Council approves increase for Retirement Board

The Common Council voted Monday night to approve an increase in the stipend for members of the Retirement Board from $3,000 annually to $4,500 annually, as allowed by state law.

This issue has been back and forth between the Board of Aldermen and the Council over the past month.

The Council actually initiated the stipend increase in late January, but the Board of Aldermen failed to approve the increase in February and the measure had to be brought back for a new vote two weeks later. Following that vote which passed the measure, the Board sent the ordinance down for concurrence.

The stipend increase will take place right away and will likely be prorated for the remainder of this fiscal year.

Veterans Director Hickey announces new markers at Memorial Stadium

Director of Veterans Services Joseph Hickey appeared before the Council Monday night to discuss the existing veterans markers at the old Everett High School building, but also took the opportunity to announce the planned unveiling of two new markers at Memorial Stadium on Memorial Day.

According to Hickey, the two new markers at Memorial Stadium will carry the names of Everett residents who were killed in action (KIA) in the conflicts in Korea and Vietnam, in honor of their service for our country.

As regards the two existing memorials at the old Everett High School, Hickey noted that both are in good condition at this point, they’ve been recently cleaned and wreaths are placed on the markers each year “the old high school is still a public building with probably the best visibility in the city.”

Hickey also noted that one of the markers bears the names of Vietnam soldiers and the other honors the memory of civil war veterans.

“Most of the names of the (Vietnam) soldiers on that wall went to that high school, their dreams began there and it seems an appropriate place for them to remain (for now),” said Hickey.

Hickey did note that at such a time as the building is sold, he has already discussed plans with the city administration to move the markers, with the Vietnam memorial going to the Connolly Building on Chelsea Street and the Civil War era monument being relocated to the Everett cemetery.

Marcus asks Mayor to consider early retirement incentive

Councilor Jason Marcus filed a resolution with the council to have Mayor DeMaria “look into a three-year retirement incentive program” to see if it would help cut costs for the city.

According to Assistant City Solicitor David Rodrigues, the last time the city adopted such a package, it was authorized as part of the state’s municipal relief bill. Without state approval, the city does not have the authority to offer  an early retirement incentive to its workers in the state retirement system.

However, the city could investigate the possibility of sending a Home Rule petition to the state to achieve such an end, if it makes financial sense for the city.

“The only way you really achieve savings with a retirement incentive, is if you don’t backfill the positions after you allow an employee to retire,” explained Rodrigues.

The council voted to send the request to the administration for study.

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