City Releases Salary Report
Cambridge officials last week released the city's 1996 payroll figures.
City Manager Robert W. Healy and Deputy City Manager Richard C. Rossi remained the city's highest-paid officials.
Healy, who has served as city manager since 1981 and whose contract is now up for renewal, earned $130,169.21 last year, making him one of the top-paid municipal administrators in Massachusetts.
The numbers obtained from the city's Payroll Department did not include School Department employees.
Over the past year the city maintained its tradition of highly paid public employees, with Boston as the only Common-wealth municipality paying its city councillors more than Cambridge does. Each councillor earned roughly $36,000 last year, with the exception of Mayor Sheila Doyle Russell, who made $50,447.
Many city officials feel the high compensation that both bureaucrats and elected officials receive is in the best interests of the city.
Councillor Francis H. Duehay '55 said the high salaries help to guarantee a high level of quality from the city's public servants.
"Having high salaries is a constant reminder that we expect outstanding service," Duehay said.
While other city officials said they were unaware of other communities' salary scales, most agreed that the relatively high compensations are set for a legitimate goal.
"My guess is that they are set to be competitive," said Councillor Katherine Triantafillou.
The records released by the city payroll office also reveal a large number of officers in the Cambridge police department who earn higher total salaries than more senior lieutenants and captains.
Of the top 20 salaries, four were earned by rank-and-file officers, a result of high detail and overtime hours.
While some city officials reached yesterday said they were not aware of the high police salaries, others felt that excessive detail or overtime could detract from the officers' performance during their normal shifts.
"I don't mind what they earn, what I mind is the fact that excessive numbers of details detract from their normal service," said Duehay.
And while he was not aware of any efforts to change detail and overtime regulations, Duehay said he felt the process was "somewhat out of hand."