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Linehan: Bostonians don't realize what a value the city council is

It costs the average Bostonian just $8.60 a year to enjoy all the amenities of its current City Council, Bill Linehan (South Boston, South End, Chinatown, downtown) said today, urging his fellow councilors to support raising their salaries to $108,500 - which would be the first raise since 2006.

The council agreed today to have its committee on government operations hold a hearing on the proposed pay increase before the council votes on it.

Meanwhile, Linehan said somebody has filed a complaint with the state Ethics Commission over the potential conflict of interest of councilors voting on their own pay. He suggested the committee invite somebody from the commission to its hearing.

Linehan said the city charter leaves councilors no other options for raises. He smacked down a proposal by councilors Michelle Wu (at large) and Josh Zakim (Beacon Hill, Back Bay, Fenway, Mission Hill) to set up an independent salary commission after Councilor Steve Murphy (at large) said its last-minute introduction violated charter rules on modifying ordinances. The two will be able to bring up the issue at the salary hearing.

Linehan said councilors get paid less than their counterparts in other large cities and as awkward as it is to seek raises, and that his proposal would work out to the equivalent of 2.5% annual raises since 2006 - compared to the the 2.7% city workers have gotten in that period. He added the council raise would not be retroactive.

Councilors Ayanna Pressley (at large) and Matt O'Malley (Jamaica Plain/West Roxbury) said they would support a smaller raise. O'Mally called for indexing council pay to the median Boston salary, similar to the way he said state legislators get pay raises.

Councilor Tito Jackson (Roxbury) said people need to realize that councilors, who currently earn about $85,000, face the same cost of living concerns as everybody else. Already, he said, when it gets cold, he has to throw on an extra blanket rather than dial up the thermostat.

Councilor Frank Baker (Dorchester), grew angry as he recounted comments from people claiming "part-time" councilors don't even deserve what they get paid now. He said he could have made more money staying at Amtrak than running for the council and that even when he drops his kids off at school, people come up to him with city issues.

"It's a 24-hour job and I don't think we're being treated fairly," he said.

Councilor Charles Yancey (Dorchester) noted that 3,000 city workers now make more than councilors.

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"Councilor Charles Yancey (Dorchester) noted that 3,000 city workers now make more than councilors."

Yeah, and the problem isn't that Councilors make less. The problem is too many city workers are vastly overpaid.

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Should be thankful he isn't paid a dollar for each IQ point he has.

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Let's get real folks, the ones on the Front Line (Boston Police & Boston Firefighters) are the only city workers who deserve pay raises. I Don't care if a Boston Police officer or a BFD is making 150k a year, I Would rather see "My Real Estate, Tax money" go to BPD & BFD that's perfectly fine with me..But to find out a Boston City councilor is making close to $100k a year, I remember a few years back I saw a Boston City Councilor shopping at the Chestnut Hill Mall on a weekday afternoon dabbling on his cellphone and browsing for cloths, wasn't he suppose to be working at city hall or doing some type of constituent work in his district..

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Staff. Boston City Council
Order Of Business For Matters Presented To The City Clerk
Prior To 10:00 A.M. On Monday September 15, 2014
For Consideration By The City Council
At A Regular Meeting On Wednesday September 17, 2014 At 12:00 P.M.
Personnel Orders:
1476 Councilor Linehan offered the following: Order for the appointment of temporary employees in City Council
http://meetingrecords.cityofboston.gov/sirepub/agdocs.aspx?doctype=agend...
http://meetingrecords.cityofboston.gov/sirepub/cache/2/k1rprwqcqwxawlyzz...

CITY OF BOSTON
IN CITY COUNCIL
September 12, 2014

Councilor Bill Linehan
ORDERED: That effective Saturday, September 20, 2014 the following named person be, and hereby is, appointed to the position set against their name until Friday, December 12, 2014:

1) John Allison Secretary full time
2) Ivon Alvarez Secretary full time
3) Walter Apperwhite Secretary full time
4) Jill Baker Administrative Asst part time
5) Lee Blasi Secretary full time

6) Justin Brown Secretary full time
7) Katherine Carangelo Secretary full time
8) Robyn Casper Secretary full time
9) James W. Chan Secretary full time
10) Alexander J. Chase Secretary full time

11) Elaine M. Cloherty Secretary part time
12) Henry Cohen Secretary full time
13) Timothy J. Colby Secretary part time
14) Amanda Curley Secretary full time
15) William Dickerson Secretary full time

