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County Commission: Do you support a teacher pay raise?

District 4 candidates Tommy Thompson, right, and Tim Griffin support a teacher supplement increase. So did five other candidates. District 4 candidates Tommy Thompson, right, and Tim Griffin support a teacher supplement increase. So did five other candidates.

Candidates for the Henderson County Board of Commissioners answered questions last week on raises for classroom teachers, the Ecusta Trail, Flat Rock Playhouse, the Wingate-BRCC-Pardee health education building and other topics.


Candidates (all Republicans) for the three Board of Commissioners seats are:


  • District 1: Hogan Corn, J. Michael Edney and Andrew Riddle.
  • District 3: William G. Lapsley and Larry R. Young.
  • District 4: Tim Griffin and Tommy Thompson.


  • Here are their answers from two forums.

Do you favor increasing the county-paid teacher supplement?

Thompson: "The salary is the same in Brunswick County as you get in Raleigh as you get in Buncombe County, and that salary is set by the North Carolina Department of Education and that has to be dealt with by the Legislature. My daughter-in-law was teaching in Raleigh. She moved to Hendersonville, back with my son, came to Hendersonville to raise her children. She received her master's degree. It took her three years after she received her master's degree to get up to the same amount of money she was making in Raleigh. So as far as teacher supplements, yes, I think teachers are the backbone of it all, and they need to be paid an appropriate money so they can keep working to educate our children."

Edney: "I favor increasing it to whatever the School Board asks us to do. I'm not going to tell them what to do. If they want to make it 1, 2, 3, whatever percentage they want to do with the money we give them that's what they're elected to do."

Griffin: "Working in the schools as many years as I have I've seen first-hand how many hours that they put in over and above what they are paid for. I don't think there's any amount of supplement that we could afford to give them that would actually get them up to pay per hour that they deserve to receive. Yes, I would definitely be in favor of this supplement. I think the teachers, they don't raise my children. But a lot of families, the children are being raised by the teachers because mama and dad's not."

Riddle: "I do favor a 2 percent supplemental pay. In fact that's been on my platform for almost two months now. My father was a school teacher at Hendersonville High School... My opponent Mike Edney says our schools are superior. Our schools are not superior. Winning the Super Bowl is superior. Henderson County has an opportunity to be a leader in public education. Money does not teach kids. I would like to put together an advisory board of teachers and parents to work with the school system. If we can put together an advisory board to determine if we're selling enough liquor to Henderson County residents we can certainly put together an advisory board to see how we can and we must improve public education."

Lapsley: "We elect, all of us, the School Board. The School Board makes the ultimate recommendation to the County Commission. If we expect to have an outstanding education program we've got to attract outstanding educators, and if it takes a supplement to attract outstanding educators then I think I move for the School Board to tell us what we need to do and for the County Commission to fund it accordingly."

Young: "Since I've been on the county commission we've given two or maybe three supplement increases. But I do know that one year we earmarked our supplement to the School Board for the simple reason that we didn't want that money going to the people in administration, because we felt like the administrative people was making enough money. It was the teachers that needed the money. So we earmarked that they would get the supplement. So I do favor a supplement. I didn't favor what the state did, when they only give 25 percent of them a salary increase because that says 75 percent of our teachers are bad and they didn't deserve a salary increase. There's something wrong with that."

Corn: "I think (the Legislature) made a bad assessment and said 75 percent of the teachers are failures. I would be in favor of a supplement. I think it's a good investment."