Panel recommends raising Washington County salaries

Commissioners may accept, reduce or reject recommendations of salary study commission

November 28, 2012|By ANDREW SCHOTZ |

An appointed commission has recommended double-digit-percentage salary increases for several county positions.

The increases range from 10 percent for members of the Board of License Commissioners, known as the liquor board, to 21 percent for the president of the Board of County Commissioners.

For one office — county treasurer — the commission did not recommend a salary increase.

By state law, Washington County must create a commission every four years to review the salaries of certain positions. Eight local organizations, including the two major political parties, have representatives on the commission.

Increases, if any, for the elected offices under review — county commissioner, school board member, sheriff, treasurer, judge of the orphans’ court — could not go into effect until after the current terms end, preventing elected officials from trying to raise their own salaries.


The county commissioners took no action on Tuesday after hearing a presentation by Ted Reeder, the chairman of the Washington County Salary Study Commission.

The county commissioners may accept, reduce or reject the recommendations of the salary study commission, but can’t increase them.

The county commissioners will send recommendations for the salaries of two positions — county commissioners and sheriff — to the county’s legislative delegation in Annapolis.

The delegation will then decide whether to submit a bill to change those salaries.

The county, by local law, will set the salaries of the judge of the orphans’ court, school board, treasurer and liquor board commissioners within 45 days after getting the salary commission’s recommendations.

The salary commission recommended raising the pay for county commissioners from $30,000 a year to $35,000, an increase of 16.7 percent.

The salary commission also recommended that the president of the commissioners receive $40,000 a year instead of the current $33,000. That increase — 21.2 percent — is the highest that the commission recommended.

The commission’s report notes that the county commissioners’ pay last increased in 2002.

The proposed increase, which would go into effect in 2014, represents a raise of about 1.5 percent per year, the report says.

Reeder told the county commissioners that in the private sector, employees would be upset if their pay was frozen for 12 years.

The largest recommended increase in dollars was for the sheriff, a proposed raise from $88,000 to $100,000, or 13.6 percent.

The commission cited in its report “the many duties of the Sheriff, the size and management responsibilities of the department, oversight of various Task Forces and security for the Circuit Courthouse, and the significant amount of time required to fulfill the job.”

The report recommends an increase in the pay for the judge of the orphans’ court, from $7,000 to $7,800, but a decrease in the expense stipend, from $1,000 to $500.

The commission recommended keeping the treasurer’s pay at $68,333, based on Grade 16, Step 7.

The report says Todd L. Hershey, the current treasurer, did not ask for the pay for the position to increase.

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