Tramontozzi Explains Vote On Mayor's Salary
John Tramontozzi is the alderman for Ward 1.
To the Editor:
I would like to preface this letter with an expression of my deep appreciation and gratitude to Mayor Dolan for the remarkable job he has done serving our city. Under his watch we have been seeing a time of relative prosperity as neighboring towns and schools falter. Due to his creativity we have built, and continue to build, the city infrastructure as other communities fall into disrepair. I am awed by his creativity, boundless energy and ingenuity; and it troubles me that the vote on whether to increase the mayor's salary should impact this mayor. He has led by example, cutting his staff and freezing wages, including his own. We have come to rely on that leadership and we all are anxious to keep such a fine man and community member at the helm.
I cannot in good faith however, in these tough economic times, vote on an increase to any city employee's salary. We have asked much of city employees and they have accepted with good grace deep compromises as we have worked together to keep our city prosperous with ever decreasing financial resources. There are a number of exceptional individuals, like Mayor Dolan, including teachers, librarians, firemen and policemen who have served above and beyond the call of their position. Many are worthy of merit increases in salary and we should be committed to implementing changes in the salary structure to better address this. At this time, however, we cannot in good conscience ask more of them than we do our leaders, and the mayoral position is just that, the ground breaker and leader. The person other city employees look to for example. The position from which we establish precedent.
As an elected member of the City Government I am entrusted with the long term fiscal stability of the city as we balance the ability of the tax paying public to pay for reasonable services. In the next few years we will face challenges and we can anticipate sacrifices will be made. Looking at the broader picture and as a representative of the community I am forced to take the long view. The fiscally responsible clear headed and pragmatic choice is not to vote for the increase in the Mayor's salary. Please understand that this vote in no way reflects my opinion of the performance of this current Mayor and Administration. On the contrary, as mentioned in the beginning of this letter, I again acknowledge the remarkable job a fine man has done in serving our community. The vote was on the salary of the Mayor, whoever it may be, beginning on January 1, 2012. It was a vote for the position, not the individual.
Thank you for your understanding and appreciation for what I believe was the right thing to do.
John N. Tramontozzi
Alderman, Ward 1