by YES! Staff

The high end of the pay scale for employees of the Triad’s three cities lines up about how you might expect.

Denise Turner Roth is the highest paid city manager — no surprise considering that Greensboro, the city she leads, is the largest of the three cities, with about 269,666 residents. Roth pulls down a salary of $180,250, compared to High Point City Manager Strib Boynton, who earns $168,168 as the top executive in a city of less than half the size, and Winston-Salem City Manager Lee Garrity, compensated at $166,634 to lead a city of about 229,617.

The cities’ top attorneys and police chiefs are also high earners, and City Attorney Mujeeb Shah Khan and Chief Ken Miller of Greensboro lead the pack.

But no employee in any of the three cities makes more than Matt Brown, who earns $225,072 as director of the Greensboro Coliseum. There is no comparison in the other two Triad cities to the fiefdom of sports and entertainment facilities over which he presides. In addition to an arena that hosts ACC basketball tournaments and concerts by major artists such as Prince, the complex includes an auditorium, aquatic center, outdoor amphitheater and ACC Hall of Champions.Before the city of Winston-Salem sold its coliseum to Wake Forest University earlier this year, it was overseen by Assistant City Manager Martha Wheelock, who earns $130,162. The city of High Point operates a theater whose director, David Briggs, earns $90,218.

Brown earns more than 10 times the pay of a custodian in Greensboro, or Winston-Salem and High Point — a disparity that hardly compares to the private sector where CEO compensation dwarfs what the average employee makes. In between are all manner of positions that are crucial to the day-to-day operations of the cities, including traffic-signal technicians, whose starting pay ranges from $30,000 to $35,000; code enforcement officers (starting pay at about $35,000); and budget analysts (starting pay ranges from $44,000 to $50,000).

High Point is the only city with an economic development director. Loren Hill, who earns $136,650, is technically employed by the High Point Economic Development Corp., a public-private partnership whose board of directors includes city council members. In Winston-Salem and Greensboro, deputy and assistant city managers fill similar roles. Winston-Salem Deputy City Manager Derwick Paige earns $164,909, compared to Greensboro Assistant City Manager Andy Scott, who makes $126,508.

There is no equivalent in Greensboro or Winston-Salem to the job performed by Wendy Fuscoe, who serves as core city development director for the city of High Point at a salary of $100,828. Fuscoe serves as the primary administrator for the Core City Plan, an effort to revitalize downtown High Point, which is uniquely challenged by the fact that its major buildings are reserved for two weeks out of the year when international buyers flock to the city to buy furniture.

It’s no secret that police officers, firefighters and many other front-line workers earn less in Winston-Salem than their counterparts in the neighboring Guilford County cities of Greensboro and High Point.

Starting pay for a police officer in Winston-Salem is $32,100, compared to $41,519 in High Point and $35,556 in Greensboro. Likewise, starting pay for a firefighter in Winston-Salem is $29,040, compared to $35,865 in High Point and $32,667 in Greensboro.

Both Mayor Allen Joines and Councilwoman Molly Leight — the highest ranking member of the finance committee after Councilwoman Wanda Merschel, who is retiring this year — said they’re committed to bringing salaries up to a competitive level. The city is also likely to raise pay for command and supervisory positions in the police and fire departments to avoid undermining morale, which can result when new hires receive close to the same amount of pay as veteran employees.

Joines said Winston-Salem’s competitiveness has slipped over the past three or four years as the city has faced difficult budgets, while Greensboro and High Point apparently boosted pay. The city of Greensboro recently completed a compensation study based on worries that the city was investing in training police officers and firefighters only to have them recruited away by other cities. The new salary structure was implemented in September 2012.

“They did find our entry-level salaries for police and fire were not competitive,” Manager of Compensation Joe Marro said. “I think we were off the mark by a couple thousand dollars in our peer market, which was 22 cities within 300 miles with populations between 100,000 and 1.8 million.”

In addition to High Point and Winston-Salem, the study included Southeastern cities such as Chattanooga, Tenn.; Chesapeake, Va.; Lexington, Ky. and Savannah, Ga. Now, Greensboro’s efforts to improve salaries to retain employees has put competitive pressure on Winston-Salem.

