Trash Agency\’s Spokesman Departs; His $109,425 Job Was Eliminated

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Paul Nonnemacher, the public spokesman for the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority, has lost his $109,425-a-year job as director of public relations and education at the financially troubled agency. A cost-saving move eliminated his position and he left two weeks ago.

Nonnenmacher’s 10½ years at the state\’s quasi-public trash agency qualified him for its maximum 16 weeks of severance pay and benefits, such as medical insurance, for full-time employees, said Thomas D. Kirk, the CRRA’s president and CEO. The CRRA is not part of the state retirement system, Kirk said, and \”offers no pension or post-employment benefits.\”

The agency – which burns trash to generate energy at its plant in Hartford’s South Meadows – has been under pressure to reduce expenses. The pressure increased after a recent audit found that the CRRA’s large staff is paid more than employees at similar utilities and waste firms; more than one-third of its 45 employees were making between $101,000 and $292,000 at the time of the audit.

A few weeks ago, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy proposed legislation to overhaul the CRRA into a leaner agency concerned more with recycling the state\’s trash than with burning it to generate electricity. The bill would rename the agency as the \”Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority.\”

Kirk said that Nonnenmacher’s position is the latest to be eliminated in recent years  because of “costs control and economy measures, changes in mission and responsibilities, and decisions to reduce or eliminate certain programs and/or activities. … Paul did a good job and was a dedicated, loyal, talented professional. I and CRRA will miss his contribution.”

Nonnenmacher could not be reached for comment.

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