The Board of Aldermen recently voted on a $25,000 annual salary for each of the 11 members of the new city council that will take office in January 2014. The measure passed 4-3, sparking a lot of controversy amongst board members.
In opposition to the increase were Alderman Sal Sachetta and Councilor Sergio Cornelio who put forth an ordinance proposing that the salary for each member of the Everett City Council should be $15,000 annually effective January 1, 2014.
Alderman Robert Van Campen in this edition says he regrets his vote on the issue and is hoping the salary will be reset at $15,000 a year.
Also in opposition was Alderman Michael J. Mangan. “At this time, my personal feeling is it should be lower, somewhere below $20,000,” Mangan said. “I think it’s a little high. Somewhere around 15 to 17 thousand would be fair.” If the higher salary doesn’t get amended, Mangan would consider donating a substantial portion of his salary to community organizations he feels closely tied to. “If I’m fortunate enough to be elected I will definitely be donating,” Mangan said, adding that he would most likely give the funds towards Pop Warner. “I would use that money to sponsor some children who can’t afford to pay the fees,” he said.
In support of the motion was Alderman Michael Marchese. “It’s not even close to what Revere makes as a compensation plan. The city of Everett just has a flat fee. If you want to have quality people in the future, you have to pay them reasonably,” Marchese said. “When I leave, I want to see an accountant or a lawyer in these seats. Maybe at $25,000 we’ll get interest.” Marchese believes that voters will choose the best candidates for the wellness of the community.
”The people will select what’s the best for them, who can provide the best for the city of Everett and for the future. Most of the money I make from my salary gets distributed back to the community anyhow. Whether it’ll be more money, it doesn’t make a difference. My phone is on 24/7, people are always calling. Were very involved in the community. We get elected to our positions, we’re not appointed. I’ve been here 17 years and I think I’ve done a good job. You’re not going to find anyone who loves the city more than me,” Marchese said.
Despite the Board of Aldermen meeting once every two weeks, members attend three or four additional meetings such as public safety and financial meetings.
Under the new city charter, there is no statutory number of meetings that must be held by the new city council which will replace the present bicameral government, according to City Clerk Mike Matarazzo.
Nothing is final right now. The salary ordinance needs the approval of the common council, which will happen at the next calendar meeting on Monday, August 20.
To correct a miscommunication pulled from the ordinance, there was no proposal of a $5,000 expense account, however, an extra stipend of $2,500 for the council president was suggested. That stipend was excluded from being considered after a voice vote against it at the Board of Aldermen Meeting, motioned by Alderman Sal Sachetta.