The Baltimore County Council today formally approved a 1992 budget that contains money for a 5.8 percent pay raise for its seven members and an $11,000 increase for the county's top appointed official.
While the property tax rate dropped 3 cents to $2.865 per $100 of assessed value, the average homeowner's tax bill will still rise by $24.
The new $1.35 billion budget also contains a $16.60 yearly increase in sewer and water charges, and a host of higher fines and fees, ranging from $3 to $4 more for parking violations to $1.3 million more charged Comcast Cablevision for its franchise to operate. That cost will likely be passed on to consumers, company officials have said.
The County Council members did not follow the lead of County Executive Roger B. Hayden, who has turned away his authorized pay raise in favor of the same $73,000 a year his predecessor, Dennis F. Rasmussen, received.
Last year, the County Council approved a salary of $85,000 for the new executive and a raise to $89,900 next December. Council members, who now get $30,900 a year plus a free county car, are to receive $32,700 starting in December.
Hayden plans to accept a 4 percent raise next month, linking himself symbolically with general county employees, who also got a 4 percent pay raise last year. Hayden authorized no pay increases for county workers in the fiscal 1992 budget and plans to take no increase himself.
County Administrative Officer Merreen E. Kelly's $69,000 salary will jump to $80,000 in June and to $84,900 in December, keeping $5,000 behind the executive's authorized pay. That means that the administrative officer will get a $5,000 pay raise every December through 1993, when he will be making $95,700 and the executive's pay will be $100,700.
The council today also confirmed Kelly to a four-year term on a 5-2 vote. Councilmen Donald C. Mason, D-7th, and Vincent J. Gardina, D-5th, voted "no" in protest of the pay raise for Kelly, they said, after agreeing to raise the council's pay.
The council trimmed 1 cent from Hayden's proposed tax rate, which accounted for $1.3 million from the $1.13 billion operating budget, mainly by reducing appropriations for storm emergencies, gasoline and electricity. The budget takes effect July 1.
Hayden included 220 new teaching positions to cover the 4,000 new students expected in county schools next September, but otherwise slashed 236 vacant jobs. A limited hiring freeze remains in effect, the executive has said, and any new hires require his personal approval.