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With praise to spare and cash to spend, the Volusia County Council bestowed a pay raise upon County Attorney Dan Eckert.

In one of its last official acts for 2018, the council on Dec. 18 followed its past practice of giving glowing grades to Eckert and matching its words with wampum.

With a 4-percent pay hike — the standard percentage given to other county workers — Eckert’s new annual salary will be $227,042. His bosses said he is worth it.

“He is willing to take on any challenge that is put before him,” outgoing Council Member Joyce Cusack said, describing Eckert as “second to none.”

“I trust your institutional knowledge about the law,” Cusack told Eckert. “When he speaks, I listen.”

“This man can recite the law,” Council Member Billie Wheeler said. “I trust you, Dan. … You will always give us the right advice.”

Council Member Fred Lowry said the longtime legal chief “has my full support.”

“We are certainly blessed to have you,” Council Member Heather Post told Eckert.

The vote to reward Eckert with extra money was unanimous.

The County Council’s evaluation of the county manager and the county attorney usually come at the governing body’s last regular meeting of the calendar year.

However, the council offered no 2018 evaluation of Interim County Manager George Recktenwald. Recktenwald has served on a temporary basis since the resignation of Jim Dinneen in June. The county is searching for a permanent successor to Dinneen.

Recktenwald has climbed county government’s career ladder, serving as director of Road and Bridge, Public Works, Public Protection and as deputy county manager.

Recktenwald got a 4-percent raise earlier this year, bringing his yearly pay to $189,944.

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