Silence greets town manager's request for raise

Cajah's Mountain postpones considering it
Aug. 01, 2014 @ 02:52 AM

After less than three months on the job, the interim town manager for Cajah's Mountain has asked for a 15 percent raise plus compensation for his commute from his home in Hickory.

When it came up during a special meeting Thursday evening, members of the Cajah's Mountain Town Council sat still and silent as stone.

Interim Town Manager Jim Chandler, who started work as a part-time manager two days a week May 8 after longtime manager Connie South resigned under pressure April 26, proposed a new contract to make the terms of his temporary stay as manager clearer. The contract would last to Dec. 31, raise his pay from $425 a week to $500 a week and pay him a total of $1,120 for his commute during that time. The contract could be terminated by either the town or Chandler with 30 days' notice.

Chandler, who retired Jan. 1, 2012, from a job with the Western Piedmont Council of Governments, said he hopes that the town will find a permanent town manager soon because his schedule is already hectic. However, the council gave him no hope at Thursday’s meeting.

Councilman Jeff Bolick said, “We’re no closer to finding someone than when Connie (South) resigned.”

Bolick suggested the council postpone consideration of Chandler’s contract proposal for more discussion.

In other business, the council approved a clarification to a requirement passed in June for all residences to be connected to the town’s sewer system. The change makes clear that the requirement does not apply to vacant lots.

The council also approved a change to sewer billing so that residents who fill up swimming pools or irrigate large gardens could apply for a lower sewer rate that water use. Sewer bills generally are based on water usage, but for people who apply for this exception, the meter will be read before and after the pool was filled or the garden irrigated, and the bill will be adjusted without that water use included.