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Curry Gone; Sherwood Elevated

Republicans Want Sherwood’s Raise Rescinded

There were several changes in positions at City Hall this week.

Robert Curry, finance director, is no longer working for the City.

When asked if Curry was fired, Phil Sherwood of the mayor’s office said, “it’s a personnel matter and in the very near future the mayor will be appointing an acting finance director.”

Sources told the New Britain City Journal that Curry was fired for a number of “screw-ups”.

The Finance Department performs an instrumental function in the preparation of the city’s annual budget. On forms specified by the Finance Department, budgetary requests of city agencies and activities are compiled.

Curry processed all expenditures and a payroll for each fund budgeting, coordinates data processing activities and provides technical assistance to other city departments, agencies and Risk Management. Almost anything money related including pension investments must go through the finance department.

In the past few months Curry notified Mayor Tim O’Brien that the City was in an $11-12 million deficit. O’Brien also said the City is in a $30 million structural deficit. No one would say if those figures had anything to do with the firing.

The City Journal was unable to reach Curry for comment.

Meanwhile Communications Director Phil Sherwood was moved from part-time to full-time and his position was changed in status. Sherwood is now deputy chief of staff. His pay went from $45,000 to $60,000.

“The job description put an increase in his hours,” said Rosemary Klotz, the mayor’s chief of staff. “The workload here is expanding immensely and we need him here full-time. We expanded his time and his duties. People may be critical of the time, but we have to move forward with the expansion and the re-organization. It had to do with the work load.”

Sherwood’s expanded duties will include economic development duties.

“He is already meeting with businesses,” added Klotz.

Members of the Republican Party have started a petition called “New Britain Republicans: Rescind Phil Sherwood’s raise and promotion”.

According to its site on Facebook created by Dwight Blint, chairman of the party, “The Mayor of New Britain alleges that the city has a $30 million budget deficit and is considering laying off 130 employees, yet Mayor Tim O’Brien has the audacity to give a $15,000 raise to Phil Sherwood, his part-time communications director. Sherwood, a political appointee was earning $45,000 annually; he is now slated to make $60,000. Instead, the mayor should be using this money to save the job of an employee who will be terminated.”

As of Wednesday morning there were over 30 signatures including Alderman Jamie Giantonio.

“I find it irresponsible when we are discussing possibly laying off 130 people to be giving raises to members of the mayor’s staff.” said Giantonio.