Newton City Council President Marc Laredo is seeking volunteers from the business and nonprofit communities to serve on a new commission that will be examining the compensation of Newton’s elected officials.
The city council passed a resolution on Oct. 1 asking the Council President to appoint a Blue Ribbon Commission to examine the salaries and benefits that Newton’s elected officials (mayor, council and school committee) and to make recommendations for future changes to those salaries and benefits.
Newton’s mayor receives a salary of $125,000 a year for full-time service. Council members each receive a stipend of $9,750. School committee members each receive a stipend of $4,875 a year. All of these elected officials also are eligible to receive health insurance from the city, although many obtain health insurance from other employment or their spouses and so do not use this benefit. The mayor and the council members are eligible to participate in the city’s retirement system.
The council last looked at the compensation for elected officials in 2005. At that time, a Blue Ribbon Commission recommended raising the salaries of all elected officials and providing a mechanism for future increases.The council approved a salary increase for the mayor but did not make any other compensation changes.
In order to carry out the council’s resolution, Laredo will be appointing a new Blue Ribbon Commission of between 9-15 members. The commission will begin its work in January 2019, with the goal of having a report to the council by June 2019. The commission will meet once or twice a month, with meetings likely to be in the evenings. Newton residency is not a requirement.
“I intend for the Commission to be diverse and to represent an array of different perspectives,” Laredo wrote in a letter. “No prior experience with compensation issues is required to serve on the Commission.”
If you are interested in serving, send a resume or other summary of your relevant experience and a short cover letter or email to City Clerk David Olson (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Friday, Nov. 16. Appointments to the commission, including its chair and vice chair, will be made by Dec. 14.