AC-T: Buncombe commissioners quietly get pay raise

Here’s an excerpt from the Asheville Citizen-Times article:

When the issue was hot two years ago, some Buncombe County commissioners had plenty to say about their compensation, which at the time was North Carolina’s highest for commissioners. …

When the time came to make a change as part of deliberations over this year’s budget, commissioners let the opportunity slip with no public discussion, allowing themselves a 1.7 percent pay increase. That raise matches what was given to county employees in April.

Before the increase, regular commissioners got the second-highest compensation package in the state. …

Last week, advocates of a pay cut — Fryar, Vice Chairwoman Holly Jones and Commissioner Brownie Newman — said it was clear from informal discussions among commissioners this spring and summer that any move to reduce pay as part of budget deliberations would fail. So they didn’t raise the issue in a formal meeting.

Fryar said Chairman David Gantt and other commissioners “told me you can’t get four votes, so there’s no use bringing it up.”

On Aug. 27 the AC-T published an update, reporting that Fryar has decided to turn down his pay raise, here’s an excerpt:

Buncombe County Commissioner Mike Fryar said Monday he will turn down a 1.7 percent pay increase commissioners approved for themselves in July.

The raise was included in the 2013-14 county budget commissioners passed 6-1. Fryar cast the only “no” vote, saying he was opposed to a property tax increase.

He was unaware of the pay increase until interviewed by a Citizen-Times reporter Thursday, Fryar said.

“If I’d known if up front, it wouldn’t have happened,” he said.

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