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Hartford Council Minority Leader Takes On Segarra

By Jeff Cohen

May 23, 2012

Larry Deutsch is the minority leader from the Working Families Party.

Here’s an email he sent out this morning. In short, Deutsch wants employees at the top of the city’s pay scale to take a harder hit than those at the bottom when it comes to sharing in the sacrifice of the city’s budget. Looks like Segarra may do otherwise.

Letter to City employees, the public, and the press:

Many of us appreciate the Mayor’s message to Council and the Public regarding approval of a budget, which for review I quote as follows: “I am pleased that, working with City Council members and the City Treasurer, we were able to reach a budget agreement that does exactly what residents and business owners have asked of their elected officials: reduced spending,… I do, however, have a concern with the resolutions that require progressive furlough days based on salary. While I understand and appreciate the sentiment, I am troubled by the adverse impact that this type of policy would have on our city management systems. Instead, I intend to focus on payroll direct deposit and limit the impact of any and all furlough days.”

We MUST note sharp difference with his final comment. City Council passed by a good margin, very consciously and deliberately, the resolution that any furlough days and savings for taxpayers be FAIRLY designed, with smallest sacrifice from workers and families least able to afford it.

Council was well aware of calculations and consequences of this new money-saving furlough policy, including how it impacts city management as well as vital front-line workers and services. Like the public, Council is also aware of out-of-proportion raises already given to top management, as in big corporations, but now at taxpayers’ expense.

In the past, Mr. Segarra condemned a previous Chief of Staff for minimizing Council resolutions as only “advisory”. How do we now read a similar remark that “…instead, I intend to focus on…” that is different from what Council resolved?

So, since the Mayor raised such concern, probably all workers, Hartford families, the press, and City website should continue attention to these issues of fairness and sacrifice.

Larry Deutsch, Minority Leader, Hartford City Council

Reprinted with permission of Jeff Cohen, author of the blog Capital Region Report. To view other stories on this topic, search Capital Region Report at http://capitalregionreport.wordpress.com/.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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