Mayor's Salary Hikes For Next Five Years Submitted to Aldermen
Mayor would receive increase previously scheduled for next year—eliminated due to wage freeze—in 2012.
Melrose City Hall has filed a request with the Board of Aldermen to set the mayor's salary through 2015—a total increase of $14,158 over the next five years—including a 3.5 percent raise in 2012 that the mayor was previously scheduled to earn in 2011.
The mayor's position currently has a salary of $95,563. In 2012, the salary would increase to $98,907. According to the current city ordinance setting the mayor's salary, Mayor Rob Dolan was scheduled to earn a salary of $98,907 in 2011, but Dolan sought and secured city and school employees' approval for a citywide wage freeze in fiscal 2011.
Under the request sent to the aldermen, in 2013, the salary would increase 1 percent to $99,896; in 2014, it would increase 7.7 percent to $107,569; and in 2015, it would increase 2 percent to $109,721.
The current city ordinance sets the mayor's salary through 2011. According to the Melrose City Charter, the aldermen, by ordinance, establish an annual salary for the mayor, and that ordinance must be adopted in the first 18 months of the term for which aldermen are elected and provides that the salary becomes effective in January of the year following the next biennial city election.
Dolan is up for re-election in next November's biennial city election; the new salary structure, if approved, would apply to whomever holds the seat.
The aldermen's Appropriations Committee will debate the new salary structure at its meeting on Monday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m and the full board will vote on it later that same evening, if approved first by the Appropriations Committee.
Patrick Dello Russo, city auditor and chief financial officer, and Marianne Long, city Human Resources director, wrote in a letter to the aldermen that the mayor's position does not receive a cost of living increase or longevity "step" salary increase.
They also wrote that the Melrose City Charter adopted in 2005 prohibits the mayor from any outside employment; requires the mayor to serve on the Melrose School Committee; and that the Melrose mayor's currently salary is "below market" compared to similar cities and towns (see a chart of mayor and town administrator salaries at the bottom of this article).
"It is our belief that the compensation program being proposed is both conservative and in line with what Melrose can afford as an appropriate and just compensation level for the position of Mayor," Dello Russo and Long said in the letter.
Dello Russo and Long also submitted to the aldermen the following history of the mayor's salary increases starting in 2002:
- January, 7, 2002: $70,000 (starting salary for incumbent Mayor)
- January 1, 2003: $75,000 (incumbent Mayor was entitled to receive a salary of $80,000 and he voluntarily took a $5,000 reduction)
- July 1, 2005: $80,000 (30 months after January 1, 2003 increase)
- January 1, 2008: $89,209 (36 months after his July 1, 2005 increase)
- January 1, 2009: $92,331
- January 1, 2010: $95,563
The chart below shows the salary for mayors or town administrators in fiscal 2011: