Civic group denies pay raise WEST COUNTY -- Crofton * Odenton * Fort Meade * Gambrills

December 01, 1992|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff Writer

The Crofton Civic Association decided last night not to give its psychological counselor a raise almost three times more than what the community's eight other employees would receive.

Crofton's town manager had proposed giving Linda R. Smith an 8.1 percent raise, increasing her $27,094 salary for the full-time counseling job to $29,290, arguing that her wage was not comparable to that paid by other towns and counties for employees in similar positions.

But many of the 13 board members expressed dissatisfaction with the proposed raise because other employees are to get only a 2.9 percent cost-of-living increase. Members also said they felt it impossible to compare Ms. Smith's job description with those in other communities.

Crofton, a special tax district, has had a community counselor for years as a free service to residents, who see Ms. Smith for a variety of reasons, ranging from alcoholism to family crises or drug abuse.

In 1989, some board members attempted to eliminate the position and hire an independent contractor. The action was met with a barrage of criticism from residents, who picketed a board meeting and overwhelmingly voted the proposal down at a special meeting.

Town Manager Jordan L. Harding has argued in recent weeks that counselors with similar experience can earn as much as $35,000 a year.

Board member Ken Folstein said last night that a counselor working for the state government with Ms. Smith's six years of experience would earn nearly $37,000.

In a straw vote, the board voted 6-5 to limit Ms. Smith's proposed raise to the 2.9 percent recommended for the other community workers.

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