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Election board may get small raise

January 13, 1999|By SCOTT BUTKI

The salary of the Washington County Board of Supervisors of Elections won't be doubled but its members could receive a small pay increase, the Washington County Commissioners decided Tuesday.

The commissioners decided not to ask the Maryland General Assembly to increase the salary of Election Board members from $2,300 to $4,800.

During the annual budget process, however, the commissioners will examine salaries of all county citizen boards and commissions. At that time, they could increase the salary for the Elections Board, said Alan J. Davis, human resources director.

Election Board members make $2,000 a year. Last year, the board asked for and received permission to give the members starting in June 1999 a salary of $2,300. Members can't benefit from a pay hike given during their present terms.

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At its Oct. 28, 1998, meeting, the three-member Election Board voted to request the commissioners ask the General Assembly to increase the salary of two members from $2,300 to $4,800. The board wanted the president's salary increased from $2,600 to $4,900.

Some commissioners scoffed at the request when it was presented at a December meeting. If the increase were approved, the appointed Election Board members would receive the same salary as the five recently elected members of the Washington County Board of Education.

Davis presented the commissioners Tuesday with statistics showing that the county Election Board is below the $2,695 average salary for election boards in four other Western Maryland counties and the $3,244 average for the 16 counties in the state that provided him with their salaries.

Commissioner John L. Schnebly said he was never enthusiastic about the Election Board's request for a pay hike. But he said the statistics tell him that the Board is not being paid enough, he said.

The governor appoints members of the election board to four-year terms. State code establishes their duties and minimum salaries, but local government can give them raises, Davis said.

Davis suggested, and the commissioners agreed, that he check all of the county's paid boards and commissioners to see if the amount is appropriate. During the budget process, the county can decide to increase some or all of the board's salaries, he said.

The county gave a 4 percent pay hike to all citizen boards in July 1994, he said.

Davis also is looking into whether the County Commissioners are paid enough. They have been paid $20,000 a year since its last pay hike in 1990.

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