Council Previews & Reviews >> Reviews > February 25, 2008

Council Review
Hartford City Council Meeting

Monday, February 25, 2008

Prepared by:
Hartford Public Library, and Hartford 2000

There were 22 items on the original agenda.  Two more items were submitted during the meeting.  The next regular Council meeting will be held on Monday, March 10, 2008 at 7 P.M. in the Council Chambers in Hartford City Hall, preceded at 6:30 by a public comment period.  The next public hearing will be Monday, March 17, 2008 at 7 PM.

Actions taken on all items on this agenda can be found online at


Youth Advisory Council – The Council adopted an ordinance establishing a Youth Advisory Council.  Action on this item was postponed by Council at its February 13th meeting.  The ordinance creates a Council 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.  The Council will collaborate with the City’s Youth Commission which is staffed by the Office of Youth Services.  (Item #1)

Property Tax Reform – The Council did not take action on a veto by the Mayor of a resolution passed by the Council at its February 13th meeting adopting a series of recommendations for property tax reform.  Rather, the Council reconsidered, amended, and adopted a resolution submitted by the Mayor at the January 14, 2008 Council meeting.  The resolution calls for the General Assembly to fully fund PILOT, restore the Housing Property Tax Abatement Program, implement a fair residual depreciated value on communications lines and equipment, require OPM to perform an annual statistical revaluation, require the Office of Fiscal Analysis to carry out regular analysis of the state tax system and propose changes to the system, introduce legislation to address the Constitutional spending cap, create a State Data Council to integrate administrative databases, continue to protect Hartford’s small base of owner-occupied residences, and continue to phase down the surcharge.  (Item #2 and 23)

Tax Fixing Agreement:  The Council amended and passed a resolution authorizing a tax assessment fixing agreement with The Hartford Fire Insurance Company and International Business Machines Corporation (IBM).  The resolution was amended to incorporate guidelines/standards concerning small and minority business involvement and hiring of Hartford residents.  The agreement will be returned to the Council for approval prior to execution.  The Hartford plans to construct a 31,725 square foot addition to its headquarters on Farmington Avenue and renovate 106,500 square feet of existing space to house a new data center within which will be equipment owned by both The Hartford and IBM.  The Hartford has requested a tax assessment fixing agreement on the property improvements and the information technology equipment.  State Law allows the assessment to be increased gradually over 8 years, from 10% in 2008 to 100% in 2015.  The Council’s Operations, Management and Budget Committee recommends approval.  (Item #6)

Proposed Lease:  The Council adopted a resolution authorizing the City to lease space at 2 Holcomb Street to the NAACP for three years beginning April 1, 2008 at a charge of $1.00 per month.  A public hearing on this matter was held on Tuesday, February 19, 2008 and the Council’s Operations, Management & Budget Committee recommends approval.  The matter was also referred to the Health & Human Services Committee. (Item #8)

Old State House:  The Council passed a resolution, recommended by its Operations, Management & Budget Committee, authorizing the City to terminate the lease with the Old State House Association for the Old State House (which is owned by the City) and enter into a lease with the State of Connecticut’s Joint Committee on Legislative Management.  The lease will be for 99 years at a rent of $1.00 per year and JCLM will be responsible for all operations, maintenance and repairs, and capital improvements.  A public hearing on this matter was held on Tuesday, February 19, 2008. (Item #9)

Referendum on Salaries of City Council Members – The Council adopted an ordinance that will place a referendum question 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 the voters approve, the raise will 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.  The Council’s Labor & Workforce Development Committee discussed this item and voted to send it to the Council for further discussion and recommendations.  (Item #11 and 12)

Registration of Vacant Buildings – The Council withdrew this proposed ordinance amending the Municipal Code regarding the registration of vacant buildings and lots, registration standards, and reporting requirements (Section 9-98A) in favor of consideration of a replacement ordinance submitted as agenda item #14.  The proposed amendment would require that owners of vacant buildings or lots register their properties at the department of economic development and that, in the case of buildings or lots that are to remain vacant, the owner submit a plan for securing the building or lot.  Owners of the properties would pay an annual fee of $99.00, and would incur a fine of $99.00 per day in the event of non-compliance.  There was a public hearing on this ordinance on Tuesday, February 19, 2008 and the matter was referred to the Council’s Planning & Economic Development Committee.  (Item #13)

