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Wed April 13, 2011
Segarra: City Will End Year With Money To Spare
Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra says that the city will likely end the year with money to spare. And in a week where the mayor has faced some of his toughest questioning, WNPR's Jeff Cohen tells us that Segarra was happy to report good news. Since Sunday, Segarra has faced concerns about his ethics disclosures raised by paid consultants to his political opponent -- all of whom were advisors to convicted former Mayor Eddie Perez. Now, Segarra wants to talk about something else. He says the city will likely end the year in the black, that residents won't get a supplemental tax bill, and that he hopes to contribute more than a million dollars to the rainy day fund -- which the city calls a fund balance. "This is real. This is not a made-up event to get people's attention. This is real . My administration has been fiscally responsible, I think that's newsworthy, I think that's good news, I think it should be reported, and I'm happy -- more than happy -- to report it." Segarra said the city started the year off with a roughly $12.5 million dollar deficit. Now, after three quarters, he says he's closed that gap with a combination of retirement incentive programs, a hiring freeze of non-essential employees, and money from property sales, rental agreements, and other smaller revenue sources. "If we look at how we have ben trending and how we have been managing, it looks like we will defeat and bring our deficit to zero. I am very proud of my staff and I'm very proud of the work that we have done in order to close this deficit. If we had not done that, we would have had to go back to the fund balance -- as was done prior to my administration." Segarra spent the morning at the capitol, urging the governor and unions to reach a deal on the state budget. The city relies heavily on state funding. Segarra says, if they don't reach a deal... "It could be described in one term. It will would be catastrophic." The mayor will submit his budget for next year to the city on Monday. For WNPR, I'm Jeff Cohen.