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Mayor Walsh Reconstitutes the City of Boston Compensation Advisory Board

November 17, 2014

Mayor's Office

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Mayor's Office

Today Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced five appointments to a reconstituted City of Boston Compensation Advisory Board. 

“I have full confidence in the judgment and expertise of the members of this board,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “They will look at every parameter affecting salaries for elected and appointed officials, to fulfill the public’s expectation of both top talent and sound fiscal management. Nobody wants to put public officials in the position of having to set and vote on their own salaries, least of all the officials themselves. A neutral and research-driven mechanism is essential. The Compensation Advisory Board was designed to provide this service and, reconstituted and re-empowered, that’s what it will provide.”

The Board will be tasked with ensuring that adjustments of salaries and expenses for the City of Boston are reinforced by data and strategic assessments. The Compensation Advisory Board will be tasked with reviewing the School Committee, the Mayor, members of Boards, Commissions, and Authorities, and City officers whose compensation is set or subject to approval by the Mayor and City Council and other senior municipal officials.

The strategic analysis conducted by the Compensation Advisory Board will include data gathered from other local municipalities and comparable cities across the nation. In an effort to establish long-term best practices and establish a comprehensive approach to all salary adjustment decisions for municipal officials not covered by collective bargaining agreements, this body will meet regularly and file an official report every two years.

“I am encouraged that the Mayor is reconstituting the Compensation Advisory Board and charging them with immediately addressing Council salaries, said Boston City Council President Bill Linehan. “While an ordinance will still be required to set salaries, I look forward to their report and will await their findings before taking further action. I am pleased with the selection of the members of the board and the Mayor’s willingness to include Council recommendations.”

“Ensuring that the City of Boston's employees and elected officials are receiving an appropriate salary that balances the great work that they do with the commitment to responsible spending for the taxpayers is of huge importance,” said Deborah Shah, Chair of the Board. “I'm honored to be appointed by Mayor Walsh as the Chair of the Board and I look forward to doing the kind of data-supported independent analysis that is crucial in providing insight to the City of Boston on appropriate compensation that will ensure Boston remains in the best possible position to attract and retain top talent and qualified leaders to serve the people of the City.”

The newly constituted Compensation Advisory Board’s first meeting is tentatively scheduled for November 24, 2014. Their first agenda item is to begin an expedited analysis to advise on any adjustments to City Council salaries. A report on City Council salaries is expected by February. 

The members of the Compensation Advisory Board are as follows:

Deborah Shah served as Executive Vice President, Strategic Consulting, for Fidelity Investment's Brokerage Company. Shah was the President and Founder of Management Partners. For almost 20 years, she worked closely with senior managers dealing with organizational change and individual effectiveness. Her firm assisted some of the world's most important companies in planning and implementing major change efforts, including moves into new markets, turning around failing businesses, reorganizing and revitalizing staff, re-engineering key processes, and directing substantial shifts in corporate culture. Prior to founding Management Partners, Shah was the Director of Personnel for the National Broadcasting Company, where she was responsible for recruitment, compensation, organization design, performance management, and manpower planning. Before that she was in charge of management development, staffing, and training for Chase Manhattan Bank's Operations Division. She also served as Director of Mercatus LLC. 

Attorney Michael Curry was elected President of the Boston Branch of the NAACP in November 2010, after over a decade of service. Since his election, more than 3,500 new members have joined the branch, monthly membership meetings are at capacity, and a younger generation of leaders has become active in the organization. He successfully executed a strategy to strengthen the influence and voice of the NAACP in the Greater Boston area by rebuilding partnerships and reengaging city officials. In February, Curry was elected to the NAACP National Board of Directors. Curry is also the Legislative Affairs Director and Senior Counsel for the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers. In this role, Curry manages state and federal advocacy for the 49 community health centers throughout the Commonwealth, serving more than 850,000 patients in over 285 communities. Based on his work, he has been recognized locally and nationally for his leadership in health care policy and frequently requested as a panelist on the issue of health reform. Prior, Curry served as Senior Policy Advisor for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, where he worked on the passage of the 2006 landmark Massachusetts Health Care Reform law, as well as initiatives aimed at ending health disparities. He also has over 20 years of experience in community relations, public affairs and internal communications.

Carol Fulp is President and CEO of The Partnership, Inc., New England’s premier organization dedicated to leadership development and talent management solutions for professionals of color. Prior to her appointment to the Partnership, Fulp was the Senior Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Brand Initiatives at John Hancock Financial. There she led the company’s $12 million philanthropic giving program and created the largest corporate summer jobs program of its kind in the country. Given her leadership in business and public service, President Obama appointed Fulp as a Representative of the United States of America to the Sixty-fifth Session of the United Nations General Assembly. Fulp is an appointed trustee of the University of the Virgin Islands, the Boston Public Library, and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Foundation. She also serves on the board of directors of American Student Assistance Corporation, the Women’s Leadership Board of the Harvard Kennedy School, and is the founding co-chair of the Massachusetts Conference for Women, the largest professional women’s conference in the country, attracting 7,000 attendees each year. 

Amy E. Sheridan is a partner in the Tax Department of Sullivan & Worcester's Boston office. She concentrates her practice in the employee benefits and executive compensation area and is experienced in addressing documentation and compliance issues for welfare plans (including federal health care reform and HIPAA privacy and security requirements), qualified retirement plans and individual retirement accounts. She designs and reviews nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements, including for compliance with Internal Revenue Code Sections 409A and 457A. Ms. Sheridan is also experienced in analyzing ERISA prohibited transaction, fiduciary and reporting issues.

William F. Sinnott has nearly 30 years of legal experience as a line and supervisory municipal, state, and federal government attorney, as a successful private practitioner, and as a teacher and leader in the legal community. He advises and advocates for a diverse range of individuals and organizations including healthcare and pharmaceutical institutions and employees, contractors, universities, and government officers. Sinnott most recently served eight years as the Corporation Counsel of the City of Boston where he was head of the Law Department. In that capacity, he and his staff represented the City, the Mayor, the City Council, and all City Departments in all litigation and other legal matters. His law experience before that was principally as a prosecutor, including 11 years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Boston, during a period of which he served as Chief of the New England Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Sinnott tried dozens of cases in federal court involving narcotics, gang, organized crime, weapons, and financial crime violations. While serving as a state prosecutor, Sinnott represented the Commonwealth in hundreds of matters before appellate and trial courts. As a private practitioner, Sinnott secured judgments totaling millions of dollars in several Superior Court trials. Bill has also had a distinguished military career spanning 32 years with the United States Marine Corps, from which he retired as a Colonel. This included active duty tours in Bosnia and Iraq, among other assignments.