Hundreds rally, protest at Hartford city council meeting

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HARTFORD --In front of a packed house the newest Mayor of Hartford explained how dire the city's books were and why the state needed to get involved.

"Lets be very clear. None of these choices will be easy," said Mayor Bronin at the special committee meeting Monday night. "You will soon see a budget proposal that leaves no one with any good choices. There will have to be cuts that make all of us look away in pain at how much we're asking from this city."

Bronin says the city is looking at a $48.5 million dollar budget deficit next fiscal year and drastic action is needed to stop the systemic deficits.

"You as a Council will have to face the same budget that I will face," said Bronin as he tried to get council support for a measure at the state capitol which would form an oversight committee with special powers over city finances.

Bronin had been lobbying hard for the formation of this commission which would have the authority to re-negotiate city union contracts along with other factors like pension and health benefits. Meanwhile city workers pleaded with council members to not support a measure which would effectively endorse the state intervention.

"Please listen to us and give us the opportunity to make the process work you need everybody in this room and outside this room to make it work," said Antoine Shawn of Hartford.

Meanwhile a separate group of protesters made up of Moral Monday CT and Black Lives Matters supporters attempted to disrupt the meeting calling for Bronin to resign. The protesters tried to file into council chambers but were repelled by Hartford Police.

Mayor Bronin will present his budget to the council on April 18th.