, Newburyport, MA

Local News

May 14, 2014

Council sends school measure to study


“Our constituents are freaking out,” Kinsey said. “This is a plan in case the situation gets worse.”

Heartquist remarked that she had spoken with the mayor about the measure, and knew of Holaday’s displeasure. She said the concern of her constituents was a key reason for supporting the proposal.

Proponents said that the measure is “not an override” but a tool in case “the ball gets dropped in the future.”

In a separate matter, councilors sent to the Budget and Finance Committee a measure to raise the pay of councilors and members of the School Committee.

Councilors are paid $5,000 per year. The new measure would put their salary at 8 percent of the mayor’s salary.

The new city charter specifies that the mayor earns $98,000 per year, so the measure would raise councilor salaries to almost $8,000.

School Committee members would be in line to earn 4 percent of the mayor’s salary. Committee members now earn $2,500 per year.

The proposed measure states that the council president would earn an extra $1,000, and the vice-chair of the School Committee also would earn an extra $1,000.

If approved, the raises would go into effect in January 2016.

City officials say that salaries of the council have not been raised for more than a decade.

In other action, the council approved the appointment of Leslie Eckholdt to the Newburyport Redevelopment Authority.

With the addition of Eckholdt, a retired insurance executive, the panel now has three members of a complement of five.

Robert Uhlig, the longtime chair of the Parks Commission, has been nominated to serve on the NRA and his name has been sent to committee.

Ethan Manning was confirmed as new city auditor and finance director, succeeding Bill Squillace, who is retiring in coming weeks.

Kimberly Turner was named to serve on the Parks Commission.

Members of the new Water and Sewer Commission are as follows: Bob Cook, David Hanlon, Roger Jones, E. Larry Kelly and John Tomasz.

The oversight functions of water and sewer departments were recently melded into one commission.

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