The city of Greensboro can boast about having the most favorable wages for workers at the bottom rungs of the wage ladder among the three largest cities of the Triad.

The budget adopted by Greensboro City Council in June expands the $15-per-hour minimum wage to all roster and seasonal employees, completing an effort to improve wages for the bottom tier of employees that was initiated in 2015. Roster employees are part-time, hourly workers who don’t receive benefits. The $15 minimum wage annualizes to $32,000 per year — the compensation floor set by the city for all full-time workers in 2018.

In contrast, the city of Winston-Salem is maintaining a $13-per-hour minimum wage, with plans to bump it up to $14 beginning in January.

Garbage-truck drivers, custodians and parking enforcement officers in Greensboro are all guaranteed starting pay at $32,100, while their counterparts in Winston-Salem and High Point lag behind, with starting salaries ranging from $24,776 to $30,116 for the same jobs.  

That’s not to say that Greensboro leads starting pay in all job classifications. While landfill techs in Greensboro receive the $31,200 minimum, starting pay for their counterparts in High Point is $34,862. Meter readers in Winston-Salem receive slightly more — $31,851. And parks and rec technicians in Winston-Salem start at $34,081, compared to parks and rec crew members in Greensboro at $31,200. But starting pay for groundskeepers in High Point is still at $24,776 and dead animal control workers in Winston-Salem start at $29,767.

All three cities adopted budgets roughly three months into the pandemic, with revenues taking a gut-punch due to canceled events, shutdowns and business failures. Greensboro City Manager David Parrish acknowledged in his May 19 budget message to the city council that the pandemic “created a great deal of uncertainty about our city revenues and budget.” Winston-Salem City Manager Lee Garrity called it “one of the most challenging budgets in recent city history.” The unsigned budget message submitted to High Point City Council roughly a week after City Manager Greg Demko’s abrupt resignation described the budget as “tremendously difficult to draft,” citing “so much uncertainty about revenues, including sales tax, property tax collection rates, registered motor vehicle taxes, utility collections and other sources that it makes it extremely difficult to budget expenditures.”

The budget documents for Greensboro and Winston-Salem display markedly different philosophical approaches to expenditures for personnel.

“The recommended budget continues progress toward council’s desire to protect and provide for our employees,” Parrish wrote in the forward to Greensboro’s budget. “Despite the financial challenges, this budget does not include any position eliminations, as the most valuable resource we have is our talented and committed workforce.”

Garrity, Parrish’s counterpart in Winston-Salem, noted a $13.4 million gap, writing, “To balance the 2020-21 budget in these tough economic times, strategies are employed to decrease expenditures, such as, position vacancy deletions, hiring freezes (excluding those deemed essential or critical) deferral of all employee pay increases (i.e. merit, public safety supplemental pay), and capital equipment replacement deferrals (except for a limited number of the most critical replacement needs, primarily in public safety).”

The adopted Greensboro budget includes a 1.5 percent of cost-of-living increase for all eligible employees, funds for pay increases to sworn police and fire personnel through the Public Safety Step Program, and adjustments to general and executive pay by 2 percent to allow the city maintain competitiveness with rival city governments.

In contrast, Garrity said the only increases in Winston-Salem beyond the minimum-wage bump planned for January is a 1 percent pay hike to police and firefighters, also scheduled to take effect in January.

The High Point budget allocates funds for a 1 percent mid-year cost-of-living adjustment for employees across the board.

In keeping with its austere budget, compensation for the top talent in the city of Winston-Salem organization reflects little to no change. Garrity’s salary remains flat compared to 2019, at $212,487.

Greensboro City Council approved a 6 percent raise for Parrish in October 2019, prior to the pandemic, boosting his pay from $204,552 to $217,150.

In High Point, Randy McCaslin’s battlefield promotion from deputy city manager to interim city manager translated into a raise from $186,125 to $227,782. McCaslin is now the most-highly compensated city executive in the Triad, although he still makes slightly less than the $230,308 earned by Demko when he stepped down.

The highest paid city attorney in the Triad remains Greensboro’s Chuck Watts, and in December 2019, Greensboro City Council voted to give him a 10 percent raise, catapulting him from $190,000 to $209,000. (The city attorney and the city manager are the only two employees whose salaries are set by city council.) Winston-Salem City Attorney Angela Carmon’s pay increased from $179,467 in July 2019 to $188,557 at the beginning of the new 2020-21 fiscal year. While the differential looks like a 5.1 percent raise, much of it reflects a retroactive raise approved by city council for the 2017-18 fiscal year that was delayed by two years.

