Ask Us: What are Salisbury City Council members, administrators paid?

Published 1:53 pm Monday, November 8, 2021

Editor’s note: Ask Us is a weekly feature published online Mondays and in print on Tuesdays. We’ll seek to answer your questions about items or trends in Rowan County. Have a question? Email it to

Five Salisbury city government employees receive a salary of more than $125,000, according to data obtained through a public records request.

The request, prompted by a reader question about salaries the city pays to elected officials and top management, shows the city manager and assistant city manager as the highest-paid employees. Others are close behind.

In conjunction with providing salary data, the city provided a statement saying salaries for leadership positions are primarily market-driven and based upon years of experience, education, certifications, industry demand and skillset.

“These same positions typically command higher salaries in for-profit organizations,” said Communications Director Linda McElroy.

Salaries for top management in city government is as follows:

• City Manager Lane Bailey: $179,300

• Assistant City Manager Zack Kyle: $150,594

• Salisbury-Rowan Utilities Director Jim Behmer: $136,498

• City Attorney Graham Corriher: $132,500

• Police Chief Jerry Stokes: $128,000

• Finance Director Wade Furches: $114,390

• Salisbury Fire Chief Bob Parnell: $112,204

• Human Resources Director Ruth Kennerly: $102,283

• Public Services Director Craig Powers: $101,174

• Planning Director Hannah Jacobson: $86,100

• Parks and Recreation Director Nick Aceves: $85,487

Unless Salisbury City Council members vote to give themselves an increase, pay is a flat regardless of who’s in office. The mayor’s salary is $15,894 per year. The mayor pro tem is paid $13,698 per year. Council members receive $12,270 per year.

What’s the status of cafeteria at West End Plaza?

Rowan County Parks and Facilities Director Don Bringle said it’s not clear when Perkins Cafeteria may be able to open in a building it’s leasing at West End Plaza.

“There’s really not a whole lot new,” Bringle said.

County government and Perkins Cafeteria are still working to repair damages to the restaurant’s boiler room after a June break-in. The offenders stole the boiler’s copper piping and other valuable materials. West End Plaza, which includes the Perkins Cafeteria building, is owned by county government.

Bringle said the boiler is ready to be tested, but the building needs gas to be turned on to do that.

“In the next week or so, we should have gas,” he said.