Peabody’s Finest honored at Bruins’ First Responders Night
On Tuesday night, February 28 a large cohort of firefighters and police officers from Peabody attended First Responders Night at the TD Garden and cheered on the Boston Bruins. Every year the Bruins hold a first responders night honoring the men and women in uniform who risk their lives to protect their fellow citizens.
Peabody Firefighter John Soares helped put together the event, in which 22 firefighters and two police officers watched the Bruins claim victory, 4-1, over the Arizona Coyotes. During the game some of the officers chanced upon the color commentators’ booth and were able to take photos with the announcers. “We were in the right place at the right time,” said Soares.
He is also responsible for the Peabody Fire Department’s participation in raising money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, which holds an event later this spring. On May 4 from 6-9 p.m., a number of firemen will be holding a fundraiser at King’s Bowling in Lynnfield with the proceeds going towards the organization. The event, titled Kegs and Corks 4 MDA, will feature beer and wine tasting. To find out more about the event, visit www.facebook.com/PeabodyFirefighters4MDA.
By Melanie Higgins
Mayor declines bump in salary
In a letter dated February 15, Mayor Ted Bettencourt requested that the City Council not vote to raise his salary. The mayor’s current salary stands at $110,000 per year.
“As per Ordinance, the City Council will conduct its yearly review of the Mayor’s salary. I would respectfully request that no salary increase be authorized for Fiscal Year 2018. Thank you for your continued work for the City of Peabody,” Bettencourt said in the letter.
Bettencourt’s salary stands around the same compared to similarly sized cities. Salem’s Mayor, Kim Driscoll, earns $120,000, while Bettencourt earns $110,000 and Beverly’s Mike Cahill $100,000 – although his is slated to increase to $110,000 in 2018.
Peabody’s mayors have a tradition of a modest approach to their pay. Former Mayor Michael Bonfanti refused a raise during his entire tenure.
Bettencourt last received a raise in 2016 when his salary increased from $105,000 to $110,000, despite not requesting a raise. Accordingly, councillors’ pay also went up, since any increases are consequently tied to the mayor’s increases. Ward 1 Councillor Jon Turco said that councillors were mostly okay with not receiving a raise this year, in lieu of the mayor declining one himself.
The mayor could not be reached for comment; however, Turco said that he believes Bettencourt denied the raise because of his commitment to the city. “He became mayor because he loves the city of Peabody,” Turco said.
On the other hand, Turco believes Bettencourt is underpaid for the job. “I’ve always believed he has been far underpaid, for servicing 56,000 people and the amount of work he puts in,” Turco said.
By Melanie Higgins