Macon County Manager Derek Roland was hired as county manager in 2013 at a salary of $100,000. Three years into his tenure, Macon County Commissioners have voted to increase his salary to $120,000.
In June, commissioners voted to give Roland a one-time five percent bonus of $5,490 in recognition for his accomplishments as a manager.
Commissioners highlighted Roland’s achievements over the past three years which includes the planning and construction of the Parker Meadows Recreation Complex, a complete overhaul of the county employee insurance plan, saving the county more than $1 million during the mandatory tax re-valuation process, and working to spearhead a county employee compensation review to bring county salaries up to a competitive rate.
Macon County Commissioner Jim Tate noted that while Roland ensured all county employees were being paid fair wages, the county manager’s salary wasn’t examined to make sure it was competitive based on counties of similar sizes. Tate looked at other salaries in the state for county managers and informed the board that the average salary for managers in counties with similar populations to Macon County is $120,000 with Transylvania County having the lowest county manager salary at $100,000, to Beaufort County with a salary of $153,000.
The one-time bonus was granted in June and commissioners agreed to open discussion on a permanent salary increase for Roland, which they did on Tuesday night.
Tate informed the board that Roland’s $100,000 salary was less than Jackson County’s manager and was also less than what former Macon County Manager Jack Horton was earning when he retired. Roland was hired to replace Horton.
When Horton retired as manager of Macon County in 2013 he was earning $136,578. Horton served as manager of Macon County on two different occasions the first being from October 1985 to March 1991, and again from January 2008 until his retirement in September 2013, giving him 11 years experience as Macon County’s manager. When not serving in Macon County, Horton served as manager elsewhere in North Carolina.
In Jackson County, before retiring in July, manager Chuck Wooten was earning $127,510.50 with five and a half years of experience as Jackson’s manager. Beginning August 1, Jackson County’s new manager Don Adams took over at a salary of $125,000. While Adams is new to Jackson County, he previously served as county manager of Allegheny County for 19 years.
The county just started a new pay period, so to make things easier for the county’s finance department, Roland’s new salary will begin during the next pay period which starts on Aug. 22. For the 2016-17 fiscal year, Roland’s raise will be funded out of contingency funds and will be added to the operating budget next year.
“I am so grateful for your vote of confidence and trusting me to move Macon County forward,” said Roland. “Like I have said before, if it wasn’t for the outstanding county employees I work alongside, I wouldn’t be able to do my job effectively. I can’t thank them enough for their dedication and service to this county.”