The Anne Arundel County Council is considering a special bill to close the $20,000 gap between the annual pay of the county’s only Black county agency head and that of his White counterparts.
Rick Anthony, director of Recreation and Parks for Anne Arundel County, Md. is paid $88,121 per year, while his counterparts earn over $100,000. The gap exists although Anthony, who has been in the job since 2010, is well-regarded.
County Executive Laura Neuman told the AFRO, “He has been doing the job, and from what I understand he has been doing the job well.”
The department head position is a position that Anthony was promoted into three years ago. Neuman said she can’t account for the gap and noted that she wasn’t aware of it until “Anthony met with me and brought it to my attention.” He was placed in the position before Neuman took the helm.
“Once Anthony brought this to my attention, I noticed that even at a ten percent increase it still would not make his salary comparable to his counterparts,” said Neuman.
In a statement to the AFRO, Neuman said “the fact that Anthony doesn’t possess a college degree could play a part in why he is being paid the salary he was initially awarded.” She said, “we are now moving forward in making sure he is getting treated fairly.”
According to Anne Arundel County government, the bill that allows Neuman to boost Anthony’s salary was introduced June 3 by council chairman Jerry Walker.
The bill would allow Neuman to increase the pay, on a one-time basis, of a department’s head who’s salary was twenty-five percent or more below the average of all persons in the same pay grade.
County council approval is needed to allow Neuman to increase Anthony’s salary beyond the ten percent increase level. If the bill is approved, Anthony would get a raise effective June 20.
“It seems fair that he should be compensated appropriately,” said Neuman. She said, “At the end of the day, it’s about treating everyone fairly.”
Prior to being promoted as the recreation and parks director in June 2010, Anthony served as the special assistant to the county executive in March 2009.
“It just didn’t make sense that we have one African American department head and he’s getting paid significantly less,” Neuman told the AFRO.