The highest compensated city employee in all three cities remains Matt Brown, who is in a league of his own as director of the Greensboro Coliseum Complex. Brown’s pay has increased from $340,725 to $361,169, thanks to a 6 percent raise authorized by City Manager David Parrish.

Winston-Salem Deputy City Attorney Al Andrews also received a hefty raise when he jumped over to the same position at the city of Greensboro, with his salary rising from $128,235 to $153,941.

While it can seem that compensation for top city leadership reflects a steady climb, the numbers can go in the opposite direction when high-profile retirements take place. Greensboro and High Point both got new police chiefs who work for significantly less than their predecessors. Brian James came in as the new chief in Greensboro, earning a salary of $150,000, compared to the $171,957 earned by predecessor Wayne Scott. And Chief Jonathan Stroud in High Point earns $122,283, compared to former Chief Ken Schultz’s salary of $154,421.

Highest earners

Entertainment facilities

Matt Brown
  • Coliseum Director Matt Brown, Greensboro — $361,169
  • Deputy Coliseum Director Scott E. Johnson, Greensboro — $158,333
  • Theatre Director David Briggs, High Point — $112,963
  • Coliseum Maintenance Supervisor Michael R. Perdue, Greensboro — $107,815
  • Aquatic Center Manager Susan N. Braman, Greensboro — $102,075

Executive

Randy McCaslin
  • Interim City Manager Randy McCaslin, High Point — $227,782
  • City Manager David Parrish, Greensboro — $217,150
  • City Manager Lee Garrity, Winston-Salem — $212,487
  • Assistant City Manager Latasha Logan Ford, Winston-Salem — $177,045
  • Assistant City Manager Christian Wilson, Greensboro — $157,356
  • Assistant City Manager Eric Olmedo, High Point — $155,101
  • Assistant City Manager Gregory H. Ferguson, High Point — $154,542
  • Assistant City Manager Larry Davis, Greensboro — $153,941
  • Assistant City Manager Trey Davis, Greensboro — $149,249
  • Assistant City Manager Kimberly J. Sowell, Greensboro – $149,249
  • Assistant City Manager Ben Rowe, Winston-Salem — $147,516
  • Assistant City Manager Damon Dequenne, Winston-Salem — $142,882
  • Assistant City Manager Evan Raleigh, Winston-Salem — $142,882
  • Internal Audit Manager Len Lucas, Greensboro — $104,487

Legal

  • City Attorney Chuck Watts, Greensboro — $209,000
  • City Attorney Angela Carmon, Winston-Salem — $188,557
  • City Attorney JoAnne Carlyle, High Point — $181,938
  • Deputy City Attorney Al Andrews, Greensboro — $153,941
  • Deputy City Attorney Terri A. Jones, Greensboro — $136,633
  • Deputy City Attorney James A. Dickens Jr., Greensboro — $133,367
  • Police Attorney Brian T. Beasley, High Point — $120,933
  • Assistant City Attorney Meghan Maguire, High Point — $120,777
  • Senior Assistant City Manager Anthony J. Baker, Greensboro — $120,000
  • Deputy City Attorney Jerry Kontos, Winston-Salem — $112,470
  • Assistant City Attorney Andrea D. Harrell, Greensboro — $110,897
  • Assistant City Attorney Rosetta Davis, Greensboro — $110,897
  • Public Safety Attorney Lori Sykes, Winston-Salem — $110,781
  • Assistant City Attorney Jasmine Pressa, Greensboro — $100,000

Police

Catrina Thompson
  • Chief Catrina Thompson, Winston-Salem — $176,816
  • Assistant Chief Wilson Weaver II, Winston-Salem — $154,788
  • Chief Brian James, Greensboro — $150,000
  • Chief Jonathan Stroud, High Point — $122,283
  • Deputy Chief Mike Richey, Greensboro — $115,727
  • Assistant Chief Natoshia Miles, Winston-Salem — $109,677
  • Deputy Chief Renae Sigmon, Greensboro — $109,191
  • Assistant Chief James E. McNeill, High Point — $106,692
  • Capt. Christopher Lowder, Winston-Salem — $104,562
  • Deputy Chief John W. Thompson, Greensboro — $104,390
  • Capt. Michael D. Weaver, Winston-Salem — $104,330
  • Capt. Richard J. Newnum, Winston-Salem — $103,296
  • Lt. Christopher P. Fish, Winston-Salem — $103,224
  • Deputy Chief Michael G. Terry, Greensboro — $102,122
  • Assistant Chief William H. Penn, Winston-Salem — $101,501

