(April 2, 2013) – Mayor Pedro E. Segarra released the following statement regarding his veto of the Court of Common Council’s resolution to impose overtime and hiring freezes:
“I was elected to this office with a clear public mandate; to make the City of Hartford safer and improve the overall quality of life. Council’s actions make it impossible for the Departments of Public Works (DPW), Police and Fire to keep people safe, respond to emergencies and keep streets clean.
“It’s absurd to suggest that either a Chief or a Department Head needs to call a Council member to get approval before responding to an emergency. We’ve had three homicides recently. We need more police officers not less. The more officers we have, the safer our streets and the less overtime that's necessary.
“Council receives financial reports every month and sees the same numbers I do; we’ve spent 60% of our adopted budget, which is exactly where we should be with 5 months left before the close of the fiscal year.
“Over the past 10 years, before becoming Mayor, DPW lost more than 100 employees. Since 2010 we’ve added approximately 35 back — the majority Hartford residents — and we need to do more to continue improving the delivery of basic and essential city services: clean parks, installation of speed tables in advance of warm weather and pothole filling. It is one thing to do more with less, but quite another to actually do less because we've foolishly tied one hand behind our backs. What Council has proposed is impractical and inconsistent with our charge as leaders.
“Although they, just like me, will need to answer to residents as to why our City has regressed if these freezes are imposed; I have no intention of risking the safety of our City and the progress we’ve made. Our residents, businesses and children deserve better. “
For Immediate Release: April 2, 2013
Contact: Maribel La Luz