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Wednesday, June 29, 2016


I know the Mayor has been critical of Hartford's employee Unions and has portrayed them as a big part of Hartford's financial problems.

The ongoing relationship ( if you can call it that) between mayor Bronin and the Police , Fire, DPW and other employee unions has not been the best.

I am not sure our finances are really as bad as they are being portrayed, and I am also not sure that the "scorched earth"  decision making by Bronin is warranted. Maybe , if it is a bluff, it is time to start playing real poker and call the Mayor's bluff.

I just wonder what would happen if Hartford's Unions went to Mayor Bronin and said they seriously want to be a part of the solution. If they told the mayor that they understand the damage that will be done to Hartford's small businesses as well as Hartford's reputation by the cancellation of Riverfest and they want to help.

What if the relevant Unions offered to donate their time for the four or six hours it would take to pull off Riverfest. What is the Mayor also made a couple phone calls to some of our multimillionaire earning CEO's of a couple of our corporations and ask if they could kick in some of their pocket change to keep a Hartford tradition alive. What if the Mayor dipped into his political PAC , which as of last report was funded at close to $100,000, and kicked in $10,000 or $20,000 to help fund Riverfest?

 What if the perpetual fundraiser Congressman John Larson kicked in  something to support two of the towns in his district that have supported him very well over a couple of decades. Heck, we would even be willing to claim it as a political event for Larson

Maybe the Hartford Courant who ran an article this morning with a plan to move Riverfest off the river would be willing to  put their money where their mouth is and help fund the event. We aren't talking millions , we are looking for roughly $100,000 between two cities

In 2012, the last year I could find on line, Mark Bertolini the CEO of Aetna received annual compensation, including salary and benefits of $13.2 million, I would guess a charitable donation for his home City would not be out of the question to continue history and tradition in Hartford. The CEO of Hartford hospital  also makes a sizable salary, , maybe we could ask him to step up.

If things are bad as Mayor Bronin claims, now is not the time to drive us off the cliff, it is time to find as many partners as possible to be part of the solution. Hartford's Unions could play a significant role in that and make a huge statement of their love for Hartford by stepping forward.


Anonymous said...

Once again, Kevin. applying common sense and rationale to Hartford City Hall, it just doesn't work

Jack said...

Never ever gonna happen

Anonymous said...

Done deal - get rid of the festivals. We can't afford it.

Anonymous said...

Kevin - all of the unions have been meeting with the Mayor in good faith. The problem at hand is Bronin does not want to negotiate. He has given a list of DEMANDS to each union and says "I have to have all of this or else". What he's asking from each union is draconian and can't possibly be met. It's not even in the "up for discussion" category. With that said, the unions have met with the Mayor in good faith, but the Mayor is adamant that he gets everything he wants and nothing else. He won't even acknowledge the union presidents when they're talking to him. Instead, he shows utter disrespect and ignores them and proceeds to text on his cell phone when they're trying to have a candid conversation with him. Bronin isn't even trying to negotiate. He fully intends to re-introduce the Financial Sustainability bill back to the state when election season is over in order to get his way. I guarantee his attempt at unilateral takeover of union bargaining agreements will swiftly be met with litigation as he'll be in violation of the National Labor Relations Act of 1935.

Thom Page said...

A thought about Priorities:I like fireworks as much as anyone and understand the benefits of community building from the City having wonderful traditions. I also understand the Mayor had to make painful decisions when he laid off 40+ city employees, no doubt understanding the pain this would cause the 40+ families in literally being able to pay their bills, feed themselves and survive without that salary, and the pain to the citizens of Hartford of not having these employees perform needed services in the community. If we are going to ask others to step up to the plate and help out, maybe it should be to fund the ability for these people to keep their jobs so they and all the citizens of Hartford will benefit, and not feel the pain where it matters more. I can't help but wonder what those who were laid off think of this thread on how to raise city funds for a fireworks display.

Anonymous said...


As I read that you are playing the victim here, I am apt not to fully believe you. You make Bronin out to be some vicious dog yet, unions have been the dogs by their/your historic demands. Then, when it comes to getting a job done as in Public Works, like picking up debris not in the right container, instead of just doing their damn job, they take a picture of it for evidence then leave the stuff on curb side? Why? Because it isn't in the union contract to pick something up that isn't in the correct container.

I will for once, leave out my expletives to discribed your unions. So don't give me your bull about how ya'll are meek as puppies in a pet store waiting to be petted.

Anonymous said...

"Done deal"? Is Segarra back? If he is, get ready for s few more stadiums. Luxury skyboxes included.

Anonymous said...


