A Montgomery County citizens' advisory committee this week recommended salary increases for the county council, county executive and the state's attorney, beginning with the next terms of office.
The seven-member committee, appointed by the county council, reported its recommendations at a council meeting Tuesday. Last September, the committee began studying salarly schedules for the county council, county executive and state's attorney. The proposed increases would be for the term which begins in December, 1978.
"This is not for our salaries," said council member Norman Cristeller." We're just going through the quadrennial process of setting salaries for the officers for next term."
The committee recommended that council members, who now earn $20,850 a year, be paid at least $26,000 a year and no more than $27,500. In its report, the committee noted that a council member's job is a "de facto full-time job", although the county charter does not prohibit outside employment.
However, the committee said that council members, in meeting their official duties, have little time for another job. "They work as much as 60 to 80 hours a week sometimes during the budget sessions," said Richard Fredlund, committee chairman.
The committee urged that the council president, who now earns $23,350 a year, be paid 15 to 20 per cent more than council members.
The present salary of the county executive is $45,174 a year, and the committee recommended that the salary be set at $50,000 to $52,500 in addition to annual cost-of-living adjustments.
The committee noted that the salary for the state's attorney is $38,852 a year, several thousand dollars less than for comparable positions in the District of Columbia and Fairfax and Arlington counties. The committee said if the state's attorney were to receive annual cost-of-living adjustments, as the council executive and council members do, the salary would be $44,975 a year. However, the committee did not recommend that cost-of-living adjustments be added to the attorney's salary.
The salary increase proposed for the attorney would be at least $47,500 a year, but not more than $50,000.
In all cases, committee members said, they considered the cost of living, the need to make salaries competitive, the need to attract competent candidates for county offices and the salaries of persons at comparable levels in similar governments.
The proposed salary increases must be approved by the council.
Some council members said they believed the salary recommendations for the council were to low. However, council president Elizabeth Scull said she believed the council would have a hard time winning public support for the proposals.
Scull said that although she realized the work council members perform demands good salaries, "it will pain some people" to see the council getting higher salaries than other county employees.
Public hearings on the proposals probably will begin within a month; she added.