, Salem, MA

February 21, 2013

Salem council to consider raise for mayor

By Bethany Bray

---- — SALEM — City councilors will review the mayor’s salary this spring.

Mayor Kim Driscoll makes $100,000 per year and received her last raise in 2010.

The council’s Subcommittee on Administration and Finance plans to discuss Driscoll’s compensation and make a recommendation to the full City Council at its first meeting in April.

The city’s Human Resources Department will compile a survey of mayor salaries in area cities of similar size for councilors to use as a reference.

At last week’s City Council meeting, Councilor Tom Furey said the matter deserves “serious attention” and noted that numerous city employees — from the school superintendent to middle school principal — make more than the mayor.

“The only question I would ask is, are we raising the bridge or lowering the river?” Councilor Michael Sosnowski said. “Are we overpaying everybody else, and that’s why it (Driscoll’s salary) is out of proportion?”

Driscoll was elected as Salem’s first female mayor in 2006 and re-elected in 2009 to a term that lasts through 2013.

In May 2008, the City Council voted to increase Driscoll’s salary — from $80,000 to $100,000 — effective Jan. 4, 2010.

This winter, Driscoll told The Salem News that she plans to run for re-election this year. If re-elected, Driscoll would begin a third four-year term in January 2014.

If the council raises the mayor’s pay, they will automatically raise their own, too. City councilors’ salaries are tied to the mayor’s; they are guaranteed a salary that is 10 percent of the mayor’s.

Bethany Bray can be reached at and on Twitter @SalemNewsBB.