New city Councilman Corey Brinson said today that he would decline his $15,000 city salary for serving on the panel, adding that he instead would like it to go toward closing the city's budget deficit or to help kids in Hartford pay for college.
The city is facing a $10 million shortfall this fiscal year and a projected $40 million deficit for 2011-12.
"I'm going to decline the entire salary for the remainder of my appointed term to the city council," he said today. "I volunteered to be there. I don't need the money."
"I'm not calling on any of my colleagues to do it. I just thought it was right for me," he added.
Brinson, a Republican, last month took over the seat vacated by his aunt, Veronica Airey-Wilson. He will serve in the position for the remainder of Airey-Wilson's term, which runs through January 2012.
Brinson runs a private law practice---the law office of Corey J. Brinson--in Hartford, where he focuses on criminal defense and employment issues.
Town and City Clerk John Bazzano said he is unsure what will happen with Brinson's salary.
"This is the first time, as far as I know, that this has ever happened," he said, referring to the salary forfeiture.
As far as establishing a scholarship fund for Hartford kids, Bazzano said he isn't sure if it's possible.
Saundra Kee Borges, the city's corporation counsel, could not be reached for comment today.
Brinson posted this on his Facebook page:
"Yesterday I informed the Mayor that I would not accept the annual $15,000 salary for serving on the Hartford City Council. This money should be used to send poor, deserving city kids to college so that they too can succeed. It can also be used to close the multimillion dollar budget deficit that Hartford will be facing next year. I didn't get into government to make money; I am here to serve the people and lead."