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ELIZABETH N. MARSHALL v. JAMES S. A. BENTZEL ET AL. WILLIAM L. ADAMS (02/05/79)

decided: February 5, 1979.

ELIZABETH N. MARSHALL, MAYOR OF THE CITY OF YORK
v.
JAMES S. A. BENTZEL ET AL. WILLIAM L. ADAMS, ELMER E. AUGHENBAUGH AND JAMES E. HOOKER, APPELLANTS



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of York County in case of John D. Krout, Mayor of the City of York v. Elizabeth N. Marshall, James S. A. Bentzel, Roy O. Borom, Richard T. Harvey, James R. Vogelsong, Members of City Council of the City of York and The City of York, William L. Adams, Elmer E. Aughenbaugh and James E. Hooker, No. 76-S-948.

COUNSEL

Wentworth D. Vedder, with him William J. Althaus, and Morris, Vedder & Ream, for appellants.

Frederick S. Spangler, with him Harry J. Rubin, and Liverant, Senft and Cohen, for appellees.

Judges Crumlish, Jr., Blatt and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt.

Author: Blatt

[ 40 Pa. Commw. Page 274]

This is an appeal from a declaratory judgment rendered by the Court of Common Pleas of York County, which held that the City Council (Council), and not the Mayor of the City of York (City) had the legal authority to fix the salaries of the Business Administrator, Director of Public Works and Director of Public Safety of the City.*fn1

The facts as stipulated by the parties indicate that during the years from 1968 through 1975, the salaries of the Business Administrator, and the Directors of Public Works, Public Safety and Community Development

[ 40 Pa. Commw. Page 275]

(Directors) were based on amounts specified in ordinances or resolutions adopted by Council or were based on amounts specified in personnel budgets submitted by the Mayor "in connection with the budget ordinances adopted by the Council."

On November 18, 1975 and on December 3, 1975, respectively, the Mayor submitted to the Council a proposed budget ordinance for the year 1976 requesting lump-sum appropriations for the various city departments and a personnel budget in support of the proposed budget ordinance in which the proposed 1976 salary of the Business Administrator was listed at $21,079.00 and that of the other Directors at $18,404.00 each. On December 30, 1975, the Council adopted a budget ordinance for the year 1976 in which the lump-sum appropriations for the City Departments were fixed at amounts lower than those proposed by the Mayor and also adopted a resolution fixing the salary of the Director of Community Development at $21,500.00.

On January 12, 1976, the Mayor issued "an executive order which promulgated a standard compensation plan for the year 1976" placing the salaries of the Business Administrator and the Directors of Public Safety and Public Works at the amounts contained in his December 3, 1975 "personnel budget," (Business Administrator at $21,079.00, and Directors of Public Works and Public Safety at $18,404.00) and that of the Director of Community Development at $21,500.00. On February 2, 1976, however, the Mayor issued another "executive order which promulgated a series of revisions to the standard compensation plan for the year 1976," in which the salaries of the Business Administrator and the other two Directors likewise were designated at $21,500.00 each. On March 19, 1976, the Council adopted a resolution fixing the salaries of the Business

[ 40 Pa. Commw. Page 276]

Administrator and the Directors of Public Safety and Public Works at $21,079.00, $18,404.00 and $18,404.00, respectively. Subsequently a petition for declaratory judgment was filed by the Mayor, requesting a declaration that he had the authority to fix the salaries of the Directors. The Council as defendants requested by way of New Matter a declaration that they had the authority to fix the salaries. The Directors, who were joined as additional defendants, requested a declaration that their salaries had been lawfully fixed in the amounts determined by the ...


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