Under normal circumstances a well-run municipal government is invisible: We put our trash on the curb in the morning, and sometime while we’re away at work it disappears. We turn on the tap and water comes out; flush the toilet, and it flows back out.

An adverse weather event like Tropical Storm Florence, which the Triad experienced as gusting winds and heavy rainfall over the past weekend, pulls the curtain back and shows civil servants doing a job for the public when it counts. Whether it was firefighters cleaning up debris after heavy wind ripped panels off the International Home Furnishings Center on Sunday, or Greensboro police blockading East Cone Boulevard on the same day to prevent motorists from driving into standing water, or water departments pre-positioning generators at pumping stations to ensure that a power outage won’t disrupt service, it’s clear that without them cities wouldn’t operate very long.

Our annual survey of salaries for the top earners in the Triad’s three largest cities shows some clearance at the top of the pyramid. Greensboro saw the retirement of its city manager, Jim Westmoreland. But no city experienced more high-level turnover than Winston-Salem, where two veteran assistant city managers retired, along with the police chief, city-county planning director and community development director.

Meanwhile, High Point City Manager Greg Demko hurtled over the $200,000 mark — the first time any city manager has done so since we started tracking city salaries in 2014 — with a 13.2 percent raise. And Matt Brown, a singular figure in Triad municipal government as the head of a publicly-owned enterprise that drives employment in the hospitality and food service industries, became the first Triad municipal employee in history to earn more than $300,000.

Entertainment facilities

Matt Brown

1. Coliseum Director Matt Brown, Greensboro — $324,500

2. Deputy Coliseum Director Scott E. Johnson, Greensboro — $143,868

3. Theatre Director David Briggs, High Point — $106,013

4. Fair Director David L. Sparks, Winston-Salem — $100,514

Year after year Matt Brown ranks as the most highly compensated government employee in the Triad but in 2018 he cracked the $300,000 mark, earning a 12.5 percent raise that boosted him from $288,445 to $324,500.

Executive

1. City Manager Greg Demko, High Point — $214,999

2. City Manager Lee Garrity, Winston-Salem — $202,298

3. City Manager David Parrish, Greensboro — $194,260

4. Deputy City Manager Randy McCaslin, High Point — $179,346

5. Assistant City Manager Latasha Logan Ford, Winston-Salem — $173,573

6. Assistant City Manager Randy Hemann, High Point — $154,145

7. Assistant City Manager Christian Wilson, Greensboro — $146,524

8. Assistant City Manager Barbara Headen, Greensboro — $146,103

9. Assistant City Manager Ben Rowe, Winston-Salem — $144,623

10. Assistant City Manager Damon Dequenne, Winston-Salem — $140,080

11. Assistant City Manager Evan Raleigh, Winston-Salem — $140,080

High Point City Manager Greg Demko received a 13.2 percent raise, pushing him to the top of the stack among the executive leadership of the three cities. David Parrish received a $46,671 pay bump with his elevation from assistant city manager to city manager in Greensboro, following the abrupt retirement of his predecessor, Jim Westmoreland, in April.

