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Andrews opposes Leggett’s proposed pay raise for most county employees

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett’s proposed two-year, 13.5 percent pay increase for most county employees is “excessive, unsustainable and irresponsible,” Council member Phil Andrews charged Friday.

Andrews, a candidate for county executive in 2014, said in a statement that county employees deserve a pay raise after going without one for four years. But the package of cost-of-living and “step” increases, which he estimates could cost more than $40 million, is way beyond what the county can afford. Leggett, who is considering running for a third term next year, has declined to comment on the proposed pact with the 5,000-member Municipal and County Government Employees Organization (MCGEO because of ongoing contract talks with other county unions.

“At a time when the county executive has asked agency and department heads to prepare for another austere year, his lack of explanation for he would pay for these sizable increases is striking,” Andrews said.

Leggett is due to deliver his proposed 2014 budget to the council on March 15.

Bill Turque, who covers Montgomery County government and politics, has spent more than thirty years as a reporter and editor for The Washington Post, Newsweek, the Dallas Times Herald and The Kansas City Star.

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