ABC Board raises denied

Published 10:03 am Tuesday, November 2, 2010

WINTON – A pay raise request made on behalf of the Hertford County Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board has been denied.

Following up on that request made at its Oct. 4 meeting, the Hertford County Board of Commissioners unanimously agreed here yesterday (Monday) not to approve the proposed pay hikes.

Last month the commissioners listened as Clarence M. Jordan, General Manager of the Hertford County ABC Board, said the current salary structure of the board was $275 per month for the chairperson (Hazel Pierce) and $225 monthly for the other two members – Winfred Hardy Jr. and Lillie Owens-White.

Citing increased profitability of Hertford County’s three ABC stores (Ahoskie, Murfreesboro and Winton), Jordan said the system had a net profit of $100,987 as of June. That was up from $65,803 from June, 2009.

Jordan then requested a $25 monthly salary hike for each member – taking the Chair to $300 and the other board representatives to $250.

That request sparked questions from Commissioners Ronald Gatling and Howard Hunter III. Respectively, they asked how frequently the local ABC Board met and what issues did they address at those meetings, and what ABC Boards in surrounding counties were paid each month.

The issue was tabled in order for the commissioners to have their questions answered.

At Monday’s meeting, Hunter revealed to his colleagues where Hertford County ranked statewide in regards to the salaries of the local ABC Board, including the chairperson’s monthly stipend.

According to the numbers provided by Jordan, Hunter said the county currently ranked fourth highest in the state for paying its ABC Board and sixth highest for the salary to the Board chairperson.

“We  pay more than Durham County, Cumberland County, Pitt County and Wake County,” Hunter said, reading from Jordan’s information sheet.

Hunter continued by saying that he had learned the Hertford County ABC Board had opted to no longer pursue the issue of the raises.

However, Commissioner Ronald Gatling said he felt the county’s governing body needed to act, first by removing the issue “off the table” from last month’s meeting in order to discuss it further and possibly bring it to a vote.

“It doesn’t have to be an agenda item,” said Charles “Chuck” Revelle who serves as legal council to the commissioners. “You need a motion to bring it off the table if you choose to take action. If you do nothing then nothing will happen until the time you decide to take it off the table.”

Hunter motioned to remove the issue off the table, which Gatling seconded. That measure passed unanimously.

“And I also motion that we do not approve the increase the ABC Board previously requested,” Hunter said.

Gatling also seconded that motion and it passed without objection.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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