Paying for the Top People

Higgs will receive $10,000 in moving expenses when he relocates to a home in Laurens County.

Document shows administrator pay.





Thomas Higgs has a 3-year contract as Laurens County Administrator at an annual salary of $135,000, a document shows.

Higgs’ contract was entered into Aug. 30. He comes to the Laurens County job as Interim City Manager in Clinton and, before that, Assistant City Manager.

He replaced Jon Caime, who is working with Anderson County.

Some on council expressed “sticker shock” when they hired Caime to replace retired and veteran County Administrator Ernie Segars, as it pertained to salary.

County Public Works Director Dale Satterfield was interim county administrator between Caime and Higgs - a position similar to one he held between city managers when he managed utilities for the City of Clinton. Satterfield also managed the Laurens Commission of Public Works. Satterfield has returned to his county public works position full-time now.

Higgs leaving the city means the Clinton City Council is looking for a manager. Higgs was assistant city manager for Bill Ed Cannon, who came to Clinton from Florida and departed the job last year.

Also stated recently is the salary figure for Interim Clinton City Manager Rebecca Vance, who works as a consultant to cities in need of administration.

Vance can work from home, but she is expected to spend 30 hours a week in Clinton. For that work, she receives $103.90 per hour. She was hired Sept. 17.

The City pays for Vance to stay in a hotel two nights a week, and she is entitled to a $50/day per diem while in the city. Her weekly car allowance is $325.

She will be employed until the City hires a permanent, full-time manager.

Money for these and other salaries comes from property taxes and, in Clinton’s case, sales of electricity, water, sewer, and trash services. Both entities receive aid to political subdivisions from the State, and some state and federal grants.

In the Higgs - Laurens County’s situation, the contract extends from August 29, 2021, to midnight August 28, 2024. He can resign at any time with 45 days notice. The County Council can terminate the agreement at any time (subject to a three-paragraph section three that outlines severance pay). The council can terminate the agreement if the administrator becomes disabled. 

Higgs’ base salary cannot be increased for one year from the date of the agreement. He is eligible for cost-of-living raises. 

Higgs will receive $10,000 in moving expenses when he relocates to a home in Laurens County.

He has 12 months to make the move.

He has to give substantially all his professional efforts to the administrator’s job. He has to tell the county council chairman when he is not at work. 

Higgs’ car allowance is $700 per month. He receives a county-issued cell phone.

“If the Employee shall become a finalist (final 3 candidates) for any other position or job outside of his current position with Laurens County, the Employee shall, within twenty-four (24) hours of being named a finalist, inform all County Council members of such information in writing,” the contract says. Former Administrator Caime was a finalist for several similar positions throughout the state after coming to Laurens County from Georgia.

The county administrator contract is a 7-page, 17-section document.

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