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City of Hartford Pension Fund Exceeds $1 Billion Dollars in Assets

(January 28, 2014) The City of Hartford Treasurer’s Office announced today that the year-end value of the City of Hartford Municipal Employees Retirement Fund (MERF) exceeded $1 billion dollars in assets while serving over 5,000 participants.

“This is the first time that the MERF’s assets have exceeded a billion dollars since the global financial crisis began in 2008,” said Treasurer Adam M. Cloud.  “The crisis led to a major decline in pension values all over the world, and triggered unprecedented tightening of consumer and corporate credit and also damaged the mortgage markets.  During this period in 2008, MERF assets fell to a level of $840 million dollars.” 

Upon taking office, City Treasurer Cloud oversaw a restructuring of the MERF’s assets designed to improve investment returns, enhance diversification and reduce investment return volatility.  While achieving these goals, the MERF has also revised and updated its investment policies. In recognizing this milestone, Pension Commission Chairman Peter Stevens acknowledged the hard work that has taken place to get the MERF to where it currently is and “fully appreciates the collective efforts taken by the Treasurer, the Office of the Mayor and the City Council in their continued support in making sure that the City is able to meet its payment obligations to those that have committed their careers for the betterment of our residents and businesses.”

Mayor Pedro E. Segarra offered the following statement, “I’m pleased that the market is performing better than it was in 2008. I appreciate the work done by the Treasurer, his team, and the Pension Commission and look forward to collaborating to maintain the soundness of the MERF for the benefit of City employees and retirees.”

Since inception, the MERF has outperformed its 8% assumed rate of return and the MERF’s funded ratio currently stands at 79%. During 2013, the MERF earned 9% on its assets.

The City Treasurer, in his role as Secretary of Hartford’s Pension Commission, and pursuant to the Charter of the City of Hartford, is custodian for and manages all the assets of the MERF.

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For Immediate Release: January 28, 2014
Contact: Carmen Sierra, Assistant City Treasurer
p. (860) 757-9107
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Tuesday: Mayor Segarra Will Appear on PBS NewsHour to Offer Commentary and Response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address

(January 27, 2014) On Tuesday, January 28th, Mayor Pedro E. Segarra will appear on PBS NewsHour as part of a panel of mayors offering commentary and response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address. Joining Mayor Segarra on the panel will be Mayor Scott Smith of Mesa, AZ, Mayor Mike Cornett of Oklahoma City, OK, and Mayor Marilyn Strickland of Tacoma, WA. The program will begin at 9pm and air for the entirety of the President’s remarks and the Republican response, followed by reaction and analysis from commentators across the political spectrum.

 

WHO: Mayor Segarra, Mayor Strickland of Tacoma, WA, Mayor Cornett of Oklahoma City, OK, Mayor Smith of Mesa, AZ
WHAT: State of the Union Commentary and Response
WHEN: Tuesday, January 28, following the President's address beginning at 9pm
WHERE:

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For Immediate Release: January 27, 2014

Contact: Maribel La Luz
p. (860) 757-9731
c. (860) 539-5485
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Thursday: Hartford City Hall Hosts First Annual Boys & Girls Clubs “Festival of the Arts”

(January 24, 2014) On January 30th, from 7 to 9pm, Hartford City Hall will play host to the first annual Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford’s “Festival of the Arts.” The event is being produced by The Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford, in conjunction with the City’s Department of Families, Children, Youth and Recreation, and will feature over 200 works from local youth artists, live jazz music, food, and awards.

“It’s great to bring young people and members of the community together to celebrate art,” said Mayor Pedro E. Segarra. “We’re fortunate to have a shared space as beautiful as City Hall to host this event. I’m looking forward to it.”

The Festival of the Arts was born from the combination of two existing Boys & Girls Clubs events: the ImageMakers National Photography Program, which encourages education and practice in black and white, color, digital and alternative process photography, and the Fine Arts Exhibit Program, which focuses on drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, mixed media, and sculpture.

WHO: Mayor Segarra, Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford, community members
WHAT: Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford Festival of the Arts
WHERE: Hartford City Hall, 550 Main St
WHEN: Thursday, January 30th, 7pm – 9pm

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For Immediate Release: January 24, 2014
Contact: Nelky Maldonado
p. (860) 757-9890
o. (860) 757-9595
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ICYMI: Hartford’s Mayor Segarra Receives National Award in Washington DC Today, for his Leadership in Youth Employment

(January 23, 2014) The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) announced today, that Mayor Pedro E. Segarra of Hartford, CT, won first place for medium/small cities in their 1st Annual USCM National SummerYouth Jobs Challenge. This award honors the outstanding achievements in innovative partnerships between cities and local business and non-profit communities to help provide youth with meaningful summer job experiences.

The award is being presented to Mayor Segarra in Washington D.C. during The U.S. Conference of Mayors 82nd Annual Winter Meeting. Approximately 250 mayors, USCM business council members, USCM Workforce Development Council members and other workforce development professionals from major cities across the country will be in attendance.

 Mayor Segarra is committed to the youth and future workforce of the city of Hartford.  Since taking office in 2010, Segarra has invested regularly in youth employment programming, leverageing state and foundationfunds to further expand work opportunities for young people. In 2013, the Mayor secured $1.25 million, that put nearly half of the 2,056 youth in the region to work.  Additionally, in conjunction with 4 other regional mayors, he spearheaded an “unsubsidized” youth employment campaign, aligned with the Obama administration’s Youth Jobs + effort.  That effort resulted in a further 208 employer-paid positions. 

 Also in attendance will be Capital Workforce Partners President and CEO, Tom Phillips who was the 2012 President of the U. S. Conference of Mayor’s Workforce Development Council, and whose organization is instrumental in finding worksites and providing career competencies for over 2,000 youth in the North Central Connecticut region each summer. 

 Along with Mayor Segarra, the USCM will recognize Eugene Morton, a Hartford resident who participated in employment opportunities created through Segarra’s youth initiatives. A 2007 graduate of Hartford’s Sports and Medical Sciences Academy, Morton is currently a Marketing major at Central Connecticut State University with a 4.0 average. In 2013, Eugene took advantage of a summer employment opportunity at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center. He worked in Lifeline and later transferred to the Human Resources Department where he continued to work to cover his tuition costs, books and other necessities for his studies. Eugene was one of 13 college students who participated in the summer youth employment program offered at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in partnership with the Blue Hills Civic Association. Eugene anticipates graduating in the fall of 2014.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more.  There are 1,399 such cities in the country today, and each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/usmayors, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/usmayors

 

HARTFORD CITY HALL ADDRESS: 550 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06103 PHONE: (860)757-9311 HOURS: 8AM - 5PM