May 14, 2009

Pay cuts for politicians

The next mayor and City Council will earn 5 percent less than the seven people currently holding the city’s top political offices.

The City Council voted unanimously this week to slash its pay – and the mayor’s $102,000 a year salary – for whoever wins election in November.

It has no way to reduce pay sooner because of a law prohibiting councilors from revising their own salaries until after the next election.

Mayor Art Ward, who proposed the cut, said that Bristol’s leaders need to show leadership “and set the direction” at a time when they’re asking municipal unions to make contract concessions in a bid to close a $1.8 million budget gap for the coming fiscal year.

City Councilor Ken Cockayne said he is “very happy” the mayor decided to support a reduction in pay after voting two months ago merely to freeze salaries in the next term.

This week’s vote covered only the mayor and council, not the part-time city treasurer or the Board of Assessment Appeals, who would have been included in the 3 percent pay cut proposed in March by city Councilor Cliff Block.

City Councilor Mike Rimcoski, who opposed a pay cut earlier this year, said he could vote for this one because it didn’t target anyone but the council and mayor.

The council also voted to freeze the pay of the treasurer and assessment panelists next term.

Also facing a wage freeze are city workers who aren’t in a union, including some department heads and lawyers.

It isn’t clear yet whether the move will help convince wary city union members to support reductions in their negotiated contracts. Many employees say they are reluctant to reopen deals the city made with them, even if it means layoffs for some.

City finance officials and Ward have indicated that if they can’t find savings through union concessions, they may have to lay off workers if they are going to freeze property taxes this year, as they insist they plan to do.

As many as 30 jobs could be on the on the line, but no list exists to clarify where cuts might be made.

The mayor and council will get a 5 percent cut in the first year of their two-year terms that start in November. The pay rate will remain the same in the second year.

Current pay for city leaders

Mayor - $102,025

City councilors - $10,156

City treasurer - $5,079

Board of Assessment Appeals chair -- $1,343

Board of Assessment Appeals - $1,140


Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at


Anonymous said...


You story writes seems to have gotten a bit softer. Whats going on? Why not tell the whole story that Ward, Rimcouski and Nicastro voted no in March.
It was only after Ward anounced he was running again did he now want to change it.

I think it was Block in March who said as leaders we need to show leadership and lower our pay. Ward only repeated what was already said.

Steve Collins said...

Not softer, shorter.
That's just the reality of a paper that's trying to squeeze more stories in!
But I am adding links back to the earlier stories on here.

Anonymous said...

Meaningless in the big picture.

What about the MANY MANY other cuts that could be, should be made that don't affect positions or services?

An election year grandstand move. what does he have up his sleeve for next year when things will be as bad, if not worse?

Better start paying attention folks!

stupid is as stupid does said...

#3:06 should pull up their socks and tie their shoe laces before mommy has to teach them all over again - give it up lamebrain.

Anonymous said...

Steve, have you seen a copy of the BOF budget that will be acted on next Monday or Tuesday (two different postings in City Hall)?

Does it include layoffs?

comprehension said...

306 - for 2% more, idiot.

Anonymous said...

"Meaningless in the big picture."

Golly, when Blockhead suggested a 3% pay cut you guys were jumping up and down screaming about how much money we'd save and what a wonderful idea it Ward ups the ante and suddenly it's "meaningless"? Ya, right...

Trust me, we folks ARE paying attention.

Anonymous said...

here comes all the union boy's protecting there lap dog!

Ward...just another feel good thing. That's all your good for.

Anonymous said...

Actually Ken Cockayne made the show more leadership comment, although the initial paycut idea was proposed by Block. Also, Rimcoski is full of crap with his comment about this time around the pay cuts being proposed only affect the council and the mayor. They were the same last time. The only difference is it is 5% this time and not 3%. Ward had to jump up 2% to make his cut look bigger. he was adamantly opposed to the pay cut last time. What a crock!

Anonymous said...

How about some real cuts Mr. Mayor?

Anonymous said...

...SO, lower pay all around for politicians...

but higher pay (benefits) for our part time lawyers?

Anonymous said...

Lower pay for the Mayor, and full medical benefits and his wife has them too, wow, guess the Mayor thinks we are all stupid. C'mon Artie Boy show some real leadership if you know any.

Anonymous said...

"Ward...just another feel good thing"

...funny how all those "feel good" (aka good) things keep piling up!

Anonymous said...

Again, Art has it backWARDs.

The next mayor should get more money to clean up the mess that Artie is making and will be leaving.

Anonymous said...

"guess the Mayor thinks we are all stupid."

Nope...just you.

proof said...

is 6:50 bitter because they don't have medical benefits? quite obvious that they don't have benrfits otherwise their mental instability would be addressed; unless it has already been determined that their condition has been diagnosed as something else, such as sheer STUPIDITY.

Anonymous said...

Thank God for Art Ward.

Anonymous said...

let's be honest, now, fellas.

i was at the city council meeting where councilor block proposed cutting the next administration's wages by 3%. as i recall, the mayor voted no to that proposal, but did not comment on his vote (8:34's comment that he "adamantly" opposed the pay cut is completely untrue.) indeed, the only councilor to "adamantly" oppose the pay cut was councilor nicastro, who stated that the administration works hard for its pay, and that a 3% cut would be very significant to the mayor, especially, since all of the mayor's income is derived from that pay, while the councilors and others receive nominal pay and have other jobs that really pay the bills and so are less affected.

that being said, i will agree with the commenters who stated that art's 5% pay cut proposal was just the kick off to his reelection campaign. its a little disingenuous and pandering, but hey, that's what we expect from our politicians.

oh, and 3:34 totally needs to get back on his meds. cuckoo. cuckoo for cocopuffs...

Anonymous said...

Mayor sure likes to blog on here daily.

Anonymous said...


The "Feel Good" is Artie feeling good, not me, and many others.

What of substance has he done?

Anonymous said...

"The "Feel Good" is Artie feeling good, not me, and many others."

OK, now wait...first, you say that he's doing all this "feel good" stuff to win the election, then you turn around and say that he's doing "feel good" stuff for himself? Which is it?

You really should try to get your bullsh-t together before you throw it!

cookoo said...

2:54 - cookoo is as cookoo does, doesn't it cookoo?

Anonymous said...


What of substance has he done???

Anonymous said...

How many of these know-it-alls cut their pay ? They're trying to figure out how to screw more people so they can get more money for themselves.