Citizen committee considering pay levels for next County Council, executive -- Gazette.Net


This story was updated at 6:40 p.m. on July 22, 2013.

Montgomery County Council and Executive Isiah Leggett will get a raise this fiscal year, along with county employees, but the next council and executive could be paid even more.

Every four years, a seven-member compensation committee convenes to evaluate the salaries of the council, the executive, the county sheriff and the state’s attorney and to recommend how much those who will hold office after the next election should make.

The citizen committee’s recommendation — if approved by the council — would not change pay for current county leaders, as that is prohibited by state law. But it will establish salaries for those elected in the November 2014 general election.

Regardless of what the committee decides for the future, the current crop of elected officials is slated for a pay raise this fiscal year, which started July 1, according to a council news release.

Currently, members of the all-Democratic council earn $104,022 annually. The council presidents receives an additional salary, for a total of $114,425.

Leggett (D) earns $180,250. Sheriff Darren Popkin (D) earns $154,000 and John McCarthy (D), the state’s attorney, makes $199,000, according to a county news release and county salary data.

For council members, Leggett and McCarthy, their pay will go up at different points this fiscal year by whichever is lower, the average regional Consumer Price Index for a 12-month period, or 3.25 percent — which is the same amount the county approved as a cost of living increase for members of its general employees union, United Food and Commercial Workers/Municipal and County Government Employee’s Organization local 1994.

At most, council members’ salaries could increase approximately $3,381. Leggett’s salary could go up as much as approximately $5,858 and McCarthy’s as much as about $6,468.

Popkin also will get a salary bump this year. His pay will increase 2.1 percent — the amount approved for members of the police union, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 35 — or the index, whichever is lower.

Popkin’s salary could increase as much as $3,234.

The compensation committee is scheduled to issue its recommendations no later than mid-September. Residents have until Aug. 9 to comment on what their elected leaders will make next term.

Residents can e-mail comments to or mail comments to Jean Arthur’s attention at Compensation Committee, Montgomery County Council, 100 Maryland Ave., 5th Floor, Rockville, MD 20850.

Every member of Montgomery’s current elected leadership either plans to run for re-election or is considering a different county office.

Popkin and McCarthy have filed to run again for their present posts, according to the Maryland Board of Elections.

Leggett has announced that he will seek re-election as executive. Councilman Philip M. Andrews (D-Dist. 3) of Gaithersburg has filed to run against Leggett for executive. Councilwoman Valerie Ervin (D-Dist. 5) of Silver Spring had formed an exploratory committee to run for executive, but has not publicly detailed her plans.

Other members of the council have indicated plans to run for their seats in 2014.