Pay in Limbo
By: Pat Hunter
September 30, 2008
The Lenoir City Personnel Committee met Monday (Sept. 29) at City Hall to consider and discuss the salary for the City Recorder/Treasurer position. The pay has to be set prior to taking office so everyone is aware, Mayor Brookshire explained. But after a lengthy discussion, no decision was made at this time on the salary amount or benefits for the incoming Lenoir City Recorder/Treasurer, Bobby Johnson, Jr. who is running unopposed on the Nov. 4th ballot.
In attendance were members of the Personnel Committee including Chairman Bobby Johnson, Sr., Council member Eddie Simpson, Council member Buddy Hines, and Council member Mike Henline. Also, Mayor Matt Brookshire, City Administrator Dale Hurst, City Attorney – LCUB Assistant manager Shannon Littleton, Recorder-Treasurer pro tempore Maggie Hunt and staff.
Originally $30,000 was allocated in the budget for 7 months. At that same rate for the year, that amount would be about $51,425, the Mayor thought. Benefits were calculated between 45 percent to 50 percent or more of the salary.
The current pay for the Recorder-Treasurer is about $50,900. According to Mayor Brookshire the pay was not based on department heads pay or the pay of the former Recorder/Treasurer. They just came up with a figure for the time that she would serve in that position, Brookshire commented. She started at $49,440 and a 3 percent cost of living adjustment was added to her salary to bring the amount to $50,923.
An array of matters was discussed including do we compensate the Recorder/Treasurer as a department head. The Charter specifies the duties and responsibilities of the Recorder/Treasurer. City attorney Shannon Littleton’s comments mentioned that the Charter stated that compensation is set by City Council. If this person is a department head then benefits and insurance should be also be considered.
Johnson Sr., asked about the benefits of the last Recorder/Treasurer and the reply was that she received vacation pay and sick leave.
Chairman Bobby Johnson, Sr. directed his question to Mayor Brookshire, What was the salary before Maggie (Hunt) took over; $63,000 replied Mayor Brookshire and City Administrator Dale Hurst. What was that total again, Maggie, Brookshire asked, $63,411, she replied. Do we have to bring it before the Council or Committee now, inquired Johnson Sr.?
Video Clip There was a lengthy discussion about the pay of various department heads. Councilman Eddie Simpson brought up the issue of pay for the former Recorder/Treasurer. The pay for the former Recorder was $63,411 but Maggie Hunt was paid far less. Simpson wanted to know how that amount got “skewed” by about $2100 since he claimed that the Recorder/Treasurer position was supposed to be paid about $61,300, the same as other department heads such as police chief and fire chief. Other department heads such as Parks and Recreation and Street departments are paid less, street dept. head about $58,500. Those pay changes were made within the last fiscal year, the Mayor commented.
How did that number get changed? Simpson requested that attorney Shannon Littleton look into that. A change of that magnitude did not come before the budget committee; it did not, said Mayor Brookshire. If it ended up differently in the budget, it ended up differently after the budget committee met, he added. Councilman Simpson mentioned that it might be an error.
In fiscal year 05-06, supervisor salaries increased about $5000 and Dale Hurst, city administrator was increased by $10,000.
There was a short discussion as to who the Recorder/Treasurer answered to and the consensus was the voters. Mayor Brookshire mentioned that he thought that Johnson Jr. was sincere and that he would work hard. He had been in the finance office several times to learn more about the job. Mayor Brookshire thought that the position should be full-time, 5 days, 8 hours per week and pay should be commensurate to department heads pay and benefits. Another meeting will be scheduled to discuss this further.