LYNN — As the city continues to struggle financially, a City Council subcommittee is recommending that the base salary of a Lynn department head be downgraded.
The City Council Ordinance and Rules Committee voted on Tuesday night to set down a public hearing where the salary of the city’s next director of personnel will be decided.
The position is currently vacant, following the retirement of Joseph Driscoll in October. He was making $103,000 when he retired.
If the new ordinance is passed by the City Council, the new director of personnel would make a base salary of $87,000 and the position would be downgraded from a Level 1+ to a Level 1 job, according to James Lamanna, the city’s attorney.
“It’s important that we do this,” said Ward 1 Councilor Wayne Lozzi. “It’s one means of the city tightening its fiscal belt. We’ve got to make sure we’re not doing giveaways and paying overly exorbitant salaries.”
Before 2007, the personnel director was a Level 1 position. That year, the personnel director received a $10,000 raise because approximately 150 custodians were transferred from the school department to the Inspectional Services Department, according to Lamanna.
With retirements, there are now fewer than 50 custodians, which means the workload has decreased for the position.
Lozzi said another reason for the raise was city officials felt since Driscoll didn’t have a college degree, he was being shortchanged with salary in comparison to other department heads with degrees. The new director hired would likely have a degree, so the base pay wouldn’t have to be as high.
If the ordinance is passed, salary would increase for candidates who meet educational requirements. A director with a law degree would make $109,495. If the position and salary were not downgraded by the council, a director with a law degree would make $129,594, according to Lamanna.
A new personnel director is expected to be hired early next year. There is no acting director, as duties for the position have been assigned to the department’s administrative assistant Maria Foglietta Bray, City Solicitor George Markopoulos and Assistant City Solicitors Richard Vitali and Lamanna.
The personnel department coordinates hiring for the city of Lynn.