City Councilors chose one of their own as the new City Clerk, giving the plum job to former City Councilor Maureen Feeney.
The post, which includes being parliamentarian at City Council meetings and running the city's archives, pays about $102,000. But previous clerks have earned tens of thousands more gathering fees from officiating marriages.
Feeney, who represented mostly Dorchester during her 18 years on the council, resigned abruptly in November. That allowed a state-required "cooling off period" of 30 days before she put herself forward as a candidate for clerk to replace the retiring Rosaria Salerno.
City Council Stephen Murphy bristled at media criticism of the hiring process. He said the process he put in place this year was more transparent than any previous one.
He said of the 26 people who applied, 13 did not have a bachelor's degree and were therefore disqualified. Ten others did not meet most of the job requirements Murphy put together. There were three finalists, but one refused to be a part of the public interview process. Only Feeney met every one of the job requirements, Murphy said.
"I can’t help but be disappointed by the Fourth Estate for moving the goalposts," Murphy said. "They are disappointed that the City Charter gives us the authority. They want the authority. Who elected them?"
But criticism wasn't limited to media. City Councilor Tito Jackson said the process could have been more open.
"I believe this process, though better than processes 102 years ago, could have been better," Jackson said. "We should be happy and embrace total transparency."
Jackson voted "present," and City Councilor Charles Yancey voted for the other finalist as Feeney's appointment passed 10-1-1.
Feeney begins her new job on Jan. 2.
There is an effort underway to limit the amount of money clerks can make by officiating weddings during City Hall hours. Murphy and City Councilor Michael Ross filed the ordinance.
In other news from this final meeting of the year for City Council:
- The council raised cemetery fees for the first time in a decade. Total fees are still lower than nearby comparable cities, said City Councilor Rob Consalvo. There are 27 separate cemetery fees. If a family used every single one, which is not common, the total bill would rise $297.
- Council closed a loophole that slowed down police investigations in cases where the criminal used a rental car. Rental car records will be required to immediately show the name of the person doing the renting.
- A decision on City Council redistricting was put off until January.
[Editor's note: The item appears on all six Boston Patches.]