Pitt County Board of Commissioners approve new fiscal year budget, sheriff’s office unsatisfied with pay raise

Board of Commissioners decide not to give Sheriff's office extra pay raise
Board of Commissioners decide not to give Sheriff's office extra pay raise(Jaylen Holloway)
Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 11:42 PM EDT
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PITT COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) -Pitt County Sheriff Paula Dance and her deputies filled nearly every seat inside the Pitt County Commissioners’ auditorium Tuesday night as they sat in unison with crossed fingers, hoping to receive a bigger pay raise than the county manager was proposing.

The board of commissioners considered a 6% pay increase for all county employees included in the new fiscal year budget, which Dance wanted.

However, she was also seeking another 5% raise on top of that due to what she says is a lack of competitiveness with surrounding areas.

“I can’t even compete with Winterville anymore because the starting pay is more and is on track to be even more,” Dance said.

Dance’s staff jumped at the chance to voice their pay desires directly to the board, however after a lengthy discussion board members voted 8-1 in favor of moving forward with the original budget proposed by County Manager Janis Gallagher.

“We took the time to do it right, or believe we took the time to make sure that the numbers I proposed to the commissioners aligned with their intent,” Gallagher said.

Dance still believes the $227.4 million budget had room for the additional raise she asked for, even though she and her staff left in complete disbelief.

“I’m going to be here next year, probably next month and the month after that until we make these deputies heard,” Dance said.

Gallagher says the approved 6% county employee increase will go into effect on July 1st.