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December 10, 2008

Dixon and the City Council get a raise

The Baltimore Sun broke the story today of how Mayor Sheila Dixon, Comptroller John M. Pratt, Council President Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake and other city council members are receiving 2.5 percent cost-of-living adjustments through a quiet vote of the Board of Estimates.

The current pay raises, city officials note, are the result of a relatively new voter-approved process creating an independent commission to recommend salaries and annual cost of living adjustments. The panel recommendations become law unless the City Council votes them down, which didn't happen in 2007 -- the first time they were used. The process is designed to take politics out of the decision.

Hogwash.

There's no way to remove politics from what is inherently a political decision. And the way the raises happened this year -- with no public discussion, and through an agenda item written in a way that obfuscates the matter -- is not likely to convince anybody that politics weren't involved.

Why shouldn't the public weigh in on cost of living adjustments, especially during a time of budget cuts? Why shouldn't elected officials explain why the time is right for them to get raises, when by all appearances it is not?

The money at issue is not large. But that's not the point. The desire to avoid a heated debate during which gadflies and government-haters excoriate their mayor is understandable, but wrong-headed.

What we're left with is a symbollic problem that Dixon, Pratt and Rawlings-Blake made themselves. They wanted to avoid exactly what is happening now. Let's see how they get out of it.

What's your suggestion for what Dixon et. al. should do with their raises? Chime in. The floor is yours.


Posted by David Nitkin at 10:06 AM | | Comments (192)
        

Comments

I think this is utterly appalling. At a time, when every government and private company in the country are facing layoffs, furloughs and salary cuts, how in the world can they rightfully take this money. Something needs to be done about this. There should be some very close scrutiny on the spending habits and monies of the offices of Mayor Dixon. Absolutely Outrageous! Shameful!

It's outrageous! People are losing jobs all over the country.

Hopefully in the next election, these folks will lose theirs.

Mr. Mayor, please don't go to Washington with a tin cup, asking for some stimulus money.

If you have the money for raises, you don't need money from the taxpayers for public works.

You guys must think you are on Wall Street.

I think they should refuse the pay raises. They make enough money, push the money back down to the lowest level of city government employees. They would appreciate the "small" 2.9% payraise. I'd guess the mayor's salary is at least $150,000 so 2.9% of that is $4,350 - any low level city worker would put that "small" increase to good use!

That's major Dixon

When city employees such as police and firefighters are facing budget cuts, how can they justify getting raises. We can't even put uniforms on the streets because police overtime was cut, but for some reason they have extra money to give themselves.

This reads like small time Chicago.

Bull****! Where are our 2% raises for cost of living? This is why our country is in the hole it's in now because we have leaders who are just plain GREEDY! It makes me sick...

If these officials can't live on their current salaries, why should they be trusted to handle administering city funds? I think this is an absolute disgrace. If Baltimore City has money to spend, it should be used helping the homeless people who are living on Baltimore's streets -- not well-fed, well-clothed bureaucrats!

The mayor and other eleceted officials who are receiving these raises certainly deserve much more than what they are getting. Each of them tirelessly serves the public and sacrifice personal and financial gain to make our city a better place (and they are succeeding). However, in this time of austerity and talk of layoffs and furloughs I believe these officials should send a clear message that they will do as they ask of others by taking a cut.

these people have got to be inconsiderate of the financial crisis this country is in..How many children can't eat or sleep in comfort while these GREEDY PIGS capitalize on their parent's tax dollars, including mine. They all need to resign and now.

UNBELIEVEABLE!
This simply proves that career civil servants have ZERO sense of what goes on in the REAL world!

The corruption just continues

How is it ,that they just got raises, before,they were elected,and now they are giving themselves another one,and talking about layoffs in the same week,and nobody knows anything about. How is possible? NEW RULES?

I have to say I am not surprised. Not only did the voters vote this ability for the "independent" commission to recommend salaries and cost of living increases. And of course the city council won't vote it down.

Here is an article and blurb from Mayor Sheila Dixon's press release (which a bunch of bunk!).

Baltimore needs to cut its budget by $65 million! Here is Mayor Sheila Dixon's official press release pertaining to the matter.

Here is a quote from the press release:

"The $65 million deficit in FY 2010 is a result of the country’s current economic crisis, and the continuing problems in the housing market. As a result, collection from recordation taxes is steeply declining. At the same time, the cost of maintaining city service, such as pension contributions and health care, continues to rise"

So it has nothing to do with horrible budgeting and wastefulness of or local bureaucracy? Are you saying we could not have planned ahead two years ago when everyone knew the real estate market was going to slow down?

Pension contributions and health care costs continue to rise for former and current city employees. Why is this? Could it be because of the unions getting just about every single demand they have ever made of Baltimore's leadership? Unions are great organizations up to a point. When they start to bankrupt cities then we have a major problem. Soon it may come down to taking care of former employees of the city who have long ago moved away or maintaining Baltimore for its current residents. What would you rather do?

And the state of Maryland overall is facing a multi BILLION dollar deficit!!!

Poor management and greediness is the problem.

Let me get this straight, the country is in a recession. The state is about to undergo furloughs, people here are losing their jobs left and right. Everyone is getting on TV talking about we are broke, but when it comes time for raises, our elected officials are ready to sign checks. No thank you.

Come on so many of us are taking for peter to pay paul, if we have the money to do that! Is there any guilt on their behalf?

All you good democrats voted for them, what do they care if they have to lay a few of you off, so long as they get theirs.

Maybe you'll think about this in the future.

What world are these elected officials living in?!!!
The citizens of Baltimore should be outraged by this "quiet vote" for cost-of-living raises, while the rest of the citizens of this city haven't had one in three years.
People of Baltimore show your disdain for this non-sense by voting out these officials who are soo good for our city, its obvious they don't care about the rest of us.
Call for a state investigation!!
Politicians and public activists wonder why people are leaving the city for the suburbs - because tax dollars are benefiting a "special" few.
Baltimore City Council should get a clue of what historical times we are all in at the moment, don't be soo stupid!

