Crofton town board tentatively agrees on $559,280 budget Tax rate remains 28 per $1,000 WEST COUNTY -- Crofton * Odenton * Fort Meade * Gambrills

December 02, 1992|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff Writer

The Crofton Civic Association has tentatively approved a budget that eliminates most of the town manager's proposed employee incentives, adds a $2,500 bonus for the community comptroller and keeps the tax rate at 28 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.

Board members eliminated a raise for the community counselor that was 6 percent higher than raises for other employees, struck down a new rank for police officers and cut by half a proposed $1,000 increase in the retirement funds for each of its nine employees.

Representatives agreed to cut $15,100 from Town Manager Jordan Harding's proposed $570,080 budget but added $4,300 in new spending, including money for a planning and zoning study.

The board is scheduled to take its final vote on the budget at Monday's meeting, after fine-tuning some of the items.

The budget passed unanimously in a straw vote Monday night.

Most of the cuts were made to keep the budget increase under 5 percent, allowing the board to avoid calling a special community meeting.

One of the most vigorously debated issues was the 8.1 percent raise for the community counselor, which would have taken Linda R. Smith's salary from $27,094 to $29,290.

Mr. Harding argued that her salary was not comparable to those of other counselors, who he said earned as much as $36,000.

But in a 6-5 straw vote, the board decided it was unfair to raise an employee's salary beyond the annual step increase.

All employees will receive a 2.9 percent cost-of-living adjustment. But they will see only a $500 increase in their employer contributions to their retirement fund.

The board also eliminated a proposed rank for the special tax district's five-member police force.

Mr. Harding had wanted to give two officers a promotion to private first class, along with a $600 raise for each.

Board members said Mr. Harding could use money out of the $3,330 fund reserved for performance awards to boost their salaries.

But in a unanimous vote, the board approved giving a $2,500 bonus to Comptroller Barbara Swann, who has worked for Crofton for 23 years and was to earn $30,773 next year.

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