Christmas is a time of generosity and there was a little of that when it came time this year for the Guilford County Board of Commissioners to decide on raises for three county department heads.

After discussion of the employees’ performance in a recent closed session, the board voted to give a 3 percent pay increase to three of its “direct reports” – employees who fall directly under the board and whose performance is reviewed by the board each year.

Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers’ new salary will be $163,016 a year after his 3 percent raise goes into effect and provides him $4,750 a year raise. Register of Deeds Jeff Thigpen was awarded a new salary of $129,626 after his 3 percent increase of $3,775 annually. And Elections Director Charlie Collicutt will be pulling in $103,897 annually after an increase of $3,023.

The commissioners didn’t say anything publically regarding their reasoning for the moves since the evaluations of county employees are a personnel issue – one of the few aspects of county business where the deliberations don’t have to be made public.

Guilford County Clerk to the Board Robin Keller noted that 3 percent is “the same amount that was allocated for the general employees’ merit pool,” and she added that the remaining direct reports who receive performance reviews from the board – the clerk to board, the county attorney, county manager and the tax director – will be completed in January.

The increases go into effect with the first full paycheck in January, which will be issued on Friday, Jan. 24.

Many of the county’s department heads answer directly to Guilford County Manager Marty Lawing, however, in county government, a handful of key positions such as these are overseen by the Board of Commissioners. Also, the sheriff and register of deeds are elected by the people and the elections director reports to the Guilford County Board of Elections.