SALISBURY – The Wicomico County Council will hold a public hearing on a proposed bill increasing the salary for elected members of the legislative branch.
On Tuesday, the council voted to introduce a legislative bill that would increase salaries for Wicomico County Council members, commencing after the November 2022 election.
The proposal, first presented by the Compensation and Allowance Commission in December, would increase the council president’s annual salary from $18,000 to $25,000, the vice president’s annual salary from $17,000 to $23,000 and council members’ annual salaries from $16,000 to $21,000.
“In addition to the above compensation, each member shall receive allowances for traveling and any other necessary expenses they may incur in the exercise of their official duties,” council attorney Andy Mitchell said. “Such allowances for traveling and any other necessary expenses incurred by the members of the Wicomico County Council in the exercise of their official duties shall be provided for in the annual operating budget of Wicomico County.”
A motion this week to introduce the legislative bill passed 5-1, with Councilman Joe Holloway opposed and Councilman Larry Dodd abstaining. In January, both Holloway and Dodd stated their intentions to recuse themselves from voting on council salaries, as they had intentions to file for reelection.
“If I was to vote, I’d vote no on this matter because this isn’t a career,” Holloway said at the time. “It’s done more to help the community.”
The proposed legislative bill will now move to a public hearing, which will be held March 1 at 6 p.m. in the council chambers.
In December, members of the Compensation and Allowance Commission came before the Wicomico County Council with recommended pay increases not only for the county council, but for the county executive and the county sheriff as well.
Beginning in 2022, the commission recommended an annual salary of $124,000 for the county executive position (currently $85,000) and an annual salary of $121,000 for the county sheriff (currently $95,000).
Back on the agenda for discussion last month, council members agreed to move forward with proposed salary increases at the county council level, but to table discussions on proposed pay increases for the county executive and county sheriff until the results of a salary study could be reviewed.
“I think it may give us a better perspective, once we’ve seen the salary study for all the positions in Wicomico County,” Council President John Cannon said at the time. “Then we can make this determination.”