|Framingham Council OKs $80K For Diversity Officer Job||October 8, 2020|
|Neal Mcnamara||Framingham Patch|
The Council took the key step of appropriating money for the job on Tuesday. Now the city has to find a candidate.
FRAMINGHAM, MA - The Framingham City Council took the final step in creating a diversity, equity and inclusion officer position in city government by approving a transfer of money to pay for the job.
On Tuesday, Councilors voted 8 to 3 to approve $80,000 for the position. The Council had approved a salary up to $125,000 on Sept. 30. The full amount likely won't be needed since there are only nine months left in the fiscal year - and the city likely won't hire someone for weeks.
Mayor Yvonne Spicer has been pushing for the job since she took office, but was unable to make the hire due to past budget disputes. Spicer did get approval to hire for the job in a previous budget year, but the candidate turned down the offer.
The Council left the position out of the budget during deliberations in June, but Spicer asked for it to be added back this summer. She had previously asked for up to $115,000 for the role, but boosted that to $125,000 citing an increased demand after nationwide protests over the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
The job had not been posted on the city website as of Thursday morning. Chief Operating Officer Thatcher Kezer told the Council the position could be posted in about two weeks.
The appropriation for the diversity and equity officer job came after Framingham received $3 million more than budgeted in Chapter 70 state aid. That aid usually goes entirely to the school district, but municipal and school officials worked out an agreement to share the windfall.
About $2.3 million will go to Framingham Public Schools. The rest will help Framingham offset budget costs to have a zero levy increase.
The hiring of this position basically means that the city and schools are
no longer a meritocracy
In so many words, the task of the diversity officer is the following:
It wasn't enough to:
I'll be waiting to see the race of the person hired.
What is the value of dark skinned women when you have a dark skinned woman mayor?
Only women of color need apply.
We should also consider the notion that the vast majority of positions in the city and schools do not need too much intelligence. Maybe we are hiring too many smart people.
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