Hefty pay raises suggested for Annapolis officials Council members angered by study ANNAPOLIS/SOUTH COUNTY--Davidsonville * Edgewater * Shady Side * Deale

June 11, 1993|By JoAnna Daemmrich | JoAnna Daemmrich,Staff Writer

A study of Annapolis government jobs that recommends hefty pay raises for all department heads has the City Council and mayoral candidates seeing red.

Council members angrily attacked the results of a $17,000 review of job descriptions and salaries for the city's 500 workers as "outrageous," "self-serving" and "highway robbery."

The report by Yarger and Associates, a Falls Church, Va., consulting company hired by the council, outlines a proposed salary scale that would boost the pay of some Cabinet-level positions by 15 percent. Other city employees would receive 5 percent raises on their next two anniversaries.

If the council adopts the recommendations, the city administrator will earn nearly $80,000, at least $13,000 more than the equivalent job in Washington, D.C.

Salaries of the city attorney and planning director would increase from a maximum of $68,965 to $76,035, while the tourism director's pay would climb from $56,738 to $62,553.

"In my opinion, this report was self-serving to the highest-paid members of the city government," said Alderman Wayne Turner, a Republican who represents the 6th Ward. "I was so freaking mad I nearly jumped out of my chair."

Alderman Theresa DeGraff, a 7th Ward Republican, said, "It's amazing how many increases went to department heads." And Alderman Carl O. Snowden, a 5th Ward Democrat, dismissed the report as "dead on arrival."

City Administrator Michael Mallinoff declared yesterday that he had already turned down his last raise and would not accept the proposed reclassification. The pay ceiling for his position, now $68,965, would climb to $79,837 under the proposal.

Mr. Mallinoff is widely credited with running Maryland's capital professionally, leaving Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins free for largely ceremonial duties. He was taken aback by the sharp criticism by several aldermen who met with him and the mayor Wednesday afternoon.

"I don't want to be made a political scapegoat," he said. "I didn't write the study, and I don't want to be made the issue."

The cost of implementing the pay provisions this year would be $363,000, he said, and the city already has set aside that much money because it is negotiating with the unions representing police, firefighters and municipal employees.

Mr. Hopkins defended his aide and said council members were sniping about a few positions instead of focusing on the reclassifications. The last study to ensure fair compensation for city employees was completed in 1984.

"This is just a study," Mr. Hopkins said. "We did it to find out if there are any injustices in salaries. It's an evaluation made by professionals."

Mr. Turner said the report failed to answer many of his questions about job descriptions. And Ms. DeGraff wondered whether the study contained any gender bias. Despite significantly more training, clerks, who are mostly women, would be paid the same as janitors, she said.

Council members, who plan to discuss the report again next week, said they might drop the salary schedule but keep the reordering of job classifications.

Meanwhile, former Mayor Dennis M. Callahan, who is trying to regain the office as an independent, and Republican mayoral candidate Larry Vincent seized the opportunity to assail the Hopkins administration.

Mr. Callahan pointed out that his administrator, Frank Marzucco, was paid $46,000.

"I don't know if we're getting what we're paying for," said Mr. Vincent, a Main Street clothier.

Mr. Hopkins said Mr. Mallinoff is paid more because the position was restructured to confront the city's increasingly complex problems.

City employees have not received a cost-of-living raise for two years. Last year, they got a 1 percent bonus instead of a raise.

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