Michael Scott received a 16 percent pay increase this week when he became the new Smithfield town manager. Scott, who had been the police chief, had been making $81,640. With the new job title and additional duties his salary was increased by the town council by 16 percent to $95,000.
Scott is still being paid less than former town manager Paul Sabiston who was making $100,000.16 last year when he was fired from his job. Town Councilman Perry Harris was critical of Sabiston’s severance package when he was terminated last year. The package allowed Sabiston to receive 50% of his one year annual salary as severance.
Chief Scott’s severance package is not as lucrative. The one year contract, which is automatically renewed, does not include any severance benefits if Scott is terminated within the first 6 months. Between 7 and 12 months he would receive pay equal to 2 months of benefits. After 1 year of service he would receive 3 months of benefits, and after 2 or more years severance equal to 4 months of benefits.
Scott will receive $300 per month for a car allowance including mileage reimbursement for travel outside Johnston County. He will accrue vacation and sick time like a town employee with 20 plus years of employment, which was negotiated as part of his employment contract as Chief of Police when he was first hired in October 2009.
The Town will pay his dues for two in-town civic organizations, $70 per month for the use of his cell phone, cover his health insurance, and pay for long term disability insurance.
Scott will also be able to maintain dual employment as an “auxiliary officer” with the police department so he can retain his NC law enforcement certification. He will be allowed to purchase his Chief’s badge and service weapon for $1, either when he was appointed as city manager or when his employment as manager ends.
The employment contract requires Scott to enroll by the Fall of this year in the Municipal Administration Course offered by the NC School of Government. Within 30 days, he must report on work to fill the vacant police chief’s position. Within 6 months he will have to provide “an overall organizational assessment with recommendations to address any identified concerns.” An informal evaluation will take place within 6 months, and within 60 days of his 1 year start as manager, a formal evaluation will be held.
Scott’s $95,000 salary is higher than Benson Town Manager Matt Zapp who makes $73,500, above Kenly manager Greg Dunham at $74,000, and Selma manager Jon Barlow at $92,920. However it is less than Clayton town manager Steve Biggs whose annual salary is $138,654 and Johnston County manager Rick Hester who makes $167,000.