WNPR

Segarra: School Bonuses Could Be "Inappropriate"

Feb 4, 2011

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra is taking the city's schools superintendent to task for issuing a series of bonuses to district employees. Segarra says he understands the bonuses total about $2.7 million -- a figure that seemed to frustrated the mayor of this cash-strapped city. In a letter to Superintendent Steven Adamowski, Segarra said he wants to know why these bonuses were issued, what criteria was used in a awarding them, and who approved them.  "Obviously, as the CEO, I need to be in the position where I can justify and explain the rationale for these bonuses to our citizens and other stakeholders." In his letter, Segarra said that while some of the bonuses may be contractually mandated, he siad the bonuses were, "inappropriate," without justification or explanation. "One of the things that I've always been very strong about is transparency of budgets and to make sure that when we present budgets, and the rationale, that the rationale is something that is both logical and consistent with the best practices." Segarra asked Adamowski to respond by the middle of the month.  In an email to WNPR, Adamowski said that the school system is the most improved district in the state -- and that performance-based pay, such as a bonus, is one reason for the success.  Adamowski said he would like the board of education and Segarra to discuss this issue further. The bonuses were first reported by blogger Kevin Brookman, at his site We The People Hartford.