"independent commission"?
"independent commission"?!?!?!

they're essentially voting for themselves! how is that an independent commission?!?!?!

D: hey Steph, I'll vote a raise for you if you vote a raise for me.
RB: Sure Shiela. I love this new law.

I look at the raises, and they are really not that much. I don't even think they can cover cost of living increases.

I think it would have been very symbolic and uplifting if they had foregone them...But hey, it is hard out there. I don't even think that the raises they get will cover food and BGE!

MOM cronies get raises!
Dixon and her cronies get raises!
Recession?
There's no stinking recession!
HAH!
They all need to be voted out of office.
They enrich themselves first and foremost!

This is a SHAME! Who do they think they are? They make more money than most, and have the nerve to get a raise. If they accept this money, they can all kiss their careers goodbye!

How embarrassing - hopefully they will be ashamed enough to refuse the raises and insist the monies be used to help the homeless.

Ridiculous, reprehensible and wrong, but not unbelievable, this behavior is typical of those who start out in the service of the public but all too soon take on the attitude of the ruling elite. And then the little sneaks think that by saying the increase is for "position E83" we wouldn't notice. They should all be impeached, but the next gang would be just as bad.

A Slap in the Face?
What an understatement. This is an insensitive, immoral decision by the mayor, her friends and voting commrades, granting themselves raises in these hard economic times. What...need more shoes? Cloaking this decision in shadows (so much for transparency) is appalling. What else gets by us? Abstaining from voting for their own personal raises is just a wink and a nod between friends and an insult to every voter. Don't even try to justify this action as being a reward for how hard you work and how long its been since your last raise (last year?) Join the rest of us as we support a new President's call for some sacrifice and his demand real leadership from elected officials. One wonders about the stupidity of this arrogant decision. Substituting numbers for names and titles. Voters will remember this needless grab for a few more bucks.

That stinks. They are as clueless as the Wall Street execs. Is common sense in business and politics non-existant? Is greed all they are in it for? They should rescind the raises immediately or never again run for public office.

OUTRAGEOUS,
mayor, city council president and comptroller don't need a cost of living increase; let them cut back on their life style!!!. Give the money to the police, sanitation workers, emergency service personnel and homeless shelters.

My my! Here goes Sheila and Stephanie again. Maybe it's time for the people of Baltimore to look at recalling Miss Dixon (who can't even manage two marriages) and Miss Rawlings-Blake who is entirely too immature to be in the position that she is in at this time. Sheila who thinks she is worth more money than she is (I guesstimate her value to be about $35,000 per year) should resign along with Rawlings-Blake and allow competent and caring leadership be found for the city. No wonder Baltimore is the laughing stock city of the nation. Maybe we should move Baltimore out of Maryland and to Illinois ... Stephanie and Sheila would fit in great! Hey Sheila could be Governor of Illinos! Hope you enjoy the new fur coats you'll buy with your pay raise Sheila. Tacky as always.

This thief (Dixon) is borderline criminal , Its Bull$&*t , If they had any decency they would give it back.

Well if you take away her shopping sprees with her rich contractor boyfreinds somebody has to be responsible for buying her designer shoes. Guess it might as well be the suffering city tax payers.

It should be evident by now that corporate executives and politians only care about themselves.

Let's take a look...Sheila has cut all pertinent services to Baltimore City, yet she can find money to give herself a raise...Can we say continue to rob the poor to finance the lifestyle of the people they elected to office to look out for their betterment. Shame on them all...and they did it quietly.

The fact that the approval was granted on a low key day when no one was really watching is strategic.

It appals me that they can justify an increase in personal earning when cuts and shortages plague the entire country.

The fact that the approval was granted on a low key day when no one was really watching is strategic.

It appals me that they can justify an increase in personal earning when cuts and shortages plague the entire country.

The fact that the approval was granted on a low key day when no one was really watching is strategic.

It appals me that they can justify an increase in personal earning when cuts and shortages plague the entire country.

Maybe the Mayor needs a new fur coat and Ms. Blake can now afford "weight watchers". They make me sick!!!!! Inconsiderate, bunch of
time wasters. The police and fire department should be more than angry.

How immature is Sheila Dixon? She thinks she deserves a raise because someone else got one. You city people elected this woman.

Maybe they could make some "adjustments" and lower our rediculously high tax rates that they keep increasing to pay for their mis-management.

It is a disgrace when people are getting shot in the city because police having to cut overtime because of buget cuts. No one should get a raise but put the money to public safety and schools.

Guess the mayor needs another fur coat?

Can you say check and balance? That's what we get for putting one party in office in this State. Show's you how blind (or pompous) these people are!

Small time Chicago, indeed. What a disgrace.

Her justification is outrageous! Most state and local employees are facing layoffs and furloughs across the state and she makes sure she and her cronies get raises? How unfair is that?

SERIOUSLY??? 27 minutes ago she defended her raise, in the Sun, stating, "Union Workers Got a raise" so basically why shouldn't she and the other council members. Uh, let's see.. Mayor Dixon, Please check the latest unemployment and layoff figures for the City of Baltimore and State of Maryland and answer this question again. What the headline should have read is "Mayor Dixon and Council Members DECLINED COLA Raises during these hard economic times"

I agree with the mayor and her colleagues receivng a 2% cost of living raise. After it is taxed, it really amounts out to nothing. I am a city employee and received a 2% cost of living raise that has amounted to an extra $34. That didn't even cover my increase of $35 a month in rent. Everyone who works should be entitled to a cost of living raise no matter how the economy is. Doesn't the mayor have other issues to deal with?

