Hartford City Council against Mayor filing for bankruptcy

Last week we wrote about how Hartford Connecticut’s mayor signaled to the state legislature that if they didn’t come up with a budget within the next 60 days, he would file for bankruptcy for his city. Now the City Council of Hartford has told the mayor they are against that threat.

According to the Hartford Courant, Wildaliz Bermudez, the panel’s minority leader, said

We don’t want to allow our capital city, our community to be dissolved in such an undemocratic way… Filing for bankruptcy is something that will have devastating impacts and it should not be done in a hasteful way. There needs to be community conversations … There are many things that have to happen before we even get to that level.

Bermudez and council President Thomas “TJ” Clarke II issued a statement saying a “majority” of council members oppose bankruptcy” and called on the legislature to send assistance to their city.

Last week Clarke and some other members backed the mayor’s plan saying at a press conference last week

Bankruptcy is an option and if we are forced to take that option, then I think everybody would be on board. We have to pay our bills. And the cash flow analysis [shows] we have until October, November — then what? We have to do what’s best for the city. Basically this is what it is at this point.

Monday morning Clarke, after a meeting of the Council, issued a statement which stated he and four other councilors “stand in opposition” to any plan that includes a bankruptcy.

We recognize that the General Assembly is working tirelessly to help the people of Connecticut. As the capital city, we need their help now more than ever. With legislators’ help we can get there. Bankruptcy should not be an option for Hartford. No major capital city has ever filed for bankruptcy in the United States, and we will do everything we can to not be the first.

Then Monday night he sent out an email “clarifying” his morning statement

Let me be clear that, in the absence of a state budget, Hartford will have no choice but to move toward bankruptcy. Obviously, I do not want to go down that road unnecessarily, and I hope the state adopts a responsible budget as soon as possible. Regardless of what I believe, we have to remain focused on a true, long-term solution, and we can’t rule anything out until we achieve that.

To read more on the story: Hartford city councilors say they will oppose bankruptcy filing