Guilford County Attorney Mark Payne is stepping down from that job at the end of the year.
Payne made the announcement at the Thursday, Nov. 18 Board of Commissioners meeting before he thanked the commissioners for their support over the past dozen years. Two days earlier, Payne had informed the employees in the county’s legal department – along with other select county officials – of his decision which took many by complete surprise.
Payne said he felt it was the right time for him to be making the exit after 12 years.
Payne has achieved the somewhat amazing accomplishment of having served 12 times longer than the previous six county attorneys combined. (Before Payne took the job with Guilford County, the county burned through six different county attorneys in less than a year.)
The fact that the county had a half dozen county attorneys in the year before Payne arrived is an indication of just how difficult that job is. Guilford County attorneys work directly for the Board of Commissioners – which means they have nine bosses who span the political spectrum and often have widely varying views of what should be done. When Payne took the job with Guilford County, he had 11 bosses because the redistricting a decade ago hadn’t yet shrunk the board by two.
He came to Guilford County in October of 2009 after serving as the Johnston County Attorney in Smithfield for 13 years.
Payne said after the Nov. 17 meeting that he plans to remain in Greensboro and he added that he will be available for “call back” part-time work if the county needs his services in 2022.
Payne said he recently looked at the years he’d put into government work and found that he did now qualify for a full 30 years. He said he discussed the matter first with Guilford County Human Resources Department, and, after thinking about it and getting his questions answered, he decided this would be a good time to step down.
He said he’d now like to spend more time with his family and also like to do things like perhaps go to the Final Four in 2022, which is in the New Orleans Superdome. Payne, who attended UNC-Chapel Hill as an undergraduate and then went to law school there as well, is a big Tarheel fan.
It should not be lost on anyone that the majority of his tenure, relative to his longevity in the position, was under moderate and fiscally responsible Republican rule. The Democrats are again in charge of Guilford county and lo and behold, the position again becomes vacant. ‘Nuff said.
Thank you for your work and service, Mr Payne.
But… but… I hope you consider yourself fortunate to have “put in my 30 years” (I hear it all the time) and now having the luxury of retiring at taxpayer expense probably for another 30 years – without doing another lick of work.
I work in the Productive Sector, I am self-employed, and I can only dream of a deal like that.
I often wonder if I should have chosen a career in the Parasitic Sector. My most prosperous customers are retired “public sector” employees.
My husband worked for the same “public parasitic sector” agency for over 25 years at a highly stressful job where his shift was mostly from 6 pm to 6 am with no holidays off. He “retired” by buying back several years of “full-time part-time” work with some money in his 401k account. He also worked at his self-employed “productive private sector” job on his “days off”. He’s still doing that work at the age of 69 since his “prosperous” retirement pay is $683/month and our health insurance costs premium costs $321/month not including Medicare premiums (originally when he retired it was about $1,100/month).
Be glad you didn’t work as a public employee. The people who work “in the trenches” don’t have huge retirement packages and if you don’t get to 30 years you didn’t get paid healthcare. People who go to work for the County now will never get free healthcare, pay higher premiums, have far less employer contributions made to 401k accounts. The ones who really benefit are elected officials. People should look into the free healthcare that they are given in addition to their yearly pay, which is given for life even if they only serve one term. Perhaps you should run for Commissioner.
You misunderstand, Deborah.
I make no assertion as to whether the individuals in the Parasitic Sector work hard or not. Some do, some don’t, but that is irrelevant to the terminology.
I believe the terms “Productive Sector” and “Parasitic Sector” are preferable to “Private Sector” and “Public Sector” for good reason. IN PURELY ECONOMIC TERMS the public sector is of course parasitic; they “make their living off of other people’s taxes”, as the song says.
All wealth is created in the private sector, as $10,000 worth of steel, glass, and plastic are made into a $20,000 automobile, for example. The net wealth created in this way has a name: profit. Profit is the source of all wealth creation – and the public sector cannot produce it.
Some people who work in the Parasitic Sector are worthy industrious people, and some are idle incompetent ne’er do wells who cannot be fired. If some noble soul decides on soldiering or firefighting as their avocation, they have little choice but to become part of the Parasitic Sector. They deserve our respect and gratitude – but they are still, in economic terms, parasitic on the economy.
Those economies like the EU, where the Parasitic Sector is about as large as the Productive Sector are mystified why they cannot replicate the growth rates of the US. That’s because when you have as many people riding in the wagon as pulling it, it’s just not going to speed up.
Does that make sense?
We chose where we work. We all have dreams of what we would like to do. Some of us wish we could -while others do! Do not be a wisher, be a doer! The only obstacle is ourself.
Therefore we need to look into the future and understand if the present job is one we can continue to work, when we look to our “Golden Years”. If not one should continue to better oneself.
Mark, you have been the best boss an employee could ask for and you will be regrettably missed. You are irreplaceable.
Another rat leaves the ship, rather than acknowledge over 900 #COVID19 fatalities in Guilford County.
I’m not sure what Mr. Payne as the county attorney could have done to help the COVID situation. I don’t know him personally but I’ve never heard anything negative about him
Looks like a 65th birthday, very generous, at taxpayer expense, retirement. Good bye.
Mr. Payne robbed my wife and I of our happiness. He is totally incompetent and someone that I wouldn’t let run a bake sale. Shame on you Mr. Payne. You are a discredit to the human race. Good riddance.