A compromise agreement on salaries cleared the way for the formal selection yesterday of the $47,500-a-year chief lawyer and parliamentarian for the D.C. City Council.
The confirmation of Lawrence H. Mirel came on a voice vote without opposition. Two weeks ago the council voted to block the 44-year-old lawyer's confirmation after several members voiced discontent over the leadership of council chairman Arrington Dixon, who had nominated Mirel.
Among the complaints was that Dixon had failed to keep a promise to consider a bill sponsored by five council members to set a lid on staff salaries at $37,500. That is currently the top pay level for council members other than Dixon, who as chairman earns $47,500.
Dixon had proposed to pay Mirel $50,112, the same salary earned by the heads of major city departments and top aides to the mayor.
In a compromise worked out during a closed session last week in Dixon's office, council member agreed to set a maximum council staff salary at the chairman's $47,500 level. That led yesterday to the confirmation of Mirel, whose title will be general counsel.
The salary issue first arose publicly in April when Dixon nominated John P. Brown Jr. to become secretary to the council -- its top administrative post -- at a $50,112 salary. Council members confirmed Brown only after Dixon agreed to reduce his starting pay by $10,000.
In approving Mirel's nomination yesterday, the council adopted an amendment offered by Nadine P. Winter (D-Ward 6) requiring that the two appointees should not have their salaries increassed during the first year on the job, other than increases that may be granted to all city employes.
In a separate matter, the council endorsed but did not formally act upon legislation permanently setting the top pay of council staff members at the level of the chairman. This was an amended version of the salary bill initially introduced by the five critics of high staff pay.
The council also approved Dixon's selection of Charles L. Pryor, 29, as director of the council's budget review staff. He has been a staff member of the American Bankers Association.