Roldan To Introduce Legislation Banning Pension Padding
By Jenna Carlesso
December 20, 2010
Cityline meant to post this last week, but we've been bogged down with other stuff. State Rep. Kelvin Roldan put out a press release Thursday about his intention to introduce legislation that would prevent politicians from padding their pensions while in office.
"The pension padding ban is in response to pension enhancement offered this year by the administration of Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra which will allow two elected city officials, including a city councilwoman arrested in a corruption investigation, to retire during their terms in office with pension enhancements that will cost city taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars," the press release states.
Rumors swirled last week that Roldan may be considering a run for mayor of Hartford in the upcoming election. Reached by phone, Roldan told Cityline that at this point, he is only focusing on the upcoming session and legislation that he plans to introduce. He would not say one way or another if he is thinking of running for mayor.
Roldan's press release is below:
ROLDÁN INTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO STRENGTHEN MUNICIPAL ETHICS AND PREVENT PENSION PADDING BY POLITICIANS
In response to recent scandals in communities like Hartford and Shelton, State Representative Kelvin Roldán (D-Hartford) announced today that he will introduce legislation this session to prevent municipal contractors from giving expensive gifts to town officials and prevent politicians from padding their pensions while in office.
The first piece of legislation will prevent town and board of education officials from receiving anything of value exceeding $100 in a calendar year from a municipal contractor, prospective contractor or individual with matters before a planning and zoning commission. Towns with a functioning ethics commission may set a lower gift threshold. The second piece of legislation will prevent local town councils from using taxpayer funds to enhance the pensions of elected officials during their terms in office, as has been the practice of the General Assembly.
The pension padding ban is in response to pension enhancement offered this year by the administration of Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra which will allow two elected city officials, including a city councilwoman arrested in a corruption investigation, to retire during their terms in office with pension enhancements that will cost city taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars.
"It is stunning that in these difficult financial times that a city administration would make it a priority to pad the pensions of elected politicians with tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars while residents are faced with the potential for drastic cuts in city services and increased taxes. Elected officials must put the needs of the people they serve before the financial well being of their fellow politicians." Roldán stated.
The gift ban legislation is in response to scandals in Hartford, Shelton and other communities where developers and municipal contractors have provided expensive gifts to municipal officials.
"There is no uniform rule across the state on how to deal with gifts from contractors to municipal officials that control hundreds of millions of dollars in local contracts. The fact is that expensive gifts from contractors to municipal officials can create the appearance of undue influence in awarding bids or rendering decisions. After years of debating this issue, the State of Connecticut needs to set unambiguous bright line that will provide clear guidance to local officials and the public about the acceptable standards for behavior in this area," Rep. Roldán said.