“We’ve got to do something about the salaries, not just [for] the police and firefighters,” Leight said. “As it stands now, we’re training them and they’re drifting off to higher paying jobs next door. But the same is true for other city employees. We’ve lost some to neighboring cities from other departments. We’ve got to do something about this. It’s the result of our having such low taxes and fees that we can’t pay our people.”

Top government salaries

Entertainment facilities 1. Coliseum Director Matt Brown, Greensboro —’$225,072 2. Deputy Coliseum Director Scott Johnson, Greensboro —’$118,189 3. Theatre Director David S. Briggs, High Point —’$90,218

Executive 1. City Manager Denise Roth, Greensboro —’$180,250 2. City Manager Strib Boynton, High Point —’$168,168 3. City Manager Lee Garrity, Winston-Salem — $166,634 4. Deputy City Manager Derwick Paige, Winston-Salem —’$164,909 5. Assistant City Manager Jim Westmoreland, Greensboro —’$157,000 6. Assistant City Manager Gregory M. Turner, Winston-Salem — $151,988 7. Assistant City Manager William P. Pate, High Point —’$151,915 8. Assistant City Manager Randy McCaslin, High Point —’$142,120 9. Assistant City Manager Sandy Neerman, Greensboro — $134,314 10. Assistant City Manager Martha L. Wheelock, Winston-Salem —’$130,162 11. Assistant City Manager Andy Scott, Greensboro —’$126,508 12. Assistant City Manager David Parrish, Greensboro —’$125,271 13. Workforce Development Board Executive Director Lillian Plummer (Greensboro/High Point/Guilford County) — $108,687 14. Core City Development Director Wendy L. Fuscoe, High Point — $100,828

City attorney’s office 1. City Attorney Mujeeb Shah-Khan, Greensboro —’$162,000 2. City Attorney Angela Carmon, Winston-Salem —’$146,363 3. City Attorney Joanne L. Carlyle, High Point —’$142,101 4. Chief Deputy General Counsel Becky Peterson Buie, Greensboro —’$134,783 5. Associate General Counsel Michael Williams, Greensboro —’$107,296 6. Deputy City Attorney Alan A. Andrews, Winston-Salem —’$106,321

Police 1. Chief Ken Miller, Greensboro —’$148,311 2. Chief Marty Sumner, High Point — $131,951 3. Chief Barry D. Rountree, Winston-Salem — $122,000

Neighborhood services 1. Neighborhood Services Director David R. Brooks, Winston-Salem — $144,127

Information technology 1. Chief Information Officer Dennis A. Newman, Winston-Salem — $139,356 2. Chief Information Officer Darryl Jones, Greensboro — $121,901 3. Deputy Information Systems Director Thomas L. Kureczka, Winston-Salem — $116,118 4. Communication & Information Services Director Steven R. Lingerfelt, High Point — $110,912 5. Senior Information Technology Manager Christine Hofer, Greensboro — $109,949 6. Senior Systems Analyst James R. Gheen, High Point — $105,175

Economic development 1. Economic Development Director Loren H. Hill, High Point —’$136,650

Fire 1. Fire Chief Gregory Grayson, Greensboro — $136,130 2. Chief Richard D. Mcintyre, High Point —’$133,931 3. Chief Antony R. Farmer, Winston-Salem —’$111,139 4. Deputy Fire Chief Barry L. Tilley, High Point —’$105,452

Public services 1. Public Services Director Chris Thompson, High Point —’$131,374 2. Public Services Assistant Director Terry L. Houk, High Point —’$110,589 3. Public Services Assistant Director Richard D. McMillan, High Point — $107,214

Planning 1. Planning & Development Director Grayson L. Burnette, High Point — $128,529 2. Planning Director Paul Norby, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County —’$127,013 3. Director of Planning and Community Development Suzanna Smotherman, Greensboro — $110,000

Finance 1. Finance Director Richard Lusk, Greensboro —’$128,417 2. Chief Financial Officer Lisa Saunders, Winston-Salem —’$125,000 3. Financial Services Director Jeffrey A. Moore, High Point —’$119,199 4. Assistant Finance Officer Clark G. Case, Winston-Salem — $116,174 5. Senior Financial Services Manager Marlene Druga, Greensboro — $111,568 6. Senior Administrative Services Manager Christopher Payne, Greensboro — $100,731

Field operations (Greensboro) 1. Field Operations Director Dale Wyrick, Greensboro — $127,042

