Council President Marilyn Vega-Torres and Councillor Leo Robinson have accomplished an important piece of work – getting City Manager Jay Ash to sign a contract that has him remaining here for the next four years at a higher salary.
The higher salary is nowhere near the $200,000 figure that seemed almost inevitable last week – and we are grateful for that, too.
Paying Ash $169,000 is a lesser burden on the city than paying him $200,000 and so the negotiating by Vega-Torres and Robinson is to be complimented.
To be complimented also is Ash.
He has proven his value to others outside the city but in the end, is happier to remain here than to leave.
Many, many people in this city are extremely pleased that he will be remaining as the city manager.
This is the way it should be as he represents about the very best this city has ever had in the way of leadership.
Also, he has proven to all of us that it isn’t just about the money when it comes to determining what he wants to do.
Lost in all the hubbub last week about Ash applying to MassDevelopment, is the fact that during the past three years he had turned down at least four very substantial private sector job offers.
Nothing, it seems, can take him away from the city of his birth, from the city where he has spent the better part of his life.
It is reassuring that he will be around the next four years.
Most reassuring is knowing of his work ethic and of his ability to bring banks and businesspeople together and of his skill with managing the needs of so many different people, agencies and organizations.
We urge the city council Monday night to vote for the contract that Ash signed Wednesday afternoon.
It will not just be an act of good government, rather, it keeps here someone we cannot afford to lose at a time when there is much hanging in the balance.
An affirmative vote Monday evening sets the course straight and true for the next four years.
And what a nice thing that will be.