Governmental Viagra arrived in Boston yesterday. It shouldn't surprise any of us. The City Council hopped up and down on the pump. When it finished inflating, all too quickly, it passed 16.6% raises for themselves and Da Mare.
To get a full sense of what was happening, think back to those annoying, road-blocking strollers. You slow your car to let some clown jaywalkers cross safely. They proceed to proceed verrrrrry slowly, letting you stew by way of thanks.
It's not really that they are dissing you. Instead, they represent the powerless. When they get a chance to make themselves felt, they take it. Then it's back to the shadows.
It's the same with the Boston Council. Da Mare has more power than they, and the commonwealth owns the mayor (see home-rule analyses, like this PDF). They can't make major changes, they have to beg (excuse, petition) the State House for the right and money to do the big stuff and can't tax.
But yesterday, they strolled, bumping their salaries to $87,500 and Da Mare's to $175,000.
Assuming that Da Mare signs this, it will be amusing to see the reaction up on Beacon Hill. The absentee governor makes $135,000 (this one doesn't take it), and the do-nothing legislators gross $55,570, plus $15,000 for committee chairs.
This is a definite linger and block in front of the General Court truck.
The other amusing point is that the debate lasted six minutes, and the vote was voice, not roll-call. This means one thing, sunshine laws or not, this deal was cut privately long before the graying and balding dudes and dudettes entered the chamber.
We need to see and hear now who is most outraged.
Tags: massmarrier, Boston, City Council, mayor, raises, Menino