The Revere City unanimously approved Mayor Brian Arrigoâ€™s Fiscal Year â€™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, â€œI felt that I couldnâ€™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 didnâ€™t look good. It came down to a vote of conscience and six of us councillors felt that way.â€
Council President Patrick Keefe said he fully respected his colleagues for wanting to be conservative with spending for the promotions.
â€œI feel very strongly, though, that some of these positions come with a lot more responsibilities that the city will need,â€ 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.
â€œDonny 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,â€ said Keefe. â€œTech 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 â€“ we could lose some very talented, highly competent personnel like Donny and Tech and others because of some of the decisions we made.â€