Legal

1. City Attorney Tom Carruthers, Greensboro — $180,000

2. City Attorney Angela Carmon, Winston-Salem — $179,467

3. City Attorney JoAnne Carlyle, High Point — $177,501

4. Assistant City Attorney Al Andrews, Winston-Salem — $125,809

5. Deputy City Attorney Terri Jones, Greensboro — $119,197

6. Police Attorney Brian Beasley, High Point — $113,129

7. Deputy City Attorney Jim Dickens, Greensboro — $111,396

8. Public Safety Attorney Lori Sykes, Winston-Salem — $108,609

9. Deputy City Attorney John Roseboro, Greensboro — $105,675

10. Assistant City Attorney Jerry Kontos, Winston-Salem — $100,241

Police

1. Chief Catrina Thompson, Winston-Salem — $169,950

2. Chief Wayne Scott, Greensboro — $164,544

3. Chief Kenneth Schultz, High Point — $147,661

4. Assistant Chief Wilson S. Weaver, Winston-Salem — $132,600

5. Deputy Chief James Hinson, Greensboro — $113,519

6. Deputy Chief Brian James, Greensboro — $111,046

7. Assistant Chief Larry Casterline, High Point — $110,371

8. Deputy Chief Joel T. Cranford, Greensboro — $107,914

9. Deputy Chief Mike Richey, Greensboro — $107,914

10. Assistant Chief Kenneth Steele, High Point — $106,581

11. Capt. David J. Perry, Winston-Salem — $104,878

12. Assistant Chief Natoshia V. Miles, Winston-Salem — $103,351

13. Capt. Danny R. Watts, Winston-Salem — $103,122

14. Assistant Chief Jonathan Stroud, High Point — $101,741

15. Lt. Tyrone L. Phelps, Winston-Salem — $100,884

16. Capt. Cherie Maness, High Point — $100,142

Fire

1. Chief Trey Mayo, Winston-Salem — $158,478

2. Chief Bobby Nugent, Greensboro — $153,720

3. Chief Thomas Reid, High Point — $149,980

4. Deputy Chief Richard Wright, High Point — $118,733

5. Deputy Chief Brian Evans, High Point — $112,971

6. Deputy Chief Graham Robinson, Greensboro — $112,491

7. Deputy Chief Ronald Swails, Greensboro — $112,491

8. Assistant Chief Michael Levins, High Point — $109,319

9. Assistant Chief Harry J. Brown Jr., Winston-Salem — $105,180

10. Assistant Chief William Lentz, Greensboro — $100,873

Information technology

1. Chief Information Officer Thomas L. Kurecza, Winston-Salem — $157,571

2. Communications & Information Services Director Steven Lingerfelt, High Point — $137,611

3. Systems Project Administrator Thomas Spencer, Greensboro — $129,384

4. Information Technology Senior Manager Chryste Hofer, Greensboro — $123,970

5. Information Systems Project Coordinator Terry L. Nichols Jr., Winston-Salem — $117,218

6. Information Technology Senior Manager Rodney T. Roberts, Greensboro — $107,801

7. Information Systems Project Coordinator Sherri Gaither, Winston-Salem — $107,614

8. Public Safety Information Systems Manager Julia B. Conley, Winston-Salem — $106,322

9. Information Systems Project Coordinator Randy W. Pressley, Winston-Salem — 105,189

10. Information Systems Operations Manager Ivan Spencer, High Point — $105,169

11. Applications & Database Coordinator Nancy L. Brown, Winston-Salem — $103,579

12. Applications Development Manager Eric Xavier, High Point — $103,000

Economic development

1. Director Loren Hill, High Point — $157,119

2. Administrator Sandra Dunbeck, High Point — $111,376

3. Economic Development & Business Support Manager Kathi Dubel, Greensboro — $102,344

Utilities

1. Electric Utilities Director Garey Edwards, High Point — $155,809

2. City County Utilities Director Courtney L. Driver, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County — $126,853

