It didn't take long for at least one city councilman to weigh in with his colleagues about Matt Hennessy's $11,400 bonus from Mayor Eddie A. Perez.
On Saturday, Councilman Matt Ritter emailed his council colleagues - suggesting draft language for an ordinance "immediately discontinuing the 'exceptional service increment' program" by which Hennessy is to get his bonus -- at the same time that he leaves the city's employ.
"It is extremely disappointing to me that the City Council, which is the duly elected legislative body and budget-making authority for the City of Hartford, has never been informed nor included in the decision to distribute any of these payments," Ritter said in the email.
In an interview Sunday, Ritter said, "No more bonuses until we've had a chance to review it."
Below is Ritter's email, and the response from Democratic Majority Leader rJo Winch. More is likely to come from Cityline on this today.
Note: We changed the order of the two emails below for ease of reading.
----- Original Message -----
From: Ritter, Matthew D.
To: City Council
Sent: Sat Aug 29 08:19:13 2009
Subject: Ordinance Immediately Discontinuing the "Exceptional Service Increment" Program
Hi all- I am looking for suggestions, ideas and co-sponsors...below is some draft language and initial thoughts I have. It is extremely disappointing to me that the City Council, which is the duly elected legislative body and budget-making authority for the City of Hartford, has never been informed nor included in the decision to distribute any of these payments, which have exceeded $200,000 in the past 4 years. Andrea will be drafting something early next week so please include her on any thoughts, ideas you might have. Thanks as always.
-a. an immediate end to the Exceptional Service Increment ("ESI") for any City employee until further review by the City Council -b. creating standards and criteria for any future programs like this, including not giving any payment to an employee who is leaving the City -c. ensuring that the City Council has to authorize any future payments-- perhaps the following persons: the President, Minority Leader and Chair of Labor and OMB
From: Winch, Rosezina J.
To: City Council
Cc: Andrea Comer
Sent: Aug 29, 2009 10:13 AM
Subject: Re: Ordinance Immediately Discontinuing the "Exceptional Service Increment" Program
Prior to creating such an ordinance we should consult with Human relations, Human Resoueces and Corp Council to see if this is policy, past practice or at the descretion of supervisors.
While I agree with the concept we should do our research prior to implementing any ordinance to further limit the abilities of Dept Heads to reward city employees who they feel have performed admirably.