It’s pay-raise time for Baltimore’s elected officials, an annual event that, despite a pandemic, widespread economic hardship and a gaping budget deficit, has become as routine for City Hall denizens as eggnog at Christmas.
Annual salary boosts for elected officials are baked into the law, codified by City Council Bill 07-0612 passed in 2007.
The legislation stipulates that if at least one of the city’s employee groups – be it AFSCME, CUB (City Union of Baltimore), FOP (Fraternal Order of Police), MAPS (Managerial and Professional Society) or IAFF (International Association of Fire Fighters) – receives a pay increase during the current fiscal year, elected officials are entitled to a raise equal to 2.5% of their respective salaries.
This year, AFSCME and CUB rank-and-file got a 2% rise, while MAPS management employees received a 2.5% “cost of living” adjustment.
Hence, the following annual salaries will go into effect on January 1, 2021 so long as the Board of Estimates – whose membership includes three of the salary-hike recipients – approves it at tomorrow’s meeting:
• Mayor Brandon Scott – $194,189, up from $189,453.
• City Council President Nick Mosby – $128,583, up from $125,447.
• Comptroller Bill Henry – $128,583, up from $125,447.
• Council Vice President Sharon Green Middleton – $82,662, up from $80,646.
• Each City Council member (there are 14) – $74,790, up from $72,996.
The mayor’s salary is not the highest in city government.
That distinction goes to Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael S. Harrison, who earns $275,000 a year, plus incentives for reaching certain benchmarks, under a five-year contract.
The occupant of the newly-established position of city administrator can earn up to $290,000 under a pay scale approved by the BOE.
$1 Million for Shorter
Tomorrow, the BOE is set to approve a four-year, $1 million employment agreement with Christopher J. Shorter.
His salary will be divided into four $250,000-a-year increments between January 11, 2021 and December 9, 2024, the final day of Scott’s current term.
Shorter will start as acting city administrator on January 11, subject to his nomination being confirmed by the City Council.
In addition, the BOE is asked to pay $9,557 in moving expenses for Shorter, who is relocating from Austin, Texas, where he worked as an assistant city manager.