PAWTUCKET – The city is looking to substantially increase pay rates for various department head positions to bring it more in line with other communities and attract and retain top talent.
The City Council’s finance subcommittee last week heard details from Director of Administration Dylan Zelazo, who explained the proposed pay rate changes for 11 top positions.
• The range for director of finance would go from $95,000-$121,500 to $125,000-$150,000.
• The range for director of public works would go from $95,000-$119,000 to 95,000-$120,000.
• The range for director of planning and redevelopment would go from $71,700-$89,124 to $90,000-$115,000.
• The range for the position Zelazo holds would go from $95,000-$116,710 to $125,000-$150,000.
• The range for deputy director of administration would go from $77,000-$95,490 to $95,000-$120,000.
• The range for city solicitor would go from $71,700-$89,124 to $90,000-$115,000.
• The range for city clerk would go from $71,700-$89,124 to $90,000-$115,000.
• The range for chief of police would go from $89,346-$116,000 to $105,000-$130,000.
• The range for fire chief would go from $83,818-$105,039 to $95,000-$120,000.
• The range for library director would go from $70,492-$87,002 to $75,000-$100,000.
• And the range for director of commerce would go from $80,000-$116,000 to $95,000-$120,000.
The pay rates for part-time appointed positions would also be increased, including municipal judges, the sealer of weights and measures, and the city sergeant.
Zelazo explained that the finance director pay is significantly below where it is in other communities, and this would bring it up to a range from where the previous director was when she left to potentially the third-highest pay in the state. The city is actively interviewing people for the position now.
The DPW director position is vacant currently and the pay scale is also significantly less than what others make, said Zelazo. They’re proposing to alter it to be more in line with others, potentially as high as seventh in the state.
The planning director position varies elsewhere, he said, and Pawtucket’s job comes with economic development responsibilities and the city is also planning some of the biggest project in the state.
The director of administration position he holds is most equivalent to a chief operating officer or town manager, he said, and the deputy director position is most similar to a chief of staff elsewhere.
City solicitor pay also varies wildly elsewhere, he said, as does that for city clerk. For police chief, most are in the range of what is proposed, which is also the case for the fire chief.
Officials are essentially trying to “right-size this” to bring Pawtucket more in line with other communities, he said.
The issue of pay rate increases was continued to a Feb. 22 meeting.
Councilor David Moran asked about the discrepancy between the police chief and fire chief pay, and Zelazo said that’s traditionally been the case and is the trend across the state. Moran said it seems to him that the two positions are just as important.
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