News

Brendan Fitzpatrick

January 3, 2024

New Look City Council Holds First Meeting of 2024

Photo courtesy of The Framingham Government Channel

FRAMINGHAM - The latest group comprising the Framingham City Council was sworn in on New Year’s Day prior to holding their first meeting of 2024.

All 11 councilors—along with the recently elected members of the School Committee, Board of Library Trustees, and Board of Cemetery Trustees—took their oaths of office at Nevins Hall in the Memorial Building on Monday. Brandon Ward and Leslie White Harvey were sworn into the seats on the City Council for District 2 and District 8 respectively.

Following the inauguration ceremony, the City Council held a brief meeting. There, Phil Ottaviani of District 6 was re-elected as the council’s Chair by a 6-3 vote; District 3’s Adam Steiner was also nominated by District 1 Councilor Christine Long, with White Harvey and Leora Mallach of District 7 joining in support.

The City Council was unanimous with their decision to elect District 9’s Tracey Bryant as Vice Chair. At-Large Councilor Janet Leombruno was initially nominated for another term in the role by Michael Cannon of District 4, though she decided to cede the Vice Chair spot before nominating Bryant herself.

“I thought that it’s just time for me to step back, and I think that my opinion was that I’d like to see Tracey in that role,” Leombruno told the council.

“I want to thank everybody for putting me in, it was an honor.”

Bryant is the first person of color to hold a leadership position within the Framingham City Council.

During the first meeting of the year, the City Council unanimously voted to adopt the current rules in place for 60 days while also creating a temporary rules committee, while the ongoing matter of the vacant City Accountant position was also briefly addressed.

Mayor Charlie Sisitsky’s findings to the council showed that Framingham’s salary for the full-time City Accountant position, which has been vacant since July, is not as competitive as that of other nearby communities. In turn, Sisitsky has formally requested to change the pay grade for that position from S-3 to DH-1. That would bump the salary range up from $104,000-$145,000 to $107,600-$164,600.

Sisitsky’s memo to the City Council notes that there is enough money available to carry the upgrade through the end of June, but the Fiscal Year 2025 budget would have to account for the request if it is eventually approved.

The Framingham Home Rule Charter calls for a Finance Subcommittee to be formed within the City Council; that group will address the City Accountant salary matter after its latest iteration is formed. Members of the council will be submitting their requests for what subcommittees they’d like to work on in the near future.

“That committee needs to be appointed rather soon,” Ottaviani explained to his colleagues before the meeting was adjourned, “so if everybody could get me their choices in the next couple of days, I’ll appoint (the financial) committee as soon as possible.”

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