Today’s Tribune has a story about a proposal to lift the Mayor’s salary in Methuen to make it competitive with salaries paid to CEO’s in cities with similar populations and budgets. I filed this proposal on behalf of a group of Methuen business people who sent me a letter advocating for a higher salary in order to attract quality candidates to future Mayor’s races. Any proposed change would occur only after I left office, and would apply to the next, or future Mayors. That letter is below.
I do agree strongly with the sentiments expressed in the letter, and I do believe that with the salary structure in place it will be harder to attract top flight talent to the job in the future. Many, in an election cycle, will try to turn this into a political football. And they may well succeed. But the people sending the letter have vast experience in the private sector, as well as the public sector. They recognize that without strong leadership at the top the City of Methuen will not be well served. Private sector folks get it. And I can speak out on it now, since I am leaving office in January. Former Mayor DiZoglio is a member of this group, and his understanding of municipal government, and the things needed to be successful in administration, are second to none. I hope their letter spurs more debate, and provides the necessary impetus to get away from the demagoguery already taking place.
Dear Mayor Manzi:
For some of us Methuen is where we call home, for some of us it is where we make our living, for some of us it is where we bring up our children and for all of us it is where we pay our taxes. We care about Methuen and have donated time and money to make Methuen a great place to live and work. That is why we are advocating that we need to raise the salary of the Mayor.
You may ask why we as taxpayer would be willing to pay more compensation to the leader of our Community. The answer is simple; “Methuen needs to fairly compensate the Mayor and recognize that it is worth paying more to get good, professional and effective government”.
Is it fair that the Mayor get paid less than other CEOs in communities with similar populations and demographics in Massachusetts? Is it fair the Mayor of Methuen is paid less than a significant number of other municipal employees? Common sense tells you NO.
Some will say it is not the time considering the budget demands. But we say that the response to that is “penny wise and pound foolish”. It is now time to make an investment in Methuen. We all make investments in our homes and in our business and in our families and it is now time to make an investment for us and the future of citizens of Methuen.
We are prepared to come forth during Council deliberation and express our support for an increase in the Mayor’s salary.
Mr. Bill Fitzgerald Mr. Rick Dewhurst Dr. Tom and Sandy Perrault
Mr. Ken Bourassa Mr. Dennis DiZoglio Mr. Richard Bonanno
Andy and Nancy Caracci Ms. Linda Soucy Mr. Bob Sheehan
Mr. Charles Perrault Mr. Arthur Broadhurst Ms. Pam Healy
Mr. Joe Cosgrove Mr. Arthur Hutton Ms. Barbara DeLuca
Ms. Nancy Curley Ms. Madelyn Varitimos
Oh, your Honor, that old and tired excuse to give raises to attract “quality” candidates has never proved to be true. When the state legislator gave itself raises in the past, it would use the same lame reasoning. You can look at the result, it’s all around us.
Maybe since the letter was sponsored by just a few people, a lot of them that I’ve heard of, maybe they are just preparing the way to hop onto the gravy train themselves.
I smell a rat.
All of the top staff to the Mayor make more money, and believe you me that is just not right. I do not stand to benefit, but you can rest assured there is no “rat” here. The Council will bounce this one out pretty fast, so folks won’t say there is a rat. But the business folks are right on the nose here. Why not just pay $40000 and call it a day.
I know you won’t benefit. We are in a tough economic era. The political class keep driving for raises at the all levels. The people who have to pay for this largess have been largely frozen out of wage increases.
I will oppose this.