Council Previews & Reviews >> Reviews > February 13, 2008

Council Review
Hartford City Council Meeting

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Prepared by:
Hartford Public Library, and Hartford 2000

There were 38 items on the original agenda.  Six more items were submitted during the meeting.  The next regular Council meeting will be held on Monday, February 25, 2008 at 7 P.M. in the Council Chambers in Hartford City Hall.  There will be two public hearings this month: on Monday, February 19, 2008 at 7 PM and on Monday, February 25, 2008 at 7 PM.

The Review contains a selection of items.  Actions taken on all items on this agenda can be found online at

Noise Ordinance The Council adopted an ordinance amending the portion of the Municipal Code that regulates noise.  The amendments had two public hearings and were recommended by the Council’s Quality of Life and Public Safety Committee.  The ordinance contains a provision that, in the absence of a sound level meter, any noise plainly audible at a distance of one hundred (100) feet from its source, to a person of normal hearing, constitutes prima facie evidence of a violation of the Municipal Code.  (Items #13 and 19)

Please Note:  The Hartford Public Library and Hartford 2000 will sponsor a panel discussion on the Noise Ordinance at the downtown Library on the evening of Tuesday, February 19, 2008.  Speakers include Council President Calixto Torres, Police Chief Daryl Roberts, and HART Executive Director Marilyn Rossetti.  Former Councilman Dr. Bob Painter will moderate.  Refreshments will be available at 5:30 and the program will begin at 6 PM.  The session is free.

Health and Social Service Issues for the Homeless – The Council received an item forwarded by the Health and Human Services Committee entitled Homeless Population in Hartford:  Urgent Health and Social Services Issues.  The report contains several recommendations including that an accelerated search for funding be performed, that state legislation regarding provision of personal and medical discharge documentation be proposed, that meetings take place with the Governor and the Capital Region Council of Governments (CRCOG) to develop regional approaches, and that the City Council and Governor visit homeless shelters.  (Item #9)

Property Tax Reform – The Council adopted a resolution, submitted at the meeting by the Chair of the Finance & Management Committee, accepting all but two of the recommendations made by the Property Tax Reform Task Force, that require action by the State General Assembly.  The recommendations were discussed by the Council’s Finance & Management and the Legislative Affairs Committees and a public hearing was held on January 22nd.  The Task Force will also be submitting a second set of recommendations which will require action by the City.  The resolution approved by the Council also contained requests for information from the Administration to be provided by February 19, 2008 so that additional discussion may take place in Council Committees prior to additional action by the full Council.  (Items #14 and 43)

Referendum on Salaries of City Council Members – The Council postponed action on a proposed ordinance that, if approved, will result in a referendum being on the ballot for the November 2008 election on whether or not the salaries of City Council members should be raised to $26,650 from the current salary of $15,000.  If approved, the raise would take effect in January 2012 following the next Council elections.  This proposed raise reflects the rate of inflation since the last salary adjustment in 1988, and is an attempt to bring the value of the council salary close to its 1988 amount.  (Item #18)

Youth Advisory Council – The Council referred to public hearing, on Monday, February 25, 2008 at 7 PM, an ordinance establishing a Youth Advisory Council.  The ordinance proposes that the Council be composed of nine (9) residents who are full-time students at any school in Hartford and who are elected by their peers in a citywide election.  The Council will advise and assist the Mayor and Council in programs that benefit youth and may undertake activities to encourage youth to be involved in the community.  The Council will also keep track of conditions and needs of young people in the areas of employment, health, recreation, safety, and general welfare. (Item #22)

Living Wage Task Force – The Council referred, to its Labor and Workforce Development Committee, a resolution creating a Living Wage Task Force which will be appointed by the Mayor and which will examine the living wage ordinance of the City and take relevant testimony in order to make recommendations to the City Council.  Hartford was one of the first cities in the state to pass a living wage ordinance.  It is important that the ordinance be monitored to ensure that it is creating benefits and results for the working people of Hartford.  The Labor and Workforce Development Committee meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 5:30 PM.  (Item #25)

State Earned Income Tax Credit – The Council passed a resolution endorsing a proposal for a state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and asking the Governor and legislature to work together to enact a state EITC equal to 25% of the corresponding federal EITC.  A state EITC would provide tax relief for low income families.  Connecticut is the only state in the Northeast that does not have a state EITC.  Almost 35% of tax filers in Hartford would qualify for the state EITC.  Working families with incomes up to $38,348 would be eligible for a credit of up to $1,134.  (Item #26)

Young Professionals Task Force – The Council adopted a resolution authorizing the establishment of a Young Professionals Task Force to explore the need for a sustainability plan to attract and retain young professionals.  Within six months, the Task Force will submit recommendations on the need for a Commission on Young Professionals, the development and coordination of agencies and organizations to encourage the inclusion of young professionals, and on administrative and legislative reforms pertaining to young professionals.  (Item #27)

Underage Drinking – The Council passed a resolution supporting and endorsing a Town Hall Meeting to address underage drinking in Hartford.  The Town Hall Meeting will be held on March 25, 2008 in Council Chambers and is being convened by Hartford Behavioral Health, Hartford Communities that Care, and Teens in Hartford Promoting Sober Youth.  (Item #29)

“Walk-in” Items, i.e. items submitted at the Council meeting

Funds for Purchase of Pay and Display Parking Meters – The Council adopted a resolution approving the transfer of $3.3 million in surplus Church Street Garage capital funds for the purchase of 250 state-of-the-art Pay and Display multi-space parking meters.  The new parking meters will accept credit cards as well as coins, and will replace existing aged and obsolete parking meters.  The Council’s Finance & Management Committee recommended approval.  (Item #39)

Grand List – The Council referred, to its Operations, Management, and Budget Committee, a report, from the Administration, of the City’s 2007 Grand List, which is the assessed value of taxable and exempt property in the city of Hartford.  The total net assessed value of all taxable property is $3,460,283,369, a 4.46% increase over last year.  The value of real property increased by 6.16% from 2006, personal property decreased in value by .7%, and motor vehicle values increased by 2.34%.  The tax exempt real property grand list increased by 13.3%.  The Committee will meet on February 14th at 5:30 PM.  (Item #41)

If you have any questions about the agenda, please call Richard Frieder at the Hartford Public Library, 695-6365, or Linda Bayer at Hartford 2000, 509-3710. The Council Preview/Review is a joint project of the Hartford 2000, and the Hartford Public Library.

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