New Hanover Co. Commission Chair strikes pay increase resolution from agenda

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover County Commission Chair Julia Olson-Boseman struck a resolution denying a raise for Commissioners Rob Zapple and Deb Hayes after requesting they forego the increased payments in the upcoming fiscal year.

Under the current budget, commissioners earn $17,890 a year, while Commission Chair Olson-Boseman earns just over $26,000.

Earlier this month the county commission adopted a $457 million budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

For the upcoming fiscal year commissioners will get a 75% raise, earning just over $31,000. The commission chair’s stipend will increase nearly 50% to $39,000 for the year.

Olson-Boseman and Commissioners Jonathan Barfield and Bill Rivenbark voted in favor of the budget. Deb Hays and Commissioner Rob Zapple voted against it.

On Monday, Olson-Boseman said in a statement to WWAY, “I respect their principles and don’t want them forced to take money that they don’t want.”

She also confirmed that she asked the county manager to draft up the resolution.

New Hanover County spokeswoman Jessica Loeper confirmed it was approved by a majority of the board to add to the agenda.

RESOLUTION 6-22-21

Tuesday morning Chair Olson-Boseman removed the resolution from the agenda and said each commissioner would have the choice.

“Well, I called Madam vice chair last night and we had a good discussion really just about moving the board forward to continue the important things we are doing,” Olson-Boseman said.  “Each commissioner can individually decide whether they want to take the pay.”

Hayes announced she will decline the raise and Zapple is still deciding.

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