City Council unanimously approves ordinance increasing salaries for all elected officials
By Steve Freker
The Malden City Council at a meeting earlier this month unanimously approved an ordinance which formally increases the salaries of all elected officials, beginning with the new municipal term beginning January 1, 2024.
There had been one major constant in the top echelon of Malden municipal government for over a decade. Gary Christenson has been Mayor of Malden since January 1, 2012, after winning election in November 2011. There’s another constant: When Mayor Christenson first took office on the first day of 2012, his annual salary was $105,000. Remarkably, today, Mayor Christenson’s annual salary remains unchanged: still $105,000.
At that figure, Malden’s Mayor is one of the lowest paid full-time municipal chief executives in Massachusetts, particularly for a city the size of Malden. Additionally, it is believed that Mayor Christenson is the only full-time employee of the several thousand in the City of Malden who has not received a pay increase since 2012.
According to some quick research, the Mayor’s position and the pay rate of the 11 members of the Malden City Council ($17,500 annually) are the only pay rates in the entire city budget which have remained unchanged in the same time frame – since 2012.
The new ordinance increases the pay rate for Mayor of Malden to $150,000 annually – still among the lowest for mayors in this region. Ward 5 Councillor Barbara Murphy’s resolution means a raise of $45,000 for the Mayor’s post – up to $150,000 from $105,000 (47.5%); an annual increase of $7,500 for each of the 11 City Councillors – up to $25,000 from $17,500 (42%); and a raise of $4,500 annually for the seven members of the Malden School Committee – up to $12,000 from $7,500 (60%).
By a unanimous 11-0 vote, the Councillors voted to approve the ordinance. Councillors Peg Crowe (Ward 1), Paul Condon (Ward 2), Linehan (Ward 3), Ryan O’Malley (Ward 4), Murphy (Council President), Stephen Winslow (Ward 6), Chris Simonelli (Ward 7), Jadeane Sica (Ward 8), Craig Spadafora (at large), McDonald (at-large) and Karen Colón Hayes (at-large) all voted in favor of the increase.