Utilities 1. Water Resources Director Steven Drew, Greensboro —’$126,888 2. City-County Utilities Director Ronald L. Hargrove Jr., Winston-Salem/Forsyth County —’$121,513 3. Senior Water Resources Manager Herman McDowell, Greensboro — $100,984 4. Water Reclamation Manager Donald Howard, Greensboro —’$100,268

Human resources 1. Human Resources Director Connie Hammond, Greensboro — $123,031 2. Human Resources Director Angela Kirkwood, High Point — $116,001 3. Senior Human Resources Manager Rebecca Jones, Greensboro — $108,876 4. Human Resources Director Carmen Caruth, Winston-Salem —’$100,058

Transportation 1. Transportation Director Mark V. McDonald, High Point — $120,605 2. Transportation Director Adam Fischer, Greensboro —’$108,533 3. Transportation Director Toneq’ M. McCullough, Winston-Salem —’$96,660

Electric utilities 1. Electric Utilities Director Garey S. Edwards, High Point —’$117,722 2. Electric Operations Engineer Lawrence D. Hopkins Jr. — $102,583

Engineering 1. Engineering & Inspections Director Butch Simmons, Greensboro —’$117,469 2. Engineering Services Director Brian K. Pugh, High Point — $117,079 3. Capital Projects Engineer Russell W. Byrd, Winston-Salem —’$100,458 4. City Engineer Robert J. Prestwood, Winston-Salem — $100,013

Emergency services 1. Guilford Metro Communication Director Wesley Reid, Greensboro —’$116,295

Transit 1. Transit Manager Matthew D. Cox, HiTran —’$115,475 2. Public Transportation Division Manager Libby James, Greensboro Transit Authority —’$91,544

Enterprise resource planning 1. Systems Project Administrator Thomas E. Spencer, High Point — $115,475

Parks and recreation 1. Recreation & Parks Director Timothy A. Grant, Winston-Salem —’$112,069 2. Parks & Recreation Senior Manager Dan Maxson, Greensboro —’$101,726 3. Parks & Recreation Director Don A. Oliver Jr., High Point — $109,772 4. Parks & Recreation Director Christian Wilson, Greensboro — $108,533

Budget 1. Director of Budget and Evaluation Larry Davis, Greensboro — $111,718 2. Budget-Evaluation Director Ben Rowe, Winston-Salem —’$99,750 3. Budget & Performance Manager Jonathan E. Olmedo, High Point —’$92,445 Property management/facilities services 1. Facilities Services Director Timothy M. McKinney, High Point — $107,368 2. Property & Facilities Management Director James T. Mitchell, Winston-Salem —’$105,032

Housing 1. Community Development Director Michael E. McNair, High Point — $105,304 2. Housing & Development Director Mellin L. Parker, Winston-Salem —’$95,748 3. Housing Program Coordinator Rhonda Enoch, Greensboro —’$54,995

Risk management 1. Risk Administrator Anthony J. Baker, Winston-Salem —’$103,355 Customer service 1. Customer Services Director Troy R. Martin Jr., High Point — $102,584

Libraries 1. Public Libraries Director Brigitte Blanton, Greensboro — $106,038 2. Libraries Director Mary M. Sizemore, High Point — $102,469

Fleet services 1. Fleet Services Director Gary L. Smith, High Point — $100,828

Human relations 1. Human Relations Director Wanda Allen-Abraha, Winston-Salem —’$98,204 2. Human Relations Director Al Heggins, High Point — $95,480 3. Human Relations Director Love Crossling, Greensboro — $95,000

Sanitation administration (Winston-Salem) 1. Sanitation Director Johnnie F. Taylor, Winston-Salem —’$94,190 2. Solid Waste Collections Manager Sheldon Smith, Greensboro — $89,677 3. Refuse Collection Superintendent Harvey L. Barham Jr., High Point — $87,094 City clerk 1. City Clerk Betsy Richardson, Greensboro —’$77,087 2. City Secretary Renee L. Phillips, Winston-Salem — $76,078 3. City Clerk Lisa B. Vierling, High Point —’$71,373 Entry-level salaries

All departments

Mayor 1. Greensboro — $15,462 2. High Point —’$15,000 3. Winston-Salem —’$12,078

Council members 1. High Point — $10,800 2. Greensboro — $10,750 3. Winston-Salem — $9,833

