Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra said his administration has been discussing a reduction in the city's car fleet since last year, before two illegal incidents involving city employees and city-owned cars. During a panel discussion on Where We Live in downtown Hartford, Segarra framed the discussion largely as a fiscal one.
The city's discussion on budget cuts includes reducing the number of taxpayer funded cars. But Segarra said the city must do this "in a way that it doesn't compromise public safety or an adequate response to an emergency." He placed a large-part of the blame on his predecessor.
"The previous administration entered into these long-term lease agreements of these vehicles, which I've been working very hard to reduce," said Segarra. Part of the reason why there are so many city cars is due to a previous collective bargaining agreement, something that Segarra said he's already trying to change. "I'm not going to wait for the union contracts to expire," he said. "I've actually given instructions to our corporation counsel and my chief-of-staff to make sure that as we move forward right now in the concessions discussion that that issue comes up."
The use of city cars came under scrutiny when it was revealed that Segarra's former chief-of-staff Jared Kupiec continued to use his vehicle after leaving his position, and another city employee crashed her city vehicle while driving under the influence.