Newburyport, City Qualification Conversation

My Dad and I were talking about Newburyport, MA. My father loves politics. It kind of went like this:

Q. My Dad: How big is Newburyport’s budget?

A. Me: $50 Million or so.

Q. My Dad: What’s the mayor’s salary?

A. Me: $50,000- $60,000 roughly.

Q. My Dad: What qualifications do you need to be mayor?

A. Me: Pause. Tilting my head. Another pause. You just need to be 18.

Response. My father and I: Pause. Another pause… peals of laughter.

You got to admit, that’s a pretty apt response.

Whatever job anyone would apply for in Newburyport City Hall, an appropriate resume would be required.

And there appears to be no resume type requirements at all (that I know of) to be mayor of Newburyport, MA.

Now, if we had a city manager form of government, you bettcha that whoever applied to be city manager would have to have all kinds of city manager degrees.

Do we require anything like that to be mayor of Newburyport, MA? Nope. As far as I know the only requirement is to be 18. (If I am wrong about this, o’ readers of the Newburyport Blog, please let me know.)

The other thing my Dad thought was pretty wild was that we paid the person who runs our $50 Million or so municipality as little as we do. A good city manager or a CEO of a $50 Million enterprise would demand a whole lot more than $50,000 to $60,000. You can take that one to the bank.

And the fact that that the mayoral term is only 2 years.

My Dad: 2 years??

Me: Yup, 2 years.

My Dad: No one could possibly get anything done in 2 years.

Me: Yup, you got it.

My Dad just shook his head in utter amazement.

Mary Eaton