Council Pay Increase.

City Council Pay Raise

I completely agree with the Standard Times that the unemployment rates and joblessness in this state are a sad tale of the tape. I firmly believe that our governor, our legislative delegation and our president have done a terrible job making headway in a challenging economy. These are some of the reasons I ran. I took a chance to become an elected official. If the question is should we pay a city councilor? Then I say yes. I look at this stipend as my family’s compensation for letting their husband and father serve the community.

Like you, I love and respect my family. Like you I am a taxpayer. I work hard at my regular profession, a chef and instructor, in order to make a living and pay for my families health and medical benefits, (not on the city dime) food, clothing and a place to live. I also work hard at serving the people of New Bedford. The latter I do without regard at times for soccer practice, junior choir, and even church on Sundays. I miss dinner routinely, and often don’t’ see my children until they are asleep in bed. This is no fault of anyone’s but my own of course, I chose to serve and I choose to work hard at it. I simply want to illustrate for the people some of the reasons I feel my family deserves the stipend we get paid as city councilors. I owe it to them, they deserve some form of deferred compensation for my lack of involvement in their lives. While I work to make this city a better place for all of us, and for the people who choose to live here in the future.

This city council has taken every opportunity to represent the people since I have been in office, they had stood to support economic development, to offer incentives to businesses in the hopes of creating jobs and to get to the bottom of the permitting problems and understand other issues that have been raised since my short tenure has begun. We, I believe are making headway for the people of New Bedford. But government is not like a speed boat, it behaves more like an ocean liner. Its ability to adapt rapidly is hindered by process therefore it takes time to turn around.

So these things take time to get better and change takes years to accomplish. I’m confident that I am doing a good job for the people of ward 3. I’m confident that my colleagues are doing their best to do the same. I think our families deserve the extra compensation for the increasing demands on our time and attention.

I love serving the people of New Bedford and I made a promise to them to do so, and  I made a promise to my family that I would do this job for 5 terms (ten years), or as long as the people of New Bedford feel I am doing a good job, whichever came first, before I give up on it. So I have been working hard to spur action, and not simply reaction in government.

I’m committed to doing the best job possible for the citizens, and if the rest of the city council feels my family and theirs deserve a little extra compensation, then I agree. Its $6400.00 each. A lot of money , no doubt for first time councilors to see , but for someone who has served 15 or 20 yrs without an increase, it’s an idea whose time has come. It’s my hope that it will improve the quality of candidate that decides to serve in the future. Keep in mind, we as professionals put in an average of 20 to 30 or more hours a week dealing with constituent and city issues. It’s my hope that perhaps with this increase some of us working additional jobs to support our families can work to focus more on serving the people.

I hope you understand this is more about the future, and less about the present. and the cost of living increase, well that’s to prevent any future city council from having to endure the scornful process of giving itself a raise in the future. Because as it stands, Since we Voted to override the mayor’s veto this will be the last time an adjustment needs to be made to this salary, in perpetuity.

In addition this ordinance contained the all important Tourism Director position. More on that to come soon!

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