Elected county of­fi­cials may see pay hike

$2K in­creases rec­om­mended for coun­cil, exec.

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By CH­ERYL MATTIX

cmat­tix@ce­cil­whig.com

— Fu­ture county coun­cil mem­bers and county ex­ec­u­tives may be get­ting a $2,000 raise when their new terms be­gin.

A com­pen­sa­tion re­view com­mit­tee, ap­pointed by the cur­rent county coun­cil ear­lier this year to re­view com­pen­sa­tion and make rec­om­men­da­tions, as re­quired by the Ce­cil County Char­ter, rec­om­mended those in­creases last week.

When char­ter govern­ment be­gan nearly four years ago, the county ex­ec­u­tive’s an­nual salary was set at $98,000 a year, while coun­cil mem­bers’ salaries were set at $25,000. Pro­posed in­creases would bring those salaries to $100,000 and $27,000 re­spec­tively. The com­mit­tee also rec­om­mends an ad­di­tional $5,000 a year for the county coun­cil pres­i­dent and al­lowance for all coun­cil mem­bers to seek re­im­burse­ment for at­ten­dance at other meet­ings in ad­di­tion to the Mary­land As­so­ci­a­tion of Coun­ties.

The pro­posed salaries are the sec­ond low­est com­pared

ELK­TON

to what other char­ter coun­ties pay their top elected of­fi­cials, ac­cord­ing to a re­port by the Mary­land As­so­ci­a­tion of Coun­ties.

Wi­comico County, which has a sim­i­lar pop­u­la­tion to Ce­cil County, pays its ex­ec­u­tive $85,000 a year, while nearby Har­ford County, which has about two-anda-half times the pop­u­la­tion of Ce­cil, pays its ex­ec­u­tive about $105,000 an­nu­ally. Mean­while, Wi­comico pays its coun­cil mem­bers $16,000 an­nu­ally, while Har­ford

pays its about $36,000, with both of­fer­ing about $2,000 and $3,000 ex­tra to coun­cil pres­i­dents re­spec­tively.

The Ce­cil County Sher­iff’s salary was leg­is­lated to go up each year un­til 2019 when it would reach $82,075. How­ever, a law passed this year in the Gen­eral As­sem­bly will in­crease the sher­iff’s salary to $100,000 a year start­ing in De­cem­ber 2017. There­fore, the com­mit­tee is rec­om­mend­ing no change to the sher­iff’s salary.

The county coun­cil still has to re­view the rec­om­men­da­tions and con­sider them for ap­proval be­fore they are en­acted.

“Stag­gered terms of the coun­cil make it more chal­leng­ing to im­ple­ment,” Coun­cil­woman Joyce Bowls­bey noted.

Ken­nard Wig­gins, chair­man of the com­pen­sa­tion re­view com­mit­tee, told the coun­cil that his com­mit­tee looked at salaries in the con­text of at­tract­ing qual­i­fied can­di­dates, the lo­cal econ­omy, house­hold in­come and in­creases to the cost of liv­ing.

“Our goal was to pro­vide a fair com­pen­sa­tion with­out in­cen­tiviz­ing a ca­reer track,” he added.

The com­mit­tee com­pared Ce­cil County’s size, bud­get and num­ber of em­ploy­ees

with other coun­ties, while also con­sid­er­ing the scope of du­ties of the po­si­tions.

The com­mit­tee is rec­om­mend­ing that the county ex­ec­u­tive be able to par­tic­i­pate in the county’s health in­sur­ance and the re­tire­ment plan at the same level as county em­ploy­ees. They rec­om­mend coun­cil may also par­tic­i­pate in the re­tire­ment plan, but not the in­sur­ance plan since they are deemed part-time po­si­tions.

The Com­pen­sa­tion Re­view Com­mit­tee mem­bers in­clude Wig­gins, Robert Amato, Bruce Eng­land, Frank Wil­liams III and Jay Wil­liams.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JANE BELLMYER

Erin Belote, from Ris­ing Sun, sends her con­do­lences to the Or­lando com­mu­nity through a poster.

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