By Ashley Graves
The Cullman Times
A pay increase is on the way for the interim director of the North-central Alabama Regional Council of Governments.
The NARCOG board voted Wednesday to increase Stefanie Franklin's salary from $52,000 to $76,000.
"When Mrs. (Lona) Johns left, her salary was $76,000, and Mrs. Franklin has requested the same," NARCOG chairman Stanley Yarbrough told board members.
Lawrence County representative Moes Jones made the motion to approve the pay increase. Lawrence County Commission Chairman Bobby Burch seconded it.
"To be fair on this matter, I think we need to approve her pay because we did it in the past for Mrs. Johns," Jones said.
The vote was approved by a 10-2 margin. Priceville mayor Melvin Duran and Baileyton Mayor Johnny Dyar were opposed.
"I suggest when we get a new director to just adjust her pay then for the time she's served, and not do it today," Duran said.
Dyar thought the increase was too much for her job duties that were specified during a special called meeting earlier in February.
"I was under the impression she would just turn the lights on and off, and open the door everyday," he said. "$20,000 is too much."
Yarbrough cleared things up by saying the increase would only be for roughly two months, until a permanent director was hired.
"Once the new director comes in, her salary would revert back to her old pay," Yarbrough said.
The board hired an outside firm from Auburn University to handle the director's search. If goes as planned, the board hopes to have a new director in place by the end of April.
Ashley Graves can be reached by phone at 734-2131, ext. 225, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org