Year after year, Greensboro Coliseum Director Matt Brown tops the list of most highly compensated public employees among the Triad’s three largest cities.

With a salary of $340,725, Brown and his operation are an economic powerhouse, responsible for booking major concerts and sporting events from Bassnectar to ACC Men’s and Women’s Basketball. As an indicator of its dominance in the events industry for the northern Piedmont region, the Greensboro Coliseum even took over booking for the Lawrence Joel Veterans Coliseum in Winston-Salem in 2014. Brown’s nearest equivalent in the city of Winston-Salem, Fair Director Cheryl C. Hartley, earns only a fraction of his salary — $69,449. Likewise, High Point Theatre Director David Briggs, whose upcoming bookings include former Stray Cat Lee Rocker and family-friendly comedian Jeff Allen, earns $108,129.

At Brown’s scale, a 5 percent raise goes a long way: Only two years ago, he was earning a measly $288,445 salary.

After Matt Brown, city managers and city attorneys — the only two employees hired directly by their city councils — consistently earn the highest salaries. At a salary of $230,308, High Point City Manager Greg Demko holds a significant pay advantage over Winston-Salem City Manager Lee Garrity ($212,487) and Greensboro City Manager David Parrish ($204,552). Demko topped the list last year, as well, but widened the gap thanks to a 7.1-percent raise, in contrast to Garrity and Parrish, whose raises amounted to about 5 percent.

Among city attorneys, Charles D. Watts Jr. leapt to the front of the pack the moment Greensboro City Council hired him on May 29. A former general counsel for the NC Department of Transportation and partner at the Banks Law Firm, Watts starts with a salary of $190,000. In contrast, his predecessor, Tom Carruthers, earned $180,000 when he resigned last October. (Carruthers has since landed a position with Guilford County as an assistant sheriff’s attorney.) In contrast, Angela Carmon, the city attorney with the longest tenure, earns a salary of $179,467. Carmon’s salary of $179,467 is the same as it was for the last fiscal year, which began in July 2018. Carmon told Triad City Beat that Winston-Salem City Council is currently in the process of conducting her FY 2017-2018 evaluation, and any merit increase she receives will be retroactive to July 1, 2018. (That’s not a typo: Carmon’s evaluation is behind by almost two years. High Point City Attorney JoAnne Carlyle earns $181,938.

Following city managers and city attorneys, the cities’ police and fire chiefs command the highest salaries, as reflection of their roles leading organizations that provide essential public-safety services with hundreds of front-line employees.

However cities structure their personnel, there’s typically a leadership equivalent from one city to the next. Human relations is an exception. Winston-Salem and Greensboro both have stand-alone departments with directors. But after the firing of its human relations director in 2015, the city of High Point reduced human relations from a department to an office headed by a manager who was required to report to Communications & Public Engagement Director Jeron Hollis. But Fanta Dorley, the human relations manager, recently left her position, and currently the highest-ranking employee in the office is Administrative Specialist Erica Talley, who earns a salary of $42,657. In contrast, Winston-Salem Human Relations Director Wanda Allen-Abraha and Greensboro Human Relations Director Love C. Jones earn $122,022 and $112,747 respectively.  

The city of Winston-Salem has opened a wide lead over Greensboro and High Point in starting pay for firefighters. From 2017-18 to 2019-20, base pay for firefighters in Winston-Salem increased from $33,696 to $39,470, while it increased from $33,484 to $35,995 in Greensboro, and remained flat, at $35,888 in High Point.

Similarly, base pay for police officers in Winston-Salem increased from $39,470 to $41,443 from 2017-18 to 2019-20. Base pay for police officers increased from $25,556 to $38,222 over the same period in Greensboro, and remained flat, at $37,683, in High Point.

While city leaders have traditionally felt pressure to maintain competitive pay so they can retain public-safety employees, they’re increasingly also hearing demands to increase pay for those at the bottom of the pay scale — crew members in field operations, water resources and parks and rec; couriers; custodians; and parking attendants and enforcement officers — as a matter of justice.

