Local Government and Politics, News

Mayor McGee recommends museum executive director as Lynn’s next personnel director

Russo has been museum director since 2015, according to his LinkedIn profile, and ran unsuccessfully for the 11th Essex state representative seat last year. (Spenser R. Hasak)

LYNN — Mayor Thomas M. McGee has recommended Lynn Museum/LynnArts executive director Drew Russo be appointed the city’s next personnel director.

The City Council is expected to vote on the recommended appointment Tuesday.

“Pursuant to Section 6-9 of the Lynn City Charter, I am hereby appointing Drew Russo personnel director of the city of Lynn effective Monday, May 13,” McGee wrote in a correspondence to the City Council obtained by The Item.

“Also pursuant to Section 6-9 of the Charter, I am respectfully requesting that the Council confirm Mr. Russo’s appointment at your April 23, 2019 meeting.”

McGee declined comment through a spokeswoman.

Russo has been museum director since 2015, according to his LinkedIn profile, and ran unsuccessfully for the 11th Essex state representative seat last year.

Russo and City Council President Darren Cyr did not return phone calls seeking comment.

In January, the City Council approved an ordinance that reduced the base salary of and stripped certain benefits away from the personnel director position.

For salary and benefit purposes, the personnel director went from a Level 1-plus to a Level 1 department head, which lowered the position’s base salary by about $15,000.

Although the base salary was lowered to $87,596, Russo, if hired, would still be making more than the previous personnel director, Joseph Driscoll, who retired last October with a salary of $103,000.

Russo’s profile lists his education as a bachelor’s degree from Saint Michael’s College, which would add an educational incentive of 20 percent, bumping his potential salary to $105,115.

Driscoll did not have a college degree and the post called for candidates to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. If the hire had a master’s degree, the salary would increase to $109,495.

Because of the ordinance, Russo, if approved by the council, would be entitled to all the contractual benefits provided to members of AFSCME Local 3147, but would not be entitled to a monthly car allowance of $325 and years of governmental service outside the city would not be considered for separate longevity pay.

Before the ordinance was passed, if a new hire had 15 years of government service, that would have added another 10 percent on top of the base salary.

There is no current personnel director. Duties for the position have been assigned to the department’s administrative assistant, Maria Foglietta Bray, City Solicitor George Markopoulos and Assistant City Solicitors James Lamanna and Rick Vitali.

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