City Hall windfall

It's official as of yesterday afternoon: Boston mayor Tom Menino has signed off* on a proposal to hike City Hall salaries.

Menino's salary would jump from $150,000 to $175,000. (That'll do wonders for the pension!) City councilors, who currently make $75,000 annually, would pull in $87,500. The compensation range for other key jobs would also be shifted upward, with Class 1 employees--corporation counsel, police chief, CFO, etc.--eligible to make between $125,000 and $175,000.

The pro-raise argument goes something like this: Boston's an expensive city to live in--the priciest in the country, according to some--and public-sector salaries need to be bolstered to attract good applicants.

Maybe so. Still, this strikes me as awfully generous, especially where the mayor and city council are concerned.

One point worth noting: Back in 2004, when San Francisco was facing a serious fiscal shortfall, Mayor Gavin Newsom actually cut his own salary, and urged other high-earning city employees to do the same. There's no direct parallel here. But with Menino constantly kvetching about Boston's lack of financial resources, wouldn't it be refreshing if he took a similar tack?

Oh well. Maybe next time.

*ADDENDUM: It's still not a done deal, though--the city council still needs to give its approval. Which it probalby will.
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