Carroll Digest

CARROLL COUNTY DIGEST

April 27, 2004

Information meeting on proposed budget to be held tonight

Carroll County residents can review and ask questions about the county's proposed $260.7 million operating budget for next year at an information meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight at Hampstead Elementary School.

The proposed spending plan for fiscal year 2005, which begins July 1, is 6.5 percent higher than this year's budget of $244.7 million. Most of the $16 million increase would pay for continued funding for the county school system, round-the-clock ambulance services, the Carroll County Sheriff's Office and the detention center.

Tonight's meeting will be held at the school's media center, 3737 Shiloh Road, Hampstead.

Two more meetings will follow before a public hearing on May 11.

A second meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at the Oklahoma Road Middle School media center in Eldersburg and the final one at 7 p.m. May 3 at the County Office Building in Westminster.

Mount Airy council to vote on pay changes

The Mount Airy Town Council has scheduled a special session tonight to consider an emergency ordinance that would increase the pay of the future mayor and council members - while cutting the pay of current members by abolishing their compensation for certain duties.

The change would affect only the three council members to be elected Monday. The salaries for Mayor James S. Holt and Councilman Christopher P. DeColli would not be increased, said Council President John P. Medve, who also would not receive any increase. All three are serving terms that expire in 2006.

If the ordinance is approved, Holt's compensation would drop from $5,000 to $2,500 a year under the proposal, but the mayor's salary would increase to $8,500 after the next election, Medve said. The council members would decrease from $2,800 a year to $300. It later would be increased to $4,000.

Council members receive $25 for each meeting they attend - a figure set in 1982 - plus $2,500 for their duties heading the various town departments, Medve explained. The mayor now receives $2,500 - set in 1986 - plus $2,500 for Maryland Municipal League responsibilities.

Under the proposed ordinance, compensation for overseeing town departments would be abolished, he said. That means Holt would receive only the $2,500 for the mayor's position, but the mayor elected in 2006 would receive a flat $8,500. Medve and DeColli would receive only the $25 per-meeting rate, while the new council members would receive $4,000, assuming they attend all 12 meetings.

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. tonight at Town Hall.

"The past practice probably would not meet standards required for compensation," Medve said. "It sort of just evolved. The mayor and I prefer that there be no doubt about how an elected official is compensated."

Three candidates are running unopposed for three council seats to be filled in Monday's town elections. They are are Wendi Peters and incumbents David W. Pyatt and Peter R. Helt. Voting is from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Mount Airy Volunteer Fire Co. activities building on Twin Arch Road.

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