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Ulman: Pay Cuts, Layoffs and More if Pension Shifts to County

In a letter to Howard County employees, the county executive laid out the worst-case scenario if the governor's pension plan is passed.

Shifting some of the responsibilty for teacher pension costs from the state to the counties would be “devastating” to Howard County, Executive Ken Ulman said in a letter sent to county employees on Thurday, Feb. 9. Ulman added that many of the county’s goals for the upcoming fiscal year are “at risk” and he discussed possible consequences

To help close a $1.1 billion hole in the state’s budget, Gov. Martin O’Malley has proposed from the state to counties, saving the state about $240 million.

According to the Ulman's office, those savings for the state would mean an additional $17.2 million burden on Howard County.

In the letter to county employees, Ulman said that he has put a “more stringent conditional freeze on new hires,” and has suspended negotiations with some collective bargaining units.

“We had hopes for continued avoidance of furlough days, but that may no longer be possible,” the letter read. “Unfortunately, we will likely have to consider the possibility of pay cuts and layoffs if the Governor’s budget passes as proposed.”

Read the full letter at the Maryland Association of Counties website.

Sue Medicus February 16, 2012 at 11:55 AM
But let's spend money on turf fields. What a joke
stephen feldman February 16, 2012 at 12:07 PM
Turf fields and many valuable extra curricular activities which take up a significant amount of time of teachers, students and parents but which aren't directly related to curriculum goals may have to be financed outside of the tax and political strutures in the future. Sources that could build on current voluntary and supplementary efforts could be by private foundations and organizations supported by various communities within the county. If a community won't support an actiivity in its schools, perhaps the school should not offer the activity. Hopefully, HC's wealth and community pride would make that option rare. HC now learns that state aid(and the same is true of federal aid) does not come without "strings".
Chuck Seh February 16, 2012 at 02:06 PM
It's not a fee Bob, it's a tax. Wasn't that O'Malley's cry during the election? Let's see, Sales tax increase, liquor tax increased, toll road & bridge tolls increased, registration & business fees increased (oh yeah, they aren't fees, their taxes), flush tax increases, Now proposed additional sales tax increase, raising the state’s gas and property taxes to increasing several vehicle fees, bag tax, Then there is new revenue from casinos, (didn't Mayor O’Malley call casinos "moral decay" when Bob Ehrlich was governor?). And now he wants to Shift some of the responsibility for teacher pension costs from the state to the counties. Maryland is becoming a Taxes Maximus State.
Anne February 16, 2012 at 07:43 PM
Pensions are based upon compensation. Since Howard County pays more than some other counties it is only fair that it contribute MOTE to the pension plan. There is no one pay scale across the state & it is therefore equitable that contributions to pension plans be apportioned accordingly. Howard County continually trumpets how very wealthy it is yet when the state or any other government agency demands that it shoulder a financial burden it screams like a stuck pig. Enough! Pay your fair share! ntributions to pension plans be
bill bissenas February 21, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Ken (dirty, fithy) Ulman is a disgrace and a joke. He's nearly doubled the size of the HoCo government budget to almost $1.5 billion during his reign of error. What's hilarious is that he, more than anyone else in Maryland through his education funding policies, has contributed to the skyrocketing teacher retirement and pension costs. And now he's whining about $6 to $7 million. As if we are to believe that somehow this socialist has been magically tranformed into a fiscal conservative. Only sheeple would be hoodwinked by Ulman's drivel.
bill bissenas February 21, 2012 at 01:24 PM
Property taxes in Howard County have increased an average of almost 8 percent over the past 15 years, while inflation has averaged between 2 and 3 percent and population growth has averaged 2 percent. Robey and Ulman are responsible for this fiasco. They have sought to transfer wealth from county residents to their union buddies to ensure a funding structure is in place to secure political power for themselves and for those who follow them in the Democrat Party. Simply disgraceful.

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