She gets 3700.00 and say she deserves it because the union people got a hike. Did they each get 3700.00? Then she says the law won't allow her to turn it back. Just who makes the laws? In bad times we need leaders, not takers. If she were doing a stellar job like O'Malley (choke), cough) then it might be different. Some day maybe she will think of an answer to justify this.

unacceptable. baltimore citizens should call, call and call city hall and complain. complain, complain. make their lives miserable. make 'em squirm everytime the phone rings.

After all this is the "Season of Giving".

The Mayor gave the City Polic cuts in overtime, and subsequently gave the citizens of Baltimore less Police on the street and the criminals a free hand to increase the violence which we have seen explode in the last month.

The Governor (remember he was the former mayor) has given the Employees of the State of MD an opportunity to spend more time at home, sans their paychecks and given the taxpayers less of their money to spend in a sluggish economy which subsequently gave small business owners less business and more time to ponder bankruptcy.

Now the City Council and the Mayor have decided that giving starts at home and is giving themselves a raise, while more constituents are unemployed this week then last and more will be evicted from homes this month than last.

What else needs to be said....Merry Christmas from the MD Democratic Party!

What a group of scumbags!
Sheila better save that money for a good lawyer cause she is still under investigation for corruption.
Rawlings Blake is ignorant and useless.
Baltimore voters take heed at what your next Mayor will do to Baltimore residents.
None of our Baltimore council people care about You the taxpayer and voter. Its their greed.
Vote them out and have the last say.
Make Dixon go back to teaching @ half her current salary.
Force Rawlings Blake to get a job as an office manager cause thats all the skill she has.
The President of the USA makes 300k tax free. He deserves it. Mayor should make 80k max.

You get what you voted for Baltimore

Does it really matter what any of these folks do with their raises?

Whether they keep the money to their greedy selves, or donate it to charity, they will all no doubt be re-elected next time around. It's just one of the perks of being an incumbent.

They should be ashamed of themselves, my property taxes keep on going up, now they're at over 4,000 a year, and they're giving themselves more money!!!

The full article says Dixon & Co approved the raises while at the same time slashing overtime for police and firefighters. Let the criminals run wild and burn the city as long as princess Sheila can buy a new fur coat

I just read the headlines on the front page. Dixon refuses to give payraise back and would NOT even consider donating the monies to a charity. How about the homeless people we have here in our own town. How shameful you should be. All of you.....Fur coats, designer shoes and everyone is getting laid off and furloughs along with wage freezes. Sheila - give the money to the homeless. Don't be so ignorant. Unbelievable.

Hey, it's all Bob Erlich's fault! (at least that's what the Rat Owe' Malley would have us believe...)

Congratulations Baltimore City, you got what you deserved in electing Sheila "The Shoe" and her cronies. The corruption just flows downhill from Boy Governor to City Hall like a river!

But, you know what? Come next election, the idiot city votes will once again re-elect "The Shoe"....

Next time " THINK" before you vote

They don't deserve the raises. Let the higher ups try to live on the same kind of salary we do. I don't care if it was voted in earlier, they should have refused the raises, especially with the economoy the way it is.

Same old crap, just different faces, and people wonder why Baltimore is such a sh-- city, well this is one of the prime reasons, by the way, what happened to the investigation of Dixon by the state? What stones she has, I guess she needs the money for her defense against her corruption charges. Put her in jail with all of the other criminals, but that' s right Baltimore has a hard time putting the real criminals away!

just reinforces our opinions of today's
politicians doesn't it?

The voters of Baltimore City wanted Dixon and now they have her along with the poor ethics and double standard politics that she represents. Let me understand this... freeze pay hikes for those in a lower tax bracket than Dixon and her cronies, while at the same time accepting a pay increase without regard for the city budget.

We wouldn't want Sheila to go without during these economic trying times while the average city resident is struggling to cope with heating bills and other basic necessities. She saw fit to cut critical funds in other areas in her "efforts" to reduce the budget... who needs fire or police protection anyway?!?! Nice job Sheila!

I've never been happier to no longer be a city resident than I am at this moment!

I'm just waiting for the day the headline on The Sun reads "Mayor Dixon Indicted!" But then we'll get Rawlings-Blake, so it'll be more of the same stupidity. I love Baltimore.

This is disturbing if only because it looks bad to get a raise in this current economic situation, especially when the city's in bad economic shape.

But what does this add up to? $20,000 a year for all the pay raises? That's not a lot of money when you look at what the city spends money on. I'm not saying it's justified, though. But it doesn't look good.

You gotta be kidding me. The Arrogance of it all. Typical Md. politician, left hand always out.

This is ridiculous, how in the hamsandwich can Mayor Dixon justify these raises when she was just on the news stating we have to cut back on many things to get out of this deficit, I don't know who's worse the CEO with the private jets, the CEO going on vacation with the bailout money, the Governor of Illinois looking for hand outs or The Mayor of Baltimore City who doesn't shop alot but when she does she buys well, I'm glad I didn't vote for her

I think that real leaders would forego taking the raise, in the interest of solidarity with their employees who are being asked to make sacrifices.
In tough times like we are facing, all of us, you see who has integrity and who is willing to take a stand for justice and doing the right thing. It's been appalling how few leaders fit that model.

SSDD typical political BS. Left hand always out.

I make a third of what she makes and face furlough, while she pockets a raise? Crooked b****. So glad I don't live in the City anymore.

Absolutely no morals in government. They make a ton of money, get the state and country into debt and then give themselves a raise? Oh wait, they can't reject the raise. What crap!!

So all of the people we really need like police and firefighters get the shaft, the people who are getting laid off get the shaft. While the Baltimore government gets raises.

Whether that is a 'perk' of being in government or not, it is an irresponsible and callous move. Look around you Mayor, see how everyone else is living and what is facing them.

You are nothing but a selfish, self-serving, insensitive woman.

