City Councillors unanimously approved a four-year working contract for new City Manager Tom Ambrosino that will pay him a salary of $170,000 per year – just a few thousand less than former City Manager Jay Ash made at his departure.
The contract also includes a residency waiver, meaning he will not be required to live in Chelsea as stated in the City Charter. Ambrosino resides on Revere Beach.
“I’m very satisfied with the contract,” said Ambrosino. “The negotiations were courteous and professional and I trust a harbinger of a good working relationship between myself and the City Council.”
Council President Leo Robinson had appointed a working group of himself and Councillors Matt Frank, Dan Cortell and Brian Hatleberg to negotiate the contract. Those discussions were extensive, but professional, he said, and went quickly.
City Solicitor Cheryl Watson Fisher also participated in the negotiations.
“I think we’re all on the same page,” Robinson said. “I’m ready to get started and I know Tom is ready. He’s going to hit the ground running.”
Councillor Frank, who did not vote for Ambrosino, said he felt the negotiations went very well. He said Ambrosino compromised on salary, while the Council compromised on the length of the contract – going from three to four years.
“We knew going in we couldn’t pay him more than Jay, but he does have a lot of experience,” said Frank. “I think we came to a good compromise. Given how the meetings went, if this is the way he normally does business, I can work with him. He was professional and everyone came out happy even though they didn’t get exactly what they wanted.”
One councillor was not exactly happy with the process of pounding out the contract, Councillor Giovanni Recupero, who was livid during the meeting on Monday night. He said later that he felt all councillors should have been involved in the negotiations and he thought the length of the contract was set in stone at two years. He said he was shocked to find out it was four years. Nevertheless, he did vote to approve it.
Ambrosino will begin on Monday, July 20, with Interim City Manager Ned Keefe’s contract running out at the end of July.
The contract specifies that Ambrosino will be entitled to a salary increase of 0-3 percent each year based upon the City Council’s performance review of his work. That decision will come on April 30 of each year.
He will get 25 days of vacation per year and cannot carry more than 10 weeks of vacation at any time. He will also get 15 sick days and will qualify for the sick leave buyback program. He also gets five days of bereavement leave for the death of an immediate family member.
He qualifies for all the normal City benefits, including health, dental and retirement.
Ambrosino will be provided with a City vehicle to use in order to perform his City Manager duties. However, he will not be able to take it home and can use it only between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
He will, by contract, be evaluated each year in the following 11 categories: Finance, Economic Development, Neighborhood Enhancement, Community Development, Public Safety, Government Philosophy, Personnel Administration, Policy Execution, Intergovernmental Relations, Community Leadership/Public Relations, and Overall Effectiveness.