16) Judith E. Evers Secretary part time
17) Leila Fajardo Secretary full time
18) Lorraine Fowlkes Secretary part time
19) Thomas Francis Secretary part time
20) Jacqueline Franks Secretary part time

21) Lynnette M. Frazier Administrative Asst full time
22) Kristin M. Frechette Secretary full time
23) Amy Frigulietti Administrative Asst full time
24) Augusto Goncalves Secretary full time
25) Mark Handley Secretary full time

26) Shaikh Hasib Secretary full time
27) Kyndal Henicke Secretary full time
28) Camilo Hernandez Secretary part time
29) Jared Hogan Secretary part time
30) Tricia Kalayjian Administrative Asst part time

31) Janet L. Knott Administrative Asst full time
32) Bernadette Lally Administrative Asst part time
33) Maria Lanza Secretary part time
34) William MacGregor Secretary full time
35) Stephen Maguire Secretary full time

36) Thomas M. McDonough Administrative Asst full time
37) Joseph M. McEachern Secretary part time
38) Jennifer McGivern Secretary part time
39) Mark McGonagle Administrative Asst full time
40) Mary Elizabeth O’Connell Secretary full-time

41) Deborah O’Leary Secretary full time
42) Daniel Polanco Administrative Asst full time
43) Nichelle Nicole Purvis Secretary full time
44) Allyson Quinn Secretary full time
45) Nichelle Sadler Secretary full time

46) Daniel Sibor Administrative Asst full time
47) Mohona Siddique Secretary full time
48) Michael A. Sinatra Secretary full time
49) Vatsady Sivongxay Secretary full time
50) Hannah Smith Administrative Asst full time

51) Ryan Spitz Administrative Asst full time
52) Elizabeth Sullivan Secretary full time
53) Paul Sullivan Secretary part time
54) James Sutherland Secretary full time
55) Jessica A. Taubner Secretary full time

56) Lori Toscano Secretary part time
57) David Vittorini Secretary full time
58) Joseph T. Walsh Secretary full time
59) Sophia Wang Secretary full time
60) Gary Webster Secretary full time

61) Eric White Administrative Asst full time
62) Kenneth W. Yarbrough Secretary full time
63) Jessika Zimmerer Administrative Asst full time
64) Ron Cobb City Messenger & Senior Legislative Asst full time
65) Daisy De La Rosa Central Staff Director full time

66) Kerry Jordan Television Operations & Technology Manager full time
67) Juan Lopez Senior Legislative Asst & Budget Analyst full time
68) Cora F. Montrond Senior Legislative Asst & Budget Analyst full time
69) Michael J. Nichols Research & Policy Director full time
70) Christine O’Donnell Compliance Director & Staff Counsel full time

71) Lorraine Schettino Office Manager full time
72) Kathleen Sullivan Director of Legislative Budget Analysis full time
73) Yuleidy Valdez Business Manager full time

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They hired 49 secretaries for the just the council?

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Most of those "secretaries" are actually aides for various councilors - they are just listed as secretaries for some administrative reason.

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That's what I figured. There's probably some long, annoyingly complicated process to create newly titled positions.

So 49 aides - what could they all be doing?

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Fielding constituent requests, researching issues, working on hearings, navigating department bureaucracies for residents, representing councilors at community meetings, etc.

Most of the Council aides work 9-5 in City Hall, shoot back to their districts and grab a bite to eat quickly if they're lucky, and then go cover multiple community meetings for another 1-3 hours most weeknights. Many also work on weekends staffing community events for their bosses and are fixtures in their districts at every manner of event, little league game, you name it. It's a job that usually doesn't pay very well and requires long hours and you're mostly dealing with upset people with problems all the time. If anything, most of those staffers deserves raises as well as I see it.

(Of those 49, you probably have a mix of regular staffers and then some temporary positions mixed in since some offices have part-time folks helping with office tasks or out in the communities)

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Ask for the job descriptions for each position at the Central Offices and Councilors' Offices of Boston City Council, all public record and available at
http://www.cityofboston.gov/contact/?id=138

or at
http://www.cityofboston.gov/contact/?id=27

Personnel at Boston City Council are indicated on page 350 at
http://www.cityofboston.gov/images_documents/13%20Non-Mayoral%20Departme...
http://goo.gl/eHAFIS

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I will continue to post this until he retires

Bill Linehan is an outdated dinosaur.

The founding fathers didn't want life long politicians. Therefore Billy's entire career is anti-American!

