At this weeks series of budget hearings the idea of a salary hike for various elected officials in Fall River was suggested. City Council Member Steve Camara proposed to enact it for the 2020 members next year.
"Another thing of concern to me is the rather meager pay we give our elected officials, particularly school committee members, city councilors and the mayor,” Camara pointed out. “I know that my colleague in seat two thought we should have a sentiment of the council as to whether or not we'd like to see this addressed.”
The city councilor made sure to note this was not a premeditated proposal.
“We reviewed the charter during the break and found that the council has the authority to rescind the freeze but it has to be done within the first 18 months,” Camara said. “Some would think this has been orchestrated but clearly there wasn't because none of us realized what time frame was."
Council Member Shawn Cadime added on to Camara’s point and explained that he’s in favor of the motion because he believes the mayors salary at the present is not enough for that position in the city.
"The reason I'm going to support this is more for the mayor's position,” he said. :When we look at the challenges we have to get people to run for the office of mayor, that position pays $118,000 and not take anything away but the town administrator is making close to $25,000 more.”
Councilor Cadime continued to explain it’s not about the position of town administrator or the duties involved but instead the allure of the position of mayor and how attractive it would be to those with credible business backgrounds
“I understand the town administrator does more of the day-to-day functions with the departments,” he said. “When we start looking at the complexity of the city and you start looking at CEO's in charge of those types of budgets of millions of dollars, you won't get anyone with any type of business background or real credentials to come in and take the 24/7 job requirements at a salary of $118,000."
The motion ultimately passed by a 6-3 margin with Council President Cliff Ponte along with Councilors Leo Pelletier and Joseph Camara rejecting it.