Code change would quadruple Manchester mayor's paycheck

Other changes include run-off elections in ties

January 24, 2000|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

The mayor of Manchester is among the lowest paid in the county, but a proposed change to the town code would quadruple the salary after the next election, while more than doubling the amount paid to Town Council members.

The salary increases are among several proposed changes to the town code that were read at this month's council meeting and will be subject to a public hearing at the next regular council meeting, at 7: 30 p.m. Feb. 8.

Other ordinance changes would:

Provide for filling mayor or Town Council vacancies by appointment.

Establish a run-off election in the event of a tie vote for a position.

Establish "no parking" rules on any town street during a snow emergency.

Identify streets where parking is allowed.

Move the due date for property tax payments to correspond to the county schedule.

Town Manager Philip L. Arbaugh said the proposed increases would raise the mayor's salary to $4,800 from $1,200, and the council members' to $1,200 from $500 after the next elections in May 2001 and May 2003, when Mayor Christopher D'Amario's term expires.

Manchester is sixth in size among Carroll County's eight incorporated municipalities, with a population of about 3,200.

The highest-paid mayor in the county is Westminster's Kenneth A. Yowan, who is paid $10,000 a year, according to the Maryland Municipal League.

In New Windsor, with about 1,200 residents, Mayor Jack Gullo said he receives $1,200 a year, while council members receive $30 per meeting.

The change involving tie elections was prompted by the council election in New Windsor last May that resulted in a tie vote for a council seat -- the first such tie in the town's 155-year history. The seat was filled by appointment.

The Manchester proposal calls for a special election within two weeks in the event of a tie. Special elections cost about $500 for a mail ballot, Arbaugh said -- less if they are conducted at Town Hall.

The other proposed changes are primarily intended to clarify or eliminate wording in the town code, Arbaugh said.

Arbaugh said that adopting the county's dates for property taxes should make it easier for residents to remember to pay.

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