At last night’s meeting, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners voted to uphold so-called ‘equity adjustment’ salary hikes for 15 department heads. The vote was 7-2, with Commissioners Jeff Phillips and Alan Branson voting ‘no.’ Phillips made a motion to rescind the salary hikes, but it died for lack of a second.

The raises were approved by the previous board during a closed session, which has raised questions regarding their legality. The current board questioned county Human Resources Director Sharisse Fuller at length. Apparently they were satisfied with Fuller’s explanation that she was acting under instruction from the previous board, who initially wanted an pay equity study done on all 2,400 county employees. Fuller explained the county simply did not have the resources to do that, so instead her department for on the 15 department heads.

The way I see, the fear of lawsuits sets the precedent for equity adjustments for all employees. This clearly a backdoor means of handing out raises for a county that’s been telling taxpayers for some time now that the “county’s budget was so tight there was no money for raises or anything else.”