Watertown Town Manager Michael Driscoll received a raise of more than $20,000 Tuesday night after the Town Council approved giving him raises in two previous years.
Changes to the Town Manager’s salary must be made by an ordinance approved by the Town Council. The Council unanimously approved the ordinance Tuesday night that increased his annual salary by $23,000.
The ordinance passed on Tuesday listed some of Driscoll’s accomplishments during his time as manager, including raising the town’s bond rating to AAA by Standard & Poor’s, paying off the town’s unfunded retirement system by July 1, 2019 (years before other communities), saving money for the town by entering town employees into the Government Insurance Commission’s group health insurance, and high marks from the state’s Division of Local Services after a full financial management review.
Driscoll’s previous salary was $172,500, and the ordinance passed Tuesday included a raise to $184,000 in Fiscal Year 2017 and to $195,500 in Fiscal Year 2018, the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018. He also received a $5,000 equity adjustment each of the years.
Town Council President Mark Sideris said a study was done also looked at what other city and town managers in the areas were making. The high salary was in Arlington with $215,848 (including deferred compensation) and the low was Stoneham at $150,000. The new salary puts Driscoll at the fifth highest.
“It showed Watertown ranked ninth of 12 communities,” Sideris said. “And, Mr. Driscoll is the longest serving manager by a long shot, and many are leaving at the end of the year.”
Driscoll has worked in town for 40 years, the last 26 as Town Manager.
The other communities in the study were Arlington, Brookline, Lexington, Needham, Nilton, Winchester, North Andover, Natick, Reading, Belmont and Stoneham.
Council Vice President Vincent Piccirilli thanked Driscoll for keeping the Town financially stable, and helping the Town Council meet its goals.
Angeline Kounelis said she has known Driscoll longer than anyone on the Council because she used to work for the town as a contract worker when Driscoll was the Treasure. She said she respects his fiscal expertise, but she said she recently disagreed with him on one of the recent appointments. She added that hopes that the Town Council can work on a new contract for Driscoll, who has not had a new contract for many years.
Resident Russ Arico said he was glad to be able to give Driscoll some good words “for a job well done.”
“The raise is really a token of our appreciation,” Arico said. ” Mike has saved us millions of dollars.”
Driscoll thanked the Town Council for approving the raises, and for everyone who supported him.
“I appreciate all the kind words,” Driscoll said.
Sideris added that Town Council has started to negotiate a new contact with Driscoll.
See the ordinance here: https://ma-watertown3.civicplus.com/DocumentCenter/View/25212/2018-06-12-Ord—TM