Knightdale public safety employees see largest percentage salary increase in 2013

mhankerson@newsobserver.comFebruary 7, 2014 

  • The highest (and lowest) dollar

    Average raise (in dollars): $1,144

    Lowest raise (in dollars): $42 public safety adjustment for police officer Amber Coons-Lopez

    Highest raise (in dollars): $2,783 merit raise for police chief Jason Godwin

    Highest salary (in dollars): #113,877 for town manager Seth Lawless

    Number of merit raises: 28

    Number of COLA (cost of living) raises: 12

    Number of new hires: 6

— Data provided by the town showed that in 2013, no one in Knightdale got higher than a 6 percent salary increase.

Public safety employees got the largest increase.

Three employees received the 6 percent increase, according to data provided by the town. The town classified these increases as public safety adjustments.

When adjusting from a public safety department back to a separate police and fire department, some officers dropped lower in the town’s pay scale.

The town previously operated on a public safety model, giving police officers additional responsibilities, like being trained to administer more advanced medical care.

When the town abandoned the public safety model and switched back to a traditional model of having two departments, officers weren’t required to have the extra training so they moved lower in the pay scale.

The town had to make one-time pay adjustments to make sure officers were not losing money in their salaries. Police Chief Jason Godwin said the town didn’t want to take money from employees but they had to stay within the parameters for where their new positions fell in the pay scale.

Moving employees up or down in employee grade meant adjusting salaries to stay within the pay scale to make sure each employee’s salary wasn’t decreasing. The scale didn’t change; the town added money to police department employees’ salary that bumped them into a different pay parameter but still within the employee grade they are in.

Operations supervisor Alexander Reed had a 6 percent salary increase which equaled $4,007, making his yearly salary for 2014 $70,782.

The next-highest public safety adjustment increases were the same percentage increase, at 6 percent, but they were about half the dollar amount of Reed’s increase.

There were a few officers who only saw a $40-$50 increase as part of the public safety salary adjustments.

Officer Amber Coons-Lopez had the smallest increase in the town in 2013, at $42. The adjustment put her total salary at $43,614 a year.

Crew leader Steven Blair got a $2,609 increase, bringing his 2014 salary to $45,022 and maintenance worker John Wainright received a $2,104 increase, increasing his salary for the year to $36,310.

Blair and Wainwright’s increases were listed as public safety adjustments.

Godwin had the highest increase in terms of dollar amount, with a $2,783 merit increase, increasing his annual salary to $94,625. Construction inspector Lee Ray was second in the town, with a $2,712 one-time increase for staying employed with the town for six months. The increase boosted his pay to $55,879 per year.


Hankerson: 919-829-4826; Twitter: @easternwakenews

Eastern Wake News is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service