Administrative’secretary 1. Executive secretary (Greensboro) —’$29,285 2. Administrative secretary (Winston-Salem) —’$25,970

Custodian 1. High Point —’$20,968 2. Greensboro —’$20,009 3. Winston-Salem — $18,720

Police Assistant police chief 1. Greensboro —’$96,120 2. High Point — $74,560 3. Winston-Salem —’$67,900

Police captain 1. Police captain (Greensboro) — $80,100 2. Police captain (Winston-Salem) —’$65,470 3. Police commander (High Point) —’$64,407

Police lieutenant 1. Greensboro — $69,687 2. Winston-Salem — $59,580

Police sergeant 1. Police sergeant (Greensboro) — $60,533 2. Police supervisor (High Point) —’$55,638 3. Police sergeant (Winston-Salem) — $52,860

Police officer 1. High Point —’$41,519 2. Greensboro —’$35,556 * 3. Winston-Salem —’$32,100


Battalion fire chief 1. Greensboro —’$69,420 2. Winston-Salem — $58,710 3. High Point — $58,419

Fire captain 1. Fire captain (Greensboro) —’$57,778 2. Fire captain (Winston-Salem) — $49,740 3. Fire commander (High Point) —’$48,063

Fire investigator 1. Winston-Salem — $43,400 2. High Point — $39,541

Firefighter 1. High Point —’$35,865 2. Greensboro — $32,667 * 3. Winston-Salem — $29,040


Budget analyst 1. Winston-Salem — $49,830 2. Greensboro — $45,193 3. High Point — $43,595


Cemetery’maintenance worker 1. Winston-Salem — $19,800

City attorney

Deputy city attorney 1. Winston-Salem — $79,170 2. Greensboro — $76,625

Assistant’city attorney 1. High Point —’$67,627 2. Greensboro — $67,019 3. Winston-Salem —’$64,800

City manager

Deputy city manager 1. Greensboro — $114,240 2. Winston-Salem —’$110,800

Assistant’city manager 1. Winston-Salem — $105,520 2. Greensboro — $102,919 3. High Point — $99,919


Civil engineer 1. High Point — $55,637 2. Winston-Salem —’$46,350 3. Greensboro — $41,846

Information technologies

GIS analyst 1. High Point — $45,775 2. Greensboro — $41,846

Network analyst 1. PC network analyst (High Point) — $45,775 2. Network services analyst (Greensboro) — $35,876


Building inspector 1. High Point — $39,540 2. Winston-Salem —’$38,750 3. Greensboro — $29,285


Branch librarian 1. Greensboro — $38,746

Librarian 1. High Point — $43,595 2. Greensboro —’$33,529

Library associate 1. Greensboro — $25,579 2. High Point —’$19,454

Parks and recreation

Athletics director 1. Athletics director (High Point) — $45,775 2. Athletics superintendent (Greensboro) —’$41,846

Recreation center supervisor 1. Winston-Salem —’$34,390 2. High Point — $34,157 3. Greensboro — $33,529

Golf professional 1. Golf pro (Greensboro) —’$33,529 2. Golf professional (High Point) — $30,982 3. Assistant golf professional (Winston-Salem) —’$31,170 4. Assistant golf professional (High Point) — $28,101 5. Golf specialist (Greensboro) — $23,906

Marina operator 1. High Point — $28,100

Recreation general maintenance heavy equipment operator 1. Greensboro — $29,285 2. Winston-Salem — $25,020

Tennis professional 1. High Point — $22,698

Grillroom attendant 1. High Point — $19,970

Recreation general maintenance laborer 1. Greensboro — $23,906 2. Winston-Salem — $18,720


Parking enforcement officer 1. Greensboro —’$23,906 2. Winston-Salem — $18,720

Property management

Electrician 1. Greensboro — $31,335 2. Winston-Salem —’$28,890

Senior plumber 1. Greensboro — $31,335 2. Winston-Salem — $27,990


Supervisor 1. Supervisor (High Point) — $34,158 2. Supervisor (Greensboro) — $33,529 3. Crew coordinator (Winston-Salem) —’$30,780

Equipment operator 1. High Point —’$26,763 2. Greensboro —’$25,579 3. Winston-Salem — $22,230

