After asking our readers if they supported Mayor Rob Dolan's proposed 26 percent pay raise, a majority said they do not support the proposal.
The Melrose Appropriations Committee will review Dolan's proposal at 7:30 p.m. Monday at City Hall.
In a Dec. 26 letter to the board, Dolan asked for a pay increase from $99,896 to $125,000. In a Jan. 15 letter to Aldermen, the mayor said, "I respectfully request that this Honorable Board amend Melrose Revised Ordinances, Chapter 48-1. Mayor. Part A. Salary, to read as follows: Effective January 1, 2014, the salary for the position of Mayor shall be $125,000 per annum.'"
In 2010, Dolan submitted a request to aldermen for a pay raise that would have started in 2013, as his salary would have increased 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. However, his request failed to garner enough support from the board, as he ultimately received a 3.5 percent raise in 2012 and a 1 percent raise in 2013, bringing the total salary to $99,986.
Melrose Patch Readers Say No to Mayor's Pay Raise Proposal
While Dolan has received backing from members of the Melrose Chamber of Commerce and others, Melrose Patch readers do not support the mayor's proposed salary increase.
"A $25,000 pay raise? Seems like a bit much..." wrote reader Nate. "You have to be kidding me. He is either out of touch with reality or is just arrogant," added reader cliff webb.
Reader luckyfreeman wrote, "Nice taxpayer funded (proposed) pay hike ... (while) everybody else is struggling to make ends meet." Fellow reader S/O Costa agreed, saying, "I'm sorry, but I cant get behind any one getting a pay raise ... sorry no raise for me, you shouldn't get one either."
Meanwhile, reader John Fri said, "These government CEOs are greedy! I'm tired of the greed, CEOs like this guy are the problem!"
One reader said the economy still has not improved enough to merit Dolan's request for a pay raise. "The economy is still in the tank, however, and if we could not afford it in 2010, I don't see how (Alderman John) Tranmontozzi or anyone else can say that we can afford it now, particularly where in 2010 Dolan was asking for (7.7 percent) in 2014 plus 2 (percent) in 2015, whereas now Dolan is asking for 26 (percent)!"
While the majority of readers were not supportive of Dolan's proposal, one reader did back the mayor's request.
"Anyone who attended (the) State of the City address by Mayor Robert Dolan at Memorial Hall would have (no) difficulty in voting for his salary increase based on the extraordinary progress our city has made in so many different areas of quality of life since he was elected Mayor over 11 years ago," wrote reader MFD. "He continues to invest much personal time and energy into making Melrose one of the best run cities of the Commonwealth and one that all of us continue to be proud to call our city."