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By Luke Canavan


FRAMINGHAM – The Strategic Initiatives and Financial Oversight Committee (SIFOC) held a virtual meeting tonight, February 8, to discuss a potential change in the salaries and stipends of the Mayor and City Councilors.

The meeting was led by acting chair Mary Kate Feeney, who was appointed last week after former chair Michael Gatlin resigned. Feeney will serve as the acting chair until Mayor Yvonne Spicer officially assigns a new chair.

SIFOC Members Joel Francis, David Mawhinney, Christopher Hauck, Scott Ellinwood, and James Culhane, were also in attendance.

The committee was instructed on November 10, 2020 by the City Council Chair George King to write a report detailing comparable salaries and stipends of mayors and city councilors in similar Massachusetts cities so that City Council can determine if any changes need to be made.

In the report, the committee lists statistics for the cities of Braintree, Brockton, Cambridge, Everett, Framingham, Haverhill, Lawrence, Malden, Marlborough, Newton, Quincy, Somerville Taunton, Waltham, and Weymouth.

The average mayoral salary of the cities listed is $139,146.

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Everett currently has the highest Mayor Salary (of the cities listed) at $188,700, while Lawrence has the lowest at $100,385.

Framingham’s mayoral salary is $187,630, the same pay as the last Town Manager in 2017. Framingham became a City on January 1, 2018.

When it comes to City Council stipends, things become a little more complicated.

There is indeed a flat rate for City Council compensation, but there are also other things to take into account, such as travel expenses.

In terms of total compensation budget for City Councilors, the average of all the cities listed is $430,075.

Cambridge currently has the highest City Councilor compensation budget at $2,251,890, while Braintree has the lowest at $47,500.

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Framingham currently has a City Councilor compensation budget of $193,734.

Each of the 11 City Councilors make $5,000 a year in a stipend. The Chair of the City Council receives a $7,500 stipend.

The Committee was careful to take no particular stance during the virtual meeting, saying they were simply instructed to compile the facts, but that they did not feel as though they were in any position to suggest a specific number for salaries or stipends.

However, multiple members did say they saw no particular reason for raising the Mayor’s salary, as well as no particular reason to lower it either.

As for the stipends of the City Council, the Committee suggested possibly seeing what the members’ stipends go towards in order to determine whether or not there needs to be a change.

When looking at other communities in comparison, Feeney said many other municipalities have not changed the salary or stipend for their mayor or council.

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Feeney also said even though the salary was increased for the Mayor of Newton, a City similar in comparison to Framingham, the Mayor of Newton actually vetoed the change and has still not budgeted for or given herself the new salary.

The Committee also made a point to encourage the Council to consider what the money would go towards if they did in fact lower the Mayor’s salary.

Feeney made another good point in saying that the fiscal year of 2022 could be especially “tight and painful for cities,” which might mean that any money, no matter how little, could really make a difference.

Mawhinney responded by saying the Biden Administration could quite possibly increase the amount of money provided to city governments, which would make the year a little less tight and painful.

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Mawhinney also mentioned that a decrease in pay could potentially discourage some talent from leaving the private sector and running for city government, which is another thing the City Council should be considering when making their decision.

If the City Council does decide to make any changes to the salaries or stipends of the Mayor and City Council Members, they must do so by July 1, 2021.

Feeney said it will likely take the Council two or three months to make any changes.

If changes are made, they will not take effect until the election of the next Mayor, whether it be Mayor Spicer or someone new.

Registered voters will elect a Mayor and 8 City Councilors by district in November 2021, among other positions.


Luke Canavan is a spring 2021 SOURCE intern. He is currently a senior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he studies Communication and English. He is passionate about film, television, writing, and literature, and upon graduation, he hopes to work in the entertainment industry full-time, where he can pursue his love for storytelling.

By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.