For the first time in 17 years, the position of Springfield mayor is getting a raise.
The City Council voted Monday night to bump the annual salary from $95,000 to $135,000.
The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce endorsed the idea months ago saying it will attract the most qualified mayoral candidates to the area.
Supporters of the raise say it's been a long time coming.
"One hundred twenty people make more than the mayor who are city employees, and I believe the mayor's salary is justified," said Springfield City Council President James Ferrera.
Meanwhile, opponents say it's too high of a raise.
"No one in our community is making $95,000 a year, and for them to want to add $40,000 because everyone makes more than him is an issue," said Imani Cosby, of Springfield.
In a statement sent to CBS 3, Mayor Domenic Sarno thanked the council for approving the raise saying, "I would like to thank the City Council for recognizing that the position of mayor has not received a salary increase since 1998. Chief executive positions in some significantly smaller cities and towns across Massachusetts either exceed or match Springfield's. Given the duties and responsibilities in running a corporation with a budget in excess of $500 million the salary needs to commensurate with the position to attract the best and most qualified."
The council also approved of a raise for city councilors to just under $19,000 a year.
The changes will go into effect in January.
Copyright 2013 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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