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Prince George’s County Council rejects recommended pay raise

The Prince George’s County Council. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

The Prince George’s County Council on Tuesday unanimously rejected a $10,000 salary boost that had been proposed as a way to offset the likely loss of the lawmakers’ controversial car allowances.

The bill rejecting the increase, which was co-sponsored by the council’s nine members, was a shift for county lawmakers, several of whom previously said the recommendation by the county’s Compensation Review Board would help bridge the pay gap between them and their counterparts in Montgomery County.

The pay raise would have taken effect after the November elections.

“We have decided not to accept the Board’s thoughtful recommendation for a one-time salary adjustment,” County Council Chair Dannielle M. Glaros (D-District 3) said in a statement.

She declined an interview request.

Council spokeswoman Angela Rouson did not respond to repeated messages asking whether it was the first time the council had rejected a pay increase proposed by the review board.

The bill now goes to County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D), whose signature is required for it to become law.

The council’s vehicle allowance program came under scrutiny after council member Mel Franklin (D-District 9) totaled a county-owned car while driving drunk in 2016.

Prince George’s was the only local government in the Washington region to offer a take-home car or car allowance to all council members and top council staffers. The privileges cost taxpayers more than $110,000 annually, according to a Washington Post investigation. Although council members with take-home cars have relinquished them, the council has not formally ended the program.

Council members currently are paid $120,347. Lawmakers in Montgomery County and the District made $128,519 and $137,444 last year, respectively. Fairfax County, the most populous jurisdiction in the region, pays its council members $95,000 a year.