Town Employee Receives 39 Percent Pay Increase

A Johnston County town employee has received a 39 percent pay increase.

The Town of Clayton increased the salary of Human Resource Director Catherine Whitley by 39 percent when the new fiscal year budget took effect July 1st.  Whitley had been making $63,989. She was given a $24,899 pay hike, which brought her salary to $88,888.

Clayton Town Manager Steve Biggs said the human resource directors position received the adjustment following a pay study from an independent consultant.  Biggs said the last time Whitley’s position had been reviewed was in 2004. 

“We don’t make decisions regarding compensation arbitrarily or casually,” Biggs said. “We allocate our resources systematically and with purpose.  The investment in our people is as crucial to providing quality services as our investment in our infrastructure and equipment.”

Biggs said other town employee positions were reviewed. Some received no adjustment, some a “modest adjustment” but Whitley’s salary was the largest he said.  “When we implement a study we don’t seek to be the highest in the market, but we must be competitive for recruitment and retention purposes.”

Town-Of-Clayton-Logo-FIThe salary survey study showed the Town of Clayton’s current salary range for Human Resource Director was between $53,607 and $85,772.  The study recommended a salary range from $65,159 to $100,996.  The private sector average for the same position was between $68,806 and $141,710, according to the report.

In Smithfield, the Human Resource Director’s salary range is between $53,102 and $81,547. The current Smithfield Human Resource Director Tim Kerigan is also the town’s public information officer. His new salary, effective July 1, 2015 is $55,517.   

In Selma, the range is from $58,507 and $90,686. In Garner, the hiring salary begins at $66,976 with a maximum of $103,917, according to the study.

Clayton’s new fiscal year budget included a 2.5 cents increase in the property tax rate and the hiring of 10 additional employees.   

Clayton Manager Receives Two Pay Increases
Following a closed session earlier this month, the Clayton Town Council also approved a 3 percent merit adjustment for Town Manager Biggs retroactive to January 1, 2014 and a 3 percent adjustment effective July 2015. Bigg’s new salary in August climbed to $147,098. 

In comparison, former Smithfield Town Manager Paul Sabiston was making $100,000.16 when he was fired from his position in August.   Selma Town Manager Jonathan Barlow is being paid $92,920 this year. Benson Town Manager Matt Zapp is paid $73,500 annually.