County Executive David Craig announced his proposed Fiscal Year 2009 budget for Harford County last Thursday, March 27. With all the fanfare that went along with the proposed $34,184,425 decrease in budget, I couldn’t help but wonder what about the 9 percent total increase in salaries for eligible county employees.
The 9 percent was broken up very carefully across 3 different raise categories:
– A wage package consisting of a three percent merit increase and three percent COLA for all eligible staff.
– A Classification and Market Adjustment of three percent for all eligible staff. Members of the Cabinet will not receive a merit raise or market adjustment.
In total the proposed FY 09 budget is $895.8 million dollars with the general fund making up over half of this amount at $472 million. County Executive Craig states that this is the smallest increase over the last 10 years at 4.3 percent. This includes the very large raise for county employees. What is the average raise for county employees across the state?
The Board of Education was seeking a $27.8 million increase over the 09 FY and received $11.3 million. Would taking 1 percent of the county employees raise cover the difference for the BOE?
Also of interest in the proposed budget:
– A $2 million increase for the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, which includes 10 new Deputy positions and fleet management lease funds to replace 55 vehicles and one utility vehicle
– An increase of $684,081 in funding for the volunteer fire and rescue services, which is about a 10 percent increase in funding for each company
– Capital Budget funding for a scope study for a proposed
Before it becomes official, Craig’s proposed FY 09 budget must be approved by the Harford County Council – but should they?