I pray that when elections come again they get them all out of there before they are able to line their pockets any further while the city goes to he**

She is nothing but a sneak and she has shown this more than once This is actually the icing on the cake. They say they did not vote on their own that was comical Like They were not there saying OK you vote for mine I will vote for yours etc. If they honestly felt there was no big issue with it Why hide it in the wording and such? They knew it was wrong and They ALL should kick that money Back until and Only until the city can afford it. If they are having problems paying bills on that amount then they are living above their means and need to learn the meaning of cutting back You know Just like all thee people in Baltimore the City she is supposed to be there for has done for years.

I am hating their little sneaky clique more and more. i am betting someone dug enough they would find a lot of underhanded mess hiding in all their closets

Is there nothing that can be done to stop this from happening?

well besides waiting to vote them all out of there.

I really believe they have lost their minds and while other people are barely making it they get a early Christmas present which is not a pink slip. Mayor Dixon and the rest of her party need to really take a look at the message they are sending to the public. You can lose your job but I can get a raise.

Where do these people get off taking a raise. Just because it was reccomended doesn't mean they have to - but hey they're politicians and the rule of thumb is when in office get as much as you can gefore you get caught! With potential lay-offs, firings and service cutbacks, evryone who takes the raise shouldn't be re-elected. Idiots!!!!

JB

Politrick's as usual. I'll bet with this economic & employment situation were in we could find some one as intelligent, and as capable as any one of them, to do their jobs for $50,000. or less.

Politrick's as usual. I'll bet with this economic & employment situation were in we could find some one as intelligent, and as capable as any one of them, to do their jobs for $50,000. or less.

they don't have to worry. Nobody will remember or care about any of this during the next election in B'more. Everyone will flock to the polls celebrating the re-election of these scumbags. You reap what you sow.

Is their a way to raise a referrendum to throw the whole council out and start over? This cities politics stink as bad as Chicago's

I haven't had a pay increase for over 2 years now...sure would be nice if we could all vote to get our own pay increased! Ahhh "PUBLIC SERVANTS" ain't they just grand!

Baltimore city voted her in. Now they get to see her true colors. I just hope they remember this next election.

I can't wait until we have another election for Mayor and we can get rid of this woman. Give the money to the schools or to the police.

I think it is apauling that in a city where overtime for police officer's who protect our streets is reduced and rising murder rate that mirror some war zones, the executives have the nerve to accept a pay increase. Why not spend the money where it can do the most good, instead of lining the pockets of the overly paid? I am sure the $30,000/yr city worker lives in the same lap of luxury that a $100,000 Mayor does. How disgusting!

We can complain all we want it doesn't matter, and even if they get voted out the same narcissists will just be in their place...they have way too much power and they know they can get away with it.

Baltimore city voted her in. Now they get to see her true colors. I just hope they remember this next election.

How can she justify getting a pay raise when many of the city workers have to take a day without pay inorder to balance the "budget". Ms. Mayor needs to look at the community around her -- more crime, more trash, etc. due to lack of budgetary dollars. Of course she doesn't have a clue...

This is totally crazy. How can they take a pay raise at this time. There are many people who lives in the city and worked for the local, state, and even federal and not to mention private sector are on the verge of losing their jobs and/or taking pay cuts in their salary. And Ms. Mayor won't even consider taking a part of the increase and give it to charity. Baltimore City Schools are in dire of financial help and their teachers and some administrators deserve some of that raise as well. But as it goes, the rich keep getting richer and the poor stays broke!!! Their judgement day is coming. May God have mercy on their little souls!

Ms. Mayor.... I guess we know where your heads is.... you don't have a clue... you call for days without pay for city workers, more trash, more crime, etc. but more bucks for you. What a greedy person you are..

In these economic times with the budget crisis we're no one should be getting any raises. Isn't every agency supposed to be trying to cut back on expenses and save money where ever possible. This is so wrong.

This type of behavior is considered "career politics" to the current Baby Boom Generation. Its all over the place in every statehouse and at the Fed level.

The biggest wakeup call is when GEN. X gets on top of the scale through mediums like this and roots it out. We have been dished dog poop from Boomers and their time up is a comin.

I have had it with the City. The Mayor is a joke. How can she sleep at night taking a raise when she just cut back on OT for the Police & Firemen, and the criminals are running a muck killing people in the streets. I can honestly say I didn't vote for Ms. Dixon. Maybe she should sell off her Tiffany jewlery you see her wear so often, and her other expensive things if she so desperately needs more money, like Marylanders are considering in order to make ends meet. It's a disgrace and she is a fraud. Time to move out of this area as I am tired of bending over and taking it in the rear for these politicians.

I understand that several members of the Department of Recreation we let go days before this "increase" was quietly approved. Funny!!! One of the persons was just diagnosed with cancer and her only thought about getting through it was to continue working. But as usual the "higher ups" get the better. This is a battle that must be fought for the "little man". It is outrageous and I would say almost just as corrupt as things that are occuring in Illinois. Maybe the government should look into it. Funny things happen at the top don't they?!!!

My guess is no one will remember this when it comes time to re-elect her.

That's why you keep getting what you keep getting.

And I enjoy no longer living in the sh*tty city...

While I don't agree with this action at all, please remember that you voted her into office.

It's ridiculous! They are already asking state employees to take furlough days and are cutting the budgets this way and that. Give that money to the arts programs that are shutting down or to education... or anywhere else that it is needed.

I completely concur with the negativists. On the merits, leaving aside all other arguments, what justification in her job performance warrants a raise? When the rest of her constituents are hurting so badly she only adds insult to injury by accepting the money.

She should have had more sense. But if she did, B'more might be in much better shape than it is.

As of this moment, 2:12 PM on December 10, 2008 every single respondent to this story has opposed the Mayor's raise. Doesn't that give her guidance as to what steps to take next?

