It’s bad timing for fat pay raises for Boston’s mayor and the rubber-stamp city council.
For a mayor who claims she’s all about a new way of doing business at City Hall, this is old school politics 2.0.
Reward yourself and your stooges, er city councilors, with extra cash.
Mayor Michelle Wu is proposing setting the mayor’s annual salary from its current $207,000 to $230,000 and the council’s annual pay from $103,500 to $115,000. She snuck the amendments in a letter to the council that she wants acted on immediately.
The new police commissioner and fire commissioner’s salaries would go up to $325,000 a year.
The city’s corporation council, collector-treasurer and chief information officer would see their annual salaries soar to a maximum of $225,000.
The raises would not kick in until after the next election, which is Wu’s way of protecting herself and the council from charges that they’re giving themselves big raises.
Recession? What recession?
In a letter to the council, Wu says she came up with the raises after an analysis was done by the city’s Compensation Advisory Board, which is another way of covering herself. It’s not actually my idea, but this board here.
“I urge your Honorable Body to act favorably on the proposed amendments without delay,” Wu wrote.
Oh, don’t worry, mayor. They will act without delay. They will.
Wu should know better. This is the same old trick that other mayors have tried before her.
Wu is acting now because she has the political clout to do it and probably won’t get much blowback, at least not in the liberal media. But this is not the bold action that voters wanted when they voted for her.
We’re not supposed to criticize anything Wu does, remember? She made history when she was elected and is virtually untouchable.
So if she wants to reward her former colleagues on the city council, so be it.
A city councilor’s main job requirement is showing up on a Wednesday for a meeting. Other than that, and going to hearings and community meetings once in a while, they’re pretty free. Not exactly heavy lifting.
City councilors barely deserve what they’re getting now, which is a six-figure salary.
By the way, the median income in Boston is just over $76,000.
Most Boston residents are struggling every day to pay their exorbitant rent and the rising cost of groceries.
The difference is, they don’t have a mayor friend looking out for them.
If Wu wants to give a big pay hike to city officials, she should put it to the voters in a referendum — not to the rubber-stamp city council.
Then voters can ask themselves — what have Wu and the council done to deserve it?