol Chief Rovella? It is happening, I have first hand information he is interviewing candidates from outside of HPD. I give Rovella till 7/15/16 the latest before Bronin out him. Mark my words. What will be your take on that? And don't say if if happens.....it IS happening."

I am not specifically a "Bronin Supporter". I am a supporter of competent leaders for our City. At this time I am supporting what Luke Bronin and those that he has surrounded himself with and what they are doing. I know am I not going to get everything I ask for or believe in, but I see the right things being done so far.

I am not buying into your gossip or innuendo regarding the replacement of Chief Rovella. If a change were to be made for what State statute requires as "just cause", I would look at that at that time and decide whether I thought it was valid or will I oppose it . At this point I can see no reason to change the direction of HPD at this time. Chief Rovella finally has at least to all appearances, a Mayor and a Council that is supportive of his efforts. A plan is already in the works to hire more officers than we have seen in the last six years, 15 of them are already in the Academy.

The rumors of Rovella's demise began long before the election, but I think there is also wide support among the Community for our Chief, and Mayor Bronin has heard that. Rovella is not going to be liked by everyone if he is doing his job, and that includes controlling overtime costs. That is part of his job to manage the budget he is given.

Deal with it.

KEVIN BROOKMAN said...

6:31PM

Keep the Faith, we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg so far, and there still is a Federal Grand Jury looking into Dillon Stadium that may take a few City hall people and others with it.

Anonymous said...

Why are you guys bitching? You voted for the president that we have and kept all the 20 year guts in control. Glad I didn't vote for them. It was a landslide of a win. Let's see what he does for us now? Or even Rovella I bet neither one dor anything for us.

14 year vet

Anonymous said...

All 20 year guys have to go. The union heads, murtha, St John ( Mr antisocial) weaver the beaver. ... Manson the bipolar liar you get the picture. They don't care about anyone but themselves.

Own up Fig said...

Fig should have been arrested years ago for theft of services from the city. He sleeps his entire midnight shift so he can work a pj every am, and nobody does anything. He puts his surrounding officers in danger every night. His time is long overdue. Fig is the biggest fraud in the PD.

Anonymous said...

I do support Rovella, although I do not agree with everything. However.....Bronin is in the process of replacing him......believe that.

Anonymous said...

Segarra AND Kee-Borges!

Hooked on Phonics said...

Yah, an email from his union cell phone we pay for, because he can't even get to his desktop at our union office to write a professional email. Each one is garbage from his cell phone, probably in between cross fit sets. And God forbid if he runs a spell check on his email for once, I'm not sure who's emails are worse as far as grammatical errors, Prez Holton's or Sgt. Rodney's!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with 7:34 PM, both Pedro Segarra and Saundra Kee-Borges, as well as a few other corrupt individuals, must be brought to justice.

Anonymous said...

He's in psychiatric rehab with a focus on pervert theraphy & backbone surgery. You had a stonch ali and you put Charlie, yourself & the tramp from DPW first, was it worth it? SHAME ON YOU, PIG, SHAME, SHADE & lack of loyalty, these are a few of things LACKED

Anonymous said...

Kevin, as long as the investigation results are not going to declare simply "incompetence."

Anonymous said...

I don't see why nobody saw it coming! The state of CT is in the worst shape it's ever been. Everyone, businesses and residents are bailing out of this state at an alarming rate. Gov. Malloy has ruined CT. Mayor Bronin was and is part of team Malloy. Bronin will ruin Hartford as Malloy ruined CT. This is just the beginning. All you cops that stood on stage next to Bronin supporting him, and you know who you are (no names necessary), should be ashamed of yourselves. Although the ones that were standing next to him definitely didn't quite have the best reputations or moral character.

KEVIN BROOKMAN said...

10:26am

Let's be fair and put the political agendas aside. These messes started long before Malloy or Bronin took office. Give them some credit to finally have the guts to address the problems that have been ignored for far too long.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to Montana to live on a farmstead. I want a cow, horses, chickens. No beeping cars. No bom blasters.

Connecticut is Ruined said...

But you'll probably miss the swarms of ATV's, Quads and motorcycles that have already began to swarm the streets again! Don't go!