Dixon to donate salary increase to charity
Apparently two solid days of critical news coverage and brutal reaction from voters was enough for Mayor Sheila Dixon, who announced she will donate to charity the $3,700 cost of living increase she received through a quiet vote of the Board of Estimates last month.
"After much thought, I decided to donate my cost of living adjustment to a local charity that is helping the less fortunate in Baltimore, " the mayor said in a statement. She did not specify the charity. The mayor is uring other elected officials who received the increaseto do the same.
The decision is a full retreat for the typically steel-spined mayor in a day's time. On Tuesday, when asked if she would donate the raise to charity, Dixon said "no," citing "what I do, seven days a week, 24 hours [a day], trying to raise a family, a daughter in college."
Dixon's raise, to $151,700 yearly, drew outrage because it came at a time of budget cuts and an elimination of police and fire overtime. The Baltimore Sun broke the story on Wednesday; the Nov. 26 vote by the Board of Estimates included no discussion of the raises, and documents did not list the jobs that were getting "salary adjustments."
Today's decision seems like a no-brainer. But why did it take her two days to reach it? Is it too, little, too late? Has too much damage been done?