Councilman Asks For Pay Cut During Tough Economy

September 18, 1991|By James M. Coram | James M. Coram,Staff writer

County Council member Paul R. Farragut, D-4th, is asking for a $7,125 pay cut in his $27,500-a-year council salary, saying it is "only right" since county employees are not receiving a pay increase this year.

Farragut said Monday he plans to give about another $2,000 of his salary to the United Way of Central Maryland.

"I am personally comfortable yet I see a lot of pain and suffering," Farragut said. "The state and the county are obviously in a stateof stress. I share that sense of pain."

Farragut said his requestto return the money is a personal decision influenced by three events he has been thinking about for several days.

* The Maryland PortAdministration where Farragut works as a cargo sales manager is laying off 46 persons and leaving another 24 positions unfilled.

* County Executive Charles I. Ecker told the council last week that the county's financial woes are worse than anticipated.

Ecker, who had already laid off 40 employees, eliminated raises for the remainder andcut the fiscal 1992 budget by 12 percent, has asked department headsto cut their budgets by another 5 percent to meet an anticipated $8 million shortfall.

* Farragut was planning to challenge employees,who in previous years have exceeded goals set for them, to give 6 percent of their earnings to the United Way.

"I started to think about standing up and telling county employees they should sacrifice when I got a raise and they didn't, and I began feeling a little two-faced about it," Farragut said.

So he told finance director Raymond F. Servary Jr. that for the remainder of fiscal year 1992 -- Oct. 1 toJune 30 -- he wants to be paid at the same rate as the previous council, $18,000 a year.

In addition, Farragut said he plans to give to the United Way $2,375 "less taxes" that he has been paid above the previous council rate since July.

The previous council voted a $9,500 raise for council members who would be elected in 1990 and a $20,000 increase for the incoming county executive.

By law, the salaries take effect upon election. They remain unaltered for the next fouryears of the term.

Regardless, Farragut, said he sees no problem in giving the money back to the county.

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