Carroll board drops proposal for monthly allowance

April 20, 1999|By Brenda J. Buote | Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF

In the face of public opposition, the Carroll County commissioners scrapped plans yesterday to replace their $12 per diem with a monthly allowance.

The $675 allowance would have covered car and home office expenses, and would have been in addition to each commissioner's $32,500 part-time salary. The proposal came under attack shortly after it was announced during a public budget hearing April 1.

Several angry residents called the commissioners. A few wrote letters opposing the allowance.

"People are looking at it like we're some kind of crooks," said Julia Walsh Gouge. "I'm not anxious to sit that out. I thought we were going about this in a reasonable manner, but that has not been the perception."

The allowance would have cost taxpayers $24,300 a year, about $10,900 more than the commissioners receive for their per diem and mileage.

Under the proposal, each of the three commissioners would have received $100 a month for the cost of computers, telephones and other office equipment used while conducting county business at home. They also would have received $575 a month, enough for a car lease, insurance, maintenance and fuel. The school superintendent and the president of Carroll Community College receive similar benefits.

The commissioners receive $12 a day when they show up to work or appear at an official function. Now that the proposed allowance has been scrapped, the $12 per diem will remain, said Steven Powell, director of the county Department of Management and Budget.

Pub Date: 4/20/99

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