Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

July 7, 2021

Bronin seeks to relax residency mandate for department heads

Photo | HBJ Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin.

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin is again pushing for changes to a decades-old local ordinance requiring department heads be city residents.

The rules have cost the city a few hires in recent years, and Bronin says they’ve at times made it difficult to find qualified candidates for open positions.

Sean Fitzpatrick resigned as director of development services in early 2018, after questions arose about his claimed residence at the private Town and County Club. Fitzpatrick, who owned a home in Simsbury, called the residency dispute “baseless scandal-mongering.”

About a year prior to Fitzpatrick leaving, Marilynn Cruz-Aponte resigned as head of the city’s public works department and moved to a DPW role in East Hartford. Later, she told the Hartford Courant that renting an apartment in the city in order to comply with the residency rule made it difficult to visit her elderly mother in New Britain, where she had lived before taking the department head job.

City councilors on Thursday will hold a public hearing on a proposed amendment that would allow the mayor to request a waiver of the residency rule for the heads of a handful of departments: Management, Budget and Grants, Metro Hartford Innovation Services, Emergency Services and Telecommunications, and Finance.

Bronin had submitted similar language to the council last year, just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic hitting Connecticut.

Bronin told councilors then that it doesn’t make sense for many otherwise qualified candidates to sell their nearby home to move to Hartford for an appointed government role with little long-term job security.

“In some cases, the residency requirement as currently constituted actually makes it easier to recruit someone from out of state, with no ties to Hartford, than it does to recruit someone who lives, for example, in Bloomfield or Windsor, and has strong connections to Hartford,” Bronin said.

Sign up for Enews

Related Content


Order a PDF