fire dept.

IDEAS FOR 50 MILLION CARROT STICKS

This is a reader-submitted piece by Miguel Jose Matos, Hartford resident of twenty years. This fits in with our Suggestion Box series and addresses the recent pledge of $50 million over five years to the City of Hartford by Aetna, The Hartford, and Travelers.

by Miguel Jose Matos

by Miguel Jose Matos

 

Three of our local corporations have stepped up as committed partners to back Hartford to the tune of $50 million dollars over five years, if the City can get its financial house under control and come up with a workable plan for a viable future.

Funding the money hinges on the City putting forth a comprehensive and sustainable set of solutions for Hartford. The key piece of language in the corporate announcement was to be “part of” a plan, this was the clue. But based on media reports, the “when and how” have not been clearly spelled out, so it’s a great carrot but as yet no one is sure how long the stick is, and what will it take for our community to come together. A little over three million a year from each company is a great start.

“Push the corporate folk to drop their dime, while the City hammers out some fixes, use their dimes now to fund fixes; that without money remain unfixable”.

$10 million over 5 years is a good first step when having to climb out of a sinkhole fifty million dollars deep. But to get grounded we must back into the numbers, because the City is crippled with debt and limping with weak cash flow. It will be difficult to concoct a financial plan strong enough because of the City’s weak cash position, only making it harder to satisfy the conditional $50M Corporate Offer.

Corporate leaders are good community folks doing their part, protecting their investment and their workforce, but they understand risk and do not want to throw good money after bad. This narrative puts the City in a tricky position.

This point in time is a good opportunity to show the local corporations that the City has a plan that can be funded bit by bit with the corporate funds that are being offered. A project-by-project funding process based on a pay for performance system may mitigate some the upfront risk that has tied these moneys with a tough condition.

This tactic has relevance because it is not meant to only address the corporate funding offer, but to serve as the foundation for an annual Business Challenge Fund. Let’s get back to the corporations and be as corporate in approach as they are. Corner their attention by putting forth a recovery plan that is based on a return on their money and their participation. The approach is in many ways how corporations look at investing themselves. (more…)

Best Most Awesome Superlatives 2016

Winner of the Weirdest Award

Winner of the Weirdest Award

This has been, in countless ways, a crap year.

In terms of Hartford-specific issues, it hasn’t been so bad, but that has gotten drowned out by the presidential election, all of our crushes from the 80’s dying, and a billion other things like plane crashes, environmental racism, Muhammad AliAleppo, Orlando, and Princess Leia.

Still, our ridiculous awards must go on. If it helps, imagine us shoving a fiery dumpster down the red carpet. Because there is nothing more appropriate to round out this year. (more…)

Suggestion Box: Patching the Budget Hole

How we got here

The City of Hartford’s economic problems did not just happen. They did not spring up when Mayor Bronin was sworn into office. They did not emerge last year or even the year before that. (more…)

Most Best Awesome Superlatives of 2014

There are people who hate year-end lists because it sounds like the creator is putting out some clickbait while spending his days going to Christmas parties.

We’re using this opportunity to review the operation of the city and the City– what helped to build up Hartford and who needs to have a time out to think about what he has done. (more…)

Investigations All Around

On Friday, Mayor Segarra announced that what he calls an “independent task force” has been created to review the fire department. This task force includes former fire chiefs — Charles Teale, John Stewart, Nelson Carter, and Edward Casares — and current police chief, James Rovella.

Segarra’s spokesperson said the task force exists “to examine the department’s command structure, its resources, firefighter training and recruitment” and will “review state, federal and board inquiries into the death of Firefighter Kevin Bell.” Recommendations that emerge from this will be made to Segarra and Hartford Fire Department’s Chief Huertas.

The creation of this task force follows a number of HFD problems, from the death of Kevin Bell to the accidental discharge of a firearm to lieutenants brawling at a site, and more. Lots, lots more.

The most serious of those — a firefighter’s loss of life while on the job — occurred in October. (more…)

Dispatching with Safety

Nothing on the City Council agenda hinted at there being a shortage of emergency telephone operators, yet person-after-person in Council Chambers spoke about the need for more dispatchers.

The public learned that for approximately the last three months, some dispatchers have had mandatory double shifts almost every day. 16-hour shifts. Some members work over 100 hours each week. (more…)

Weather Information Without the Panic

Updated at 4:15pm on February 13, 2013: The Hartford Public Schools are scheduled to re-open tomorrow, February 14th, with a one-hour delay.

Parents, you can all rejoice.

Updated at 6:30 pm on February 12, 2013: Mayor Segarra says, “We have approximately 550 streets and 500 curbside miles in Hartford and as of right now they are all passable, meaning emergency vehicles and cars can get in and out.”

The parking ban will be lifted at noon on February 13th for downtown. Vehicles were already parking illegally on Main Street this afternoon. [Note: The Courant is reported a different time for the parking ban lift. The time reported on Real Hartford is coming straight from a City of Hartford press release]

In a press release from the City of Hartford, it is stated that the parking ban will be lifted in the neighborhoods at midnight on February 13, 2013.

Vehicles parked in school lots need to be moved before 6a.m. on February 14th, as it is expected that the Hartford Public Schools will reopen on Thursday.

The Emergency Operations Center is slated to close at noon tomorrow.

Updated at 4:40pm on February 12, 2013:

All of Hartford Public Schools will be closed again tomorrow, Wednesday, February 13, 2013.

The Hartford Public Schools have had to contend with a series of concerns complicated by the slow snow removal from sidewalks and streets. Besides checking the structural safety of roofs, it’s been necessary to ensure that children can safely access bus stops. Anyone who has walked around Hartford since the storm can attest to the fact that there are few, if any, curb cuts in certain areas, meaning that pedestrians have to either climb over huge mounds of snow or walk in the roadway. As of Tuesday morning, the sidewalk on Lawrence Street around the Maria Sanchez School had not been cleared. Some schools lots continue to be used by neighborhood residents due to the ongoing parking ban. (more…)