Attorney Bruce Assad came before the Fall River City Council the other night to defend his hefty pay raise. Despite members of both the School Committee and the City Council praising him and saying the raise was justified, and despite Assad's many reasons why he is deserving of this raise, he's just plain wrong.
The School Committee unanimously voted to approve the raise, and maybe without fully realizing it so did the council. However a $33,100 increase is uncalled for at a time when we are asking municipal employees to once again take an 8% pay cut.
Councilor Pat Casey led the charge (a rarity to be sure) and pointed out that the increase was more than the yearly salary of many city employees.
I'm a bit irked at the arrogance that Attorney Assad displayed. He accused that bringing him before the council was a stunt to grab headlines and stated that Casey didn't bother to contact him or any of the School Committee before filing the resolution that brought him there. Well I have two little words for Attorney Assad, too bad.
I think there is quite a bit of justification to having him come before the council in a public forum to explain to the people of Fall River why he deserves such a large increase. It's an insult to be told by some that NOW is the perfect time to do this because the school department budget is level funded. Who cares! The city budget certainly isn't. Assad deserves an extra 33k a year (and benefits) but a cop who may take a bullet is taking a pay cut? He gets a whopping $77,500 a year for 25 hours a week when a firefighter who may have to run into a burning building is being asking to take a pay cut? Even if the pay raise is justified now is not the time and certainly not all in one lump sum. This is a part time gig for Attorney Assad and he's making for his 25 hours what many of us WISH we were making for our 40. I have a friend, who is a law school graduate, who said for $77,500 they'd do the job full time, court and all! I think we should look into it.