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School board votes to ask county commissioners for pay raise after all

SALISBURY — After first choosing not to take action, Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education voted Monday to ask county commissioners for a proposed pay increase.
The issue was brought up after the board met in closed session, but member Josh Wagner said Tuesday that the issue was only discussed in open session.
During a meeting in November, the previous board voted 5-0 to increase the annual stipend for school board members, adding $10,800 per year in the district’s expenses.
Chairman Richard Miller told board members Monday that state statute requires county commissioners’ approval.
The school board discussed the issue earlier in its regular meeting and took no action. At the end of the meeting, the board met in closed session to talk about unrelated matters.
When the board came back into open session around 10 p.m., Miller said, new member L.A. Overcash made a motion to request the increase.
“He felt I closed the debate too soon and he wanted to raise the question,” Miller said.
Overcash didn’t return a call for comment Tuesday.
The board voted 4-3 to ask for the pay raise, with new members Wagner, Susan Cox and Chuck Hughes voting against it.
Jean Kennedy said earlier in the meeting that she wasn’t comfortable giving herself a raise. But she later joined the majority of the board in its request to commissioners.
“My reason for voting for this was just to bring closure to the matter,” she said.
Miller and Vice Chairman Kay Wright Norman remained in support of the increase. Miller was on the board at the time of the November meeting but did not attend.
If the request is approved, the annual stipend for regular board members would increase from $2,400 to $3,600. That equates to $100 more per month.
The chairman’s stipend would go up to $4,800 from $3,600, while the vice chair would increase to $4,200 from $2,400.
Each of the three board members who serve on the appeals committee would also receive an additional $50 per month, for a total of $600 annually.
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.
Twitter: twitter.com/postcopolitics
Facebook: facebook.com/Karissa.SalisburyPost

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