City Council approves pay increases for officials

The City Council recently gave preliminary approval to pay increases for the mayor, city councilors, and school committee members. By a vote of 8-2, councilors gave first passage to a change that would raise the mayor’s annual base salary from $94,933 to $105,000 effective July 1. By a vote of 7-3, councilors agreed to a separate change under which the pay of councilors, currently $7,466, would be set at 9 percent of the mayor’s salary, effective January 2014. Based on a mayoral salary of $105,000, the annual pay of councilors would rise to $9,450. The measure would also increase the pay of School Committee members effective January 2014 from $4,000 to $5,100, according to city clerk Timothy Spanos. He said the council will likely consider final adoption of the proposed changes at its March 14 meeting. In other business at its Feb. 14 meeting, the council approved the city’s issuance of three bonds. One is for $1 million for retrofits to the city’s two water treatment plants. A second is for $2.3 million for flood storage measures and to allow passive recreational uses at Scouting Way, open space that the city purchased off Forest Street several years ago. The third bond is for $3.1 million to repair the roof of the Peabody Institute Library and to bring the building into compliance with federal handicap-access rules.