Hartford Treasurer Adam Cloud says he will reject a $20,000 raised contained in the city budget that multiple members of the city council had been critical of over the past two weeks.
“As I deeply value the confidence of the citizens who elected me to serve them, and believe that government should always be conducted in an open, transparent, and orderly public process, I have chosen not accept more than my previous pay of $140,000 from the $160,000 salary that was set by the Court of the Common Council, and will return any increase I have received,” Cloud said in statement.
When news of the raise became public, several councilors were left scratching their heads, wondering if they had ever even approved the raise in the first place.
Cloud claimed the raise was proper and that it was even approved by the city’s Human Resources and Labor Relations Director.
A vote to rescind the raise by the City Council failed earlier this week.
Even before Cloud’s announcement this morning, NBC Connecticut confirmed that one member of the City Council, Ken Kennedy, had asked the city’s Audit Commission to look into the raise and the circumstances that led to it.
Kennedy, who chairs the city’s budget committee, said he had no recollection that a retroactive raise to July, to which Cloud claimed he was entitled, had been contained in the budget.
Incoming Mayor Luke Bronin applauded the raise, calling it, “the right decision.” He released a statement saying, “Taxpayers deserve transparency and accountability, and while the Treasurer is fully entitled to ask the City Council to review his compensation in the future, there needs to be an open, thorough process before the public eye.”
Bronin even pledged to work a number of unpaid days to return $20,000 of his own salary to the city as a budget shortfall looms.
Cloud also asked the city council to review his compensation in the New Year, “to clear up any misunderstanding and uncertainty surrounding the issue.”