Tyler Cralle

Salary Bump for Cooper’s Cronies

In what should be a surprise to absolutely no one, Governor Roy Ray Cooper has decided to give his staff a pay raise from the previous administration…

Two key leaders in Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration will earn substantially higher salaries than their predecessors, according to salary records released this week.

Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon will make $195,352 annually – well above the $138,040 salary that Gov. Pat McCrory’s transportation secretary, Nick Tennyson, made. Budget Director Charlie Perusse also will make $195,352, while his predecessor, Drew Heath, had a salary of $145,000.

Trogdon and Perusse are the highest paid of Cooper’s appointees, earning well above the governor’s $144,349 salary. Their salaries were not disclosed when they were initially hired.

We’re not even gonna address the secrecy of all of this. Let’s just talk about the stupidity.  I don’t know much about Nick Tennyson, but I do know a good deal about Charlie Perusse because he wasn’t budget director all that long ago.  Mr. Perusse oversaw one of the messiest and most fiscally irresponsible times in state history.  Under his leadership, we saw the rainy fund depleted, lottery funds raided, budget shortfalls of historic proportions, and an outstanding debt of nearly 2 billion dollars to the federal government.  I understand part of that was the fiscal irresponsibility of the Easley administration but Perdue & Perusse were mostly to blame.  However, the main issue I have is not just with the hire but also with the salary increase.
I understand finding a competent finance guy on the democrat side is hard to do.  Mostly it involves picking a dim bulb in a box of broken lights.  Cooper probably had no other option.  However, what is with the pay increase?  Why are we rewarding a clearly deficient budget director?  Today it is being reported that North Carolina is looking at a 550 million dollar surplus.  Let me repeat that, today North Carolina is benefiting from a $550 million dollar surplus! If Cooper is going to try and argue that Perusse is 34% better than Drew Heath I would love to see the metrics that warrant that assessment.  The only way Perusse could justify his 34% raise is if he brings in a 33% bigger surplus next year.  That’s 187 million dollars.  Best of luck Charlie!
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