PORTLAND — The city’s new full-time mayor will earn minimum wage.

Not the state’s $7.50-an-hour minimum wage. It will be the city’s minimum for mayors: $65,401.50 a year.

The minimum was written into the charter change, adopted by voters last fall, that called for Portland’s mayor to be popularly elected for the first time since 1923.

The charter specifies that the mayor’s pay be at least 1.5 times the median household income for Portland, which stands at $43,601. Retirement and health benefits will add 20 percent to 30 percent to the package.

The council – three of its nine members are running for the job – affirmed the pay without comment Monday night, then got rid of a controversial policy that barred city workers from running for municipal office.

That provision had briefly kept Christopher Vail, a Portland firefighter, from circulating nominating petitions for a spot on the mayoral ballot. The city’s attorney ultimately overruled his original decision barring Vail from running and told the City Clerk’s Office to give Vail the nomination papers.

Councilor Jill Duson sponsored the change in policy, saying she wanted to avoid confusion over the rules.

Vail is one of 18 candidates who have registered with the city so far, and a few more may be waiting to get in the race.

This is the last year in which Portland’s mayor is a city councilor chosen by the rest of the council for a one-year term in a part-time post with mostly ceremonial duties.

Under the charter change, the mayor will be elected by voters to a full-time job for four years with – critics contend – mostly ceremonial duties.

The mayor can veto budgets, although the council can override a veto.


Staff Writer Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at: [email protected]