Howard council votes in favor of inflation-tied pay raises

February 02, 2010|By Larry Carson | | Baltimore Sun reporter

The next crop of Howard County elected officials would get annual inflation-tied pay raises, but no flat salary boosts, according to a series of votes Monday night by the County Council.

The final votes were 3-2 on the council pay bill, with chairwoman Courtney Watson, an Ellicott City Democrat, and Greg Fox, a Fulton Republican, dissenting. Only Fox opposed the executive's pay bill.

The votes mean the executive elected in November would start at the current rate of $160,198, and the new council members' pay would remain at $54,300, though all the current officials voluntarily donated recent pay raises, plus five days additional pay, to charity because of the recession and in solidarity with county employee furloughs. The council chairman would get $1,000 a year more, which is the current rate.

A citizens' Compensation Commission had recommended a $500 one-time pay raise for County Council members and a $2,500 differential for the chairman. The county executive should get $2,500 more each year, they suggested, while all the elected officials would also get annual cost-of-living raises tied to the consumer price index. Any raises would take effect in December, after the elections.

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