I think he has partially succeeded since our Police and Fire Department are both on the verge of a major crisis. HPD is well over a hundred officers short and severely understaffed. Last Saturday alone the midnight shift had almost ten officers on overtime. That is close to half of the officers on duty at the time (minimum staffing is apparently 21 officers). On Sunday, almost one quarter of the HPD officers were on overtime.
The previous weekend, the special events detail for the Circus at the XL Center and the Yard Goats game were understaffed by 14 officers, about half of the entire detail. How do you think that will float when public safety is an issue for people coming to the Dunkin Donuts Park because the Police are unable to staff the events?
HFD is in the same position facing upwards of 40 seasoned firefighters ready to bail before Jul;y 1st.
Currently HPD may be facing an exodus of almost 40 officers eligible to leave and in addition, sources within HPD have told me that anywhere from 20 to 40 officers are pursuing opportunities with other agencies and towns and have requested information from the City as to their benefits if they were to leave.
In case Mayor Bronin is too busy campaigning for himself and others across the State to realize this, Hartford is about to face a huge Public Safety crisis. Actually, we are already in a crisis, it is only going to get worse, much worse , as the summer months approach.
Luke is bankrupt on any solutions or leadership to get Hartford back on a sustainable footing and I think that has become clearly evident to anyone paying attention. His threats of bankruptcy for the City are most like a ploy to pressure the State into coughing up the needed funds to bail Hartford out. It would be disastrous to file for bankruptcy, as well as immoral, to file without doing anything and everything possible to avoid it.
Take a moment and think back, what has Luke Bronin done to change the systemic problems in Hartford. Does the word "NOTHING" come to mind. Sure he laid off numerous low end, lower paid employees to bolster his argument to the Union's that they needed to make concessions and be part of the solution....or else! But at the same time he loaded up the opposite end of City staffing with numerous salaries approaching or over $100K a year.
His Youth job Corp might have been a good idea, but who knows, we will probably never see realistic numbers on that program
Bronin's tendency to blame the City's problems on its employees is not doing anything to build our City or its neighborhoods. If anything, just the opposite if we lose more dedicated and hardworking employees who feel their benefits and financial security are in imminent jeopardy.
If Luke thinks our Police Officers and Firefighter's are riding the City of Hartford gravy train, I would urge him to run down Franklin Avenue with one of those dedicated officers as some lunatic with a gun is firing back, after they just shot a couple people in broad daylight on a busy street. Maybe he could follow a couple police officers as they run into an occupied apartment building filled with thick black choking smoke as they try to rescue residents, ending up in the hospital themselves for their heroic efforts. That is what our overpaid public servants do, day in and day out Mayor Bronin.
Maybe, just Maybe Mayor, instead of playing the political games to advance your own career, you could come up with solutions to help the people that voted for you. Maybe it is time to roll up your sleeves to actually get to work, and not just as a gimmick when you saunter out to the podium at your dog and pony shows. (It would be interesting to see who Luke's PAC just paid $7,000 in direct mailings for in February)
Why haven't we filed a lawsuit against the State of Connecticut to force them to pay their statutory requirements under PILOT. Paying only 35 or 40 percent of what they owe us is not right. Maybe everyone from Hartford should only pay 35% of their DMV registrations when they come due. Hey, it is only fair, if the State of Connecticut can do it, why shouldn't we?
And a PILOT lawsuit is a court filing that would do a lot more for the City of Hartford than the damage any bankruptcy ever would. And it might just force the State's hand instead of threatening them with bankruptcy.