Mecklenburg commissioners have declined County Manager Harry Jones request for a pay raise, following a year in which the county faced criticisms over the 2011 revaluation, its social services agency and other issues.
Board members said Jones did have some accomplishments in the past year, including helping to craft a new way to pay for fire service in unincorporated areas and leading the county through its split with Carolinas HealthCare System.
But in the end, there were not sufficient votes among board members to support a raise, said Commissioner Dumont Clarke, who chairs the boards compensation committee.
That means Jones base salary will remain at $246,138. His total compensation was valued at $297,795 for the past year.
On Tuesday, Jones declined to say how much of a raise he had requested.
In 2010, commissioners amended his employment agreement to say Jones base salary could change based on the prevailing market rate for his position, or via commissioners evaluation of Jones performance of the past year. That same year, commissioners eliminated future performance bonuses for Jones.
Commissioners discussed Jones work from the past year during a closed session at the end of the boards Nov. 20 meeting. State law allows public bodies to consider some personnel actions in private.
During Tuesdays commissioners meeting, Clarke said the board had agreed to make some changes to Jones employment agreement. That included clarifying language that says the county will continue to pay the health insurance for Jones wife until she becomes Medicare-eligible. The amendments were approved in open session Tuesday.
Commissioners did not discuss Jones pay in the open session, but Jones confirmed after the meeting that he had asked for a merit increase.
Asked if he was satisfied with commissioners vote on his pay, Jones said he respected the authority of the board.
The board of county commissioners probably approves in excess of 95 percent of the recommendations that I make, Jones said. And there are some recommendations that they dont take. That just happens to be the nature of the business that I am in. I dont have to like all of the decisions that they make, but I respect the decisions that they make.
Jones said the pay decision wont affect his work, or how he interacts with commissioners. But he said hell continue to ask the board to be clear on their expectations for him.
Jones review was one of the last decisions by the current board of commissioners, whose term ends this week. Four new commissioners were elected this year, including all three at-large representatives.
Clarke said he thinks it is critical that the board retain its experienced manager as the board goes through a major transition in leadership.