In the previous fiscal year, the city of Greensboro brought all full-time employees up to a minimum salary of $31,200, equivalent to $15 per hour. As a result, crew members, custodians and parking attendants in Greensboro earn significantly more than their counterparts in Winston-Salem and High Point.

The annual budget approved by Greensboro City Council last month also brings all roster employees — part-time, hourly workers who don’t receive benefits — up from $12.50 to $13.50 per hour. City council has committed to bringing pay for roster employees up to $15 per hour in the next fiscal year.

Highest earners

Entertainment facilities

  • Coliseum Director Matt Brown, Greensboro — $340,725
  • Deputy Coliseum Director Scott Johnson, Greensboro — $151,687
  • Theatre Director David Briggs, High Point — $108,129
  • Coliseum Maintenance Supervisor Michael R. Perdue, Greensboro — $103,107
  • Fair Director Cheryl C. Hartley, Winston-Salem — $69,449

Executive

  • City Manager Greg Demko, High Point — $230,308
  • City Manager Lee Garrity, Winston-Salem — $212,487
  • City Manager David Parrish, Greensboro — $204,552
  • Deputy City Manager Randy McCaslin, High Point — $186,125
  • Assistant City Manager Tasha Logan Ford, Winston-Salem — $177,045
  • Assistant City Manager Randy Hemann, High Point — $160,705
  • Assistant City Manager Chris Wilson, Greensboro — $151,670
  • Assistant City Manager Ben Rowe, Winston-Salem — $147,516
  • Assistant City Manager Larry Davis, Greensboro — $146,460
  • Assistant City Manager Trey Davis, Greensboro — $144,000
  • Assistant City Manager Kimberly J. Sowell, Greensboro — $144,000
  • Assistant City Manager Damon C. Dequenne, Winston-Salem — $142,882
  • Assistant City Manager Evan Raleigh, Winston-Salem — $142,882
  • Internal Audit Manager Len Lucas, Greensboro — $101,662

Legal

  • City Attorney Charles D. Watts, Greensboro — $190,000
  • City Attorney JoAnne Carlyle, High Point — $181,938
  • City Attorney Angela Carmon, Winston-Salem — $179,467
  • Deputy City Attorney Al Andrews, Winston-Salem — $128,325
  • Deputy City Attorney Terri A. Jones, Greensboro — $122,784
  • Police Attorney Brian T. Beasley, High Point — $115,457
  • Deputy City Attorney James A. Dickens Jr., Greensboro — $114,983
  • Public Safety Attorney Lori P. Sykes, Winston-Salem — $110,781
  • Deputy City Attorney John P. Roseboro, Greensboro — $109,262
  • Assistant City Attorney Meghan E. Maguire, High Point — $105,000
  • Assistant City Attorney Polly D. Sizemore, Greensboro — $102,397
  • Assistant City Attorney Jerry Kontos, Winston-Salem — $102,246

Police

  • Chief Catrina Thompson, Winston-Salem — $173,349
  • Chief Wayne Scott, Greensboro — $171,957
  • Chief Ken Shultz, High Point — $154,421
  • Deputy Chief James Hinson, Greensboro — $117,454
  • Deputy Chief Brian L. James, Greensboro — $114,981
  • Deputy Chief Joel T. Cranford, Greensboro — $111,849
  • Deputy Chief Mike Richey, Greensboro — $111,849
  • Assistant Chief Ken Steele, High Point — $109,302
  • Assistant Chief Natoshia V. Miles, Winston-Salem — $107,526
  • Assistant Chief Jonathan T. Stroud, High Point — $106,238
  • Capt. Chris Lowder, Winston-Salem — $102,511
  • Assistant Chief James E. McNeill, High Point — $102,326
  • Capt. Michael Weaver, Winston-Salem — $102,284
  • Capt. Richard J. Newnum, Winston-Salem — $101,199
  • Capt. Douglas Nance, Winston-Salem — $100,663
  • Capt. Renae G. Sigmon, Greensboro — $100,258

