The Revere City unanimously approved Mayor Brian Arrigo’s Fiscal Year ’21 city budget of $209.6 million at a Council meeting Monday night.
But councilors rejected a proposal by Mayor Arrigo to promote certain personnel who would have additional responsibilities in a newly structured city government, comparable to the Mayor heading a cabinet of top-level administrators to oversee the various city departments.
As a result of the additional roles that those officials would have, Arrigo felt that they should receive pay adjustments of various amounts to correspond with the increased responsibilities.
Councillors-at-Large Anthony Zambuto, Jessica Giannino, George Rotondo, and Gerry Visconti, Ward 1 Councillor Joanne McKenna and Ward 6 Councillor Richard Serino voted against the promotions.
Zambuto, who was voting on his 21st city budget,, said, “I felt that I couldn’t in good conscience have people get laid off and ask people to retire early and then give out raises in a pandemic. I agree with the Mayor wanting to have his own structure and his cabinet, and he can do next year. But whether you call them raises or promotions, it just didn’t look good. It came down to a vote of conscience and six of us councillors felt that way.”
Council President Patrick Keefe said he fully respected his colleagues for wanting to be conservative with spending for the promotions.
“I feel very strongly, though, that some of these positions come with a lot more responsibilities that the city will need,” said Keefe, citing the examples of two officials, Donald Ciaramella (Superintendent of Water and Sewer) and Tech Lang (City Planner), who would be adding responsibilities to their workload.
“Donny is overseeing two very large departments and he epitomizes what we want in a person that is willing to do the work and to not pay him for that is pretty short sighted,” said Keefe. “Tech Leng is highly sought after as an administrator and city planner and she could go outside of the city of Revere and make 20-30 percent more – we could lose some very talented, highly competent personnel like Donny and Tech and others because of some of the decisions we made.”