Utilities

Garey S. Edwards
  • Electric Utilities Director Garey S. Edwards, High Point — $170,527
  • Assistant Electric Utilities Director Tyler Berrier, High Point — $134,536
  • Director Courtney Driver, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County — $129,390
  • Electric System Supervisor Dereck Breedlove, High Point — $111,800
  • Senior Electrical Engineer Philip Hiatt, High Point — $111,469
  • Electrical Engineering Manager William A. Ball, High Point — $109,901
  • Deputy Director Michael J. Kovisto, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County — $105,642
  • Electric System Operator Jerry W. Everhart, High Point — $102,232
  • Senior Electrical Engineer Michael S. Foster, High Point — $102,101

Economic development

  • Economic Development Director Loren Hill, High Point — $169,085
  • Economic Development Administrator Sandra Dunbeck, High Point — $118,346
  • Economic Development & Business Support Manager Kathi K. Dubel, Greensboro — $109,271

Fire

Trey Mayo
  • Chief Trey Mayo, Winston-Salem — $168,178
  • Chief Marion T. Reid, High Point — $163,016
  • Chief Bobby W. Nugent, Greensboro — $162,260
  • Deputy Chief Richard T. Wright, High Point — $128,708
  • Deputy Chief Brian Evans, High Point — $123,706
  • Deputy Chief Graham J. Robinson III, Greensboro — $123,461
  • Deputy Chief Ronald M. Swails, Greensboro — $123,461
  • Deputy Chief Dwayne S. Church, Greensboro — $119,690
  • Assistant Chief Michael Levins, High Point — $117,632
  • Assistant Chief Kenneth M. Steele, High Point — $114,110
  • Assistant Chief Harry J. Brown, Winston-Salem — $111,617
  • Assistant Chief Jerry Hardison, Winston-Salem — $110,000
  • Fire Marshal Timothy R. Henshaw, Greensboro — $107,803
  • Assistant Chief Craig B. Smith, Greensboro — $103,396
  • Assistant Chief Brent P. Gerald, Greensboro — $103,396
  • Assistant Chief James K. Boggs, Greensboro — $103,149
  • Assistant Chief Brad A. Smith, Greensboro — $103,149
  • Assistant Chief Patrick A. Henley, Greensboro — $103,149
  • Fire Marshal Christopher Weir, High Point — $93,517

Information technology

  • Chief Information Officer Thomas L. Kureczka, Winston-Salem — $160,723
  • IT Services Director Steven Lingerfelt, High Point — $147,701
  • Chief Information Officer Jane R. Nickles, Greensboro — $138,124
  • Senior Information Technology Manager Chryste A. Hofer, Greensboro — $131,445
  • Assistant IT Director Eric Xavier, High Point — $130,000
  • Assistant Public Services Director Robby D. Stone, High Point — $127,799
  • Senior Information Technology Manager Rodney T. Roberts, Greensboro — $115,276
  • IT Network Manager Ivan L. Spencer, High Point — $112,518
  • Public Safety Information Services Manager Julia B. Conley, Winston-Salem — $108,459
  • Applications & Databases Coordinator Tracy Simmons, Winston-Salem — $107,769
  • Information Services Project Coordinator Sherri Gaither, Winston-Salem — $107,614
  • Systems & Applications Development Manager David Pither-Patterson, Greensboro — $105,079
  • IT Cybersecurity Engineer Kenneth S. White, High Point — $104,828
  • IT Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Manager Allen D. Eudy, High Point — $103,289
  • IT Systems Analyst Kyle R. Stone, High Point — $103,039
  • IT Systems Analyst Claire C. Robinson, High Point — $102,169
  • Telecommunications Manager Gerrad Biffle, Greensboro — $101,211
  • Database Administrator Pranab Mishra, High Point — $100,355

Finance

Rick Lusk
  • Director Rick Lusk, Greensboro — $156,174
  • Chief Financial Officer Lisa M. Saunders, Winston-Salem — $154,555
  • Senior Financial Services Manager Marlene Druga, Greensboro — $140,177
  • Financial Services Director Bobby D. Fitzjohn, High Point — $129,605
  • Senior Administrative Services Manager Chris S. Payne, Greensboro — $123,729
  • Accounting Manager Anita B. Wilson, Greensboro — $117,602
  • Assistant Financial Services Director Heather L. Forrest, High Point — $107,001
  • Assistant Finance Officer Angie S. Fisher, Winston-Salem — $102,375

