Mayor Art Ward is calling for a wage freeze for the city’s elected leaders.
“It’s symbolic in nature, to say the very least,” Ward said Thursday.
Ward said the Salary Committee, a three-person panel chaired by city Councilor Frank Nicastro, should consider the idea and make a recommendation about what to do.
Ward said the freeze would hold the salaries of the mayor, city councilors and other elected officials at this year’s level during the next term of municipal office, which begins in November.
“It’s too late now to consider it for this term,” the mayor said.
The mayor currently earns $100,000 annually while the six part-time councilors earn $10,000 apiece. They serve two-year terms.
For more than a decade, the city’s elected leaders have hiked their salaries every two years to match the increases given to department heads, typically about the inflation rate.
Ward said that given the hard time that so many taxpayers are facing – and the hardships that city workers may face, too – this year should not be business as usual.
“We are entirely aware of the circumstances in the economy,” Ward said.
The mayor said the money saved wouldn’t matter that much, but as a gesture, it will help.
At least one of the city’s state lawmakers, Rep. Bill Hamzy, a Plymouth Republican whose 78th District includes northwestern Bristol, has voluntarily taken a 5 percent cut in legislative pay.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org