Tag Archives: PMLP

Council puts lights out on commissioners’ raises

7 Apr

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

Wanted to write about this after the Peabody City Council’s finance committee voted to reject a raise for the Light Commissioners last night, but instead, I will allow Tom Paris, long-time Light Commissioner and “all-around great guy,” to sum up what happened when Peabody’s most-effective board came before the council to ask for what seemed like a reasonable raise.

The following was posted by Tom today on Facebook. I agree with him 100%.

Light Commissioner Tom Paris writing on Facebook:

Tom_ParasMy reaction: Disappointed but not Surprised.

Will I agree with EVERY decision of the City Council and Mayor – NEVER

Will I support the City Council and the Mayor – ALWAYS
As an elected official and a colleague, they should expect that of me
In turn, as an elected official and a colleague, I should expect that of them.

Disappointed – Yes, Surprised – No

It’s been more than two decades since the elected members of the Peabody Municipal Light Commission have gotten a raise, but for some members of the City Council, two decades is still not long enough. Even though we exist in a political arena where every other paid elected City official has had their salaries increased.
On Thursday night, the City Council’s finance committee considered a request from the light commissioners for a raise to $5,100 per year. The five-member, elected board last saw its pay upped to $4,000 per year in 1996. In considering that request, finance committee member, John Turco (Ward 2), said we should be denied our request because of the results of the last PMLP labor contract. Relevant? In their mindset I guess so. I know that I was not elected to run the City and I do not believe that they were elected to run the Light Plant. When the Finance Committee’s Report was read at Thursday’s City Council Meeting – not one Councilor came forward to call for a vote of the Councilors present.

Thankfully the PMLP Board does not deliberate with retaliation in mind, or telling the City Council how to do their job, or if doing the right thing will hurt us during the upcoming election, or what the Salem News is going to say, but rather we focus on the merits of the issue before us and whether this will help us to continue to provide our customers with the Most Reliable Service at the Lowest Possible Cost. Look at our record – we do a great job for the City and we do a great job for the residents of Peabody. Although not appreciated by the current City Council – we are very much appreciated by those who matter – the residents who own The Peabody Municipal Light Plant – the people we serve and will continue to serve to the best of our ability.

Disappointed – Yes, Surprised – No

PMLP management, employees union work together on sane contract

19 Nov

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

It seems that We The People spend a lot of time chastising our elected officials and public service employees.  So, it’s only fair and important that we point out when they work together and in the best interest of the taxpayers.

I refer to the recently agreed to contract between Peabody Municipal Light Plant management, and the light plant employees’ union. Both sides got something, and in the end, they all took into account the need to not slam the ratepayers. The PMLP has taken it on the chin lately for some employee issues, but all that aside, it remains the best run government entity in Peabody.

The reason it is so well run is the fact that the light plant is a little beyond the reach of government. The PMLP is run like a business, and it’s run very well. It’s run by a competent plant manager and overseen by a separate elected board of light commissioners.

So, this week, when we learned that management and the union had taken a commonsense and sane approach to a new contract for employees, we weren’t surprised.

The new 4-year deal includes a modest 1.75% raise, but it’s also retroactive, which is a good thing for employees.  In these days of economic malaise, where taxpayers who work in the private sector aren’t getting any raises, it was a nice compromise, especially after the 11% raise the PLMP employees got with the last contract.

“This is a fair agreement for both the ratepayers and employees,”  said PMLP Commission Chairman Bob Wheatley in a statement.

Hats off too to the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO, State Council 93, Local 364. PMLP serves both Peabody and South Lynnfield.

Read the full story here in the Peabody Patch.