Segarra Calls For Shared Sacrifice, Gives Chief Of Staff $20,000 Raise
Segarra says Chief of Staff Jared Kupiec works 24/7
By Jeff Cohen
March 30, 2012
The city of Hartford is facing a roughly 10 percent budget shortfall next year -- more than $50 million. But as WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, Mayor Pedro Segarra is also giving out raises.
Here's how the numbers break down. According to the city, Segarra got a five percent raise -- about $7,600. He was more generous, though, with others in his office. Jared Kupiec, his chief of staff, got a 21 percent raise -- that's a $20,000 salary bump.
Segarra says his own salary is tied to that of a state court judge, by charter. But he conceded he didn't have to take the raise.
"Or, I could just abide by statute and charter and then just donate the extra money to the many charities that I donate to."
As for the $20,000 raise to his chief of staff -- Segarra said he underpaid Kupiec on a probationary basis at first. But now, he deserves to make what the city's previous chief of staff made. Plus, he says Kupiec works nonstop.
Cohen: I understand you say he works hard. But how do people take you seriously, then, when you talk about shared sacrifice, when a guy who is your chief of staff just got a $20,000 raise?
Segarra: Because I can hire either three people at $90,000 or I can have someone who puts out the equivalent of three people at $115,000. People need to do that math.
Working Families Councilman Larry Deutsch took the mayor up on his offer. He did the math and found this: These raises total more than $48,000. Meanwhile, Deutsch says he is pleading with the mayor's office to get about $40,000 to keep a homeless shelter open. To him, that doesn't compute. He called Kupiec's raise both "scandalous" and "outrageous."
"It may well be the chief of staff works hard, but so do many others of us."
Earlier this month, WNPR also reported that Kupiec got his first city car, and the mayor got a new one.