Graham city council sets interim city manager’s salary

Graham’s city council spent about 15 minutes in a closed session Tuesday night,  emerging to give a raise to assistant city manager Aaron Holland.

The council had already designated Holland as the interim city manager on January 27, a week after current city manager Frankie Maness gave notice to the council last month that he would be leaving to take a post as county manager in his native county of Montgomery in southern North Carolina.

The council set Holland’s interim salary at $120,000, an almost $8,000 raise from his assistant manager’s salary of $112,005.

Holland has had two stints with the city, since 2015 as assistant city manager, and earlier, 2007-2012, as the city’s planner. In between, Holland served as city planner for nearby Roxboro in Person County.

The vote to appoint Holland as interim manager on January 27 was unanimous, 5-0, as the masked council members met in the council chambers Wednesday afternoon for a special called meeting for that purpose.

At the time, when mayor Jerry Peterman suggested a “bump” in Holland’s salary, and council member Melody Wiggins suggested a 5 percent, $5,600, raise, council member Jennifer Talley had objected to the salary discussion, saying that the special meeting notification had not included any topic other than the appointment of Holland to the interim post.

Peterman relented and Wiggins withdrew her motion, with the mayor saying the matter would be revisited at the February 9 monthly meeting.

The council members voted unanimously for the $120,000 salary this week after the closed meeting, which was at the end of their regular monthly meeting.