Washington County salary study panel hears comments from local officials

August 21, 2012|By ANDREW SCHOTZ |
  • Washington County salary study commission members Wayne Taylor, left, and Stephen Showe listen to Board of License Commissioners for Washington County members Robert L. Everhart and Charles F. Mades at a public hearing Tuesday evening.
By Ric Dugan, Staff Photographer

The public was invited to speak Tuesday before a commission reviewing the salaries of several government positions.

Under state law, Washington County must create a commission every four years to study certain salaries, including those of the county commissioners, sheriff and board of education members.

This year, an eight-member commission started meeting about six weeks ago.

Commission member Ted Reeder said the group must make its recommendations by Dec. 15. The report will go first to the Washington County Board of Commissioners, then the Washington County delegation for possible changes through the state legislature.

The positions the commission is reviewing and the current salaries of those positions are:

  • County commissioners ($33,000 for president, $30,000 for other members)
  • Board of education members ($6,200 for president, $6,100 for other members)
  • Judge of orphans’ court ($7,000)
  • Sheriff ($88,000)
  • Treasurer ($68,333, at grade 16, step 7)
  • Board of License Commissioners, also known as the liquor board ($9,900 for chairman, $9,600 for other members).

The salary study commission heard comments about three of those positions.


Jason A. Malott, the county’s register of wills, said the salary for the part-time judge of orphans’ court was last increased in 2002. He said that in other counties with about the same workload as Washington County, the salary is either the same or higher.

This year, two counties might join three others that require the judge of orphans’ court to be an attorney, Malott said. Attorneys would not take the job at that salary, he said.

Hagerstown Police Chief Arthur Smith and Charles R. Summers, who is retired from Hagerstown Police, spoke in favor of increasing the sheriff’s salary.

Smith said the sheriff’s salary doesn’t fit into the scale of the rest of the department.

All three members of the liquor board appeared before the commission and gave an extensive summary of their work and responsibilities.

The commissioners meet every Wednesday morning for about two hours to hear license requests and other issues. But, they said, their workload goes beyond the meetings.

Smith said the board has helped the police stay on top of problematic bars and nightclubs, leading to marked improvement over years.

“They’ve become a real partner for us in terms of public safety,” he said.

Charles F. Mades, the liquor board’s treasurer, said boards in other counties have less work, but higher salaries.

The last salary increase for the board in Washington County was 16 years ago, said Robert L. Everhart, the board’s chairman.

Reeder said he expects the commission to decide on its salary recommendations in September or October.

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