Fire

  • Chief Trey Mayo, Winston-Salem — $164,880
  • Chief Bobby Nugent, Greensboro — $157,990
  • Chief Marion T. Reid, High Point — $155,139
  • Deputy Chief Richard T. Wright, High Point — $122,903
  • Deputy Chief Brian A. Evans, High Point — $116,632
  • Assistant Chief Michael Levins, High Point — $112,372
  • Deputy Chief Graham J. Robinson III, Greensboro — $117,828
  • Deputy Chief Ronald M. Swails, Greensboro — $117,828
  • Assistant Chief Harry J. Brown Jr., Winston-Salem — $109,429
  • Deputy Chief Dwayne S. Church, Greensboro — $114,057
  • Fire Marshal Timothy R. Henshaw, Greensboro — $102,861
  • Fire Marshal Christopher E. Weir, High Point — $90,846

Utilities

  • Electric Utilities Director Garey S. Edwards, High Point — $162,978
  • Utilities Director Courtney L. Driver, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County — $129,390
  • Assistant Electric Utilities Director Tyler R. Berrier, High Point — $122,826
  • Assistant Utilities Director Janis D. McHargue, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County — $116,597
  • Assistant Utilities Director for Business Services Michael J. Kovisto, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County — $100,612

Economic development

  • Director Loren H. Hill, High Point — $161,647
  • Administrator Sandra V. Dunbeck, High Point — $114,479
  • Economic Development & Business Support Manager Kathi Dubel, Greensboro — $105,635

Information technology

  • Chief Information Officer Thomas L. Kureczka, Winston-Salem — $160,723
  • Information Technology & 911 Communications Director Steve Lingerfelt, High Point — $141,507
  • Chief Information Officer Jane R. Nickles, Greensboro — $133,467
  • Systems Project Administrator Thomas E. Spencer, High Point — $134,472
  • Senior Information Technology Manager Christine Hofer, Greensboro — $127,809
  • Information Systems Project Coordinator Terry L. Nichols Jr., Winston-Salem – $117,218
  • Senior Information Technology Manager Rodney T. Roberts, Greensboro — $111,640
  • Public Safety Information Systems Manager Julia B. Conley, Winston-Salem — $108,459
  • Information Systems Operations Manager Ivan L. Spencer, High Point — $107,798
  • Information Systems Project Coordinator Sherri M. Gaither, Winston-Salem — $107,614
  • Applications Development Manager Eric M. Xavier, High Point — $106,113
  • Senior Network System Administrator Luciano Canziani, Greensboro — $103,297
  • System Security Engineer Kenneth S. White, High Point — $100,518
  • Communications & Information Services Administrator Frank L. Jacques Jr., High Point — $100,167

Finance

  • Chief Financial Officer Lisa M. Saunders, Winston-Salem — $154,555
  • Finance Director Rick Lusk, Greensboro — $151,875
  • Senior Financial Services Director Marlene Druga, Greensboro — $135,909
  • Financial Services Director Bobby D. Fitzjohn, High Point — $125,000
  • Senior Administrative Services Manager Christopher S. Payne, Greensboro — $119,813
  • Accounting Manager Anita B. Wilson, Greensboro — $112,726
  • Assistant Finance Officer Angie S. Fisher, Winston-Salem — $102,374
  • Assistant Financial Services Director Heather L. Forrest, High Point — $101,200

Public works/services

  • Field Operations Director Dale Wyrick, Greensboro — $150,500
  • Public Services Director Terry L. Houk, High Point — $149,587
  • Operations Director Johnnie F. Taylor, Winston-Salem — $139,905
  • Assistant Public Services Director Robby D. Stone, High Point — $122,167
  • Customer Services Director Troy R. Martin, High Point — $121,021
  • Fleet Services Director Gary L. Smith, High Point — $116,492
  • Senior Solid Waste Manager Christopher R. Marriott, Greensboro — $116,120
  • Street Maintenance Operations Manager Michael A. Mabe, Greensboro — $112,261
  • Assistant Public Services Director Derrick Q. Boone, High Point — $111,642
  • Wastewater Plant Superintendent James F. Crump, Winston-Salem — $108,620
  • Solid Waste Collection Superintendent Sammy Vanderzee II, High Point — $100,227