You rant is very ignorant! As with EVERY union, there are always bad/lazy workers in every municipality and private sector. Just because you had a bad experience with DPW, it does not mean that all union workers are incompetent. I, for one, am not a DPW worker, but I do know some pretty darn good ones here in the City and they deserve better. As for my prior comment, you can believe what you want. I was in the room and have been in the meetings with all the other union presidents. Bronin will be fully exposed when he tries to go to the state again. It's all documented! Then you will look foolish for your comment!

Anonymous said...


Calm down, sonny boy. I am neither pro or anti Union. Unions were once the way to fight against unregulated exploitation of the robber barons of the 19th century. Now, unions have morphed into political organizations that fight and fight for everything they can get. They can and have bankrupt companies. I am 100% in favor of organized negotiation. But as I said, I am not in one and I am self-employed. I don't turn away from a business chore because it isn't in my contract.

As. For Bronin, time will tell if he is that far off. His rocker. Maybe he is. But I feel that there are no angles here only greedy and selfish individuals trying to get what ever they can. I am referring to both sides.

Feel better now?

Anonymous said...

Money from the CEO's NAH they need all they can get. Money from the workers yeah yeah, let them eat cake.

I for one Kevin hope you keep up with your "crazy thoughts." We need more in these distressing times.

Anonymous said...

Police give up their OT? Sacrilege!!!

Anonymous said...

Suburbs will never pony up. And why would they when Hartford continues to show they embrace largesse? Council getting paid and given their patronage jobs, a treasurer who enriches family connections, hiring peopke like Hill an an exorbitant salary? Show the 'burbs some restraint before you go hat in hand.

Anonymous said...

What about all the cost savings ideas that every union has submitted to the mayor. The mayor has ignored them and dismissed them all claiming simply that they are not enough. Well guess what taken all together they may amount to millions in savings and revenue generated. We could easily have found enough to fund the 4th of July festival as well as saved many of the employees (including the animal control officers) that were laid off.

Kevin why don't you get the list of cost saving ideas from the unions (I'm sure they would be glad to share them!) and hold the mayor accountable as to why they have been ignored.

Anonymous said...

I don't have a problem with the City not being able to pay for fireworks - if they really can't. BUT they are creating a new position for Daryl Hill whose new annual salary would pay for 3 or 4 Riverfront festivals and the Firemen OT at the Stadium at $6K+ per day would have paid for the festival in a couple of weeks. The list goes on and on. The money's there - the City has just chosen to spend it differently. I'm even OK with that - we elected them, so we have to let them make the decisions.

What I'm NOT OK with is that this "leadership" (which isn't just the Mayor == it's also the Council, and anyone else at City Hall who knew in advance) didn't tell the residents until the last minute so there was virtually no time to come up with an alternate plan.

What I'm NOT OK with is the total and complete lack of LEADERSHIP by the Mayor in not pursuing all of the suggestions you made in this post. If he did try, and failed despite his best efforts, then he needs to get a new publicist and tell us these things. If he tried, whether he succeeded or failed, I would have nothing but respect. The silence seems to indicate he didn't try, and there were no best efforts.

When a "leader" reprimands the residents for {who knows what's in his head} by cancelling one of the few events that everyone actually enjoys (benefitting young and old, white, black, latino, asian, and everyone else) when it was well within his power to make it happen, he comes across as a petulant child. Certainly not a leader.

Anonymous said...


I just need to respond to your foolish diatribe. Do you mean to say that the mayor must sit Brookman in his office every Monday morning and ask Kevin how he's doing? Is that what you are expressing? I hope you realize the foolishness of that suggestion.

Anonymous said...

I believe I last heard Mr. Hill is making $174,000 for his COO position. I wonder if they plan to give him a raise to become the CFO? If they just eliminated this position then we have funding for fireworks and to save jobs already lost.

Anonymous said...

What if, what if, what if? I would have liked to see the police and fire unions split the amount with the towns, but that clearly didn't happen. I'm pretty sure a PAC can't legally fund a fireworks show. You would think corporations could pull it off and I hope Riverfest explored that before pulling the plug, but it's hard for corporations to get approvals for a dime in under two weeks.

Anonymous said...

The worst union thru the city is Sanitation Public Works. There union and union President was only picked because his close buddies and all the family members that know each other in Sanitation. They should hire other city residents who really want a job and stop hiring family and friends for sanitation. It's ridiculous how guys work for Public Works and majority are either family or friends but don't give the chance to other city residents. Hear and observe. You'll then notice it's 100% the truth. Public Works has to many family and long time friends. 100% the real truth!!!