City Council Takes Next Step Regarding Longevity Pay for the Office of Mayor

The ongoing controversy of the dollar amount of the longevity pay for the office of Mayor of Everett seems to be winding to an end.

At Monday’s night City Council meeting, after several members of the audience asked that there be no longevity pay for the office of mayor, councillors voted in less than five minutes to approve one order for a smaller pay scale and then voted not to pursue another order for a flat amount.

The council has been wrestling with the size of the mayor’s longevity bonus that initially was enacted pursuant to an ordinance that was passed by the council in 2016.

With two almost identical orders on the agenda, councillors had to decide at the last minute which order to approve to avoid confusion of having two pay scales for the same position.

Councilor Stephanie Smith introduced a new order that she says was taken out of the City of Everett Employee Handbook.

The order reads as follows:

An ordinance redefining the mayor’s annual longevity bonus:

Whereas: The interpretation of the current ordinance governing the mayor’s annual longevity bonus payment has come under dispute; and

Whereas: Clarification of said ordinance is necessary to bring it in line with other permanent full-time, non-union, and administrative officers and employees that serve as department heads in the City of Everett

Now, therefore, by the authority granted to the City Council of the City of Everett, Massachusetts to make ordinances:

Be it Ordained by the City Council of the City of Everett, Massachusetts that the Revised Ordinances of the City of Everett be amended as follows:

Section 7-167 of the Revised Ordinances of the City of Everett is hereby amended by deleting the entire current text of said section and replacing it with the following new text.

(a) On the anniversary date of employment, the city shall pay any person currently serving in the office of mayor an annual longevity payment per the schedule below:

• 10 years of service $800

• 15 years of service $1,300

• 20 years of service $1,700

(b) In 2022, the first year of the implementation of this version of this section, the payment date of the current mayor’s annual longevity payment shall be the business day following the effective date of this new version of the section.

This order was enrolled on a 6-5 vote with councillors Jimmy Tri Le, Stephanie Smith, Vivian Nguyen, Wayne Matewsky, Stephanie Martins, and Michael Marchese voting in favor.

The next motion, which was offered by Ward Three Councillor Anthony DiPierro and that had been approved at a council meeting in February, then was defeated.  

DiPierro’s motion was as follows:

An ordinance redefining the mayor’s annual longevity bonus:

Whereas: The interpretation of the current ordinance governing the mayor’s annual longevity bonus payment has come under dispute; and

Whereas: Clarification of said ordinance is necessary to bring it into line with what a consensus believes was the original intent of said ordinance.

Now, therefore, by the authority granted to the City Council of the City of Everett, Massachusetts to make ordinances:

Be it Ordained by the City Council of the City of Everett, Massachusetts that the Revised Ordinances of the City of Everett be amended as follows:

Section 7-167 of the Revised Ordinances of the City of Everett is hereby amended by deleting the entire current text of said section and replacing it with the following new text.

(a) On the first business day following January 14 of each year, the city shall pay any person currently serving in the office of mayor an annual longevity bonus of two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500.00) if such person has four (4) or more years of consecutive service in said office.

(b) In 2022, the first year of the implementation of this version of this section, the payment date of the current mayor’s annual longevity bonus shall be the business day following the effective date of this new version of the section.

This ordinance shall take effect upon passage by the City Council and subsequent approval by His Honor the Mayor.

In other business, a motion by Councillor Stephanie Martins to have Everett possibly assume control and ownership of the Revere Beach Parkway in Everett was not passed.

City of Everett’s Transportation Planner Jay Monty said that the parkway had been transferred from the Department of Conservation and Recreation to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.  He told the councillors that major repairs to sidewalks, lights, and islands are being planned. He expects that the state will earmark $30 million to fix the roadway and infrastructure in the next three to five years.

An order by councillors Stephanie Martins and Stephanie Smith recommending that the city participate in the state’s Paid Family Medical Leave program for Everett’s 1,900 employee workforce lost by a vote of 7-3. During the discussion, Human Resources Director Justin Shrader explained the consequences of enrolling in the Massachusetts plan. He said that it could cost at least $800,000 for Everett taxpayers and all monies unused would revert back to the state. It was also mentioned that no other city or town in Massachusetts has enrolled in the state plan.

However, many communities are setting up and funding an in-house program.

All councillors wanted this avenue to be pursued.

Martins, Smith, and Nguyen were the only councilors to vote in favor of the motion.

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