© 2024
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Pay Hikes Proposed For Elected Officials In Springfield

Springfield City Hall at night
Paul Tuthill

    Hefty pay raises are being considered for elected officials in Springfield, Massachusetts.

     The Springfield City Council has given first step approval to a $40,000 salary increase for the mayor and a 44 percent raise in pay for the 13 Councilors and six members of the Springfield School Committee.

   Just a week after the compensation package advanced on an 8-5 vote, Councilors scheduled a possible final vote for a remote special meeting that started at 4 p.m. Monday.  At that meeting, Councilors voted 11-2 to send the proposed pay raises to committee after Councilor Justin Hurst said the process needed more transparency.

   "I think voting on this in a special meeting sort of gives the appearance to your everyday citizen that we are trying to hide something, and I don't think there is anything about this that we need to hide," Hurst said.

   Hurst said the public should be given a chance to weigh-in and he said he also wants to know where Mayor Domenic Sarno stands.

  "I am supportive of the raise, I want that to be on the record," Hurst said. "I just think there should be a better process in terms of not rushing."

   The raises were recommended by a three-member Compensation Advisory Board that was appointed in 2018 by then-Council President Orlando Ramos.

    In a meeting with Councilors on June 14, board member David Cruise said the recommendation was based on an evaluation of the salaries of comparable officials in other Massachusetts municipalities taking into account variables such as population size and budgets.

   "We found that the salaries were woefully out of line  with the work that's being done by comparable bodies of other cities, some small, some large, and really feel that it's time for the City Council to give this particular topic its attention," Cruise said.

  Elected officials in Springfield have not had a pay raise since 2014.

  "It's always hard to give oneself a pay increase, but I think the residents and the voters of Springfield respect and appreciate the work that you, the mayor, and the School Committee do," Cruise said.

  The proposal would increase the mayor’s annual salary to $175,000.  The yearly pay for Councilors would increase by $8,500 to $28,000.  Each School Committee member would receive $18,000, up from $12,500 annually.

  Since state law requires an intervening election, the pay raise for City Councilors and the School Committee would be effective on January 1st, 2022 and for the mayor it would not take effect until January 1st, 2024.

   The ordinance the Council is considering would require that a compensation advisory committee be appointed every four years, said Councilor Tim Allen.

     "By putting that in, it recognizes that this needs to be done on a semi-regular basis, so I think that is another piece that is good," Allen said.

   The Council’s General Government Committee and Finance Committee are expected to hold a joint hearing on the pay package.


The record-setting tenure of Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. The 2011 tornado and its recovery that remade the largest city in Western Massachusetts. The fallout from the deadly COVID outbreak at the Holyoke Soldiers Home. Those are just a few of the thousands and thousands of stories WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill has covered for WAMC in his nearly 17 years with the station.
Related Content