Seriously...she should ride a unicycle balancing a beach ball on her nose...she sucks at politics, is a greedy,corrupt, stupid...and then gives herself a raise...this city sucks and now we see why

Sheila needs that money to buy a new fur coat!

Dixon,

Do not defend for any reasons. You should pass the pay increases due to what news we already know about. Do not mess with us!

I think the raise is warranted. She has done a good job.

I think it's outrageous when people everywhere are being laid off, businesses are going under, no one is getting raises & it should start at the top. They should have come said, right away, because of the current economic situation, we are not going to take these raises.

The price for being an elected official or having a secure government job during harsh economic times is a pay freeze. Otherwise, it's the (jobless) employment line.

As a teacher in a city neighborhood zone high school, I can think of a good 100 places that money could go to.

Things I could put that money to better use of: paper to make copies on, funds to restart the school newspaper my students founded but had to fold because of no money, field trips to show my kids that there is a reason outside of our building for learning, money to give my students SAT tutors to make them competitive with their County peers....


City law wouldn't allow her giving the money back? Then change the law. This is completely absurd, and downright insulting. Mayor Dixon, walk in to my building and see if you don't feel guilty for taking that money. I'm disgusted and ashamed.


I think it's sickening that she can give herself and others a raise when the the city is already STRAPPED FOR CASH!!!!!!!!!!! HOW IS SHE CUTTING OT FOR EMERGENCY PERSONNEL WITH MURDERS GOING THROUGH THE ROOF AND THEN GIVE HERSELF A RAISE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think it is great when someone in these hard times can afford the cost of living.

Too bad Sheila & Co. will not even bother to read all the negative feedback from their latest folly. They know the disdain will fade away as some other news story hits the front page. This city administration lacks any concern for the common guy and is only interested in enriching themselves. Hopefully someone will bring this up again at election time but with the city's voting history will it really matter? Open your eyes Baltimore - you are being lead by the criminal and ignorant.

Spread the wealth Miss Sheila, spread the wealth.

what ever happened to a raise based on the type of job you are doing. baltimore you voted for her, now live with the consequences.

Seems like all elected officials are crooks these days. Mayor Dixon hasn't earned my respect. Remember, you don't get respect. You earn it.

what ever happened to a raise based on the type of job you are doing. baltimore you voted for her, now live with the consequences.

This sets a really bad example and puts her bad judgement on display.

Ms Dixon- What are you thinking!?

Do you think that once this story got out that there wouldn't be a backlash?

Especially the way it was voted in ont he night before thanksgiving and only used pay grade codes to identify the people who were getting th eraises.

For shame! People can see through this. it's just flat-out underhanded!

Shiela Dixon is completely out of touch. Worse, its downright stupid considering the times. Worse yet, what we settle for when it comes to civic leaders.

What I find far more outrageous is that the IDIOT voters will vote for all of these cretins again. In fact, I bet most who post their outrage on this forum will once again vote them in office. That's what happens when you have one party, the Democrats, with 100% hold over city government.

This just goes to show how stupid politicians are...I mean you can't tell me there wasn't a better time for this?

It's not that it's surprising to most...

It's disappointing...pathetic…

What part of "public service / servant" don't they understand?!

What's that I hear?

"Oink" grunts at the trough?

Time to fry the bacon...

PLEASE SHEILA, FOR GOD'S SAKE, GIVE IT BACK. I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU WOULD BE THIS CALLOUS. PLEASE GIVE IT BACK!
PLEASE GIVE IT BACK!

Who was it the Sun endorsed?
I remember some similar little trick Glendenning pulled way back when and both the Sun and the Post sat on the story until after the election. My guess that they, Sun mgmt, will give this a little time for everyone to vent, then do their best to make sure it is never brought up again.

NOT surprised at all. Two reasons why it does not bother me.
1) because I did not vote for her and
2) I have no control to stop it.
Be thankful I'm not in charge. My fix would cause an uproar. LMAO
I might be upset if I was one of the BACKWARD thinking people that voted for her sorry butt !! But have no fear OBAMA is here. Money will start falling from the sky and all the people working hard (NOT to work) will be saved. Merry Christrmas.
GOD I love the First Amendment.

I would echo Julie's comments. Urban areas like Baltimore, New Orleans and Chicago are cesspools of corruption because the voter's don't have enough sense to realize that they are responsible for putting these people in office. These are all Democrat hotbeds and until the citizens stop voting Democrat as a block, this is what they'll get. You're doing this to yourself people!

Mayor Dixon has so much to put up with. Im sure we have no idea. I think she deserves every penny. Where I live I see a difference so keep up the good work Mayor Dixon

No surprise that the meeting to approve this took place 11/26, the day before Thanksgiving!! I'm sure the timing was not due to being able to take advantage of the slow news day coming up!!

I'm surprised this liberal rag had the ba*** to print these.

The gall, the utter gall, particularly given our current economic status. Are they brain-dead, or did they give one moment's consideration to future poitical impact that will be visited upon them by the thousands of smart voters in Baltimore City? Oh, yeah, and Bobby Curran is our guy.

And while they get they're raise, the rest of the City employees are told that they're looking at furloughs and THERE WILL BE NO PAY RAISES FOR THE FORSEEABLE FUTURE (even if you derserve or are due to get one)!

They are both corrupt scumbags. You wonder why this city never gets better? Until these useless frauds are out of office and out of power, this city will continue to stagnate.

Property owners should also get a raise in the form of a 2% reduction in their tax bills.

Today's politicians remind me of the way the pigs used to feed at the trough - get all you can while you can and don't worry about tomorrow or the other pigs!

Outrageous! People are losing jobs, being furloughed, making concessions...must be nice to be able to give yourself a raise in these hard times. It's obvious that many politicians want to get elected for personal gain and not to be a 'public servant' as they like to say. This just goes riight along with the other greedy stuff Dixon has done, such as that involving her boyfriend and her cousin.