- The Original SoBo Yuppie

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Oh yeah, people from Medford can't vote in Boston elections even though they like to tell the citizens of Boston how to live.

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????????????????????????????

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I live in SoBo and vote in every election for whoever will turn Boston into a World Class City!

- The Original SoBo Yuppie

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Dragged out all the way until next year elections. Then we can really clean house.

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Yup, can't wait to see Nichols beat Zakim in the rematch

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Maybe if Nichols stopped being a slime ball we would see a better race. Plus going up against an incumbent is tough, especially in District 8. I'd wouldn't be surprised if Timilty ran against Zakim, that is if he can collect enough signatures to get on the ballot next time.

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How'd does one earn a 'slimeball' moniker? EVERYONE I spoke to said he was a good kid and the vastly more qualified candidate in that race.

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Research and Policy Director Michael Nichols could post the research and the policy reports online that are prepared at Boston City Council and make more open the Library/Archives of Boston City Council for researchers. The attitude there currently is to keep everything at too long an arms reach from the public. Digitizing City Council Archives could be a higher priority. Or at least digitize selected archival items of note!

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I can't wait. "Through the generosity of Donald Werner Saklad."

Thanks in advance, Don.

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Nichols isn't a slime ball and Zakim is certainly out there working hard.

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"He said councilors get paid less than their counterparts in other large cities"

So move where the better jobs are

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Nearly $4.5million in salaries alone for the City Council and staff members.

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For a rubber stamp....Staples has them for a couple of bucks.

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Maybe the council should adopt the congressional rules. Then anyone who wants a pay raise can be voted out before they can receive it.

Me thinks Mr Linehan might be close to retirement and with this pay raise and three more years, he'll have a much increased pension...

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Councilor Tito Jackson (Roxbury) said people need to realize that councilors, who currently earn about $85,000, face the same cost of living concerns as everybody else. Already, he said, when it gets cold, he has to throw on an extra blanket rather than dial up the thermostat.

Whenever someone makes this argument it makes me real angry. A majority of residents in the city make well below that, councilor. $85,000 is a middle class salary. Would you like to make more? Sure. But you aren't starving with $85k/year unless you made some really horrible choices. Try having some respect for those trying to make ends meet making 1/3 of that.

To throw the "I'm poor making $85k" is such a slap in a face to most of his district and the city as a whole. You can have your raise when all Boston public schools are ranked in the top 50% of the state.

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Tito's house was foreclosed on about a year or two ago. It's one the reasons he did not run for mayor as planned.

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In the future actual open government transparency will be not merely propounded but really practiced at Boston City Council by Central Staff and City Councilors' Staffs. No longer will the Stenograph Record be hidden from hard of hearing/deaf folks, hidden from anyone interested in reading it. No longer will enquiries for access to the Library/Archives of Boston City Council be deflected but good records management/good archival practices will welcome all. In the future Central Staff at Boston City Council no longer will put off/deflect enquiries but invite enquiries about City Councilors' work. In the future Boston City Councilors will use multiple mechanisms/tools of new technologies and software for interacting with all interested in contributing feedback, comment, suggestions, questions about the work of City Councilors. Engaging citizens needs to be made a greater priority than the now relatively isolated Council enunciating transparency but not practicing it throughout Councilors' Offices and the Central Staff Offices.

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...picture Bill Pullman in a flight suit reading this off to rally the troops?

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Oh, wait.

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He said councilors get paid less than their counterparts in other large cities

Baltimore has an operating budget of $2.5 billion for FY2015 and about 620,000 residents. Boston has a budget for FY2015 of $2.7 billion and about 640,000 residents.

Baltimore city councilors get paid about $65,000. Converted for cost of living from Baltimore to Boston, that's about $75,000 in Boston, a little less than what Boston councilors are getting paid now.

In comparison:

NYC has a budget for FY2015 of $75 billion dollars (30x more than Boston). There are over 8 million people in NYC (12.5x more than Boston). NYC city councilors get paid about $112,000. That's about how much Linehan thinks he's worth.

Get bent, Bill. I hope your brethren in Southie see through this bullshit sooner than later.

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Baltimore is a clusterfuck. Being more like it would not seem to be the right strategy for a world-class city like Boston.

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The question is not one of trajectory.

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...But so much of what I just read makes me angry. Linehan, Jackson and Baker sound completely out of touch and indignant. Jackson is in favor of the raise because he has to put an extra blanket on his bed? Did I read that correctly? Does he know how many of his constituents can't even afford an extra blanket? These guys need to go. Let them go find a six figure salary at a private company and bring in people more in line with reality.

