Hartford's Mayor Luke Bronin " the Grinch who stole Riverfest". Will he strike again at Christmastime and steal Winterfest also, what about next years St. Patrick's Day Parade?
I understand the need to get our financial house in order. No one is going to agree with all of the decisions being made, but I seriously have to question the rationale behind some of the cuts.
It almost seems like we as loyal servants are now going to feel the wrath of the King for not following the lead as royal subjects must do.
Especially in light of some of the decisions and the associated hidden costs that those decisions are going to place on us.
Take for example the Stadium. We haven't even begun to see the litigation costs, and eventual settlements associated with the decision to throw the developer off the project. And we know there is going to be litigation that threatens to tie the project up potentially for years as cases wind their way through our courts.
The only ones to benefit from that litigation will be the attorneys, and since the Office of the Corporation seems unable to function in real Courts, it will most likely be all outside Counsel paid for by Hartford's taxpayers
We have already seen the additional costs for the lapsed insurance on the Stadium as a result of Mayor Bronin terminating Centerplan from the stadium project. How much of that cost could have been applied toward Winterfest or Riverfest?
We have also seen the additional cost of a 24/7 round the clock "fire watch" being required at the Stadium. Probably at least a couple thousand dollars a day for the firefighters "PJ" pay. 3 firefighters per shift times 3 shifts a day times 7 days a week will add up quickly. How much of that cost could have been applied to Riverfest?
Putting the stadium aside, where else are we wasting money. Do we really need a full time legislative liason, especially when the Legislature is only in session for less than half the year. And did we really get our money's worth out of that position this year. I think I recall the big Bronin initiative at the legislature this year was Senate Bill 464. That bill is still smoldering on the North lawn of the Capitol after it crashed and burned in resounding style
And now a CFO and Finance Director. I would expect the CFO to at least be able to pay his car taxes to the city on time. Many of Hartford's people have had difficult times paying their car tax bills at our exorbitant mill rate, but I would hope the CFO that is going to supposedly be managing our money was able to pay his own tax bill on time. (thank you to Representative Matt Ritter and others for passing legislation that provided much need relief for cities like Hartford and their auto tax rates)
Now I will be the first to admit, that with Hartford's outrageous mill rate, car tax payments for myself and probably hundreds of other Hartford residents were not always a priority. But I would expect the City's potential Finance Director, who oversees the Tax Department, would be one of the people who would pay their car taxes on time.
I am not in the running for the position of Chief Financial Officer, if there is even such a position in Hartford, but I would think that the Mayor would check the financial background of anyone he was considering to nominate for that position. Especially the person who would manage a half billion dollar budget. Things like wage executions in Norfolk Virginia or delinquent taxes in Hartford might be telling and say something about their financial expertise (or lack therof)