Balto. County would sweeten pension deal

July 02, 1991|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,Evening Sun Staff

Elected officials were dropped last night from a bill that would sweeten pensions for top Baltimore County managers and for workers in several unions.

The change would allow pensions to be figured on the basis of wages earned during the final 12 months of service, instead of the average wage during the final three years. Since wages are generally a bit higher each year, the change would slightly increase the pensions of workers covered by the bill.

The council voted 7-0 to delete elected officials from the measure, which then passed on a 5-2 vote. Councilmen Donald C. Mason, D-7th, and Berchie Lee Manley, R-1st, were opposed.

The bill would extend the more generous pension calculation to about 900 supervisory workers, department heads and some appointed officials, to 270 county public health nurses, and to about 1,900 classified (white-collar) workers.

Next year, police and blue-collar workers would be eligible.

Although the full cost of the new benefit would be just under $4 million, almost all of that would be paid from employees' contributions. Thus, the new benefit would cost the county only $103,000 the first year.

Over the next five years, however, the county would gradually assume all of the cost for the supervisors and half the cost for the union workers, bringing the county's share to $2.25 million by 1996.

Councilman Charles A. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-3rd, who co-sponsored the amendment to drop elected officials from the bill, said that to include them would "send the wrong message" during recessionary times.

In other business, the council confirmed Assistant County Attorney Timothy M. Kotroco as the new deputy county zoning commissioner. County Executive Roger B. Hayden is still searching for a new zoning commissioner to replace J. Robert Haines, whom he decided not to retain.

Also, two redistricting plans were introduced at last night's meeting, reflecting two views on whether old Essex should remain in the 5th Councilmanic District, as Councilman Vincent Gardina, D-5th, wants, or should be shifted to the 7th District, as Councilman Mason wants.

A public hearing on the redistricting bills is scheduled for July 30 at 7 p.m. at Loch Raven Senior High School. The council plans a final vote at its Aug. 5th meeting.

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