In his state of the city speech this evening,  the mayor of Hartford discussed the financial challenges facing the city, as it prepares a budget.  The city has a projected $70-million deficit.

Text of the mayor’s speech:  Hartford State of the City 2013

Pedro Segarra says he has already found ways to eliminate about half of the projected shortfall.

“We should not ignore deficits, but we should not panic and obsess about them either,” Segarra said.

Segarra says the city has faced projected deficits in his previous years in office.  He says the city has always balanced its books.

He says the city’s revenue is expected to be flat, while employee contracts, health insurance, pensions and inflation are all expected to increase the city’s expenses.

“Now we go back and we study our pension, we study our health benefits, and we try to leverage some other programs that we have for infrastructure,” Segarra said. “We are in the process of reissuing debt to take advantage of low interest rates to save us some money.”

Segarra says the city has been aggressive in rebidding contracts to get lower costs for services.

At a meeting following the mayor’s speech, the city council sent a proposed hiring freeze to a council committee for more consideration.  The freeze would include public safety positions.  The council also planned to consider trying to put the brakes on overtime.

Segarra also knocked on his lectern, as he noted that one form of violence has been absent from the city so far this year.

“It is a consequence of the good work of our police chief, our shooting task force, our police, our communities, our faith communities and everyone involved, that this is the first time in decades that we have made it this far into the year without a single homicide,” Segarra said.

He received a standing ovation.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

More From CBS Connecticut

Watch CBSN Live
CBS Entertainment

Listen Live