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Aberdeen to once again consider raising council, mayor's salaries

The Aberdeen City Council is once again going to consider raising the salaries for future mayors and council members.

City Manager Doug Miller said Monday he plans to submit a bill to the council at its Jan. 27 meeting that would adjust the salaries, an effort that proved contentious when a task force created to study the salaries failed to reach a conclusion last year.

The latest bill would raise the next mayor's salary from $10,000 to $17,000 annually and the four council members' salaries from $7,500 to $12,000.

Miller said salaries also would be adjusted every year based on the consumer price index, "so we don't have a situation like now, where we have almost 20 years of a stale salary."

A bill that came before the council last year had proposed raising the mayor's salary from $10,000 to $24,000 and the council salaries from $7,500 to $12,000.

There was a significant enough public outcry from the public at the time, that Mayor Mike Bennett and the council decided to appoint a citizen task force to study both the positions and comparable salaries in other municipalities.

But members of the task force failed to come to a consensus by the end of the summer and told the city they would not recommend a new set of salaries, Miller said.

The council is expected to vote on the new salary bill on Feb. 24.

Business district

At Monday's council work session, the city administration continued to discuss what to allow in the "integrated business district" by Ripken Stadium, which Planning and Community Development Director Phyllis Grover said needs changes after plans for a more bustling commercial scene in that corner fell through during the recession.

Grover said the city no longer expects something similar to The Avenue in White Marsh but hopes some low-key development, such as banks, can still come in.

One possible change discussed at the work session involves drive-through windows. Miller said the council should consider whether to allow them west of I-95.

The city also hopes to brush up its code in regard to recreational vehicle (RV) and boat storage on its streets.

Miller said the city has too many violations of the RV and boat rules to make it worthwhile to enforce.

New legislation may specify how long a boat can be placed on a city street. Miller suggested 48 hours.

Residents can park an RV, popup or trailer on their property but not on a city street.

Bennett also confirmed that a two RVs can't be stored on one property, unless someone is visiting the occupant.

Miller said the city recently had complaints about recreational vehicles being parked on the streets too long.

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