Commissioners OK four salary increases

Jul. 29, 2014 @ 08:14 PM

County Commissioners this week approved pay raises for County Attorney Lowell Siler and three other senior officials.

Siler received a 3 percent bump in pay, boosting his salary from $178,404 to a new figure of $183,756, said Cora Wilson, the county’s human resources director.
Monday’s votes also affected Register of Deeds Willie Covington, Tax Assessor Kim Simpson and County Clerk Michelle Parker-Evans.
Covington – an elected official whose salary is set by the commissioners – also received a 3 percent increase. His check goes from $130,083 a year to $133,985.
Simpson – like Siler and Parker-Evans an appointed official – is receiving what amounts to a 5 percent raise. The commissioners agreed to give her a “market” pay adjustment because she was previously receiving less than the average for an assessor’s post, and then topped that with an addition 3 percent.
Wilson said the market adjustment moved Simpson’s salary from $118,012 to $120,532, with the additional 3 percent translating into a fiscal 2014-15 salary of $124,148.
Parker-Evans similarly received what amounts to a 5 percent raise, though in a different manner.
Commissioners agreed to give her a $1,500 vehicle allowance, “rolled into salary,” in the words of commissioners Chairman Michael Page. That combined with another 3 percent increase raised her annual pay from $87,322 to $91,442.
The decision followed closed-door deliberations that saw commissioners meet with all four officials, and produced an assortment of split votes.
The basic, 3-percent pay increase for the quartet went through on a 4-1 vote, Commissioner Fred Foster dissenting.
Simpson’s increase received 3-2 support, with Foster and Commissioner Brenda Howerton as the dissenters but for different reasons.
Howerton signaled an objection to an additional benefit for Simpson approved by the vote, a two-year increase in the tax assessor’s service time for insurance purposes. “We’re treating her differently than other employees,” Howerton said.
Foster said he supported the insurance change, which presumably meant his dissent involved the actual pay increase.
The increase for Parker-Evans received unanimous approval.
Monday’s vote didn’t address the pay of another senior appointee, County Manager Wendell Davis.
Davis is still new to the post, having hired on in April at a starting salary of $198,800.