Ecker unveils $1.1 billion capital projects plan Ecker gets OK to cut merit, longevity pay

April 02, 1991|By Michael J. Clark | Michael J. Clark,Howard County Bureau of The Sun

The Howard County Council voted last night to give the county executive authority to deny merit pay and longevity bonuses to county employees and permit furloughing.

But the council voted 4-1 against an effort by council member Shane Pendergrass, D-1st, to prohibit layoffs. Council Chairman C. Vernon Gray, D-3rd, said he expected the council to meet with County Executive Charles I. Ecker to look for ways to avoid layoffs before the executive's budget is sent to the council April19.

Buddy Roogow, the county administrator, said at a public hearing last month that giving the county executive authority in the next fiscal year to deny merit and longevity pay could save $2 million and reduce layoffs by 60 percent.

Mr. Roogow also said furloughing all 1,800 county employees for one day would save $200,000.

Before last night's vote, Mr. Ecker said he might veto the bills if amendments prohibiting layoffs were approved.

"I can't guarantee there will not be layoffs," he said.

In other action last night, Mr. Ecker's planning board nominee, Nelson E. Fenwick, who underwent stiff questioning at a public hearing, was unanimously confirmed.

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