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(Republican) State Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry takes pay cut
The News & Observer, ^ | June 20, 2002 | Lynn Bonner

Posted on 06/20/2002 6:52:12 AM PDT by jern

State Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry has volunteered to cut her pay 5 percent next year in response to a Senate bill that would cut salaries of top government officials as the state struggles to balance its budget.

"I am ready and willing to do just that, and I hope my colleagues will do the same," Berry said in e-mail to the bill's 25 sponsors. "We all must participate in the solution."

Berry, a Republican, filed a form with the state comptroller Tuesday to have her $104,523 salary cut by 5 percent, or about $5,200, next year.

In her e-mail, she urged the Senate bill's sponsors to include the pay cuts in the budget.

The Senate didn't take her up on the suggestion. The bill would have cut the salaries of legislators and about two dozen top political appointees and would have asked the governor, lieutenant governor, the Council of State and state judges and justices to cut their pay voluntarily.

State Sen. Fountain Odom, a Charlotte Democrat, said the salary cuts didn't make it into the budget.

"There are a number of people who had some heartburn on it," he said.

Odom said he was going to ask for a 5 percent or 10 percent cut to his legislative salary of about $14,000, and others could volunteer to be paid less.

"I'm going to sign the waiver ... and some of the others might be reminded of it," he said.

Apparently, cutting their own pay was not a top priority for most Council of State members. Or at least they weren't circulating e-mail about it.

Insurance Commissioner Jim Long, Agriculture Commissioner Meg Scott Phipps, state Auditor Ralph Campbell, Attorney General Roy Cooper, state Treasurer Richard Moore, and Secretary of State Elaine Marshall could not be reached Wednesday.

State School Superintendent Mike Ward did talk about the idea. Ward said he decided to help the state save money by not asking for travel reimbursements.

"It's a different approach that doesn't have an impact on career or retirement," he said.

Ward said he decided not to claim more than $500 in reimbursements last month and will forgo repayment of about the same amount this month.

Ward has paid some of his own expenses for official travel since he took office.

"I've racked up quite a bit of unclaimed expenses over time," he said.

Learning the ropes

Some freshman legislators are surprised by some of the General Assembly's procedures and folk customs, but new state Sen. Kever Clark of Onslow County came through the long budget debate Wednesday without a complaint.

Clark, the Democrat appointed to replace state Sen. Luther Jordan, said she had a good idea how things work on Jones Street from her years lobbying on education issues.

Clark, who was sworn in last Thursday and seated Monday, is a former teacher who served on the North Carolina Education Association's board of directors in the late 1980s.

"When I was lobbying, I was lobbying for a specific thing," she said. "Now I have all the conglomerate. Everyone feels their specific thing is important."

Staff writer Lynn Bonner can be reached at 829-4821 or

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: North Carolina
KEYWORDS: budget; cherieberry; commissioner; labor; raleigh; republican
Note: she is the only Republican who is on the council of state in North Carolina
1 posted on 06/20/2002 6:52:13 AM PDT by jern
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To: jern
Note: she is the only Republican who is on the council of state in North Carolina

Your statement is far short of the truth. She is the ONLY republican on the Council of State since the 'Civl War'.

2 posted on 06/20/2002 6:58:03 AM PDT by Phantom Lord
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To: jern
Cherie Berry? Nice name. Personally I like Willow Bey.
3 posted on 06/20/2002 7:50:26 AM PDT by boris
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To: Phantom Lord
I've known Cherie all my life...she's a great gal. Generous to a fault.
4 posted on 06/20/2002 8:52:33 AM PDT by JessicaDragonet
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