New City Manager to be one of the top paid employees in Anne Arundel County at $175,000

| April 4, 2018
Rams Head
Teresa Sutherland

Teresa Sutherland

Mayor Gavin Buckley hopes to have Teresa Sutherland confirmed for City Manager on Monday night with a starting salary of $175,000 per year.  Former City Manager, Thomas Andrews was paid $130,000.

Sutherland would rank as one of the highest paid public employees in Anne Arundel County.  The top paid employee in Anne Arundel County, an area serving  a population of 564,195 according to the 2015 Census numbers, was Mark Hartzell, the Chief Administrative Officer at $190K. Annapolis 2015 population is listed at 39,418 according to 2016 Census figures.

Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley’s choice for City Manager needs to be confirmed by the City Council before she gets the job. Sutherland, was the former auditor (20 years) with Anne Arundel County before she left her position in 2016 after an acrimonious relationship with the County Executive.

In August of 2015, The Capital reported about an ethics complaint against Sutherland by Richard Cox who alleged that she had a conflict of interest for not disclosing her ties to the Start School Later movement. The complaint was dismissed by the Commission which said Sutherland did not use her title in her advocacy.

In February of 2016 Sutherland submitted a letter to the Board of Education on the same topic–Start School Later. This time, she did use her title in her letter which prompted another ethics complaint.

The complaint alleged she was using “the prestige of the office.” Current County Council Chair, Michael Peroutka was cited by the Ethics Commission in 2015 for the same thing.

An ethics opinion in May advised the councilman take the videos down because they could violate county law, stating the prestige of office is not “for the entity’s private gain.”

However, after investigating the complaint against Sutherland, the Ethics Commission did agree that she likely violated the law; yet decided to take no action and close the complaint since she was no longer employed by the county.

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In 2016 when the Board of Education needed a $20M infusion of cash for its depleted health care fund, it was noted in The Capital that the County Council had followed Sutherland’s earlier recommendation to  use those funds to plug other holes in the budget.

But also as The Capital pointed out, animosity between the auditors (there have been two in Anne Arundel County history) and the administration is nothing new.

Several members of the City Council have questioned the high salary. Despite having 20 years of auditing experience in the County, the City Council will likely also be debating an article in the  City Code that says the City Manager “shall have at least eight (8) years’ experience in local government management.” The discussion likely will center on the interpretation of the word “management.”

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