Former Mayor Guerin to Head City Salary Commission

John J. Guerin Jr.

Former Haverhill Mayor John J. Guerin Jr. will lead a commission studying appropriate salaries for elected officials.

Besides Guerin, Mayor James J. Fiorentini named, a former city official and two business leaders as voting members of the new commission. Fiorentini agreed to name the body after both city council and school committee members were forced to rescind pay raises they voted themselves last year.

Guerin, 26 Leroy Ave., Haverhill, will be joined by former city Personnel Director Mary Carrington, 61 Upland Ave., and Jeffery Linehan, president, Diversified Business Systems, 144 Hilldale Ave., and Stacey L. Bruzzese, president, Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, 80 Merrimack St. Linehan resides in Boxford and Bruzzese resides in Windham, N.H.

Fiorentini also appointed non-voting members City Solicitor William D. Cox Jr., 8 Richmond St., and current city Personnel Director Denise McClanahan, of Woburn. Members’ terms expire June 30.

In mid-December, councilors voted unanimously to revoke the $2,400 increase in each councilor’s expense account amid concerns about its legality. Following the vote, they approved, by consensus, sending the mayor a letter directing him to establish a commission to “study local elected officials salaries and expenses for mayor, city council and school committee, including a comparative analysis of local elected officials in other cities of comparable size, population and form of government.” The request came from Councilor Thomas J. Sullivan.

Earlier, Haverhill School Committee members also voted to revoke its expense account increases without discussion.

3 thoughts on “Former Mayor Guerin to Head City Salary Commission

  1. I have a number of questions relating to Guerin’s appointment and the establishment of this commission.

    What will be the amount of Guerin’s salary? Is this a full time position? Is the position NEWLY CREATED? Hope Guerin is a better Head of the Salary Commission than he was as Mayor of the City of Haverhill. What happened to Guerin’s “cushy” position with The Commonwealth of Massachusetts? Is he “double dipping?”

    Are the other members of the Salary Commission to be paid? If the answer is “yes,” how much money will the other members of the Salary Commission earn? If the members of this salary commission are paid, will they also be entitled to a pension as a result of being named to this commission? What about related expenses? Will they also have an expense account?

    Since the City is broke, where will The City of Haverhill find the money to pay these people if all members of this Salary Commission are paid?

  2. “commission studying appropriate salaries for elected officials.” –

    What’s the point? The city is insolvent.

    Government accounting are the equivalent of EBITA accounting in the private sector, probably even worse since government doesn’t answer to shareholders and simply ignore The People. Government officials and employees always compare themselves to other communities, but not all communities are the same in economic terms. Haverhill, and other poor cities like it, have government employees earning far above median incomes of its residents. Whereas a wealthier community, resident incomes are much higher than those in government employ, and in most cases, easily absorb any cost increases through so-called “bargained for” Agreements. The costs in ratio of those who are able to pay for services at the municipal level are simply never taken into consideration.

    The point that is often missed, and usually exploited through the lie-by-omission media is it’s not just salaries, there are costs should be associated with the totality of benefits and the ability to sustain such. These benefits include health care/insurance, retirement, Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB) to name a few. Haverhill is in a unique and sad situation in regard to their retirement system which has “matured”. Haverhill has more public employees taking than employees contributing to the fund. Financial engineering and the hopes of indefinite market returns are the only things sustaining this paradigm.

    Invariably, as is the case in all things mathematical, promises made will simply be broken, it’s only a question of when. Every time politicians try to legislate math, it always ends badly, usually against the most vulnerable who were sold out or lied to in first place. Since people tend to want to believe something is too good to be true, it’s easier to accept rather than question, this has and is the case here in Haverhill. As a result, unfunded liabilities and cost of government in general will continue to rise (exponentially in some cases) with no possible way for liabilities to ever be paid off, and your costs to live here will continue to rise. The only hope for The People is that their own incomes rise with costs increases, which unfortunately has not been true for many (especially in Massachusetts), something government and agents thereof never appear to understand, care about, or simply do harm intentionally upon its People.

    More debt, more spending, and no way out. Cake sure tastes good!