Prepared by: Citizens’ Research Education Network,
Hartford Public Library, and Hartford 2000
There were 26 items on the agenda. The next Council meeting
will be Monday, April 11, 2005 at 7 P.M. It will be
preceded by an open agenda public hearing that will begin at 6:30 P.M.
311 Call Center: After
discussion, the Council passed a resolution authorizing the Mayor to execute
an agreement with EMA, Inc., to provide services required for the implementation
of a 311 call center and integrated work management system and to create a
Technology Master Plan for the City of Hartford. The cost is not to exceed
$2,200,000. The goal of the 311 call center and the integrated work management
system is to improve the quality of service delivery, increase efficiency in
City government, hold departments accountable, and increase citizen access
Prior to passage, two Council members objected to the way in which the contract
was awarded. They argued that EMA, Inc. was originally contracted to
determine the need for a 311 call center and then awarded the contract to create
the 311 call center without a competitive bid process. Other Council
members argued that while the process of hiring EMA was not the best, they
knew that the cost they were getting was competitive and that the city employees
know to follow more appropriate procedures the next time.
Telecommunications Funding: The
Council passed an ordinance appropriating $1,000,000 from the Capital Projects
Fund for the down payment of telecommunications equipment and software. The
funds will be used for a new tax collection system, a City Hall communication
system, radios for the Police and Fire Departments, and the initiation of a
311 phone line. The total cost of the equipment will be $5,000,000. The
balance will be funded through a lease finance program.
Housing Development Bond Fund: The
Council referred to the Finance and Revenue Committee a resolution that would
request that Mayor Eddie Perez create a capital bond fund of $5 to $10 million
to support homeownership initiatives, affordable housing initiatives, and Rising
Star/Pride Blocks. The resolution points out the possibility that federal
housing support like that received from HUD Section 8 and Community Development
Block Grants is expected to decrease in the coming years. The fund would
be financed through the continuance of the state conveyance tax.
Housing Trust Fund: The
Council passed a resolution expressing its support for House Bill 6785 which
will, if passed, establish a $100 million Housing Trust Fund for Economic Growth
and Opportunity. The legislation is being proposed by State Treasurer
Denise Nappier. The monies would be used to encourage development of
affordable housing. The program would be funded in part by bonds capitalized
by a portion of the state’s future abandoned property revenue.
Access to City Information: The
Council referred to the Quality of Life and Public Safety Committee and to
Corporation Counsel a resolution affirming that the City will make available
as quickly as possible to all interested parties any information prepared or
assembled by City personnel. Several Council members expressed support
for the resolution yet had concern that the wording was too broad.
The resolution states that the credibility which government enjoys is directly
related to the degree of accessibility which the community enjoys regarding
items of public business.
Contract With Federal Lobbying Firm: The
Council passed a resolution authorizing the Mayor to contract with Quinn Gillespie
and Associates, a Washington DC lobbying firm, to advocate for the City of
Hartford in Washington for a fee not to exceed $15,000 per month and a time
period not to exceed one year. Hartford may lose several million dollars
in federal aid, and the City needs a full time advocate in Washington. Funding
for a Washington advocate has been identified in the City’s budget.
Urban Networks to Increase Thriving Youth
Through Violence Prevention: The Council referred to the Quality
of Life and Public Safety Committee a resolution authorizing the Mayor to apply
for and receive $300,000 that will be available in September 2005 from the
Centers for Disease Control through the Urban Networks to Increase Thriving
Youth Through Violence Prevention. The funds would be used to replicate
a nationally recognized strategy used in Boston that utilizes law enforcement
agencies and service providers to address youth violence.
Neighborhood Marketing: The Council
passed a resolution authorizing the Mayor to identify $5,000 in unspent administrative
CDBG funds or other sources of funding to be reprogrammed for a neighborhood
marketing effort being developed by Hartford 2000, Neighborhood Revitalization
Zones, other neighborhood groups, the Hartford Public Library, and the City
If you have any questions about the agenda call Greg Vickers at CREN, 509-3701 or Richard Frieder at the Hartford Public Library, 695-6365. The Council Preview is a joint project of the Citizens' Research Education Network and the Hartford Public Library.