Bronin holds final public budget meeting Tuesday - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Bronin holds final public budget meeting Tuesday

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Mayor Luke Bronin speaks during Monday night's City Council Meeting. (WFSB photo) Mayor Luke Bronin speaks during Monday night's City Council Meeting. (WFSB photo)

Hartford's mayor holds his final budget meeting Tuesday night and look to gather more input in the city's financial future. 

Mayor Luke Bronin said the city is in dire straits and is looking at a number of potential cuts. He said the city deficit is in the millions. 

One solution to closing budget gap is by having a state panel have the final say over new union contracts. Many unions are against this proposal. 

"Whether or not there is a new law that would give us new tools  to deal with the crisis, we have a fiscal crisis. And the only way through that is to make some very difficult choices. They're going to have to be cuts. There are going to have to some significant concessions from labor unions. There's no way to get there without changes in contracts and changes in salaries," Bronin said. 

A city council meeting Monday night led to police being called to deal with hundreds of protesters, who said they were furious over a new proposal on union contracts. 

"Being an employee of Hartford, I'm just trying to get some information on the cuts," said Curtis Porter, a city employee.

Porter said he works for Hartford Public Schools and plans to buy a home in the city. However, he fears the idea of a tax hike. 

"We're not going to have the needed support in the schools to sustain a well maintained climate and culture and be able to provide all of our services," Porter said. 

Porter was among more than thirty residents who showed up to question the mayor about his plans to tackle the $10 million budget shortfall.

"I frankly don't think there's room t raise taxes in a city that's got a mill rate of 74 and charge," Bronin said.

Bronin said he had sought help from the cash-strapped state and has been negotiating with schools and non-profits to help lighten the burden.

"You can't just cut your way through a deficit like that," the mayor said. "You can't just put your hand out and ask our big companies to pay more."

Tuesday's meeting took place at the West Indian Social Club at 3340 Main St. 

City council is expected to get the mayor's budget later this month and then they will vote on whether to adopt some of the cuts. 

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