HUNTERSVILLE – Huntersville’s town board members won’t receive a pay raise after all.
The board, which previously agreed to bumps in pay for Mayor Jill Swain, Mayor Pro Tem Sarah McAulay and the other commissioners, announced the cancellation of the raises after the closed-session portion of the March 18 board meeting.
The raises were scheduled to go into effect April 1.
Swain and Commissioner Jeff Neely refused comment on the reason behind cancelling the pay raises, but Swain said the issue can be brought up again in a future budget meeting.
The town board approved the pay raises by a 4-2 vote on Feb. 18. Commissioners McAulay and Ron Julian voted against the proposal, which would have raised Swain’s salary from $10,000 to $14,000, McAulay’s from $6,800 to $8,500 and other commissioners from $5,000 to $8,000.
Raises to the town board’s paychecks have been a hot-button issue since the board’s Dec. 3, 2012 meeting, when they were first discussed.
Commissioners were divided on the issue when it first came up. The closed-session meeting, which took nearly 30 minutes, ended discussion on pay raises for the foreseeable future.
The board also elected three new members to its 11-member planning board: Dan Boone and Franklin Freeman, whose terms expire June 30, 2015, and Melissa Currie, whose term ends June 30 of this year.
Planning Board Chairman Bruce Andersen said the new appointments should have a positive impact on the board. Andersen said the three new members will begin their terms this month.
“More people means more people saying something, so sometimes (a planning board meeting) may run longer,” he said. “I’ve always given the people an opportunity to talk. The diversity is valuable. You get more business knowledge and more experience. It can help with efficiency.”
During the board meeting, town leaders also:
• ordered the closing of part of Gibson Park Drive;
• extended by 18 months the vested rights, or secured construction rights, of Cobblestone Bend, approved as Oaks at Huntersville;
• adopted resolutions requesting the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners to sell 2008 park bonds for expansion to Huntersville Family Fitness and Aquatics Center and Bradford Park Soccer Complex;
• authorized Town Manager Greg Ferguson to lease out on a short-term basis the 2,000-square-foot building beside the town’s old police station near the Gilead Road/N.C. 115 intersection.