SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Springfield's Mayor hasn't gotten a raise since 1997. 22News explains why the City Council wants to boost the Mayor's pay by more than 40 percent.
In just a few months, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno could receive a $40,000 raise, bringing his annual salary to $135,000, starting January.
The Springfield City Council unanimously agreed Monday night to advance an ordinance that authorizes the raise to the second round of votes.
Right now the Springfield mayor makes $95,000 a year. The City Council says other cities and towns of similar size pay their mayors or town managers a six-figure salary.
Supporters of the raise told 22News the position of mayor hasn't received any raise in the last 16 years.
According to Springfield City Council Tim Rooke, “If the mayor had received a 2.5 percent increase each year that everybody else got, his salary would probably be somewhere around $135,000 to $140,000.”
“This budget is well over $540 million, and put all the grant money in, it's about $700 million,” said Springfield Chamber of Commerce member Jeffery Ciuffreda. “We understand that some people think it might be a large number, but really, with the budget that size, the money is there.”
However, some people said $40,000 is too big of a jump. They believe the mayor still has a lot of work to do.
“There's a lot of crime. There are a lot of things going on, and unfortunately I don't walk out at night anymore. I'd rather stay at home,” said Blanca Pagan of Springfield.
City Councilors also advanced an ordinance Monday night that could give them a $5,000 raise. That passed by just one vote.
The second round of votes for both ordinances could be held at the end of October. It's a three-step process.