The Howard County Compensation Review Commission, frustrated last week when no one showed up for a public hearing, has moved ahead with its recommendation that County Council members and the county executive elected next year be given raises.
Commission Chairman Delroy Cornick said the proposal remains tentative until members approve their report Nov. 10 and forward it to the council. The numbers could change, he said, although it is not likely.
The commission is recommending the next executive receive an $8,500 raise in increments of $2,125 a year, and incoming council members receive a $2,800 raise in increments of $700 a year. The executive is paid $80,000 now and council members receive $27,500, except for the chairman, who is elected annually and receives $1,000 more.
The recommended raises amount to a 10.6 percent increase for the executive and a 10.2 percent increase for council members.
The council may accept or reduce what the commission proposes for council members, and it may accept, increase, or reduce the amount proposed for the executive.
For the first time, the commission is recommending the salary raise be given in equal increments spread over a four-year term. Previously, the entire raise was paid the first year and the salary remained constant at the new rate for the entire term.
In 1986, the commission recommended a $20,000 raise for the executive and a $9,500 raise for council members. The executive was paid at the new rate, $80,000 all four years, and the council was paid at its new rate, $27,500 each year of the term.
Had the raises been given in increments as the commission now proposes, taxpayers would have paid the executive $30,000 less and council members $71,250 less.
Mr. Cornick said the commission arrived at dollar amounts first and then calculated percentages based on those amounts. "When we looked at percentages, they seemed about right," he said.
The executive's 10.6 percent increase would be broken down into increments of about 2.7 percent a year. The council's 10.2 percent raise would amount to about 2.5 percent a year.
The council will hold a public hearing on the commission proposal in mid-December and vote on it in early January.