Public workers/services

  • Public Services Director Terry L. Houk, High Point — $156,728
  • Field Operations Director Dale Wyrick, Greensboro — $154,799
  • Operations Director Johnnie F. Taylor, Winston-Salem — $146,901
  • Fleet Services Director Gary L. Smith, High Point — $120,197
  • Field Operations Director Keith Huff, Winston-Salem — $120,194
  • Senior Solid Waste Manager Chris R. Marriott, Greensboro — $120,108
  • Street Maintenance Operations Manager Mike A. Mabe, Greensboro — $116,880
  • Public Services Assistant Director Derrick Q. Boone, High Point — $116,733
  • Assistant Director for Solid Waste Janis D. McHargue, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County — $116,597
  • Wastewater Plant Superintendent James F. Crump, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County — $108,620
  • Water & Sewer Mains Superintendent Greg Hall, High Point — $105,433
  • Solid Waste Collections Manager Julio E. Delgado, Greensboro — $104,566
  • Solid Waste Engineering Supervisor Charles G. Dively, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County — $102,661
  • Public Services Manager Trevor S. Spencer, High Point — $101,429

Transportation

Mark McDonald
  • Director Mark McDonald, High Point — $151,235
  • Director Hanna Cockburn, Greensboro — $135,000
  • Director Toneq’ McCullough, Winston-Salem — $120,721
  • Engineering Manager Chris R. Spencer, Greensboro — $107,063
  • Assistant Director for Traffic Field Operations Lance Covington, Winston-Salem — $105,516
  • Planning Manager Tyler R. Meyer, Greensboro — $103,155
  • Public Transit Manager Bruce D. Adams, Greensboro — $97,340
  • Transit Manager Angela W. Wynes, High Point — $87,823

Planning

  • Planning & Development Director Lee Burnette — $150,095
  • Planning Director Suzanna Smotherman, Greensboro — $139,954
  • 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

Engineering & inspections

Kenny McDowell
  • Engineering & Inspections Director Kenney McDowell III, Greensboro — $148,843
  • City Engineer Robert Prestwood, Winston-Salem — $138,747
  • Building Construction Specialist James Mitchell, Winston-Salem — $126,119
  • Business Center Manager Ute Munro, Greensboro — $110,098
  • Engineering Manager Jason Geary, Greensboro — $109,000
  • Civil Engineer Terry A. Kuneff, High Point — $107,515
  • Development Services Manager Michael E. Lewis Jr., Greensboro — $105,575
  • Civil Engineering Design Manager Andrea Keyser, Winston-Salem — $105,338

Human resources

  • Director Angela Kirkwood, High Point — $147,383
  • Director Jamiah K. Waterman, Greensboro — $140,491
  • Director Marquis Barnett, Winston-Salem — $134,568
  • Senior Human Resources Director Tiffany B. Shelton, Greensboro — $119,894
  • Senior Human Resources Manager Matt W. Schweitzer, Greensboro — $112,684
  • Physician Assistant/Nurse Practitioner Karen R. Wilkinson, Greensboro — $107,848

Facilities

Tim McKinney
  • Facilities Services Director Timothy McKinney, High Point — $147,118
  • Facilities Manager Darrell W. Shumate, Greensboro — $118,573
  • Facilities Director Nicholas A. Geis, Winston-Salem — $102,624
  • Real Estate Supervisor Kirk Bjorling, Winston-Salem — $100,562

Libraries *

  • Director Brigitte H. Blanton, Greensboro — $140,312
  • Director Mary M. Sizemore, High Point — $125,734
  • * The libraries in Winston-Salem are operated by Forsyth County, and are therefore not included in this review.

Water

  • Water Resources Director Mike M. Borchers, Greensboro — $139,000
  • Senior Water Resources Manager Kristine W. Williams, Greensboro — $124,800
  • Water Resources Customer Services Manager Jeffrey S. Kimel, Greensboro — $113,035
  • Water Resources Operations Manager Adam L. Conn, Greensboro — $111,745
  • Water Reclamation Manager Elijah Williams, Greensboro — $105,366
  • Stormwater Manager David J. Phlegar, Greensboro — $104,389
  • Water Treatment Plant Supervisor William C. Brewer, Winston-Salem — $104,061
  • Water Resources Engineering Manager Virginia V. Spillman, Greensboro — $103,372
  • Water Plant Superintendent Robert W. Pickett, High Point — $101,912
  • Water Supply Manager Dell Harney, Greensboro — $100,546

