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City councilors accept mayor's proposed salary increase

Two key councilors in the struggle for higher council pay say they have come to terms with the mayor's proposal to increase their salaries 13.7%, to $99,500, come January.

"I support the mayoral compromise," at-large Councilor Michael Flaherty, who chairs the council's committee on government operations, said at a forum for at-large council candidates in Roslindale last night. This means the raise will automatically go into effect because the council cannot act to change Mayor Walsh's proposal without a report from his committee, which Flaherty's statement put the kibosh on.

Councilor Steve Murphy, who had been among the most vocal supporters of higher wages for city councilors also said he now supports the mayor's proposal. "The mayor's number is fair," he said.

Still, Murphy told people at the Progressive West Roxbury/Roslindale forum, he thinks councilors really are due at least as much of a raise since 2006 - the last time they got one - as other city workers, who have seen cumulative raises of some 28% since then. "In the interests of fairness, I wanted to be fair to myself, as well," he said.

Councilor Michelle Wu voted against council President Bill Linehan's initial proposal for a six-figure salary, saying the council needs an independent board to set its salaries. But she said last night she's sick of "how much attention this has gotten in the media," when the council has been tackling far more important issues, from paid parental leave for city workers to reductions in diesel emissions for trucks that operate in Boston.

Councilor Ayanna Pressley, who also voted against the initial proposal, agreed the council needs a formal mechanism for determining its salary. She said salaries should be pegged to Boston salaries in general, so that in good times, councilors can share in the prosperity, and that in bad times, they can share in the pain of their constituents.

Annissa Essaibi-George, the only challenger for one of the four at-large seats next month, countered Murphy's assertion by saying it's not voters' fault councilors have not gotten a raise since 2006. She said she would support cost-of-living increases, but said raises should be determined in a public manner.

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Comments

I congratulate our overlords for accepting this grievous insult and sucking it up with such fortitude, even though folks in other areas of government got more. Spartiates were a bunch of coddled babies compared to our fearless leaders.

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Now they will finally be lifted out of the poverty their previous salaries damned them to.

Edit to the person below: it's a joke, dude. Councilor Jackson said his previous $80,000+/year salary had him living in poverty. Which is a beyond ridiculous thing to say.

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One of the ways compensation is administered is that you look in the market for salaries paid to city councilors in comparable sized cities with similar responsibilities and take in to about cost of living. That produces a range.

Then you compare that range to range of salaries paid other folks in Boston govt and maybe even state govt to check for internal equity.

Typically, if there is a big disparity of where the salary is now and where you think it should be, you might make the upward adjustment over a two year period but you can do it in one.

Then you put in place a process so that compensation is adjusted for inflation so that no one's salary loses value year over year. The cost of living adjustment, if any, is added to the salary effective the beginning of the year. If city councilors got new responsibilities or more demands for their time, you'd want to review salary again.

The negotiation between Walsh and the City Council leaves some of the councilors looking greedy and Walsh looking more reasonable.

The game of proposing a huge increase and settling for a lesser one, in this case 14%, (when's the last time you stayed in your current job and got 14%?) is not unheard of. I won't say I know that's what happened because I don't know but it didn't turn out horribly for folks seeking an increase.

Since two dissenters to Walsh's proposal have come around and they have a consensus about the raise but for some reason they don't want to vote on it.

Do you think it hurts their reputation more or less or not at all if they fail to vote for the raise? Me? They should vote and be prepared to explain why it's the right price for the value they deliver. Good government is about going on record, making an argument, taking a vote and defending it.

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Does this mean we'll get more work out of them?

Nah..

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Then reduce the council to 5 districts and 2 at large. Not holding my breath on that either!

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I say knock it down to 5 districts and 4 citywide council seats.

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Do you want more work out of them? IMO having the politicians do as little as possible is a good thing.

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So this means they pay more in taxes, correct?

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It'll be tuff, but I'm sure they'll survive.

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You've never been out of government! You don't know what it's like out there! I've *worked* in the private sector. They expect *results*.

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Here is an idea make the city council a four year term beginning in 2017. Former Boston City Council Candidate Andrew Cousino suggested this in 2013. This would save the city over a half a million dollars each of those off years. This money could go towards schools, public safety, etc....

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Looks like poor Yancey might only seen his pay raise in the private sector.

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Where are online video/audio of the Candidates' Forum?

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Why is the a full time city council? They spend much of their time creating an illusion that they serve a purpose. But the primary purpose is to create an illusion of a city legislative body.

That so few people are interested in being Councilors is telling of how the City Council is valued. Why not change the position to part time. To the extent that Councilors provide constituent service leave that to ombudsman who are hired by and periodically reviewed by whoever constitutes the City Council.

Also make the race less expensive so that more people can run.

That is a pipe dream of course. The City Council is a rump that exists on the basis of a generally apathetic electorate that over the decades has been persuaded that they are powerless and figure why bother voting. The majority of the electorate that sees the City Council as an unimportant and usually useless drain on the city budget get an City Council that fulfills those expectations.

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Council Communications fail to make available the information in an understandable way. Pending Council Matters are hidden behind terminology like Green Sheets. 17F Orders are obscured by failing to use appropriate understandable terminology better than 17F.

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If these people live in Boston make 99k, then take out taxes, isn't exactly a shitload of money. Maybe it should only be 65k. Then you're going to get 65k talent. Thats mediocre car salesman level wages.

If you're saying that you're willing to accept a level of talent and dedication displayed in your local Ford showroom then please comment and say you're ok with that. Thanks.

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The amount of compensation has nothing to do with competence or ability.

The absurd CEO compensation goldrush does not produce high talent or ensure anything - it just rewards the most psychopathic and sociopathic behavior.

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The amount of compensation has nothing to do with competence or ability.

Up to a certain point it absolutely does.

I do agree with your CEO comment. CEO salaries typically do not justify the value a CEO produces.

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1. Fire incompetent employees very quickly and easily (Read: abolish unions).
2. Eliminate some positions.
3. Consolidate some positions.

With the money saved, give raises to the top performers and hire new people at a higher salary to attract talent.

Business 101.

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Who would you kind folks like to see on the 2017 Ballot for Boston City Council ?

The next Election for Boston City Councilors is in 2 years, 2017. If an At-Large Councilor resigns the next with most Votes replaces. If a District Councilor resigns a Special Election can be scheduled.

Specimen Ballots Tues 3 Nov 2015
http://www.cityofboston.gov/images_documents/Specimen%20Ballots%20for%20...

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Who is an honest and genuine guy!

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Adam Gaffin :)

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So Michael Flaherty is supporting, Interesting.

So here are the August minutes, showing that the Mayor's Proposal has been referred to the Committee on Government Operations. See item 1414.

And here is the Committee website, showing the Flaherty is the chair.

And here's the rules page, showing under "Calling of Matters in Committee" that only the Chair can call a vote.

So if he's supporting, he should call the vote. Right?

He's the only person on the entire City Council allowed to do so, apparently.

I note that in the City Council rules, I found nothing about this piece that 60 days from Mayoral submission it becomes law if there no vote. That isn't even written into the Council rules that I can see. It must be somewhere else. Or maybe I missed it.

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Maybe the Boston City Clerks Office would know the Citation... the Cite could be posted here.

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