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I live in Jackson's district. Perhaps I should run against him as I can manage to heat my home while making the same salary as him and am grateful to be doing as well as I am. Also, my job is full time.

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He held a real job? This is his way of getting a promotion without having the fear of losing his curent job. Same with lot of them!

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Please do

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Probably not. They're paid well and get excellent benefits to do very little. Count your lucky stars.

I'm slightly shocked at Tito's comment. We're supposed to feel badly that $85k makes him careful about raising his thermostat?

As for Frank Baker, you knew the salary when you took the job. So people come up to you with city issues. Okay. It's not like you can do anything besides listen. Don't kid yourself about what you really do. Go back to Amtrak if you're unhappy.

Go ahead, vote on it. Let's see if Marty approves it.

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$8.60/year per citizen, eh? But what if the citizenry feel like they are getting only $5.26/year's worth?

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Being on the City Council is a part time job. They have no work to do. They do no work. They produce nothing of value.

They are rentseekers (the act or process of exploiting the political process or manipulating the economic environment to increase one’s revenue or profits.)

I think a part time salary of $85000 is very generous. Fortunately I'm not a Boston taxpayer.

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I think I'm going to run in a couple of years on that platform. It's a part time job and was never meant to be anything other than that. You are supposed to be helping to better your community, not getting rich. I would take minimum wage for the time spent in meetings, etc, and everything else will be donated to charity because I can manage to work a full time private sector job at the same time.

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O'malley will not accept the raise because he thinks it's too high. Wanna bet?

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Is a boob, he'll never get elected to a higher office and the second a good candidate runs, he'll be out of a job.

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I'm deaf and requested CART for the City Council meetings in July 2013. This is an accommodation that I'm entitled to under title IIA of the ADA. They told me"no can do, because it would be a significant burden."

Then I met with the disability commission 6 months later and they said they would provide a TV with a live broadcast that would be captioned. That was in Jan 2014 and still nothing.

The szak speaks the truth!! 1 in 6 people have hearing loss. Boston City Council discriminates against deaf people.

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You'd think they might be able to accommodate you for less than $260,000/yr...which is how much more they think we should pay them.

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But then you need a new election in order to get thae raise.

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Many officials in City Hall and their family members are hard of hearing including Councilor Baker who remarked about it at the recent Committee Hearing on housing and the spouse of the City Clerk.

Ask for the complete transcript of Captions on the webcast/cablecast of yesterday's Public Meeting of Boston City Council at
http://www.cityofboston.gov/contact/?id=206

or at
http://www.cityofboston.gov/contact/?id=35

CART Communication Access Realtime Translation
http://nad.org/issues/technology/captioning/cart

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates the provision of reasonable accommodations for employees and “auxiliary aids and services” to ensure effective communication with people who are deaf or hard of hearing. The U.S. Department of Justice regulations for ADA Title II (state and local governments) and ADA Title III (public accommodations) define the term “auxiliary aids and services” comprehensively:

[q]ualified interpreters, notetakers, computer-aided transcription services, written materials, telephone handset amplifiers, assistive listening devices, assistive listening systems, telephones compatible with hearing aids, closed caption decoders, open and closed captioning, telecommunication devices for deaf persons, videotext displays, or other effective methods of making aurally delivered materials available to individuals with hearing impairments.
28 C.F.R. § 35.104 and 28 C.F.R. § 36.303(b)(1), respectively (emphasis added).

“Computer-aided transcription services” has since become knows as “real-time captioning” or Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) services, a professional service that can be delivered on location or remotely. The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) describes CART services as “the instant translation of the spoken word into English text using a stenotype machine, notebook computer and realtime software.” The text produced by the CART service can be displayed on an individual’s computer monitor, projected onto a screen, combined with a video presentation to appear as captions, or otherwise made available using other transmission and display systems.

The National Court Reporters Foundation hosts an online “Communication Access Information Center”. Here you will find information about how to locate and work with CART providers; using CART in the classroom (for children and adults), courtroom, and other environments; providing CART services remotely; and the benefits of CART in providing communication access.
http://nad.org/issues/technology/captioning/cart

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no raises for city council until we get our own rep.

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As much as I agree with your sentiment, we would probably need 18 (we'll say 17 for the sake of not having tied votes) city councilors for Rozzie to be ensured a member. Doubling their number doesn't see very cost effective.

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