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The Dripby Mark Reutter5:45 pmNov 8, 20160

11% pay hikes for two Baltimore department heads

City Solicitor and Public Works Director will be paid more than the mayor

Above: Rudy Chow had been chief of the city’s water bureau before he was named DPW director in 2014. (Mark Reutter)

UPDATED November 9: The board approved the salary increases today. Acting City Solicitor David Ralph, Comptroller Joan Pratt and Finance Director Henry Raymond (substituting for an absent Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake) approved the 11% raises.

City Council President Jack Young and Public Works Director Rudolph Chow – who is in line for the pay increase if he remains in the Catherine Pugh administration – abstained from voting at this morning’s meeting.

The Board of Estimates is set to raise the salaries of two of its members – Acting City Solicitor David Ralph and Public Works Director Rudolph Chow – by 11%, in an arrangement with the mayor and City Council.

Under the city charter, the two officers’ pay can only be increased (or decreased) once during their term in office.

Ralph, who oversees the 100-person law department, and Chow, who is responsible for the second largest agency after Police, have not had a salary increase during the current term.

Each officer’s pay will jump from $169,800 to $188,000 a year upon tomorrow’s approval by the spending board, followed by action expected next week by the City Council.

According to city officials, raising the salaries “will aid with retention and recruitment for the next administration.” The next mayor and members of the Council, elected by voters today, will take office in early December.

Higher than the Mayor’s

The salary increase will propel the two department chiefs’ pay above that of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake  ($171,635) and the salaries of the spending board’s two other elected officials – Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young and Comptroller Joan M. Pratt (each $113,649).

Outside of law enforcement, the fattest paychecks in municipal government go to Housing Commissioner Paul T. Graziano ($220,000), Health Commissioner Leana S. Wen ($204,000), Finance Director Henry J. Raymond ($196,400), Baltimore Development Corp. President William H. Cole ($190,000 as of fiscal 2015) and mayoral chief of staff Kaliope Parthemos ($178,000).

State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby receives $238,000 annually, while Police Commissioner Kevin F. Davis is paid $200,000 a year under a contract running through June 2020.

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