You would think that in a cash strapped City like Hartford, which is teetering on the brink of Bankruptcy, every salary dollar would be evaluated to make sure we are getting our money's worth.
I have to ask then, why do we have a Deputy Director of Public Works who apparently can't be called upon to fill the top position of Director when it became vacant?
Instead we take our Fire Chief to fill in as Interim Acting Director ?
Now let me make this clear right from the start. Hartford's Fire Chief has worked wonders in his short one year tenure. He is more than capable, an excellent manager, an inspirational leader, simply a man of vision who knows how to work with people.
Chief Freeman has turned the Hartford Fire Department around from an organization that was becoming a laughing stock due to numerous arrests, gun fights, drug dealing and essentially just bad behavior to an organization with pride and rising morale.
Would I like to see that same trend continue at DPW, quite honestly yes. But not at the detriment of diluting the leadership at HFD. I have no doubt Chief Freeman earns every penny of his salary as Fire Chief and I think he could probably be called upon to run most City Departments and do it very well (Well, maybe with the exception of Corporation Counsel, that would take a law degree. But I have every confidence Chief Freeman could even do that by surrounding himself with the right people)
If the Deputy Director of Public Works David Tanner is not capable, or unwilling, to step into the top leadership role at DPW, that is a six figure salary we as a nearly broke City can not afford.
I would hope that the Assistant Chief's in the Fire Department and the Deputy Chief's in the Police Department would be able to assume the lead role when called upon and the Deputy at DPW should be competent enough to fill in temporarily when needed as well. If Mayor Bronin does not have the confidence that Deputy Director Tanner can do that, then we should stop wasting the salary for a figurehead and find someone who can .Stop gambling with the leadership of HFD, especially since HFD seems to be running smoothly now, for the first time in many years.