Friday, June 14, 2024

North Carolina’s first Black female Sheriff, Paula Dance, says she hasn’t received a raise in the past 5 years, unlike others who have

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In 2018, Paula Dance achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first Black female sheriff in North Carolina and the first Black female sheriff in Pitt County. However, Sheriff Dance has recently expressed that she has not received a salary increase in the past five years.

Sheriff Paula Dance, Pitt County’s first African American sheriff and the first African American female sheriff in North Carolina, says she hasn't received a pay raise in the past 5 years.
Sheriff Paula Dance, Pitt County’s first African American sheriff and the first African American female sheriff in North Carolina, says she hasn’t received a pay raise in the past 5 years.

Sheriff Dance emphasized in a Facebook post that, as the first woman and person of color to hold the position of sheriff, she sees her role as an inspiration for girls and women of diverse backgrounds. She highlighted the challenges faced in terms of earning respect, fair pay, and recognition, underscoring the reality of these struggles.

“Even if you work hard…we are treated unequally,” Sheriff Dance said in her Facebook post.

To that post, there was a “Department Head Raises (Excluding COLA)” report attached with the dates spanning the last five years, from May 2019 to May 2024. On the list, everyone has received a raise except for the following:

  • County Attorney – started their position on March 17, 2024.
  • Buildings & Grounds Director – started their position on August 20, 2023.
  • Director of Planning & Development – started their position on March 3, 2024.
  • Local Health Director – started their position on October 16, 2023.
  • County Social Services Director – started their position on October 3, 2022.
  • Transportation Director – started their position on June 12, 2023.
  • Sheriff Paula Dance – started her position on December 2, 2018.

But check this out:

  • Director of Emergency Management started their position on July 14, 2019, and received a 1.2% performance raise on July 26, 2020. They have been receiving a 1.2% pay raise every year since then.

  • The Animal Service Director started their position on August 9, 2021, and received a 1.2% performance raise on August 21, 2022, and another 1.2% performance raise in 2023.

  • The Soil & Water Director started their position on January 29, 2017. They received a 2.4% performance raise three years later in 2020, and the same raise in 2021 and 2022. In 2022, they received a 4.8% performance raise, which was then reduced back to 2.4% in 2023.

  • Economic Development Director started their position on September 6, 2020, received a 2.4% performance raise on September 19, 2021, and a 1.2% performance raise for 2022 and 2023.

  • Deputy County Manager started their position on September 4, 2018, and received a 2.4% performance raise on September 18, 2019, for the years 2020 and 2021. In 2022, they received a 9.8% special raise. Later that year, on July 24, 2022, they received a 16% promotion.

  • Tax Administrator started their position on August 21, 2022, and received a 2.4% performance bonus on March 5, 2023, and another one on September 3, 2023.

  • Sheriff Paula Dance started her position on December 2, 2018, and hasn’t received a raise since.

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But according to Sheriff Paula Dance, out of all those on the list, she manages the most people, including up to 500 inmates and hasn’t received a pay raise in the past 5 years.

"Department Head Raises (Excluding COLA)" report
“Department Head Raises (Excluding COLA)” report
"Department Head Raises (Excluding COLA)" report
“Department Head Raises (Excluding COLA)” report

“My job is very important…keeping the community safe,” Sheriff Dance said in her social media post. “I should be evaluated on my job performance and not personal biases.”

I haven’t had a merit raise in 5 years

Last Friday, Sheriff Dance took to social media to address an issue and aimed to be transparent with her followers. On Monday, May 6, she stated that she asked the board of commissioners for a raise, but there was no vote on the matter. The sheriff said she was told that there would be a decision in a “couple of days.”

Sheriff Paula Dance, Pitt County’s first African American sheriff and the first African American female sheriff in North Carolina, says she hasn't received a pay raise in the past 5 years.
Sheriff Paula Dance, Pitt County’s first African American sheriff and the first African American female sheriff in North Carolina, says she hasn’t received a pay raise in the past 5 years.

Later that week, on Thursday, she asked the board of commissioners if they could vote on her raise. She was informed that a decision would be made the following week. Sheriff Dance said last Friday was the end of that following week she was told by commissioners.

$1 million snatched from Pitt County Sheriff’s Office budget

Sheriff Dance expressed her surprise as she revealed that a whopping $1 million was mysteriously taken from her office’s budget for 2023-2024, catching both her and her financial team off guard.

“We found the removal of this money and questioned it, and only then was an explanation given,” the Sheriff said in her post.

This unexpected deduction has now put her budget at risk of exceeding its limits.

“In the 6 years I have been Sheriff, I have responsibly managed my budget and have NEVER gone over my allotted budget,” Sheriff Dance said in her post before asking her audience to wish her luck this year.

READ POST BELOW:

Pitt County Sheriff’s Office wrote grant to replace generators although it is the county’s responsibility

Later that Friday evening, Sheriff Dance returned with an example about how it is the responsibility of Pitt County to maintain the jail, ensuring that it meets livable standards. She noted that the Pitt County Jail has required new generators for several years to ensure operational continuity in the event of power outages due to storms or other circumstances.

Sheriff Dance emphasized the importance of maintaining the jail’s functionality without jeopardizing the safety of officers. She highlighted the urgent need for upgrading and replacing the generators, which comes at a cost of $1.4 million that the county, accountable for the expense, did not cover but her office saved taxpayers with the grant.

“Instead, my office (team players) wrote a grant for funds to replace it. “This means the citizens were not then encumbered or taxed with the cost,” Sheriff Dance said. “My office and staff, wrote a grant to replace the generators, which was granted.”

READ POST:

$1 million dollar taken from sheriff’s office budget was to acquire a dam off Eastern Pines Road

On Monday, Sheriff Dance posted about the $1 million that was unexpectedly taken from her office’s budget was to acquire a dam in a neighborhood off Eastern Pines Road under the premises of making it a park.

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She posted included a photo of where the site will be and stated that the dam will cost $100k a year to keep maintenance up. 

“I haven’t had a raise in over 5 years,” Sheriff Dance said. “Yet, this park will be included in my scope of jurisdiction to protect.”

Believe it or not, Pitt County doesn’t want a black sheriff – let alone a woman running their county and they are trying to force Sheriff Dance out of office instead of doing what is right – paying her for her performance.

You can view more of the sheriff’s posts by clicking HERE.

1 COMMENT

  1. This is just all wrong on so many levels and it really sucks. That park is not an immediate need for the city or county and the money should have been used for jail repairs/maintenance/replacement of equipment in order for the jail to run properly and remain safe for inmates and staff in emergency situations AND to give this amazing woman the raise she is due. It already takes a lot to do that job for even a white man so I can only imagine how much harder it is for her being black and a woman.

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Gerald Jackson
Gerald Jacksonhttps://www.instagram.com/iiamgj/
Hi, my name is Gerald Jackson and I am 28-years-old. I was born and raised in Troy, Alabama. I currently reside in North Carolina. I am a Journalist, Influencer, Content Creator, and a Man of Faith! I don't shy away from the truth, always speak my mind, and before I take anything back, I'll add more to it. Follow me on my social media below to keep up with my personal life. LOL!

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