Last week we were reminded about one of the many differences between private sector and government jobs. The Executive Director of the North Carolina Education Lottery, Tom Shaheen, received a five percent raise in spite of lower than expected ticket sales.
The lottery in its first full fiscal year will generate $321-million for education in North Carolina, and we've been in favor of the lottery from the beginning because of the education benefits. But that amount is about 20 percent less than Shaheen's own projections.
Now don't get us wrong, the lottery director is well-qualified for the position, and the lottery commissioners appear very happy with the organization he's put together, but a five percent raise when you fall so far short of goal? We think it's a huge stretch to justify that much.
The director now makes $246,750 a year, received an additional $5,781 because he had gone without a raise for several months, and was given a standing ovation by the nine member lottery commission when the chairman announced the raise. That makes Shaheen the second-highest paid non-university state employee, earning almost twice the salary of the governor.
We can safely say that a 20 percent shortfall in revenue goals in the private sector would probably result in probation or termination, not a five percent raise. I know for certain that if WECT missed its revenue projections by 20 percent, I'd literally be "on the beach." Then I'd probably apply for a government job.