Pay raise proposal rescinded

June 17, 1993|By Aminah Franklin | Aminah Franklin,Staff Writer

Widespread opposition has prompted Harford lawmakers to withdraw a bill that would have increased their salaries nearly 50 percent over the next three years.

The bill's sponsors -- County Council President Jeffrey Wilson; Theresa M. Pierno, D-District C; and Susan Heselton, R-District A -- quietly withdrew it Tuesday night.

The move came at a public hearing in which about a dozen residents argued against the bill, which also would have increased the county executive's salary about 15 percent over three years.

Raises would have been phased in starting December 1994.

The council president's salary would have increased from $20,000 to $30,000. Other council members' salaries were to rise from $18,500 to $27,000, and the county executive's from $65,000 to $75,000.

In defending the bill, Mrs. Pierno said that while council jobs are described as part time, "We put in full-time hours.

"Quite frankly, I felt in many ways the bill was justified, or else I wouldn't have co-sponsored it," she said.

She added that a raise would create a stronger legislature by attracting qualified people.

Arguing against the bill were council members Joanne Parrott, R-District B; Barry Glassman, R-District D; Robert Wagner, R-District E; and Philip Baker, D-District F.

They called the proposed raises unjustified and criticized the bill's supporters for trying to "keep up with the Joneses" by comparing Harford council salaries with those in other counties.

In Baltimore County, the council president receives $37,600, and other members, $34,600.

"If we make the McDonald's salary of the council industry, so what?" Mrs. Parrott asked. "I don't think that this salary should get that high that somebody decides to run for office because the salary's good."

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