Hopkins Forswears $2,350 Raise

Mayor Asks Appointed Staff To Join Cost-cutting Action

December 16, 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. If I 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," the mayor said.

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

The citycode calls for the mayor to approve raises for merit employees who have performed "satisfactorily" or "above satisfactorily."

Also, Aldermen Wayne Turner, R-Ward 6, and Carl Snowden, D-Ward 5, called on the mayor to stop the practice of automatically approving 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 the rules 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 hadreached an "agreement in principle" that the mayor would take the lead in holding the line on his staff's salary increases.

But when areporter 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 decisionto 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 $12,000 over the next six months, City Administrator Michael Mallinoff said.

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