The town has conducted a salary study it undertakes every two years that could result next fiscal year in 13 town employees jumping pay grades at an estimated cost of $12,396 next fiscal year.
The town completed the study in house, using 2015 N.C. League of Municipalities data, comparing town of Knightdale salaries to other Wake County municipalities. In past years the study has not included Raleigh and Cary because they are so much larger than other Wake municipalities, or Rolesville, because it is smaller.
This year, however, the study did factor in those three municipalities for directors, because, according to Human Resources Director Marcy Bell, who presented the study to the Town Council’s finance committee last month, it is harder to compete in hiring those positions if the higher salaries from the larger municipalities are not considered.
Finance committee members Pete Mangum and Mike Chalk indicated they supported included the raises in the proposed fiscal year 2016-17 budget.
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“I think it’s a minimum change,” Mangum said. “We’re talking about a $12,000 impact to get in line with what we’re doing. ... I’m OK with it.”
Six of the 13 positions that would see increases in their pay range are department heads. All six of those positions would also see increases in their current salaries ranging from $579 for Parks and Recreation Director Tina Cheek to $832 for Administrative Services Director Suzanne Yeatts. Other department heads who would see increases in their pay as a result of the study include police Chief Lawrence Capps, fire Chief Tim Guffey, Development Services Director Chris Hills and Public Works Director Robbie Worrell, who just joined the town staff last month.
Town Clerk Whitney Ledford, who is not the head of a department, would see the largest increase. The bottom of the page range for Knightdale’s town clerk would rise from $45,751 to $50,440. Her salary would increase $2,355 to meet the new minimum, under the plan. The only other employee to see a raise of more than $1,000 would be accounting technician Stephanie Carew, whose pay would jump $1,674 per year to nearly $36,000. Those two positions would see their pay increase 4.9 percent.
The study used the lowest end of the pay grade for each position.
Administrative Services Director Suzanne Yeatts said that after the last study in 2014 then-Mayor Russell Killen said the town should try including Raleigh, Cary and Rolesville for some positions. “We were just seeing kind of how that fell if we included them,” she said.
With the addition of Raleigh, Cary and Rolesville to the study group, most of the salaries where significant differences were found between the town base and the county average were in director positions.
“We want to be competitive in Wake County,” Chalk said. “That’s why we take a look at Wake County.”
The study document presented to finance committee members does not cite the upper end of the pay ranges for any of the positions included in the study.
The Town Council is expected to vote on the changes to the salary scale as part of the annual budget, at its meeting Wednesday, June 15, and the raises would go into effect along with the budget on July 1.
Matt Goad: 919-829-4826