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Politicsby Mark Reutter11:14 amDec 23, 20140

Inside City Hall: Elected officials getting pay increases

The 2.5% hike for 17 elected officials in Baltimore is tied to wage increases for union workers

Above: Comptroller Joan Pratt, Council President Jack Young and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake at a recent Board of Estimates meeting.

Baltimore’s top elected officials and members of the City Council are slated for a 2.5% pay raise, starting January 1, 2015, as part of an automatic “salary adjustment” process.

The hikes, which will boost Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s salary to $167,449, are tied to wage increases that unionized workers receive in the current fiscal year.

So long as at least one city union receives a pay increase – and AFSCME, CUB (City Union of Baltimore) and other employee groups received a 2% boost last July – elected officials are entitled to the 2.5% increase.

The triggering of elected officials’ salary hikes based on union settlements was set up in 2007 legislation passed by the City Council and is currently administered by the Compensation Commission for Elected Officials.

The pay increases, which cover 17 officials and will will cost nearly $32,000, are disclosed in this week’s Board of Estimates agenda.

The three elected officials on the board – Rawlings-Blake, City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young and Comptroller Joan Pratt – typically “note” their salary increases, but do not vote or publicly discuss the matter.

Lower Than Some Department Heads

Even with her increase, the mayor’s salary is still below several of her department heads. Newly-named Health Commissioner Dr. Leana S. Wen, for example, is set to receive $200,000 following her confirmation by the City Council.

Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts is paid $193,800 a year, according to on-line city records, and City State’s Attorney Gregg Bernstein receives over $238,000.

William H. Cole IV, president of the Baltimore Development Corp., and Henry Raymond, finance director, each get $190,000, while the mayor’s chief of staff, Kaliope Parthemos, is paid $172,000.

In several past years, Rawlings-Blake said she’d donate all or part of her salary increase to charities. Her spokesman, Kevin Harris, has not responded to our question about how the mayor has decided to use her raise.

President Young has also made donations in the past. His spokesman, Lester Davis, said today:

“The President and his wife support a number of Baltimore charities through recurring donations. They donate a sizable portion of their incomes to charity. This particular increase will help them continue to be a blessing to others.”

The 2015 salaries of the elected officials are:

• Mayor Rawlings-Blake – $167,449, up from $163,365 this year.
• Council President Young – $110,877, up from $108,173 this year.
• Comptroller Pratt – $110,877, up from $108,173 this year.
• Council Vice President Edward Reisinger – $71,279, up from $69,540 this year.
• Council members (13) – $64,491, up from $62,918 this year.

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