City Council approves salary increase for City Attorney Graham Corriher after ‘outstanding’ performance review

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 4, 2021

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — City Council members Wednesday approved a salary increase for City Attorney Graham Corriher based on a performance review conducted in August.

Council members met in a closed session on Aug. 17 to conduct Corriher’s performance review, which City Manager Lane Bailey said Wednesday was “outstanding.” Bailey added that there was a delay in bringing this back to the council for a vote, so the increase will be retroactive to July 1, the start of the current fiscal year, which Mayor Karen Alexander said was agreed upon during the review.

In 2019, Corriher’s salary was increased from $105,000 to $115,000. He will now receive an annual salary of $132,500.

Council member David Post pointed out that the salary still falls below the average salary in comparable cities, but that he approved the amount agreed upon.

Council member Brian Miller thanked Corriher for his “outstanding support” of the council, adding that he looks forward to seeing his growth with the council. As for Post’s comment, Miller said the citywide salary study may provide an opportunity to pay more, but that “for now, this is where we landed.”

Council member Tamara Sheffield credited Corriher with finding lots of things that helped the council and working backwards sometimes to fix things. Her dog could be heard squeaking his toy in the background, and Sheffield said that showed his support as well, which got a laugh from Corriher and other council members.

Mayor Pro Tem Al Heggins called Corriher “a godsend,” and said he’s helped council navigate some “very difficult decisions.”

Alexander echoed everyone’s sentiment.

“I know I’m very fortunate to be here,” Corriher said. “I enjoy the work I do and I enjoy working with all of you and all of the city staff. I really appreciate those kind comments and I look forward to continuing to do good work.”

Before joining the city in July 2018, Corriher spent three years as partner with The Woodson Law Firm. The Rowan County native began his law career with Tharrington Smith, LLP, in Raleigh before moving back to Salisbury to spend a year working as a staff attorney with Koontz & Smith.

Corriher is an honors graduate of N.C. State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law. At UNC, he was a Chancellors’ Scholar, a member of the Broun National Trial Team and an articles and notes editor for the law school’s First Amendment Law Review. Before UNC, Corriher spent two years as a social studies teacher and basketball coach at North Rowan High School.