I'm generally in favor of better-paid people in high office---it doesn't guarantee that they won't get greedy, but we need SOME incentive for people to do these terribly difficult jobs.

But this is just the wrong time for that.

It is a shame. A terrible shame that all of you folks constantly whine about the things other are getting. The Mayor, and City Council, don't have a 9-5 job like the rest of you. The Mayor and City Council are 24/7 employees of a city, with a huge population of WHINERS. I suggest, instead of complaining, you offer some good suggestions to help the city. And, maybe, just maybe, you might want to do something to help.

IT STINKS!!!!!!

These raises are reprehensible. They do show the TRUE CHARACTER of the Baltimore City leadership. Mayor Dixon whines that she works 24-7. Somehow she forgot to mention all the perks of her office -- as well as the additional "gratuities" directed to her by fawning people who are looking for a way to get more of our family funds (taxpayer dollars) directed to them in the form of grants, special jobs, etc., etc.

I'm not sure why everyone is complaining. They deserve the raise, I think they should have gotten more. I me really how important is it to pay the Police who are tasked with protecting our streets, or the sanitation and water works people who keep our city working. I mean really, they have done so much to save us and we should be thankful...now snap back to reality this is the dumbest thing I have ever seen yet it does not surprise me how do you consider furloughs, and layoffs, and going to D.C. for help, and give yourself a raise during a Recession, you are just as dumb as the CitiGroup CEO who wanted to award himself 10Million in bonuses for only losing 16 Billion last year. Only in Gov't and Wall Street do you reward failure.

Just check out how many of the highest paid do not even live in the city and pay city taxes. I think this was in evidence from 'boatgate". Supervisors and chiefs do not live in the city.

This just goes to prove the old adage, "You get the government you deserve". When you live in a "one party state" the politicians can do anything they please without worrying about a candidate from another party defeating them in the next election.

If the baltimore political pay increase is in line with the majority of city employees than it is not outrageous its ordinary.

I've lived in the yale hieghts community over 20 years and I've seen a significant decrease in violent criminal activity on the streets in my area since the honorable Ms. Dixon became Mayor. I don't know if statistics proves this out, just my observations.

If my observations prove to be true and the Mayor keeps it up and can convince the citizens to follow then she should be offered a nice raise every year; up to her to except. If not than we need to put that funding toward finding those solutions.


Instead of massive outrage, people of baltimore should wake up to the fact that the city has no checks and balances of a normal democratic government. It's been in an 1-party government and there can only be corruption and croneism. Tax payers of the city are being taken for a ride and ones with means are leaving the city. Unless there's dramatic changes at the top, there can be continued decline. Want to do something about your sorry situation, vote intelligently!

Have they no shame?

this is bill shit what cost of living raise that the union members got six months later, when our union dues went up, our health insurance went up, they took our overtime from us. they have people in positions and cant even do the damm job and the people who are working their ass off get nothing but a bunch of lip. and now they talking about lay offs
this is so messed up, a shame and other words that i really cant say.

As a supposedly professional politician, she sure has a tin ear-- arguably headed for an economic meltdown of epic dimensions and she takes the raise as an entitlement. I realize all who run for elected office have egos, but her's seemingly outsized to the nth degree. Sadly, she will likely march to easy re-election, as I doubt she will be eating off a tin plate in the slammer for her other transgressions.

These are great leaders. We voted for them and they will guide us though these though times. I think we should give them more. Bless them as they show the way to freedom and prosperity.

DOC,

This behavior is purely unethical and needs to addressed. Trust me, I understand that the city elected these representatives and must live with their decision, but in hard times, what kind of example is this setting? Honestly, please provide one accomplishment since she has taken office. As for a suggestion to improve the city, as one of the most dangerous cities in the world, increase police presence not reduce it.

That's right sis, rejected suggestions to give back a $3,700 pay increase. We need this money for our various court cases.

Janice

Sounds like Chicago. The only difference is those in Chicago got caught. This is legal stealing at its best. The politicians work so long and so hard that Baltimore is the pits for a city. What has the politician done to earn this money. Just working hard doesn't cut it.

It actually works out to only few extra dollars/month for everyone.

All poor Shelia Dixon and the other thieves of City Government when is she going to go down for all the corruption in city politics well the Governor of another state just went down hopfully she will be next .All she can't afford her childs college without this raise making 150,000 as a single parent that's more than most 2 parent families make together .I hope she has to figure out how too live like 80 percent of the other families in Balto city on welfare it would serve her right shes dirty and she's bad for this city.

As a Baltimore City Resident this is an utter disgrace. Our property taxes are the highest in the state of Maryland, Yet the Mayor, the Comptroller, and the City Council President are getting pay rasies. What about the school, the homeless, and the countless other programs that have taken budget cuts. But I guess that this means nothing to Mayor Dixon, she can just use the money to go out and buy another fur from Mano Swartz, and let the homeless freeze on out city street Way to Go Sheila!!!! What a class act!!!!

The mayor and majority of the city council do not deserve to be called "leaders." Leaders make the same sacrifices they call upon others to make. My compliments to Mary Pat Clarke for declining her increase.

"Greedy, greedy, stupid and clueless.

Sheila and her cohorts just don't get it, do they? Some things do not pass the "smell test," ladies.

Are the streets safer? Are the schools better and safer? Have they been able to bring more business into the city? Is the city operating more effficently but not at the cost of laying people off? Are more students graduating from highschool? If yes to these and other questions, they should get a $3,700 dollar raise.

Why would should we expect anything different from her? She's just showing who she really is.

Bad timing. They just don't get it.

