The vote to select a City Council president is scheduled to take place tonight.
Doesn’t appear Tom McCarthy will have any problem securing the votes from his peers to remain president of the 20-member legislative body. East End councilman Andre Baker had been fishing for votes. If you hear of any antics let us know. The council president replaces the mayor should a vacancy occur.
This budget cycle should be a hoot to watch. Big Mac, not a fan of Superintendent of Schools John Ramos, is looking to assert a larger role in the shaping of the BOE budget. Get ready for some bottle rockets as three new members of the Board of Education–former City Council members Pat Crossin and Leticia Colon join Maria Pereira, elected on the Working Families Party line–weigh in on the single largest piece of the city’s roughly $500 million budget. The new budget year begins July 2010, but department heads are already working on respective budgets for submission to city bean counters and Mayor Bill Finch before the spending plan goes to the full council for examination in April.
Wage increases for police will also kick in for this budget cycle following a labor pact that called for zero increase the first two years. And what happens in Hartford has a gigantic impact on the city budget. As Republican Governor Jodi Rell deals with a near $500 million deficit she’d like to cut additional aid to cities and towns to help close the hole. Ouch. That simply passes the burden on to local taxpayers, say critics of her proposed cuts such as local chief executives and Democratic legislative leaders. One budget cycle remains for the lame-duck governor.
Join us at the OIB holiday party tonight at Épernay Bistro, 272 Fairfield Avenue downtown. Starts 5:30. Check out one of the city’s finest restaurants as part of Phil Kuchma’s Bijou Square redevelopment. Looks like Phil has his financing all lined up to move forward with completion of the project that includes restaurants, commercial space and residential units. Chef Peter Wroe has lined up some good eats for us. Bring your rumors and your humor.
From the Connecticut Post:
Firefighter settlement bill tops $100K
By Noelle Frampton
The settlement between the city and 12 white firefighters who were bumped down the promotional list when a test was re-scored last year will cost the city more than $100,000 — a price tag some call relatively cheap.
The city will pay about $22,594 in retroactive lieutenant wages to five firefighters under the Nov. 30 settlement of lawsuits filed over the re-scored exam, as well as pay lieutenant wages for the next two years to three white firefighters who had been promoted to lieutenant, but were demoted back to firefighters Wednesday to make way for the others.
“It was a good deal for the city,” said Associate City Attorney John Mitola, who worked on the case. “More importantly, it was a good deal for the Fire Department because we’re moving on now. The city also agreed to pay $75,000 in legal fees to the plaintiffs’ law firm, Cohen and Wolf, and $2,000 to the fire union, Local 834, for costs associated with the case.
Nineteen firefighters have been promoted since the city released its re-scored promotional list in July 2008, 18 of them in August 2008, according to documents filed with the settlement. Most would have been promoted anyway, but ranked differently. Four were promoted Wednesday as a result of the settlement.
The plaintiffs, including a Puerto Rican, had filed suit in federal court last April, eight months after several of them were denied promotions to lieutenant when the city re-scored the exam. The re-scoring lowered the standing of each on the list, said Courtney George, a lawyer with Cohen and Wolf who worked on the case.