In Hartford, a current leader and a future leader have turned down large raises right before the new year, but for very different reasons.
About $40,000 worth of cash, slated for current and future Hartford leader’s paychecks, has essentially been returned back to the city’s coffers.
"It’s very important to me to set the tone from the very start...that we are a transparent and accountable administration,” said Mayor-Elect Luke Bronin, who is declining a $20,000 raise that had been built into the city budget.
Bronin said Hartford’s massive budget shortfall makes it the wrong time for any mayor to accept a raise.
“I suspect that as we get into this year we're going to be making some tough decisions and asking people to recognize that we've got to make some tough decisions, so it only felt right that I make the tough decision right at the start,” Bronin said.
The new mayor said he will work unpaid days to keep the mayor’s salary at $147,600.
On Wednesday, Hartford City Treasurer Adam Cloud agreed to return his controversial $20,000 raise.
"I’ve had conversations with treasurer Cloud. I think he understands that the process was flawed, that it was not a transparent or proper process and that's the reason he made the decision he did,” Bronin said.
Cloud received the pay bump over the summer, but some city council members said they never approved it, and accused Cloud of giving it to himself.
On Wednesday, Cloud agreed to give up the raise and return any extra cash he received.
Bronin said it was the right call.
“I think it's critically important that we send a clear message that we're going to run a city hall that is transparent, that's accountable, so I commend the treasurer for making the right decision to reject the raise and reimburse the taxpayers,” Bronin said.
Eyewitness News reached out to Cloud seeking comment but he did not respond.
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