BY ROB CHRISTENSEN
RALEIGH NEWS & OBSERVER
RALEIGH — These are hard times in state government, but not so difficult that Gov. Bev Perdue didn’t trade up for a more expensive chef at the Executive Mansion last summer.
Indeed, while Perdue has engaged in some belt-tightening in the governor’s office during the recession, she has not undertaken a full-fledged austerity campaign. She has reduced the positions funded by her office by 15 percent, but through funding by other sources has been able to keep roughly the same number of staff.
Take the case of Stephen Moravick, who cooked in the mansion for 12 years under three governors. In August, she replaced him with David Gaydeski, the chef for a decade at the Carolina Club in Chapel Hill, where Perdue is a member. Gaydeski started out at $76,000 a year, about $6,000 more than Moravick was making.
“It wasn’t my choice,” said Moravick, when reached at The Cedars, an upscale retirement community in Chapel Hill, where he is now the chef. “She decided it was time for a change. There was no notice.”
Despite the chef upgrade, Perdue’s staff says her office has worked to keep costs down in the new climate.
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Today, NCGOP Chairman Robin Hayes released the following statement regarding the Governor’s reluctance to cut spending, especially her own: “Despite an almost $3 billion budget gap, Governor Perdue refuses to make the difficult decisions necessary to get North Carolina back on the right track. While North Carolinians are struggling to put food on their own kitchen tables, Governor Perdue has decided to give her executive chef a raise. The Governor claims she is willing to cut spending but her actions prove to the contrary, especially if those spending cuts affect her chef, clients of her son’s firm, her own staff and others politically connected to the Governor. It is unfortunate that Governor Perdue has again put her own self-interest above the interests of the people of North Carolina.”