The Baltimore County Council unanimously approved Merreen E. Kelly as county administrator last night, showering him with praise and support but refusing him the $16,000 pay raise sought for the post by his boss, County Executive Roger B. Hayden.
Mr. Kelly, who resigned his $83,000-a-year post as an associate superintendent in the county schools in December to work for Mr. Hayden, thanked council members for their support but declined comment on the salary.
Mr. Kelly, 55, is getting a pension of about $49,000 a year as a 33-year school employee.
Mr. Hayden, who was unavailable last night, had asked the council to approve an $85,000 salary for the county administrator, the No. 2 position in county government.
But as a result of council's vote, Mr. Kelly will earn $69,000, the same as his predecessor, Frank C. Robey, who resigned Jan. 4 but continues to earn the same salary working out of his home on civil defense issues and as an adviser on the county's new emergency radio communications system.
The $69,000 salary is second-lowest for an administrative officer in the metropolitan area, after Carroll County.
Anne Arundel County, with two-thirds of Baltimore County's population, pays $109,000. Howard County, with about a fourth of Baltimore County's population, pays $86,785.
But Council Chairman Douglas B. Riley, R-4th, said Mr. Hayden's request would have to wait until the county went through the budget process.
Council members felt the request should be considered only in the context of the salaries being paid to other county officials and department heads, he said.