Mayor Walsh Vetoes $20,000 City Council Raises

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has vetoed a $20,000 pay raise for city councilors, his office has confirmed.

On a 9-4 vote earlier this month, the council voted to give itself a nearly 23 percent pay raise, effective January 2016. The raise would hike councilor pay from $87,500 to $107,500.

Walsh had 15 days to act on the vote. The Boston City Council needs a two-thirds majority to override Walsh's veto; the earlier 9-4 margin, if maintained in another vote, would suffice.

Kate Norton, a spokeswoman for Walsh, told The Associated Press that Walsh plans to request an independent analysis of how much the councilors should be paid.

"The mayor planned to appoint five members to a compensation advisory board and will ask the panel to make salary recommendations within 90 days," The Associated Press reported, citing Norton. "The board currently exists but has been dormant for several years."

The council vote on Oct. 8 followed a politically awkward debate, in which councilors discussed their own pay level.

An initial plan, put forth by City Council President Bill Linehan, would have raised pay by $25,000, effective immediately.

Linehan maintains councilors are overdue for a pay hike. Their last raise was in 2006, and it increased pay by 16.7 percent.

The raises have drawn criticism from those who point to lower salaries for state legislators and councilors from other large U.S. cities.

-- Here's how Boston councilor pay currently compares to some other cities':


This article was originally published on October 24, 2014.


More from WBUR

Listen Live