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From City Council President Marc Laredo …

City Council President Marc Laredo has announced the appointment of a Blue Ribbon Commission to examine the compensation that Newton’s elected officials (the Mayor and members of the City Council and the School Committee) receive for their service and to make recommendations for possible future changes to their salaries and benefits.

The Commission will be chaired by Claudia Dumond-Henderson, the chief human resources officer for the Boston Globe who formerly served as senior vice president, head of human resources at Steward Healthcare, and James Simons, a compensation specialist who currently works as an independent consultant and previously was the director of compensation for ModusLink Global Solutions, a multinational e-commerce company. 

The other members of the Commission are:

  • Karen Carroll Bennett, the director of the Teaching and Learning Center at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a member of the Day Middle School Council.
  • Sharon Chen, a human resources manager at Dunkin Brands, Inc. and the co-president of the Newton Cantonese School.
  • Doug Cornelius, the chief compliance officer of a financial services firm and a member of the Newton Historical Commission.
  • Sue Flicop, who works at Boston College TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center and is the president of the League of Women Voters of Newton
  • Carolyn Gabbay, the vice president of legal affairs and general counsel at Mount Auburn Cambridge Independent Practice Association, Inc. who for many years was a partner at the law firm of Nixon Peabody, LLP where she practiced health care law.
  • Timothy Moran, an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts where he is the deputy chief of the Organized Crime and Gang Unit and director of the Civil Rights Enforcement Team
  • Greg Reibman, the president of the Newton-Needham Regional Chamber who previously was the editor-in-chief and publisher of the Newton Tab and 13 other weekly newspapers.
  • Donald Siegel, a partner with the law firm of Segal Roitman, LLP where he represents unions and workers.
  • Andrea Steenstrup, a controller for a number of local life science start-up companies who has been active in the Newton public schools.
  • John Stewart, a former Alderman at-Large from Ward 4 who served on the Board of Aldermen for ten years and was the director of education at the Kennedy Library and Museum.
  • Kathy Sun, a strategy and operations business analyst at Deloitte Consulting.

The City Council last looked at the compensation for its elected officials in 2005.  At that time, a Blue Ribbon Commission recommended raising the salaries of all elected officials and providing a mechanism for future increases.  The City Council thereafter approved a salary increase for the Mayor but did not make any other compensation changes.

 The Commission will hold its first meeting on Thursday, January 3, 2019 at 7 p.m. in Room 106C at City Hall, with the goal of having a report to the City Council by June 2019.  It will meet once or twice a month, with all meetings being held at City Hall and open to the public.  Residents are encouraged to communicate with the Commission both at its meetings, where there will be an opportunity for public comment, and in writing, with communications directed to Danielle Delaney ([email protected]) in the City Clerk’s office.


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