SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

February 16, 2013

Mayor to take salary boost

PEABODY — Mayor Ted Bettencourt said yesterday that he will accept a 10 percent pay increase that boosts his salary from nearly $95,000 to $105,000.

The City Council voted to raise his pay, their own and the salary of school board members on Thursday. Only two councilors, Anne Manning-Martin and Rico Mello, of the 10 present voted against the measure. (Councilor Bob Driscoll was absent.)

The mayor’s new salary will likely take effect next month, while the councilors’ increase would start in January 2014.

“When I was on the council, I typically voted for increases in the mayor’s salary,” Bettencourt said. “I felt that in the city of Peabody, the salary of the mayor should be in line with the salaries in surrounding areas.”

Mayor Bill Scanlon of Beverly, for example, earns $100,000 a year. In Salem, Mayor Kim Driscoll takes home slightly more at $100,384. Other city employees, in Peabody and elsewhere, typically earn far more than mayors. Peabody’s school superintendent earns $165,000. Several police officers and firefighters, thanks to frequent overtime work, take home more money per year than the mayor.

Responding to Manning-Martin’s observation that the financial struggles of Peabody residents caused her to vote against the raise, Bettencourt noted, “It’s always a sensitive topic to recommend a raise.” But he pointed to the millions in savings he’s generated for the city, particularly by persuading unions to sign onto the state health care program.

“We’ve been very cost-conscious,” Bettencourt said.

He said he would have rejected the kind of large increases in mayoral pay recently seen in communities like Braintree (19 percent, raising pay to $125,000) and Melrose (25 percent, also raising to $125,000).

Additionally, he mentioned, that he oversees a $140 million budget.

“This is a position of great importance,” he said, “dealing with a significant amount of money. ... I’ve heard it compared to CEOs in private business.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

AP Video
Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel
Comments Tracker