The $25,000 a Year Councilor

Last week’s Aldermanic vote giving the new city council to convene in 2014 a $25,000 a year annual salary is, frankly, an outrage.

No amount of explanation by the aldermen can assuage the generally held belief that the raise voted for last week amounts to one of the biggest giveaways in this city’s long political history.

One alderman said the raise puts Everett’s officials in the same boat as Revere’s.

This is true with several exceptions.

Revere’s city councillors receive $20,000 a year in salary and a $500 a month stipend. Revere’s city councilmen can also receive health insurance from the city

Everett’s aldermen cannot insure themselves for health insurance through the city. In addition, there is no stipend.

Comparing Everett’s aldermanic salary with Revere’s bloated city council salary is meaningless. It would be more appropriate to compare Everett’s aldermanic salary with Chelsea’s, which is in the $7,000 annual range and no frills.

The extraordinary thing about the raise granted to the future council by the aldermen here is that the people of this city remain so quiet about it.

There is no palpable outrage although among those who know how the city runs, there is a great deal of animus against those aldermen who voted themselves a literal and physical windfall.

By the time the raise takes effect, some of the present group of aldermen will be gone. Others will remain as members of the new council.

This we know for sure, raising the salary doesn’t guarantee better councilors. It only guarantees that councilors will be paid more to do the same amount of work or less.

The raise also sets the precedent for future raises.

After a while at $25,000, new councillors will get the feeling that they are being underpaid and might be likely to raise their salaries again.

Voters here should ask the aldermen what exactly they are going to get for $25,000 a year in 2014 that they don’t get for a lot less right now?

How is the higher salary going to change anything except for the money it costs the city to pay the board?

Taxpayers should join together for a revisit of this recent bonus given to future councillors.

To do nothing is to be run over by rising city councillor salaries that make no sense except to those receiving them.

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