Outrageous!! As workers are laid off, they vote each other a pay raise! This is what happens when one party continues its decades-long stranglehold on this city' and state's political system. Only politicians who know they'll get voted into office very time would have the unmitigated gall to do this. When Baltimore city government puts its money into creating jobs for all, addressing the systemic poverty, pressuring the MD legislature to re-regulate BGE, repairing our horrible roads, making sure traffic lights work and ending the stupid and failed war on drugs - for starters - then they can give themselves a pay raise. Until then - give it back. Disgraceful.

well arent they`re all the same..the officials in Office??? you voted for them...so dont whine..just remember ..the next election...think hard..it aint getting any better

This is just wonderful. I'm going to be furloughed for five days and these scum bags give themselves pay raises.

I think it's fitting that a city full of criminals and thugs is being led by criminals.

I think it beyond ridiculous, Sheila Dixons attitude about this is very unprofesional. Who told Ms thing that she was the only one who had a child in college. There are plenty of people who has children in college single and have no job at all. All of these women and city officials need to be impeached this is sad. I guess that'll be more money for her "JIMMY CHO" shoes. She' a crook always have been.

Crime goes up, and the mayor and her gang give themselves raises. The last major corporation leaves baltimore. this place is falling down the tubes and they give raises. go figgure.

I currently am living in Philadelphia and the mayor here, Mike Nutter, gave himself a $20,000 cut in pay.

Maybe this goes into Ms. Dixon's private rainy day fund for her upcoming legal defense. That little problem might be out of the media, but it's not over.

Don't blame me... I voted for MITCHELL!!!

I think the city officials should have pay decreases and have a few furlough days as well. What Nerve!!!!!

I don't live in Baltimore, but I'm from Baltimore and I find this news disturbing. Dixon and her ilk are just plain GREEDY! They should do the right thing and give the number back to a program that could actually use it.

The city cuts it Budget by 10% and the city worker are put on leave and the mayor takes a pay increase?....Now my taxes are due to the city in Jan ...my income has been cut by 40% this year ...But I still have to pay my full tax bill and what am I getting for my money? If I go to the city and say I can only pay half of my due tax bill what will happen?....

It is sickening to think in these extremely challenging times that civil servants would not join there fellow citizens in doing whatever it takes to weather this storm. I'm concerned how these raises will be paid, as I am quite confident that the property assessments in Baltimore city will be reduced based on the economic environment. Lower property values mean lower property taxes collected. It is truly saddening to see someone of this position accept a pay raise. It is selfish and lacks leadership.

Not surprised. I'm not getting a cost of living raise, but than again I am not a politician. I think Dixon and her group need to come down to earth. I don't care how hard they think they work they don't deserve what they make now. Many of us are making it by with an income of much less than her $150,000+ salary. I'm all for a pay freeze for all elected politicians for the next 40 years or more. Let's put that to a vote.

This is crazy!! They all secretly vote on raises and then they screw people in the city in general with property taxes, parking tickets, towing cars, etc. Explain to me how a $25 parking ticket can turn into $2000? Then they prevent you from registering your car.... all because the incompetent city cannot enter into a computer that you PAID your parking fine years ago!! What a crock...I am moving out!

they should take time off with out pay to equal what they got in raise.

1. Of course it's a bad decision - how is this any different from the top guys getting bonuses while their corporation tanks?
2. It's not a "Democrat" problem or a "one-party" problem or whatever (no-one said it was a "woman" problem?!) - it's a "people" problem. Everybody feels underpaid and overworked. Few of us wouldn't take a bonus while our employer went under and our responsibilities went unmet - after all, we work so hard, right?

It’s holiday time and the traditional Christmas shows are hitting full stride…Rudolph, etc.

Here in Charm City, the recession blizzard is blowing in and threatens to cancel Christmas. Rudolph, Hermie and Yukon are running from the Abominal Dixon and land on the Island of Misfit City Council members. Here pay raises are passed quietly and not by name so as to protect the guilty. “Who wants a Stephanie-In-The-Box or a Sheila squirt gun that shoots jelly???” We’re all misfits…”

Upon gaining audience with King Payraiser, the trio is advised “No, you normal taxpayers cannot live here even if you are misfits. But you are free to spend the night- although you may get murdered cuz police overtime has been cut and the Mayor took those monies as a pay raise. Good luck my friends…”

Meanwhile, back in Christmastown…I mean Charm City, the Jimmy Choo elf sector is busy cobbling several new pairs for Mayor Slixon since she’s got an extra $3,700 burning a hole in her new Prada bag. And that burning hole is a fire the Charm City Fire Dept cannot put out because…you got it Burl Ives- they ain’t no more money for the firemen.

We have to hope and pray some rich dope will start dating the Mayor or that you can bring so much scrutiny to this story that she (and the others) are shamed into returning the pay raises. This is just maddening…not surprising mind you, but maddening nonetheless.

Ready Rudolph??? Ready Santa…

Dixon claims that all deserved increases because city employee union members this year also got pay hikes. Well sohuldnt pay raises be determined on performance not "because somebody else got them"?

Our "leaders" all making six figures (and enjoying perks that the rest of us dream about) are less affected by todays economic problems than people who make less than half that - some - who are losing jobs due to budget cuts.

I would think our elected officials might use this as an opportunity to show some leadership and sacrafice by setting an example to all they represent. By taking the raises - deserved or not - they simply are telling the rest of us that greed and self matter more than anything.

Most of this is bad timing. I'm sure if these had been announced six months ago it wouldnt have been much of a story. I'm sure than many who are criticizing and complaining who have gotten pay raises lately havent turned them down either.

The disappointment for me is that Dixon and other civic leaders have blown a perfect opportunity to set an example and inspire the rest of us to understand the importance of sacrafice and the common good rather than self-importance and greed.

They promise(lie) a lot when running for offiice(elections), once in they dont care about you. They are all greed, greedy and greedier. All over the Country, government is the same.
They lie, cheat and steal. Well, I guess to pay for her raise, I can get ready for one garbage pickup a year.