Anti-Blight Amendment – The Council received, at its meeting, a replacement ordinance for consideration that, in addition to amending the definition of “blighted premises” in the City’s anti-blight regulations (Section 9-91 of the Municipal Code), makes a number of additional changes to the process of dealing with blight.  It was referred to public hearing and to the Public Works, Parks, and Environment Committee.  The public hearing will be held on March 17, 2008 and the meeting of the Public Works, Parks, and Environment Committee will be held on March 19th at 5:30 PM at the Metzner Center.  (Item #14)

Charter Revision Commission – The Council referred, to its Legislative Committee, a resolution that will result in the establishment of a Charter Revision Commission by April 1, 2008.  The City Charter was last amended in 2001.  The resolution states that there is currently considerable public sentiment to again amend the Charter to create better balance of power between the Mayor and the City Council.  The proposed Commission would undertake a thorough review of the current City Charter and all aspects of the structure of the City Government, including but not limited to the appointment of certain boards and commissions by the City Council, the appointment of the Corporation Counsel by the City Council, the authority of the City Treasurer in financial matters governing the City, special elections for the mayor, and the composition of the City Council.  The Legislative Committee will meet on March 4th at 6 PM.  (Item #21)

Office of Human Relations Hiring Freeze – The Council referred, to its Labor and Workforce Development Committee, a resolution calling upon the Mayor to lift the hiring freeze for the Office of Human Relations and reinstate and fill all budgeted positions.  The resolution also calls upon the Department of Human Resources, through the Mayor, to provide the Office of Human Relations with appropriate levels of staffing needed to implement all programs, ordinances, and resolutions by Council.  The resolution has been proposed because the Office of Human Relations has not implemented the Fair Lending Program, the Affirmative Action Plan, and the Affirmative Supplier Diversity Program.  (Item #22)


3.  Equipment Purchase – Authorization to purchase up to $1.7 million in technology equipment and software through GE Capital Public Finance.  A public hearing will be held on Monday, March 17th at 7 PM in Council Chambers.  Referred to Operations, Management, and Budget Committee

4.  Contract Compliance – Communication from the Labor and Workforce Development Committee indicating on-going discussions with Human Relations Department and Corporation Counsel about enforcement of contractors’ compliance with City requirements.  Received

5.  Woodland Street Lease – Authorization to extend the City’s lease with Woodland Moving & Storage at 426 Woodland Street while the company completes their move to Windsor Street.  Passed

7.  Holcomb Street Lease – Authorization to lease space at 2 Holcomb Street to Central Area Health Education Center for three years (renewable) at $1,000 per month.  Passed

10.  Waiver of City Liens – Resolution authorizing the City to waive liens on property at 84-86 Blue Hills Avenue so the property can be sold.  Liens resulted from public assistance provided to a now deceased prior owner.  Passed

15.  Bond Procedures – Ordinance establishing new procedures for the issuance of General Obligation Bonds by the City of Hartford.  Referred to Operations, Management, and Budget Committee

16.  Appointment – Resolution re-appointing Fannie Arnum to the Commission on Aging.  Action Postponed

17.  Appointments – Resolution appointing Chad Ricketts and Ursula Scott to the Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.  Action Postponed

18.  Pension Agreement – Resolution that the Council go into Executive Session to discuss Tentative Pension Agreement with the Hartford Educational Support Personnel, Local 82, AFSA, AFL-CIO.  Executive Session

19.  Financial Report - Resolution accepting the 2nd Quarter Supplemental Appropriations and Transfer Report.  Referred to Operations, Management, and Budget Committee

20.  City Treasurer Salary – Resolution providing for a raise, within the existing pay range, for the City Treasurer’s salary to $5,384 biweekly.  Passed

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.

| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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