The Baltimore County Council's unanimous confirmation last night of Merreen E. Kelly as county administrative officer was marked by mutual praise -- and a $14,000 pay cut for Kelly.
The council approved Kelly, 55, a retired associate superintendent of education, to replace Frank C. Robey Jr., who resigned last month. Kelly was earning $83,000 a year in his previous position, which he left in December to join the new administration of County Executive Roger B. Hayden.
Hayden asked the council to approve Kelly at a salary of $85,000, but the council, elected on a wave of anti-tax and spend sentiment, refused.
In approving Kelly to serve the remainder of Robey's term, which expires May 31, the council kept the salary for the position at the $69,000 Robey was paid.
"I look forward to working with all of you," Kelly said, responding to eloquent praise from four of the seven council members.
Council Chairman Douglas B. Riley said a pay increase would be considered for Kelly when the council considers his confirmation to a new term of office in May.