Hmmm...At first I agreed with everyone and said they were corrupt and immoral and all that. But realistically, they are entitled to a raise. No one is calling for the union to give their 3% back. In hard times, everyone needs to cut back. The timing is horrible for them, and just adds to the already growing concern that the city government is even more corrupt and poorly ran.

Personally I think they are entitled to it, but as leaders they could make a statement and say, let's give that money to people and programs that need it more than us. We need to believe that the government will be there for us in times like these and this does send the wrong message.

"To be honest with you, no, 2 1/2 percent, based on what I do seven days a week, 24 hours [a day], trying to raise a family, a daughter in college." - Sheila Dixon

Who gives a damn! It's not like she's the only city worker trying to raise a family, send kids to college, all while working hard for their city! The only difference is that she earns a higher salary for her efforts compared with the people whose pay hikes have been frozen. Basically what she's saying is that her time and personal situation is more valuable than everyone else in the city of Baltimore. What a winner!!!

A question for Ms. Dixon........

Is the damage this will do to your image (and your future in office) worth $3700?

Let her keep her 3 grand because after her term she's out!!! What a great example she has shown for the citizens of Baltimore that have lost their jobs, their houses and struggling to feed their children. Ms. Dixon has committed Political suicide.

How can she sleep at night knowing full well that this raise is wrong? What kind of leadershit is she giving for the civil servants of Baltimore? So many questions that will never get answered. People need to open their eyes and vote criminals like the Mayor out! What's good for the goose is obviously good for the gander. Where's my raise? I have a daughter in College!

Dixon is a brainless twit. Sadly, the voters will re-elect her. Why, she's a Democrat! You all deserve what you get.

At first I was very upset. But when I saw the small amount of the raise I understood. As a former State employee I understand the pay increase process. It just doesn't come out of the blue. I can also remember waiting years for a less than cost of living raise. The amount of the increase is miniscule compared to the amount of time these people spend in service to the city. I didn't vote for any of them, but don't begrudge them the small raise they got. I've also never seen a fur coat that could be purchased for the amout of the raise Sheila Dixon got.

What the mayor fails to realize is we need the police far more than we need her. She can be replaced by anyone. Her argument is weak and firmly illustrates her lack of quality leadership.

What idiots!
You get the government you pay for, in Baltimore.

Um, Baltimorons...duh...its the end of the year, and people tend to find out if they are getting raises or not at the end of the year. Sorry, not sure where you all work but if you break $3700 down by a whole year and figure in the taxes, we're not talking about that much. I'm sure if you don't recieve your raises this year, you'll be crying the blues...At the end of the day, although she is the mayor, she is still a citizen like everyone else with bills to pay.

state workers are facing furloughs, a 2% raise that was taxed and eatenup with an increase in medical benefits so where did it go? with layoffs and people being unemployed it would seem that the raise te elected office recieved should be donated to the bge fuel fund or secure buildings for year round shelter with benefits (medical dental, etc). they could even assist people in transportation in finding a job but i guess that's a little too much to ask.

"Looking for an honest politician is like looking for an ethical burglar." Mencken wrote that over a century ago, and it's still true.

This piggish behavior is unbelievable.

Ms. Mayor, why not donate that money to the parents of the 14 year old who was gunned down in YOUR city?

Maybe donate it to the young wife whose husband was beaten into a coma in Patterson Park in YOUR city?

You and the rest of your group do this city a great disservice. You reinforce the notion that the rich get richer and the poor get a bullet in the head.

Nice to see that some people defend Miss Sheila (our Mistress in the Baltimore Plantation). Guess they work for her or are related to her. Let's Impeach Sheila and remove Steph!

CUT THE WASTE NOW,IMPEACH DIXON.

I thought Sheila was doing a good job before this stupidity. The voters won't forget this. If she really needs the money, why doesn't she sell one of the fur coats her ex-boyfriend gave her? Since the regular folk don't have any money, she and her cronies will be the only people Baltimore criminals will have to rob this Christmas.

I think it is a disgrace for her to act like she needs the money. You just stated in to the media a couple months ago that you bought Jimmy Chow shoes because you spend ur money wisely which lead me to beleive that your daughter's college education was o.k. Murders in the city are increasing while police presence is on the decline because the city does not have the to funding to pay them, but the city can give top officals a pay increase. Ms. Mayor you have lost a lot of support from the voters who put in office I hope you are not considering re-election because you have sealed your fate.

Now we see Shiela's real color, meaning her inter-spirit. She is for self and self only. This is one of many mistake we'll be seeing. I thinks it's a down right SHAME!

I think she should lead by example. The budget is a mess, she increased spending, did not give residents the promised tax decrease, effectively raising taxes.

She is under investigation for accepting high priced gifts. She could have made a big statement by not taking a pay raise...

That is your Mayor, getting away with what she can get away with. She’ll take the heat for a couple of days like always and this to will fade away too. It’s ashamed to you all who voted and put Dixon in office what you got was a cleaner and greener mayor. Cleaner and Greener she will be, because she will have plenty of gifts under her Xmas tree.

I’m a single mother making 4x less struggling to pay my daughter’s tuition. I think that the mayor is a poor example for the American people. I can’t believe I voted for her!

This is gall to the umpteenth degree. I'm one of the folks who makes less than 40k a year and stands to be furloughed because of "budget deficits." Seems the word "sacrifice" always applies to us and not them. I'm tired of the greed and avarice. I've gotten to the place where the word "politician" makes me sick.

As a twenty year city employee that voted to forego a raise in the early nineties due to budget woes, the fact that she willingly accepts a $3700 dollar raise after already making 147k a year is absolutely ridiculous after she insisted on deep budget cuts in departments that shoulld NOT be compromised such as safety and health.

I think it is a crying shame that the economy is so bad and people are making sacrifices to loose pay and here Sheila Dixon of all people should know better. This economy is suffering and all she is thinking about is the ole mighty dollar. The city is a mess with mad crime and gangs I didn't vote for her.

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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