DSS Director awarded pay increase

Published 11:02 am Thursday, October 13, 2022

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GATESVILLE – Willie Smith, Director of the Gates County Department of Social Services, has been awarded an increase in his annual salary.

Following a recommendation from the local DSS Board, the county’s board of commissioners approved Smith’s raise at their regularly scheduled meeting on Sept. 21.

In a letter, dated Sept. 12, to the commissioners, Jonathan Jones, chair of the DSS Board, requested a $5,000 annual raise for Smith. That would bring his annual salary to $75,950.

Smith was hired on Aug. 3 of last year.

Jones told the Gates County Index that Smith’s salary is paid by a mix of county (60 percent) and federal (40 percent) funds.

“There are sufficient funds in the [DSS] salaries budget line to cover this,” Jones stated in his letter to the commissioners.

“The Gates County Department of Social Services Board is very thankful for the work our Director has done since being hired and we are lucky to have him on board,” Jones added in the letter.

Jones requested that the raise, if approved by the commissioners, to be retroactive to Sept. 1 of this year.

Commissioner Jack Owens, who also served on the DSS Board, said that board, during their meeting on Aug. 22, unanimously voted to approve the increase in Smith’s annual salary.

“He [Smith] needed to be here for some time for us to officially perform his evaluation, which wasn’t in synch with the timing of the county new [FY 2022-23] budget,” Owens noted. “We made it a point to have an evaluation on him so he wouldn’t miss out on a cost-of-living increase. We needed to bring him up to scale with [DSS Director] salaries in surrounding counties.”

The commissioners, on a motion from Jonathan Craddock and a second by Ray Freeman, approved the pay raise.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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