February 5, 2009

Ward calls for wage freeze for city's leaders

Mayor Art Ward is calling for a wage freeze for the city’s elected leaders.

“It’s symbolic in nature, to say the very least,” Ward said Thursday.

Ward said the Salary Committee, a three-person panel chaired by city Councilor Frank Nicastro, should consider the idea and make a recommendation about what to do.

Ward said the freeze would hold the salaries of the mayor, city councilors and other elected officials at this year’s level during the next term of municipal office, which begins in November.

“It’s too late now to consider it for this term,” the mayor said.

The mayor currently earns $100,000 annually while the six part-time councilors earn $10,000 apiece. They serve two-year terms.

For more than a decade, the city’s elected leaders have hiked their salaries every two years to match the increases given to department heads, typically about the inflation rate.

Ward said that given the hard time that so many taxpayers are facing – and the hardships that city workers may face, too – this year should not be business as usual.

“We are entirely aware of the circumstances in the economy,” Ward said.

The mayor said the money saved wouldn’t matter that much, but as a gesture, it will help.

At least one of the city’s state lawmakers, Rep. Bill Hamzy, a Plymouth Republican whose 78th District includes northwestern Bristol, has voluntarily taken a 5 percent cut in legislative pay.

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com


Anonymous said...

Again, Ward is grandstanding.
All they have to do is do it, or rather not vote themselves a raise, no fanfare required.

And Artie, even after all these years, don't you know you can't change an elected officials salary during the term, up or down?

Why don't they, bing this council AND Artie give back some of their salary: that they can do!!


Anonymous said...

I'd like to commend the mayor before the naysayers start spewing once again...nicely done Mr. Ward!

Anonymous said...

This amounts to the preverbial pee hole in the snow! Ward should stop pandering and make the hard choice to cut back on the pay raises he has given out to the unionites. That is more like a fire hose in the snow!

Steve Collins said...

5:30 - He's not trying to change the pay during this term, as the story clearly says. He's trying to freeze the salary level for whoever is elected next term.
And, believe me, whenever and however they voted on this issue this year, it would have been a story. Fanfare required.

Anonymous said...

More misdirection!

No substance!

Many other CUTS are possible, but not being done.

What he is proposing is NOT A CUT!

Anonymous said...

Yawn. Let me know when Ward gets the unions to agree to a pay freeze or a large giveback, that's where the real savings can be had. Too bad Ward didn't do it when he had the chance earlier this year, when the hard economic times were clearly a reality.

Anonymous said...

It's a PROVERBIAL pee hole, and here we go again with the "pandering" and "grandstanding"....yup, sounds like Kenny's campaign has officially begun!

Anonymous said...

Hey Mr. Mayor

North Main Street still has both sets of street lights on!

What goes?

Did Ken Johnson get us a good deal on the rates?

Anonymous said...

What about Bristol's other legislators? Has anyone else voluntarily cut their pay, or is Hamzy the only one?

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe Ward makes $100k per year! I'd like to see his resume. Anyone running for mayor in the future should publish their resume for all to view. Maybe, just maybe, we can get someone qualified to run Bristol. Unbelievable! His pay should be cut by at least a 1/3.

breath in said...

8:47 - you are probably one of the morons who was too lazy to even vote - you'll have a chance to vote for ken johnson in november if he is endorsed by the gop - run to the polls this time - johnson might even show up or both of you can register as "absentee"

Anonymous said...

Hamzy is the only one who has sympathized with the taxpayers and cut his own pay. It shows that his heart is with us. The rest of them just want our wallets.

Anonymous said...

I bet 1/3 of the union jobs could be cut and you'd still have people sitting around

Anonymous said...

"here we go again with the "pandering" and "grandstanding"....yup, sounds like Kenny's campaign has officially begun!"

Unfortunately 8:09, it sounds like you're right. Instead of all the smear tactics and negativity, why can't Ken run a campaign on his own merit and achievements?....oops, nevermind. I think I just answered my own question.

Anonymous said...

100K is to much.....Is this why Stevens St. is always plowed so well?????

Anonymous said...

Ward is a JOKE!

He does this after he gives his union boy's a nice raise! Once again, talking out of both sides of his mouth!

Anonymous said...

I have heard this was Nicastro's idea and Ward has taken it from him and did a quick press release to get credit! Nicastro has told people he was going to bring this up at the next council meeting.

Again Ward not even getting along with his own party!!

Keep up the good work Ward the Unions love it!

Anonymous said...

I'll do the job for 50K and do a better job.

Art, why not take a huge cut IF you plan to run?

Here we go again said...

- "Ward is a JOKE!"
- "Ward not even getting along with his own party!!"
- "Ward is grandstanding"
- "Ward should stop pandering"


And so Ken's campaign continues....

Anonymous said...

And that is the good side of Johnson

Anonymous said...



Blow Hards said...

the ignorance displayed on these blogs should be leashed before it affects the rest of the population who are trying to work in ernest to better our community.
Spreaders of nothing but doom and gloom should look for greener pastures and move so that you can milk that society also.
Gas bags only need hot air so inflate your egos somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Nicastro got a dose of his own medicine.

First good thing that Ward has done.

Anonymous said...

Call it grandstanding if you want, but it was Ward's idea, not Nicastro's.

Anonymous said...

8:47 am,

Ward did submit his resume and more when he ran for office. Everything about his background and experience was well publicized for all to see including the good, the bad, and the ugly.

People took all of that into account and the majority decided they preferred him over his opponent.

If someone didn't know about Ward's background then they didn't do their job as a voter in researching the candidates.

The comment regarding a 1/3 cut in pay is ridiculous. He is the mayor of one of the largest cities in Connecticut and makes less than many other city employees. Representative Hamzy offering to cut his pay for his elective office position is admirable but did he offer to reduce his private practice fees by 10% as well?