Water

  • Director Steven Drew, Greensboro — $150,346
  • Senior Water Resources Manager Michael M. Borchers, Greensboro — $121,839
  • Stormwater Director Keith Huff, Winston-Salem — $120,994
  • Senior Water Resources Manager Kristine W. Williams, Greensboro — $118,154
  • Water Resources Customer Services Manager Jeffrey S. Kimel, Greensboro — $108,673
  • Water Resources Operations & Administration Manager Adam L. Conn, Greensboro — $107,270
  • Water Treatment Plant Superintendent William C. Brewer, Winston-Salem — $104,061
  • Water Reclamation Manager Elijah L. Williams, Greensboro — $101,450
  • Water/Sewer Mains Superintendent Greg D. Hall, High Point — $100,167
  • Stormwater Manager David J. Phlegar, Greensboro — $100,027

Planning

  • Planning & Development Director Lee Burnette, High Point — $145,540
  • Planning Director Sue Smotherman, Greensboro — $135,655
  • Planning Development Services Director Aaron E. King, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County — $127,500
  • Deputy Planning Development Services Director Christopher R. Murphy, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County — $106,141

Transportation

  • Director Mark V. McDonald, High Point — $146,432
  • Director Adam W. Fischer, Greensboro — $135,978
  • Director Toneq’ McCullough, Winston-Salem — $120,721
  • Assistant Director John L. Covington, Winston-Salem — $105,516
  • Engineering Manager Christopher R. Spencer, Greensboro — $103,984
  • Planning Manager Tyler R. Meyer, Greensboro — $100,330

Engineering & inspections

  • Engineering & Inspections Director Kenney McDowell, Greensboro — $144,544
  • City Engineer Robert J. Prestwood, Winston-Salem — $138,747
  • Engineering Services Director Brian K. Pugh, High Point — $128,669
  • Building Construction Specialist James T. Mitchell, Winston-Salem — $126,119
  • Facilities Manager Butch Shumate, Greensboro — $112,699
  • Senior Electrical Engineer Philip L. Hiatt, High Point — $108,264
  • Civil Engineering Design Manager Andrea L. Keyser, Winston-Salem — $105,338
  • Electric System Supervisor Darrell E. Damron, High Point — $105,225
  • Engineering Manager Ted A. Kallam, Greensboro — $104,824
  • Electrical Engineering Manager William A. Ball, High Point — $104,545
  • Business Center Manager Ute C. Munro, Greensboro — $103,939
  • Electric System Supervisor Dereck J. Breedlove, High Point — $103,374
  • Inspections Administrator Reggie L. Hucks, High Point — $102,679

Budget

  • Budget & Administrative Director Eric Olmedo, High Point — $141,954
  • Budget & Evaluation Director Patrice Y. Toney, Winston-Salem — $106,877

Human resources

  • Director Carmen Caruth, Winston-Salem — $141,545
  • Director Angela Kirkwood, High Point — $141,324
  • Director Jamiah Waterman, Greensboro — $136,547
  • Credit Union Manager Gerald A. Wise, Greensboro — $120,488
  • Senior Human Resources Manager Tiffany B. Shelton, Greensboro — $115,978
  • Senior Human Resources Manager Matthew W. Schweitzer, Greensboro — $107,929
  • Physician Assistant/Nurse Practitioner Karen R. Wilkinson, Greensboro — $104,255

Facilities

  • Facility Services Director Timothy McKinney, High Point — $140,063
  • Property & Facilities Management Director Nicholas A. Geis, Winston-Salem — $102,624
  • Real Estate Supervisor Kirk Bjorling, Winston-Salem — $100,563 

