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Mayor Pay Raise Passes into Law Without Sullivan's Signature

Starting next year, Braintree's mayor will have a salary of $125,000.

Mayor Joseph Sullivan said he stayed out of the months-long debate over a mayoral salary raise to avoid influencing the outcome, saying that the Town Charter places the responsibility soley on the shoulders of the Town Council.

"It's an awkward discussion to be in," Sullivan said on Wednesday. "I appreciate the gesture."

The Town Council voted to increase the mayor's salary from $105,00 to $125,000 earlier this month.

Councilors considered the merits and parameters of a raise for seven months before deciding on the increase. The $125,000 figure, recommended by the Committee on Ways & Means, came from combining incremental raises based on the Consumer Price Index to the mayor's base pay through 2014 and adding several thousand dollars.

Sullivan said he did not initiate the raise, and that he decided to let it pass into law without his signature because signing the ordinance would have been an endorsement, not appropriate for the current occupant of the position.

"Candidly, that's the only way I could have handled it," Sullivan said. "I had to let it play."

The raise was officially adopted last Friday and signed by Town Clerk Joe Powers but not Sullivan. In a letter marking its adoption, Sullivan outlined his thoughts to councilors.

"While I appreciate the thoughtful effort and due diligence exercised by members of the Town Council in arriving at what you deem to be a fair and reasonable salary for the position of Mayor of our Town, I trust you will likewise appreciate the awkward situation in which l am placed by virtue of the  provision of the Town's Charter requiring that l approve or reject measures approved by the Town Council," Sullivan wrote.

The increase will take effect in January 2014, at the start of Sullivan's seventh year in office. The salary will remain at $125,000 until the council acts. Councilor Leland Dingee said he plans to bring back for further consideration a proposal to tie the raise to a management pay scale.

"I'm glad it's over because we have more important issues to deal with going forward," Sullivan said.

Peter Gozeinya February 21, 2013 at 04:24 PM
My God, the modesty! God forbid he has to lower himself to actually BARGAINING an agreement! What a joke.
Tyler Seguin February 21, 2013 at 05:11 PM
Agree this is a joke, but well handled by the mayor. guess being a career politician gets you prepared for times like these
Matt February 21, 2013 at 05:45 PM
Sullivan has not done what he said he would do. First thing he said after elected he would do away with the trash fee. That never happened. Then he said he would fix the roads in Braintree. He did the roads in his part of town. But he stopped before fixing the roads in East Braintree. Guess he ran out of money? No really reason why he stopped. But he is good at one thing. And that's spending money. Spent one million on Weymouth Landing. And look how that turned out. Spent another million on land on 37 for a dog park. Wants to spend another million on the old water dept building to turn it into a museum. Wants to spend yet another million on the land on Allen street and turn that into a modern art museum. Hes not good at following though on things. But great on spending money.

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