February 10, 2016
By THOR JOURGENSEN
LYNN — City Inspectional Services Director Michael Donovan said he wants to continue doing his job even if city councilors decide not to increase his $153,000 a year salary.
“It will go where it goes with the council. I will still be here whether I get it or not,” Donovan said.
Because Donovan is seeking to boost his current department base pay from $122,400 to $140,000, the request requires a change in a city ordinance and council approval. Councilors have scheduled the proposed change for a public hearing, but they have not set a date for the hearing.
Donovan currently earns significantly more than his base salary because, under the city educational incentive, he is entitled, as an advance degree holder, to a 25 percent income boost on top of his base pay.
He is not the only department head who gets incentive pay under city ordinance. Chief Financial Officer Peter Caron, Public Works Commissioner Andrew Hall and Acting Parking Director Robert Stilian are also entitled to receive incentive pay along with other city department heads.
Donovan said he is overdue for a raise. Hired to run Inspectional Services in 2004, he said the department expanded, beginning in 2006, with city custodians and street light maintenance. The 40-person workforce Donovan said he initially supervised now totals 120 workers.
“I’m seeking compensation for those duties. With more work I expect more pay. That’s the American Way,” he said.
Donovan has received cost of living adjustments mirroring ones received by the American Federation of State, City and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 3147, a city union.
An officer in another city union, AFSCME Local 1736 representing 64 DPW employees, told councilors, during a Tuesday council committee meeting, that Donovan doesn’t deserve a raise. Richard Germano, 1736 vice president and city plumbing foreman, painted a grim picture of relations between the director and DPW union workers.
“We’re beaten like dogs by this man. I don’t understand why Mr. Donovan can receive a raise such as this,” said Germano.
Ward 3 Councilor Darren Cyr came to Donovan’s defense during the meeting.
“I work almost on a daily basis with Mike Donovan. He works hard. He is an asset to the city,” Cyr said.
Councilors Buzzy Barton and Peter Capano raised concerns about a Donovan-specific raise.
“There’s a lot of workers that are deserving,” Capano said.
Donovan said ISD has reduced street lighting costs and other utility expenses by millions of dollars during his directorship.
“I think I’ve proved myself,” he said.
Thor Jourgensen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org