Smith won't OK raises for Balto. Co. officials

November 25, 2009

Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr. said he will not approve pay raises for his successor or for County Council members, despite recommendations by an advisory board that he do so. "I do not believe this is the time to raise the salary of elected officials," Smith said in a news release Tuesday. "We are in the midst of a difficult economy and individuals and families are working hard to make ends meet."

The advisory panel had recommended that the county executive's salary be raised 8 percent and the council members' salaries 2 percent. His decision, which has the support of Council Chairman Joseph Bartenfelder, means officials' salaries will remain unchanged for eight years. The last raise was in 2006. The council must enact pay increases for those who serve in the next term, which begins in December 2010. The annual salary for council members will remain at $54,000, with an additional $6,000 for the chairman. The executive is paid $150,000 a year.

"The advisory board is mandated by state law to make recommendations every four years," said Don Mohler, county spokesman. "The board justified its recommendations. Now it is up to the council and the executive to act on those recommendations."

-Mary Gail Hare | The Baltimore Sun

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