Mayor proposes reducing raise for city workers ANNAPOLIS/SOUTH COUNTY -- Davidsonville * Edgewater * Shady Side * Deale

June 15, 1993|By JoAnna Daemmrich | JoAnna Daemmrich,Staff Writer

Amid mounting criticism of a study of Annapolis government jobs, Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins proposed last night to reduce a recommended pay raise for the city's 500 workers and give residents a greater tax rebate.

Mr. Hopkins suggested that government workers be given an across-the-board 2 percent raise instead of the 5 percent increase on their anniversaries recommended by the new study of job descriptions.

The $500,000 saved would go toward reducing the tax rate by eight cents -- from $1.80 per $100 of assessed value to $1.72 -- instead of the nickel the mayor first proposed.

Council members have angrily attacked the report by Yarger and Associates, a Falls Church, Va., consulting company hired by the city, as "self-serving" and "highway robbery" because it recommended hefty increases for department heads. They also have questioned if it had a gender bias.

Mr. Hopkins said last night that he had set aside $858,000 in his proposed $38.3 million budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1 to provide raises for city workers. Annapolis is negotiating with the unions representing police officers, firefighters and other municipal employees.

The study outlined a proposed salary scale that would have boosted the pay of most city employees by 5 percent on their next two anniversaries. Because some workers would not have an anniversary until next spring, the overall salary increase would have been 2.4 percent, costing Annapolis $363,000.

"With the council's obvious problems with the study methodology and conclusions, the offer cannot be made," the mayor said.

Several aldermen attacked the recommendations of hefty pay raises for Cabinet-level employees to between $65,000 and nearly $80,000. The three women on the council also raised concerns about the classification of female workers.

Despite significantly more training, clerks, who are mostly women, are considered in the same job category as janitors, they pointed out.

In other business, the council approved a zoning change to permit a Safeway store at Forest Drive and Bywater Road. Aldermen John Hammond, a Ward 1 Republican, and Dean Johnson, a Ward 2 Independent, attacked the change as opening the floodgate to strip malls along Forest Drive, exacerbating congested traffic conditions.

Mr. Hammond also proposed an amendment that would have charged the developer an "impact fee" for the store, which the rest of the council rejected. The council voted 7-2 in favor of allowing the store that has been overwhelmingly supported by residents of the communities off Forest Drive.

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