Mecklenburg County commissioners voted Tuesday to give County Manager Dena Diorio a 4.5 percent raise in her $228,000 base pay, after less than 10 months on the job.
Diorio will also receive an additional $500 per month to cover expenses.
The unanimous vote followed praise for Diorio’s performance from around the commissioners’ dais.
“I believe she’s worth every penny we pay her and the money we’re about to pay her,” said commissioner Bill James, a conservative Republican known for questioning county spending.
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“We’re so fortunate. I can look people in the eye and say we’re in good hands,” added Pat Cotham, a Democrat.
Commissioners hired Diorio, the county’s former finance director, in December after firing former County Manager Harry Jones.
Jones had presided over a troubled property revaluation and high-profile problems with the county’s social services and mental health agencies. Diorio pledged to repair damaged communications between commissioners and county staff.
She won praise from the board for her vigor in meeting with groups across the county, for tackling problems such as complaints of uneven building code enforcement and for restoring public confidence in county administration.
Commissioners Chairman Trevor Fuller pointed to the “measured and judicious” changes Diorio has brought since starting her new job in January.
“I feel like our judgment was spot on” in hiring Diorio, Fuller said. “We felt like she was poised to hit the ground running, and boy, has she done that.”