Top Guilford employees will still get raises, despite an attempt to cut them by some commissioners.


Some of the Guilford County commissioners tried unsuccessfully Thursday to reduce pay raises approved two weeks ago for top-ranking county administrators, including County Manager Brenda Jones.

The commissioners had authorized pay raises for six top employees, ranging from 2.5 to 7.5 percent.Commissioner Jim Lumley proposed that all the employees get 2.5 percent.

``County government is in an era of tightening our belts and reducing our government,' Lumley said, adding it's not appropriate to give big pay raises. ``It sends the wrong message to taxpayers. I also think it has hurt the morale of our employees.'

Commissioners Steve Arnold and Katie Dorsett supported Lumley's motion. Chairman Dean Dull and commissioners Chuck Forrester and Jackie Manzi opposed it without comment.

The 3-3 tie caused the motion to fail. Commissioner Jim Kirkpatrick was absent.

Kirkpatrick previously supported the raises, although he voted against the county budget including them.

Raises of 7.5 percent will go to Sheriff Walter A. ``Sticky' Burch, Register of Deeds Lee Payne and Tax Director Roger Cotten. Jones' raise is 7 percent.

Department of Social Services Director Lou Bechtel will get a 5.5 percent raise, and County Clerk Norma Bodsford will get 2.5 percent.

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