Sauerbrey says she'd cut office perks as governor

September 30, 1993|By William F. Zorzi Jr. | William F. Zorzi Jr.,Staff Writer

Taking a shot at Gov. William Donald Schaefer -- dubiously dubbed by Money magazine "the most pampered prince of perks" -- a GOP gubernatorial hopeful said yesterday that if elected, she would reduce the salary and perquisites afforded her as Maryland's chief executive.

Del. Ellen R. Sauerbrey, 57, a Republican from Baltimore County, said she would turn back at least $20,000 of the governor's $120,000 annual salary, sell the state yacht and do away with the gubernatorial sky box at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

"When elected officials are beginning to create the trappings of royalty . . . then you've got a problem," the House minority leader said.

The announcement by Mrs. Sauerbrey came two weeks after the October issue of Money went on newsstands with a story that concluded Mr. Schaefer enjoys the costliest combination of pay, pension and perks of any governor in the nation -- a package the magazine claimed is worth $2.3 million a year.

Mrs. Sauerbrey conceded that that some of the magazine's calculations "really aren't fair" and that her austerity plan "does not represent big-dollar" savings.

But, she said, eliminating some of the benefits of office would be symbolic. "The governor has to set the tone for fiscal restraint," she said.

Mrs. Sauerbrey said she was criticizing "the perquisites of office historically enjoyed by Maryland's governors" and not singling out any particular individual, though it was clear she was taking aim in part at Mr. Schaefer.

"If Delegate Sauerbrey is elected governor, she's going to find there are really very few opportunities for substantial savings," said Joseph L. Harrison Jr., a spokesman for Mr. Schaefer. "The big-dollar savings just aren't there. It sounds good to say it, but making cuts that make sense is another matter."

hTC Mrs. Sauerbrey said that she would sell the state yacht, which has been in mothballs for two years, because maintenance costs $159,000 a year.

The four-term delegate also said she would get rid of the governor's private sky box at the stadium and require the Maryland Stadium Authority to make its sky box available for entertaining.

And she said she would examine the $700,000 operating budget for the governor's mansion -- including $60,000 for entertainment -- to see if it could be trimmed. She pledged not to redecorate the residence, as the last two inhabitants have.

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