Crofton Civic Association to meet over budget issue

November 15, 1993

The controversial issue of Crofton's community counselor could be addressed once again tonight by civic association members who are trying to pass a budget that avoids raising taxes but expands the five-member police force.

Last week, the Crofton Civic Association, by a 6-5 straw vote, approved hiring a sixth police officer halfway through fiscal year 1995. That move could raise the tax rate a penny, to 29 cents per $100 of assessed property value.

But many board members have said taxes should not be raised, and the counselor has been a target of many budget cutting attempts.

The board is debating a proposed $586,000 spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1, a 5 percent increase over this year's $558,000 budget.

Board members have tentatively agreed on half the budget package, including $73,000 for maintenance and operations and $267,000 for police.

The budget proposal for Human Services is $53,800, about $4,000 above this year's outlay. That includes a $29,149 salary for the counselor, Linda R. Smith, which gives her a 2 percent raise.

Crofton's special tax district has had a community counselor for years. The service is free to its residents, who see Ms. Smith for a variety of reasons, from alcoholism to family problems to drug abuse.

In 1989, some board members attempted to eliminate the position and hire an independent contractor. The action was met with a barrage of criticism from residents who picketed a board meeting and overwhelmingly voted the proposal down at a special meeting.

Two months ago, the board voted against a proposal to make people pay for the counseling services.

The 13-member Board of Directors is scheduled to discuss the budgets for the community counselor and administrative services tonight at Town Hall starting at 7:30 p.m.

POLICE LOG

* Dorsey: Someone broke into a construction trailer where Route 100 is being extended near the Howard County line and stole $5,500 worth of tools last week. County police said the padlock to the trailer was missing and there were pry marks on the door frame. The break-in occurred Wednesday night or Thursday morning. Two 220-volt Homelite generators, each worth $2,500, were reported stolen, along with a Homelite cut-off saw worth $500.

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