Alex Morse Doubles His Salary By Trading Holyoke for Provincetown

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Alex Morse is more than doubling his salary by leaving his job as mayor of Holyoke to become town manager of Provincetown.

Morse, 32, is an openly homosexual progressive Democrat who unsuccessfully challenged U.S. Representative Richard Neal (D-Springfield) from the left in the state primary last year. He is set to take over the top administrative job in town government at the northern tip of Cape Cod next month.

As mayor of Holyoke, Morse’s salary in 2020 was $87,754.39.

As town manager of Provincetown, Morse’s new salary will be $185,000 — a 111 percent increase.

Holyoke, an old mill town, is a city of about 40,000 people. Provincetown, which has the highest percentage of same-sex couples in the United States, is a town with a population of about 3,000 year-round residents that skyrockets during the summer.

Provincetown’s per-capita income ($56,550) is more than triple Holyoke’s per-capita income ($17,138), according to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue’s Division of Local Services.

The average value of a single-family home in Provincetown ($815,038) was about four and a half times the average value of a single-family home in Holyoke ($179,340) in 2015, the most recent year for which the state Division of Local Services provides a side-by-side comparison.

Morse raised $6,980 from six donors in Provincetown for his run for Congress, according to the Federal Election Commission.

NewBostonPost obtained Morse’s contract with the town of Provincetown via a public records request on Monday morning.

It is a three-year contract set to go into effect on April 5, 2021. It has a base salary of $185,000 per year, but he will become eligible for merit-based pay increases as of April 5, 2022. The town has agreed to set aside a pool of money within the town budget of up to 4 percent of Morse’s base salary for merit-based pay raises, “subject to appropriation” by Town Meeting. Four percent of Morse’s starting base salary is $7,400.

The jump in base salary may have implications for Morse’s state pension sometime in the future, since state pensions are a percentage of the average of the highest three years of base salary. Morse, 32, became mayor of Holyoke in January 2012. State and municipal employees qualify for a state pension after 10 years of service (at the lowest percentage, which climbs with years of service and age until it reaches the maximum).

As for benefits, Morse is eligible for health insurance coverage similar to what other non-union town employees. That means that the town would pay 70 percent of the premiums and Morse would pay 30 percent of it. He will have 160 hours paid vacation time in the first year of the agreement and 200 hours paid vacation time in the second and third years of it. He can also carry over up to 40 hours of unused vacation time from one year to the next, but he has to use it in the following year, or else he loses it. Additionally, Morse will receive 120 hours of sick time per year.

Morse will get additional cash benefits, too. He will receive a $5,000 stipend for relocation expenses within the first month of his employment. Plus, he will receive an annual housing stipend of $15,000 per year as a part of his regular paycheck.

Morse will also receive reimbursement for “any expenses incurred in the performance of his duties, or as an official representative of the Town, including attendance by him at civic or social events,” the contract states. He will also receive reimbursement for gasoline, tolls, and parking expenses associated with his job.

The contract also states that the town cannot specifically reduce Morse’s salary and benefits unless it is part of an across-the-board reduction for all non-union employees in the town.

The contract defines the job as “administrative, management and supervisory work in directing the activities of all town departments, commissions, boards and officers except those excluded by charter or law; all other related work as required.”

Morse could not be reached for comment on Monday.

NewBostonPost has published Morse’s entire contract, available at the link below:

Alex Morse Contract