Community/neighborhood development

Mike McNair
  • Community Development Director Mike McNair, High Point — $136,978
  • Community Development Director Marla Y. Newman, Winston-Salem — $128,966
  • Neighborhood Development Director Stanley E. Wilson, Greensboro — $124,696
  • Inspection Services Director Reggie L. Hucks, High Point — $116,823
  • Senior Project Supervisor Mellin Parker, Winston-Salem — $112,718

Parks

  • Parks & Recreation Director Nasha S. McCray, Greensboro — $136,633
  • Parks & Recreation Director Phillip L. Tillery, High Point — $126,562
  • Recreation & Parks Director William L. Royston, Winston-Salem — $103,978

Emergency services

  • Guilford Metro 911 Director Melanie A. Neal — $134,954
  • Guilford Metro 911 Technical Services Manager Lewis H. Cheatham Jr. — $106,345
  • Emergency Management Director August M. Vernon, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County — $102,000

Communications/marketing/public affairs

Jeron Hollis
  • Community & Public Engagement Director Jeron Hollis, High Point — $125,852
  • Communications Director Carla Banks, Greensboro — $123,948
  • Marketing & Communications Director Eddie McNeal, Winston-Salem — $112,716

Human relations

  • Director Wanda Allen-Abraha, Winston-Salem — $122,022
  • Director Love C. Jones, Greensboro — $116,365
  • Diversity & Inclusion Officer Maria Hicks-Few, Greensboro — $96,098
  • Human Relations Manager Jelani O. Biggs, High Point — $68,640

Budget

  • Budget & Evaluation Director Jon S. Decker, Greensboro — $118,320
  • Budget & Evaluation Director Patrice Toney, Winston-Salem — $106,877

Workforce development

  • Director Chris M. Rivera, Guilford County — $118,320

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 — $94,379
  • City Clerk Sandra R. Keeney, Winston-Salem — $65,161

Purchasing

  • Director Jerry J. Bates, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County — $105,868

Arts and culture

  • Chief Creative Officer Ryan Deal, Greensboro — $103,491
  • Greensboro Historical Museum Manager Carol G. Hart — $86,230
  • High Point Museum Manager Edith Brady — $62,186

Starting salaries

Firefighter

  • Winston-Salem — $39,470
  • High Point — $36,606
  • Greensboro — $35,995

Police officer

  • Winston-Salem — $41,443
  • High Point — $40,357
  • Greensboro — $38,222

Crime scene

  • High Point (technician) — $38,427
  • Greensboro (investigator) — $35,995
  • Winston-Salem (police evidence specialist) — $34,081

Custodian

  • Greensboro — $31,200
  • Winston-Salem — $27,040
  • High Point — $24,776

Courier

  • Greensboro — $31,200

Sanitation operator (garbage truck driver)

  • Greensboro — $31,200
  • High Point — $30,116
  • Winston-Salem — $29,767

Sanitation laborer/worker

  • Winston-Salem (laborer) — $27,820
  • High Point (worker) — $26,015

Stormwater technician

  • Winston-Salem — $44,673
  • Greensboro — $35,995
  • High Point — $30,116

Landfill mechanic/tech

  • High Point (mechanic) — $34,862
  • Greensboro (tech) — $31,200

Meter reader

  • Winston-Salem — $31,851
  • Greensboro — $31,200
  • High Point — $26,015

Parking enforcement specialist/officer

  • Greensboro (specialist) — $31,200
  • Winston-Salem (officer) — $29,767

Parking attendant

  • Greensboro — $31,200
  • Winston-Salem — $27,040
  • High Point — $26,015

Parks and recreation

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

Grillroom assistant supervisor

  • High Point — $22,472

Planner

  • Winston-Salem — $47,800
  • Greensboro — $44,507
  • High Point — $42,377

Code enforcement officer

  • Winston-Salem (field zoning inspector) — $39,019
  • Greensboro — $38,514
  • High Point — $38,437

Groundskeeper

  • High Point — $24,776

Librarian

  • High Point — $40,357
  • Greensboro — $38,514

Dead animal control worker

  • Winston-Salem — $29,767

Call center representative

  • Greensboro — $31,200

Community resource specialist

  • Winston-Salem — $36,606
  • High Point — $34,862

Mayor

  • Greensboro — $30,173
  • High Point — $19,200
  • Winston-Salem — TBD

Mayor pro tem

  • Greensboro — $23,711
  • High Point — $14,400
  • Winston-Salem — TBD

City council members

  • Greensboro — $23,711
  • High Point — $14,400
  • Winston-Salem — TBD

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