Ward Two Councilor Daniel Raymondi will decide within in a week whether to accept a $110,000 a year job to run the Department of Public Works, Mayoral Spokesperson Christopher Walker said today.
Raymondi would have to step down from his councilor position if he accepts the job as DPW commissioner. He currently earns $22,300 a year as a councilor.
Mayor Thomas Koch said the restructuring would make the department run more smoothy. Current commissioner Larry Prendeville would manage field operations in a new superintendent role.
The change is part of an effort to aid a myriad of construction projects the city has taken on in the last few months, including the redevelopment of the downtown, the construction of a new Central Middle School, the almost-complete Concourse, and a $25 million capital improvement plan.
At a city council meeting last week, councilors approved the restructuring in a 7 to 1 vote, with Raymondi absent, along with the FY12 budget.
Only one councilor, Brian McNamee, voted against the budget. He complained that the restructuring provided no savings to the taxpayer and was not necessary.
“I would normally be for any restructuring, but this doesn’t provide any savings to the tax payer, and essentially, from a personnel standpoint, it just creates a new position,” McNamee said at the meeting.
Despite his objections, the restructuring is expected to take place within the next two weeks, if Raymondi chooses to accept the job.
According to Walker, the Mayor has other candidates in mind for the position if the councilor chooses instead to run for Councilor at Large or declines the position entirely. Who those candidates were, the Mayor was not ready to publicly discuss, Walker said.
The $110,000 superintendent position would be paid for by eliminating the Water Superintendent’s position as well by recouping savings in other departments, officials said.
If Raymondi chooses to accept the position, he would not be able to retain his city councilor seat for the remainder of the term.
“If he takes the job, he would be resigning from the council,” Walker said.
Already, the councilor has recused himself from almost all discussions with the council, although according to a release from the mayor's office, the State Ethics commission said Raymondi only needs to remove himself from discussions of DPW budget.
The job offer came as a shock to some within the community who felt that the 22-year City Council veteran was unqualified for the DPW position.
Quincy mayoral candidate Anne Mahoney called for Koch to withdraw the job offer from Raymondi, citing favoritism and bias in the deal.
Mahoney also objected against the large pension Raymondi would be taking home with the new salary.
Pensions are based off an employee's three highest earning years. Prior to this position, Raymondi's highest salary was that as a country treasurer, where he earned $60,000 a year.
Mahoney stated that by offering Raymondi the job, Koch basically removed the long-time Quincy official from potentially running for Mayor in the future.
Despite her objections, the mayor stood firm.
Raymondi’s father held a position within the Highway Division for many years. In addition to serving as councilor from 1975-1981 and again from 1996-2011, Raymondi has also served as School Committee member from 1972-1975 and from 1991-1996. He was Norfolk County Treasurer from 1985-1990.
Raymondi was not immediately available for comment.