Have you volunteered to give your employer back 1/3 of your salary?

Anonymous said...

How about some wage freezes and pay cuts for all those new administrative positions created by the BOE?
How about eliminating those new positions.
How may new "assistant principals" does this city need?
Never had them before, why now?

If the Mayor makes less than the School Superintendent or an assistant principal, whose really running the ship these days?

Crazy world.
Hey, if the Mayor could cut the bloated bureacracy in the school system, and preserve some teaching positions, he should keep his 100 K. He would have paid for his salary in savings !

Anonymous said...

Not according to Frank.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for nothing Art. Why don't you set up some photo ops of you turning down the thermostat at City Hall?

We need to save millions and you offer up a freeze in salaries for elected officials for NEXT term!?!?!? What does that come out to ....... ? Oh yeah, NOTHING!!

Rell is closing agencies, courthouses, consolidating, raising some fees, demanding some givebacks from state workers, possible fuloughs, etc, and you offer this?!?!? You are the worst mayor ever! Please bring back Frank or Stortz, or even Couture. Yeah that's right, I would even take the bookmaker over you!

Concerned Conservative said...

"Representative Hamzy offering to cut his pay for his elective office position is admirable but did he offer to reduce his private practice fees by 10% as well?"

--This statement shows the true ignorance of the Democrats. The fees of Hamzy's private practice are none of your business. As a private citizen anyone is free to look elsewhere for attorney services if they think he's too expensive. The same can't be said for any public servant paid by the taxpayers. It's like comparing apples and oranges. Perhaps one might check to see if they can get better rates from Diamantis, Ziogas or any of the other local Democrat attorneys if they find Attorney hamzy too expensive? Again that' the great thing about private enterprise, a freedom big-government, socialist Democrats don't seem to comprehend.

Anonymous said...

100,000 a year is way to much for a mayor of any city or town to make,he sits behind a desk and pushes a pen, not worth it at all.

Pain said...

8:07 - I hope that it hurts everytime that you think of ward being the mayor - think of it over and over and over and over again, get a prescription to ease the pain, let it hurt more and more and more, wrap a tourniquet around your neck to stop the throbing, aching, excruciating agony, throw yourself on the floor and writher about, beat your head against a brick wall and finally, after all of that self abuse, come to the realization that ward is still the mayor - I hope that the pain that you endure increases three-fold for years to come.

Anonymous said...

Ward won by 181 votes...hardly a mandate. His resume, including his dui is about as useless as he has proven to be a mayor. WHAT HAS HE DONE????? He is confrontational, abusive, has a poor sense of humur, and for the amount of time he served on the City Council BEFORE he was narrowly elected as mayor, he has been a HUGE disappointment. WHAT HAS HE DONE...besides giving his union buddies their increases in the contracts he has "negotiated"? Those contracts were agreed to BEFORE he was elected.

Anonymous said...

Whoa 7:46 - Calm down! We get it. You don't like Mr. Ward. Guess he beat you or your candidate with those 181 votes, huh? The hostility and juvenile nature of your comments speak louder than your comments themselves.

Oh, as far as being "confrontational, abusive and exhibiting a poor sense of humor" .... sounds like you're describing yourself! LOL!!!!

Love the Pain said...

7:46am - refer to 7:01am and hurt baby, hurt.

Anonymous said...

100,000 a year is way to [sic] much for a mayor of any city or town to make,he sits behind a desk and pushes a pen, not worth it at all.

The multiple levels of ignorance associated with this single statement is frankly mind-boggling.

Anonymous said...

10:54 I'll do the job for 50K and do a better job.

I am anxiously waiting for you to publicly announce your name as a candidate for mayor. Please share with us your platform for improving the city of Bristol and why you are so highly qualified. I hope that your willingness to be mayor for only $50,000 is not your only qualification.

Anonymous said...

Bachelors plus in Business

Ran 100 million/yr operation

Worked for govt for over 15 years

Lived in Bristol all my life

get spending under control (it can be done)
Market Bristol in conjunction with the Chamber

Build a better education system and promote it so as to elevate the type of people we attract

Would do it for 50K just to show it can be done.

Anonymous said...

8:43 ~ Well, aren't we special! Do you walk on water too?

Anonymous said...

2:43 poster,

Frank said very clearly that it was his idea! Ward just trying to make himself look good stealing Franks idea!

Frank for Mayor

Anonymous said...

Have to, can't swim.

Anonymous said...

"Frank said very clearly that it was his idea"

What'd you expect him to do...be honest? Frank just loves blowin his own horn!

Odin said...

When did Frank take credit for this idea? Not in the newspaper story.

And to the 11:55 AM poster who says he would do the job for $50K: are you Mark Blashke?

Anonymous said...

Frank has talked about this repeatedly, but at least he says it is a gesture. Ward is nothing w/o Frank by his side.

Bring back Mayor Frank!!

Anonymous said...


Ward is nothing period!

Anonymous said...

Au contraire 7:23, Ward is the man chosen by the majority of the citizens of Bristol to be the leader of our community. You, however, with your constant barrage of immature, pointless and less than enlightened comments, are nothing....period.

Anonymous said...

"Frank has talked about this repeatedly"

Uh, Frank kinda talks about EVERYTHING repeatedly, but then again, so does my parrot. ;0)

Anonymous said...


But now that they know him, would he get reelected?

Anonymous said...

2/6/09 3:21 It was cut 1/3 of the union jobs not 1/3 of their pay.

Anonymous said...

7:41 ~ In a heart beat, watch and see!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

100,000 vs 192,000 hell of a deal, you have my vote.

Anonymous said...


I'll bet I pay more taxes than ward does!