In what has become a holiday tradition, the Volusia County Council has rewarded its two charter officers with pay raises.
Just as parents may give cash to their children for good grades, the council each year routinely grades the county manager and the county attorney and increases their salaries by a percentage equal to that of other county employees.
The 3-percent raises for County Manager George Recktenwald and County Attorney Michael Dyer are retroactive to Oct. 1, the beginning of the county’s 2020-21 fiscal year.
Recktenwald’s annual base pay increases from $221,450 to $228,094.
Dyer’s annual salary is rising from $207,000 to $213,210.
County Manager Recktenwald won lavish praise from his bosses.
“George has exceeded those expectations,” Council Member Barb Girtman said.
“I’m really proud that we made that choice,” she continued. “I think he’s done a great job.”
The County Council tapped Recktenwald to succeed Jim Dinneen, who resigned as county manager in June 2018. Recktenwald was named interim county manager, but the council made his appointment permanent last year.
Recktenwald joined the county government in 1997 and worked his way up the career ladder to become director of Road and Bridge, director of Public Works, and director of Public Protection. Dinneen later appointed Recktenwald as deputy county manager.
“It was a right decision for us to choose you,” Council Member Billie Wheeler told Recktenwald. “Everybody respects you.”
Members credited Recktenwald with improving the county’s relationship with the cities and helping deal with the coronavirus pandemic, notably during a time when many county employees worked from home.
The council lauded Recktenwald for implementing Amendment 10, the 2018 state constitutional revision that re-established the constitutional office of elected tax collector and made the sheriff, the property appraiser and the elections supervisor constitutional officers answerable to the governor and the Legislature, rather than to the county manager.
Recktenwald thanked the council for the kind words.
“I appreciate the confidence you have in me,” he told the elected body.
The council’s 2020 evaluation of the county attorney was the first for Mike Dyer. Dyer became interim county attorney In December 2019, after longtime County Attorney Dan Eckert resigned. Before he became an assistant county attorney, Dyer worked as the legal counsel for the Volusia County School Board.
“You’ve done an excellent job. It’s been a trying year,” Council Member Ben Johnson told Dyer. “I know your dedication. … Thank you for a job well done.”