Panel recommends cutting economic development post City's business liaison called superfluous


A citizens panel charged with reviewing the salaries of Annapolis political appointees has recommended eliminating the city's top economic development post as part of a series of staff shifts and cutbacks.

The five-member Exempt Salary Committee said in its report delivered to City Hall yesterday that the business community does not need a liaison in city government, a post held since 1994 by Economic Development Director Mary Burkholder.

"The business community in Annapolis is able to handle its own development," the report stated.

The economic development director, who is charged with recruiting new businesses to Annapolis, earns $49,039 a year. Efforts to reach Ms. Burkholder for comment yesterday were unsuccessful. But some aldermen attacked the recommendation, calling it short-sighted.

"The position of economic development should be a cornerstone of any administration," said alderman Carl O. Snowden, who is chairman of the council's finance committee. "It gives the city the image of being business-friendly."

Alderman Ellen O. Moyer said that "without someone focused on economic development, you're going to have a community barren of jobs, with vacant storefronts."

The committee also recommended cutting city attorney Paul Goetzke's salary from $72,454 to as low as $51,492.

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