UPPER MARLBORO – The Prince George’s County Council seems poised to vote against a suggested raise to offset the loss of their automobile allowance. During a council meeting on Feb. 20, Chair Dannielle Glaros announced the introduction of a bill that would amend the 2017-2018 Prince George’s County Compensation Review Board’s recommendations to eliminate a one-time pay increase of $10,000 per annum starting with the next elected county council.
Every council member is a sponsor of the bill, which indicates its likely passage.
The bill will not go to committee. There will be a public hearing on March 20.
Prince George’s County Councilmembers had previously been eligible to utilize county take-home automobiles or to receive an automobile allowance of $10,300.
No neighboring jurisdictions offer take-home vehicles for their council members. Advocates for the pay raise, however, stated it would bring Prince George’s council members’ salaries better in line with those of nearby jurisdictions.
Last year, Prince George’s County Councilmembers made $120,347. The councilmembers in Washington, D.C. made $137,144; in Montgomery County made $136,258; in Fairfax County made $95,000; in Baltimore City made $68,000; and in Baltimore County made $62,500.
The review board had presented its report and recommendations to the county council in January. According to the report, the proposals would be approved on April 30 unless the council votes by at least two-thirds to amend it.
“The Compensation Review Board did a very thoughtful recommendation,” Glaros said. “They took a lot of information in, and they looked at a lot of jurisdictions. As a whole, the body just decided not to move forward at this moment with that portion of the recommendation.”
The Prince George’s County Vehicle Use Board recommended in September the councilmembers should receive mileage reimbursement rather than use county-owned cars or receive the allowance.
According to a 2017 Washington Post investigation, these take-home cars cost the county government more than $110,000 in 2016 and were involved in at least 15 collisions between 2011 and 2016.