It’s that time of year again. No, we’re not talking about the seasonal holidays, but the annual pay increases that are conferred to elected local officials.
The mayor, comptroller, City Council president and members of the City Council will all get salary boosts on January 1, based on prior legislation that says that if at least one city union or employee group receives a pay increase in the current fiscal year, elected officials are entitled to a 2.5% raise.
12/7/22 UPDATE: The Board of Estimates today deferred “noting” the salary increases for the record. The increases will nevertheless go into effect automatically on January 1 under previous legislation passed by the City Council and Maryland General Assembly.
Because the Managerial and Professional Society (MAPS), which represents salaried city employees, got a 2% cost-of-living boost in July, the following salaries will be adjusted upwards on January 1 for calendar year 2023, according to this week’s Board of Estimates agenda:
• Mayor Brandon Scott – $204,020, up from his current $199,044.
• City Council President Nick Mosby – $135,093, up from $131,798.
• Comptroller Bill Henry- $135,093, up from $131,798.
• City Council Vice President Sharon Green Middleton – $86,847, up from $84,729.
• City Council members (there are 14) – $78,577 each, up from $76,660.
Other Top Earners
The mayor’s salary is not the highest in local government.
Last Monday, Chezia Cager began work as Scott’s chief of staff at $225,000. Outgoing City Administrator Christopher Shorter (who is leaving City Hall this month to become chief executive of Prince William County, VA.) earned $255,000.
Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison earns $275,000 a year, while Sonja Santelises, CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools, got $333,125 in direct compensation in 2021.
Other high earners include outgoing State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby (who earned $247,956 in FY21), just-fired Fire Department Chief Niles Ford ($228,813), Health Commissioner Letitia Dzirasa ($221,728), Public Works Director Jason Mitchell ($245,000), Human Resources Director Quinton M. Herbert ($213,445), and Baltimore Development Corp. CEO Colin Tarbert ($210,099), according to online records.
Topping the best-paid list is the CEO of Visit Baltimore, the quasi-public organization tasked with attracting business groups, conventions and leisure visitors to Baltimore.
Last year, Al Hutchinson was paid $406,058, according to Visit Baltimore’s Form 990 federal tax disclosure, while vice president Dustin Arnheim earned $200,246 before he departed in July to Choose Chicago, that city’s destination marketing organization.