RED SPRINGS — An effort is underway to give a pay raise to Red Springs Board of Commissioners members and to the mayor.
The commissioners currently are paid $10 per meeting and the mayor is paid $100 a month, Mayor Edward Henderson said Tuesday. He doesn’t know when this pay scale was put in place, but it was there when he first joined the Board of Commissioners nine years ago. The Red Springs officials are the lowest paid of the county commissioners, and elected board members for Lumberton, St. Pauls, Maxton, Fairmont and Pembroke.
“We just thought it was time we were making a little more for the work we’re doing,” Henderson said.
The goal is to bring the pay more in line with what council members and mayors are paid in North Carolina towns that are about the same size as Red Springs, he said.
“The only way we can make any more is if we hold four or five meetings in a month,” Henderson said.
A check of historical sources reveals the pay, dictated by the Red Springs charter, has not changed for 43 years. And it takes an act of the North Carolina General Assembly to change the charter.
To that end, Rep. Garland Pierce, a Democrat from Wagram, introduced on May 31 House Bill 1057, which would amend the charter. Co-sponsors of the legislation are fellow Democrats Rep. Charles Graham, of Lumberton, and Rep. Elmer Floyd, of Fayetteville.
The legislation was given given final approval in the House on Monday by a vote of 105 to 1 and sent to the Senate. It was given first reading approval in the Senate on Tuesday and was referred to the Committee On Rules and Operations of the Senate.
The legislation does not specify what the commissioners and the mayor should or will be paid, Henderson said.
“The board of commissioners may fix its own compensation and the compensation of the mayor and any other elected officers of the town as authorized by G.S. 160A-64,” HB 1057 reads in part.
Red Springs leaders will conduct a study of similar-sized North Carolina to come up with a pay range for council members and mayors, Henderson said.
“We don’t want to be on the low end or on the high end,” he said. “We just want to be in the middle.”
Reach T.C. Hunter by calling 910-816-1974 or via email at [email protected]