Councilman gives wife 6.8% raise to $50,000 Anna Bachman to get highest aide salary

October 31, 1997|By Tom Pelton | Tom Pelton,SUN STAFF

County Councilman George F. Bachman Jr. has given his wife, who works as his legislative aide, a 6.8 percent raise -- more than twice what most county employees will receive this year.

Under a personnel bill that took effect yesterday, Anna Bachman will receive $50,589 -- more than any of the council's other six legislative assistants and the maximum allowed for employees in her category.

Anna Bachman will earn almost twice as much as her husband, who makes $26,000 a year for his part-time position.

County laws allow councilmen to not only select their legislative assistants, but also set their salaries and raises within limits, said Judy Holmes, the County Council's administrative officer.

It is not illegal for a councilman to hire a family member to help prepare legislation and respond to citizen complaints, according county officials.

But John Kurpjuweit, president of the county teachers' association, noted that teachers will be receiving a significantly smaller raise than Mrs. Bachman -- only 1 percent this fiscal year.

The teachers union is entering contract negotiations with the county, and Kurpjuweit said he hopes the county will be as generous to teachers as Bachman was to his wife.

"I think that our members would hope that what [Bachman] has '' done for his own family, the county will do for teachers and other county employees," Kurpjuweit said.

Bachman is not the first councilman to employ his wife. Former Councilman Theodore J. Sophocleus hired his wife, Alice, in the 1980s. And Councilman Wallace Childs employed his wife, Sue, in the 1970s.

Bachman, a Linthicum Democrat, and his wife did not return phone calls.

As part of a personnel bill Bachman and the rest of the council approved Oct. 6, the pay range for the council's legislative aides rose 3 percent, from $33,075 to $49,116 to $34,067 to $50,589.

Councilmen have the option of raising their assistants' salaries up to 10 percent a year.

"This is a matter of each councilman's individual choice," said County Council Chairman Diane R. Evans. She gave her assistant, Chris Whittenberger, a 7 percent raise to $39,637.

Pub Date: 10/31/97

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