If you were the Mayor of the only independent city in the entire state and said city was facing massive budget cuts (over $30 million worth), would you consider giving yourself a raise? Would you even fathom doing so through the use of an independent panel behind closed doors with the city Comptroller among others who were also given raises generically by referring to "pay brackets" instead of titles? You would if you were Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon. The Board of Estimates approved in November "salary adjustments" for pay grades 88E, 87E, 83E and 81E. In meeting minutes, that's all it describes -- it doesn't list that said pay grades correspond only to city officials including the Mayor, Comptroller, and City Council President -- all of which are on the Board of Estimates. This came after the Mayor announced that the city was going to have to cut $36.5 million from their projected budget. They have to cut $36.5 million and they're handing themselves pay raises. Earlier the Mayor had said, "...But there is no guarantee we won't have layoffs..." when discussing the financial situation. They'll fire people before thinking about not giving themselves a raise.