Dead animal’control worker 1. Winston-Salem — $20,700

Laborer 1. Crew member (Greensboro) —’$23,906 2. Worker (High Point) — $23,117 3. Laborer (Winston-Salem) — $18,720


Chemist 1. Greensboro — $38,746 2. Winston-Salem — $37,980 Waste residuals technician

1. Greensboro — $33,529

2. Winston-Salem — $32,340

Sewer plant’industrial waste’control technician 1. Winston-Salem —’$28,370


Equipment operator 1. Equipment operator (High Point) —’$29,507 2. Heavy equipment operator (Greensboro) —’$29,285 3. Heavy equipment operator (Winston-Salem) — $25,020

Weighmaster 1. Scale house operator (High Point) —’$25,488 2. Weighmaster (Winston-Salem) — $25,290 3. Scale house clerk (Greensboro) —’$23,831

Streets operations

Civil engineer 1. Winston-Salem —’$46,350 2. Greensboro — $41,846

Stormwater’management 1. Stormwater operations analyst (Winston-Salem) —’$46,350 2. Stormwater monitoring coordinator (Greensboro) —’$45,193 3. Stormwater specialist (High Point) — $37,658


Operator (bus driver) 1. Greensboro — $30,285 2. High Point —’$28,101 Transportation

Transportation’engineer 1. Winston-Salem —’$50,990 2. High Point — $50,465 3. Greensboro — $41,846

Sidewalk project’specialist 1. Winston-Salem —’$36,430

Street lighting’specialist 1. Winston-Salem —’$34,540

Taxi regulation 1. Vehicle for hire inspector (Winston-Salem) —’$33,120 2. Taxi inspector (Greensboro) — $23,906

Traffic signal’technician 1. High Point — $35,865 2. Greensboro — $29,985 3. Winston-Salem —’$28,890

Traffic sign maker 1. Traffic paint and sign tech (High Point) — $29,507 2. Traffic sign maker (Greensboro) — $27,350 3. Traffic sign maker (Winston-Salem) — $26,320

Parking security’attendant 1. Greensboro — $22,482 2. Winston-Salem —’$18,720

Vegetation management

Tree trimmer 1. Winston-Salem — $25,020 2. Greensboro — $23,906

Crew leader 1. Greensboro — $29,285 2. Winston-Salem — $23,400

Equipment’operator-light 1. Greensboro — $25,579 2. Winston-Salem — $20,700

* All starting-level police officers and firefighters employed by the city of Greensboro receive a “step increase” on July 1.

City of Greensboro: Comprehensive salary list

Greensboro Government Salaries by Jordan Green

City of Winston-Salem: Comprehensive salary list

Winston-Salem Government Salaries by Jordan Green

City of High Point: Comprehensive salary list

High Point Government Salaries by Jordan Green

Top earner: Matt Brown

by Eric Ginsburg

Matt Brown doesn’t want to talk about his salary. It’s been almost 20 years since the city of Greensboro hired Brown as the director of its coliseum, but according to a coliseum spokesperson, he’s never given an interview about his compensation.

The reasoning may be in the figures. Raking in $225,072 a year before taxes, Brown is the only public employee in Greensboro, Winston-Salem or High Point with a salary over $200,000 — in fact, only Greensboro City Manager Denise Turner Roth comes anywhere close, with $180,250.’

As far as Mayor Robbie Perkins, who was on council when Brown arrived in 1994, is concerned, Brown is a catch.

“I think it’s one of the best hires the city has ever made,” Perkins said. “He has done a tremendous job… and really brought us to a level that I don’t think anybody had ever dreamed of in terms of the success of that facility.”

There’s plenty of success to point to since Brown arrived, not to mention a long resume filled with some pretty impressive experience. Early in his career, Brown managed the Yankees’ spring-training facility and later the Philadelphia Civic Center, according to a biography provided by the coliseum. He oversaw the startup of three facilities in Europe, including a 70,000-seat World Cup soccer stadium in Torino, Italy, among other things on his list of accomplishments, before coming to Greensboro and steering the coliseum to its most successful period.

