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Boston City Council OK’s higher staff budgets

The Boston City Council voted unanimously this week for a 5 percent increase to the office budget each councilor receives to pay staff members.

The proposed ordinance, which must be signed by Mayor Martin J. Walsh to take effect, was passed Wednesday with a voice vote after a brief discussion but no formal hearing.

The measure would increase the staff allowance of 12 councilors by $10,000, to $216,250. The staff budget for the City Council president’s office would increase by $15,000, making the total $262,500.

“This particular matter is not about the salaries of the City Council,” said its president, Bill Linehan, who proposed the increase. “This is about allocation for staff and personnel for each council office.”


Most councilors have four or five employees. They can divide their budget among their staff as they choose. For a councilor with five staffers, the additional money could provide each one with what Linehan described as a modest $2,000 raise.

For the last five or six years, the council has had a budget surplus that averaged $150,000, and one year reached $300,000, Linehan said. The proposed increases would total $135,000.

Walsh has not decided whether to sign the ordinance, according to spokeswoman Melina Schuler.

“The mayor will review the financial and legal merits of the council measure in the coming days to make his determination,” Schuler said Thursday.

A review of the most recent payroll data available showed that the total pay for City Council staff was $3.3 million in 2013. The figure covered 112 people, ranging from interns to central staff members shared by all 13 councilors.

Andrew Ryan can be reached at andrew.ryan@globe.com.