Counties get ready for Republicans Defeated incumbents are eligible for Baltimore County pensions

November 12, 1990|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,Evening Sun Staff

With voters installing a figurative revolving door in Baltimore County government headquarters, pensions will be calculated for outgoing officials and orientation sessions prepared for incoming ones.

Voters last week replaced five of the seven members of the County Council and elected the county's first Republican administration in 28 years.

Retiring council members are entitled to a pension after 16 years of service or if they are 55 years or older. That means Norman W. Lauenstein, D-5th, who is 63 and has served 16 years, will get $24,270 as a pension, joining former Councilman Gary Huddles, another 16-year veteran, who left office four years ago. Huddles is receiving $21,120 a year, according to county records.

The retirement plan for council members uses a 1/20 ratio, meaning that the amounts of their pensions are based on the number of years service over 20. A 16-year veteran, therefore, gets 80 percent of his salary.

Council members Barbara F. Bachur, D-4th, and Ronald B. Hickernell, D-1st, both 12-year veterans, will be entitled to 60 percent of their pay, or $18,540 a year, once they reach age 55. Bachur is 43. Hickernell is 47.

Dale Volz, 40, D-7th, and William R. Evans, 45, D-6th, are also leaving office, but have served only four years, worth $6,180 a year in pension.

County Fire Chief Paul H. Reincke, 61, who announced his retirement effective Dec. 1 after 39 years on the job, is covered under the old, pre-1959 pension system, which allows firefighters 50 percent of their pay after 20 years. He stands to receive $33,800 a year initially, although the pension will rise as the pay for fire chief goes up. Had Reincke been covered by the current pension system, he would have received as a pension virtually his entire salary of $67,600. Department heads use a 1/40 ratio for pensions, so Reincke would have received 39/40ths of his pay.

He was one of those county department heads who makes less than his subordinates. Deputy Chief Elwood H. Bannister, a merit system worker, gets $82,500 a year.

The county executive-elect, Roger B. Hayden, is scheduled to receive $85,000 a year in salary when he takes office Dec. 3, less than school Superintendent Robert Y. Dubel's $101,000 salary. Hayden, however, has said he will refuse a pay raise scheduled to take effect Dec. 1 so he will continue to receive the $73,000 a year outgoing executive Denis F. Rasmussen makes.

The executive's pay is scheduled to rise to $85,000 Dec. 1, then to $100,700 by December 1993.

County Council salaries, now $29,255, are to increase to $30,900 Dec. 1, $32,700 in December 1991, $34,600 in 1992 and $36,600 in 1993. The chairman gets $3,000 a year more than the members.

Besides their salaries, council members receive a $50,000-a-year budget to pay an office aide and expenses, plus a free county car complete with county maintenance and gas. If they choose to keep their own car, the county provides a monthly payment, usually about $300.

Council Secretary Thomas Toporovich said he plans to schedule a day-long seminar for incoming council members later this month to acquaint them with council procedures, schedules and personal aspects of the job. The new council will have its first special session shortly after the swearing-in ceremony Dec. 3.

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