3. Senior Electrical Engineer Phillip Hiatt, High Point — $104,025

4. Electrical Engineering Manager William Ball, High Point — $101,500

Finance

1. Chief Financial Officer Lisa M. Saunders, Winston-Salem — $151,524

2. Finance Director Rick Lusk, Greensboro — $147,660

3. Financial Services Director Jeffrey Moore, High Point — $138,335

4. Financial Services Senior Manager Marlene Druga, Greensboro — $131,127

5. Administrative Services Senior Manager Chris Payne, Greensboro — $115,425

6. Financial Services Assistant Director Kelly Latham, High Point — $112,401

7. Accounting Manager Anita B. Wilson, Greensboro — $107,946

8. Assistant Finance Officer Angie S. Fisher, Winston-Salem — $100,368

Public works/services

1. Field Operations Director Dale D. Wyrick, Greensboro — $146,285

2. Public Services Director Terry Houk, High Point — $146,124

3. Engineering & Inspections Director Kenny McDowell, Greensboro — $140,329

4. Operations Director Johnnie F. Taylor, Winston-Salem — $137,162

5. Facility Services Director Timothy McKinney, High Point — $135,042

6. City Engineer Robert J. Prestwood, Winston-Salem — $136,027

7. Engineering Services Director Brian Pugh, High Point — $126,325

8. Property & Facilities Management Director James T. Mitchell, Winston-Salem — $126,119

9. Public Services Assistant Director Robby Stone, High Point — $119,465

10. Customer Services Director Troy Martin, High Point — $117,250

11. Solid Waste Director Janis McHargue, Winston-Salem — $114,311

12. Fleet Services Director Gary Smith, High Point — $114,001

13. Solid Waste Senior Manager Chris Marriott, Greensboro — $112,862

14. Infrastructure Services Coordinator Todd Porter, Winston-Salem — $110,506

15. Facilities Manager Darrell W. Shumate, Greensboro — $108,860

16. Street Maintenance Operations Manager Mike Mabe, Greensboro — $107,481

17. Public Services Assistant Director Derrick Boone, High Point — $105,179

18. Purchase Director Jerry J. Bates, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County — $103,792

19. Solid Waste Engineering Supervisor Edward L. Gibson III, Winston-Salem — $103,746

20. Solid Waste Collections Manager Sheldon Smith, Greensboro — $102,711

21. Engineering Manager Ted Kallam, Greensboro — $100,985

Water

1. Water Resources Director Steven D. Drew, Greensboro — $146,131

2. Stormwater Director Keith D. Huff, Winston-Salem — $118,621

3. Water Resources Senior Manager Mike Borchers, Greensboro — $116,626

4. Water Resources Senior Manager Kristine Williams, Greensboro — $112,941

5. Wastewater Plant Supervisor James F. Crump, Winston-Salem — $106,491

6. Water Resources Customer Services Manager Jeffrey Kimel, Greensboro — $104,145

7. Water Resources Operations & Administration Manager Adam Conn, Greensboro — $102,882

8. Water Treatment Plant Supervisor William C. Brewster, Winston-Salem — $102,021

Planning

1. Director Lee Burnett, High Point — $142,584

2. Director Suzanna Smotherman, Greensboro — $125,374

3. Deputy Planning & Development Service Director Chris Murphy, Winston-Salem — $99,329

With Paul Norby’s retirement in July, the top job in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Planning Department is open. Norby, who has worked for the combined city-county department for 19 years, earned $183,545, equivalent to some assistant city managers and more than any city attorney.

Transportation

1. Director Mark McDonald, High Point — $139,732

2. Director Adam Fischer, Greensboro — $126,763

3. Director Toneq’ McCullough, Winston-Salem — $118,354

4. Assistant Director John L. Covington, Winston-Salem — $103,447

5. Transportation Engineering Manager Chris R. Spencer, Greensboro — $100,965

Human resources

1. Director Carmen Caruth, Winston-Salem — $138,769

2. Director Angela Kirkwood, High Point — $138,459

3. Director Jamiah Waterman, Greensboro — $132,680

4. Credit Union Manager Jerry Wise, Greensboro — $116,578

5. Human Resources Senior Manager Tiffany Brown, Greensboro — $110,000

6. Total Compensation Manager Joan Blackburn, Greensboro — $109,062

7. Physician Assistant/Nurse Practitioner Karen Wilkinson, Greensboro — $100,377

Workforce development

1. Workforce Development Director Lillian Plummer, Greensboro/High Point/Guilford County — $130,924

Budget

1. Budget & Evaluation Director Larry Davis, Greensboro — $129,279

2. Budget & Administrative Director Eric Olmedo

3. Budget Evaluation Director Patrice Toney, Winston-Salem — $104,782

Community/neighborhood development

1. Community Development Director Michael McNair, High Point — $126,605

2. Community Development Director Marla Y. Newman, Winston-Salem — $126,437

3. Neighborhood Development Director Stanley E. Wilson, Greensboro — $116,885

4. Senior Project Supervisor Mellin L. Parker, Winston-Salem — $112,718

Michael McNair rises to the top of the heap as the most highly compensated community development director in the three cities, thanks to the retirement of Ritchie Brooks in Winston-Salem at the end of 2017. Brooks earned $173,816 at the time of his retirement after 31 years of service. His replacement, Marla Y. Newman, earns only 72.8 percent of his salary.

Libraries

1. Director Brigitte Blanton, Greensboro — $124,943

2. Director Mary Sizemore, High Point — $117,012

Parks and recreation

1. Parks & Recreation Director Nasha S. McCray, Greensboro — $123,962

2. Parks & Recreation Director Phillip Tillery, High Point — $118,581

3. Recreation & Parks Director William L. Royston, Winston-Salem — $101,939

Emergency services

1. Metro Communications Director Melanie A. Neal, Greensboro/High Point/Guilford County — $122,490

Human relations

1. Director Wanda Allen-Abraha, Winston-Salem — $119,629

2. Director Love Crossling, Greensboro — $109,200

3. Human Relations Manager Fanta Dorley — $64,736

Communications/marketing/public affairs

1. Communications Director Carla Banks, Greensboro — $116,137

2. Communications & Public Engagement Director Jeron Hollis, High Point — $115,359

3. Marketing & Communication Director Ed McNeal, Winston-Salem — $110,506

Legislative

1. Director of the Office of the Mayor Linda Barnes, Winston-Salem — $108,964

2. City Clerk Betsey Richardson, Greensboro — $108,839

3. City Clerk Lisa Vierling, High Point — $97,001

4. City Secretary Melanie M. Johnson, Winston-Salem — $67,461

Museums

1. Museum Manager Carol Hart, Greensboro — $78,895

2. Museum Director Edith Brady, High Point — $57,691

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