Community/neighborhood development

  • Community Development Director Mike McNair, High Point — $130,788
  • Community Development Director Marla Newman, Winston-Salem — $128,966
  • Neighborhood Development Director Stanley E. Wilson, Greensboro — $120,752
  • Senior Project Manager Mellin Parker, Winston-Salem — $112,718

Libraries

  • Director Brigitte H. Blanton, Greensboro — $135,655
  • Director Mary M. Sizemore, High Point — $121,776

Parks and recreation

  • Director Nasha McCray, Greensboro — $130,655
  • Director Phillip L. Tillery, High Point — $122,281
  • Recreation & Parks Director William L. Royston, Winston-Salem — $103,798

Emergency services

  • Guilford Metro 911 Communications Director Melanie Neal — $130,655
  • Emergency Management Director August Vernon, Winston-Salem — $102,000
  • Guilford Metro Technical Services Manager Lewis H. Cheatham Jr. — $101,469

Human relations

  • Director Wanda Allen-Abraha, Winston-Salem — $122,022
  • Director Love C. Jones, Greensboro — $112,747
  • Administrative Specialist Erica Talley, High Point — $42,657

Communications/marketing/public affairs

  • Community & Public Engagement Director Jeron F. Hollis, High Point — $120,305
  • Communications Director Carla Banks, Greensboro — $120,004
  • Marketing & Communications Director Eddie J. McNeal — $112,716

Legislative

  • Director Linda J. Barnes (Office of the Mayor), Winston-Salem — $108,964
  • City Clerk Lisa Vierling, High Point — $101,851
  • City Clerk Angela R. Lord, Greensboro — $90,000
  • City Secretary Sandra R. Keeney, Winston-Salem — $65,161

Purchasing

  • Director Jerry J. Bates, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County — $105,868
  • Manager Erik S. Conti, High Point — $90,908

Museums

  • Museum Manager Carol G. Hart, Greensboro — $82,742
  • Museum Director Edith W. Brady, High Point — $60,364

Starting salaries

Firefighter

  • Winston-Salem — $39,470 *
  • Greensboro — $35,995
  • High Point — $35,888
  • * The minimum salary for Winston-Salem firefighter trainees is $37,590. 

Police officer

  • Winston-Salem — $41,443 *
  • Greensboro — $38,222
  • High Point — $37,683
  • * The minimum salary for Winston-Salem police officer trainees is $39,470.

Crime scene

  • High Point (crime scene technician) — $35,888
  • Greensboro (crime scene investigator) — $35,289

Custodian

  • Greensboro — $31,200
  • Winston-Salem — $27,040
  • High Point — $22,031

Courier

  • Greensboro — $31,200

Sanitation operator (garbage truck driver)

  • Winston-Salem — $36,466
  • Greensboro — $31,200
  • High Point — $29,526

Sanitation laborer/worker

  • Winston-Salem — $27,820
  • High Point — $25,505

Landfill mechanic/tech

  • High Point — $34,178
  • Greensboro — $31,200

Meter reader

  • Winston-Salem — $31,851
  • Greensboro (meter services tech) — $31,200
  • High Point — $25,505

Parking enforcement specialist/officer

  • Greensboro — $31,200
  • Winston-Salem — $29,767

Parking attendant

  • Greensboro — $31,200
  • Winston-Salem — $27,040
  • High Point — $23,134

Parks and recreation

  • Winston-Salem (technician) — $34,081
  • Greensboro (crew member) — $31,200

Grillroom supervisor

  • High Point — $28,120

Planner

  • Winston-Salem — $47,800
  • Greensboro — $43,634

Code enforcement officer

  • Winston-Salem (field zoning inspector) — $39,019
  • Greensboro — $37,759

Groundskeeper

  • High Point — $24,290

Librarian

  • Greensboro — $37,759

Dead animal control worker

  • Winston-Salem — $29,767

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