The coliseum has lots of moving parts, including an increasing number of facilities in recent years such as the Greensboro Aquatic Center. Last year, the coliseum hosted more events than ever in its history, and there are more coming. One example: The aquatic center was picked to host the 2013, 2014 and 2015 ACC men and women’s swimming and diving championships. Brown oversees it all, and while he may be purposefully unavailable to talk about his salary, he is regularly in the public eye, presenting to council about minority and women-owned business enterprises’ participation in contracting recently and explaining a proposed performing-arts center.

The coliseum plays an important cultural and economic development role for the city, but as YES! Weekly editorialized in 2012:

“We’ve been taking pretty good care of our little economic driver of late, diverting funds from a parks and rec bond to the coliseum for a swim center and giving post-facto consent to an amphitheater that Coliseum Director Matt Brown began constructing in October 2009 without informing the Greensboro City Council.”

At the time, Brown made about $13,000 less annually than he does now. Not only has his salary grown, but the gap between him and the city manager and police chief has too. Both, it should be noted, haven’t been in their positions nearly as long — in fact Roth wasn’t even the city manager when the editorial was published.

Other things have changed too — the proposed performing-arts center that would replace the dying War Memorial Auditorium is slated for downtown rather than at the coliseum complex on High Point Road, but city leaders would still like to see Brown at the wheel. With the range and number of attractions at the coliseum — basketball, Bruce Springsteen, monster trucks, the Big Sip, water polo, Taylor Swift — it may be easy to understand why. Front line: Karen Sterling

by Jordan Green’

Karen Sterling, a custodian who has worked for the city of Winston-Salem, led a young woman and two small girls through the hall at the Carl Russell Recreation Center, looking for a place for the family to eat lunch.

A local church provides meals so that families whose children depend on the free and reduced lunch during the school year will have something to eat during the summer break.

“See, I do many things,” Sterling said. “I feed the babies…. We’re a team, so we try to fill in where needed — every time we can be of assistance.”

One of the girls inquired about a large portrait in the display case.

“That’s Mrs. Burke,” Sterling said, referring to the city council woman who represents the Northwest Ward.

When Sterling started with the city almost 24 years ago, she earned $7 or $8 per hour, which equates to roughly $14,000 to $16,000 a year.

Custodians are among the lowest paid municipal employees in the Triad’s three cities, along with sanitation laborers and parking enforcement officers, and custodians in Winston-Salem make less than their counterparts in the other two cities. Starting pay for a custodian in Winston-Salem today is $18,720, compared to $20,968 in High Point and $20,009 in Greensboro. Sterling said her current pay falls somewhere in a range between $20,000 and $27,000. Last week, she was looking forward to her first paycheck reflecting a new 1.5-percent raise for employees deemed by the city to be “solid.” It will amount to less than $10.

“I don’t know who wouldn’t want more,” Sterling said. “It’s been reasonable pay.”

She has also worked as a certified nursing assistant, taking care of the very elderly. She gave that work up about three years ago.

“The position I’m in didn’t keep me from buying a house,” Sterling said. “That’s what they call the ‘American Dream.’ I haven’t missed out on anything. I’m enjoying my life.”

Sterling is permanently assigned to Carl Russell Recreation Center and has worked with center director Ben Piggott for the past 18 years.

“I sweep the building, mop the building, replenish the paper products, disinfect, basically wiping down counters, keep the windows clean,” Sterling said. “You look back and see all the handprints, and you wipe down again. In the gymnasium, you sweep first and then mop. It’s a big floor.”

The work is routine, with few surprises or frustrations.

“I work the job,” she said. “The job doesn’t work me.”

After her shift ends at 3:30 p.m., Sterling will sometimes stay late to help the children with their homework, although she acknowledged that some of the material is more advanced than what she encountered when she was their age.

“If a child comes in and he’s sad and if there’s a problem, I’ll see what I can do,” she said. “Mainly encourage then.”

Being a custodian is not who Sterling is; it’s what she does. And the way she does it goes beyond the job description.

“If I can brighten somebody’s day,” she said, “that makes it worthwhile.”

City of Greensboro: Minimum salaries for all positions

Greensboro Job Code Chart by Jordan Green

City of Winston-Salem: Minimum salaries for all positions

Winston-Salem Entry Level Salaries – May 2013 by Jordan Green

City of High Point: Minimum salaries for all positions

City of High Point Minimum Salaries by Department and Job Code 05-21-13 by Jordan Green