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Elections Director receives pay hike

JACKSON—Less than a year after she was hired, Northampton County Board of Elections Director Susie Squire is getting a five percent pay raise.

At their Monday meeting, the Northampton County Board of Commissioners approved to adjust Squire’s salary, moving her employment from step two to step four.

Each step an employee moves up allows a 2.5 percent increase. Each county position has a pay grade, where the salaries for each step are already figured.

Squire was originally hired at the step one level with a starting salary of $30,600 at that level. After she successfully completed her nine month probation period, Squire became a permanent employee and was moved to step two and to a $32,130 salary.

Board of Elections members Mary Anne Bolton and Shirley Townes turned out for the decision and urged the commissioners to move Squire up two steps.

The Board of Elections is responsible for the selection and hiring of the elections director. Bolton admitted her board was not familiar with county’s employee policy when Squire was hired. So Squire, who has higher education degrees, including a masters and a background in the educational field, was hired as a step one employee.

According to Northampton County Manager Wayne Jenkins, employees can be hired above step one if they have relevant experience and the county does not need to pay for additional training.

“She has done such an excellent job,” said Bolton. “We don’t want her to leave.”

Bolton continued, saying that Squire had secured two grants for several pieces of equipment to be used at elections, saving the county thousands of dollars.

Before the topic was brought up, Commission Vice Chair Fannie Greene asked to be recused.

“As I have previously stated, I am related to the board of elections director,” said Greene.

The board approved a motion to allow Greene to be recused.

After the discussion, Commissioner Virginia Spruill made a motion to move Squire to step four on the pay grade; Commissioner Chester Deloatch seconded the motion.

The measure passed without objection.

While Jenkins said it is not unusual for the board to hire employees at or above a step three, this was the first time an employee who has just completed probation has been advanced two steps.