Mayor Deflects Critics,will Forgo $2,350 Raise

December 15, 1991|By Robert Lee | Robert Lee,Staff writer

Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins has announced that he will forgo a $2,350 raise and has asked the appointed members of his staff to follow his lead.

The mayor said Annapolis is still on sound financial ground, but with the city landfill closing next spring and an uncertain economy ahead, he is looking for ways to reduce expenses.

"I'm due for a pay raise next month and I'm going to forgo it. IfI get it anyway, I will give it to the Salvation Army. And I will ask all non-exempt employees to join me, but this is no agreement," themayor said.

Last month, the mayor was attacked on two flanks whenan exempt-employees' salary report showed the salaries of several staff members had been rising at a rate of 12.5 percent per year.

The city code calls for the mayor to sign off on raises for merit employees who have performed "satisfactorily" or "above satisfactorily."

Last month, Aldermen Wayne Turner, R-Ward 6, and Carl Snowden, D-Ward 5, both called on the mayor to stop the practice of automatically signing off on the merit raises -- which are the equivalent of step increases other public employees receive until they reach the top of their pay scale.

Turner had promised to submit a bill to change therules for the mayor's staff at tomorrow's City Council meeting.

But Thursday afternoon, he said he would not be submitting the bill because he and the mayor had reached an "agreement in principle" that the mayor would take the lead in holding the line on his staff's salary increases.

But when a reporter asked him about "the agreement," Hopkins exploded.

"There's no agreement. I'm the boss and I say when there's an agreement. There is no agreement. Do you understand?" the mayor shouted before storming out of his office.

Minutes later he returned, subdued, saying: "I didn't like the way I just was."

He announced his decision to forgo his raise in a subsequent interview.

Turner, who was standing nearby during the mayor's outburst, said he was "shell shocked."

"Let him take the credit; I was just trying to explain why I wasn't submitting the resolution I promised last month."

If the six members of the city staff who are scheduled for raises agree not to ask for them, the city will save about $12,000over the next six months, City Administrator Michael Mallinoff said.

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