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County administrator to donate raise to charity

Jackson County Administrator Danny Jordan announced Friday he will donate his $15,000 raise to United Way as part of his ongoing commitment to local charities.

"It's about my personal choice with my own income," he said.

"I've worked hard and I know other people work hard and are struggling in my community."

Jordan, whose salary went up almost 10 percent from $155,000 to $170,000 this week, said he didn't previously reveal his intention to make a charitable donation because he hadn't picked the organization yet.

"My intention is to give it to United Way," he said.

Specifically, he said he wants to donate to United Way's HOPE (Helping Out People Everyday) Chest, formerly known as Hank's Bank in memory of Hank Collins, the former county health director. The fund provides emergency money to people who need help paying for basic needs — everything from surgical stockings to car repairs to wood to heat their homes.

"Hank was my friend, and I worked with him," said Jordan, who also is on the United Way board of directors.

The Jackson County Board of Commissioners approved Jordan's wage increase after giving him an almost perfect performance review.

"I feel highly appreciative of the fact that the commissioners recognized my hard work, my efforts and accomplishments," he said.

The news on Thursday that Jordan had received a near-10 percent increase led to raised eyebrows in the community, phone calls to the Mail Tribune and a number of posts, pro and con, in the Mail Tribune's online forum.

Dee Anne Everson of United Way, however, said she wasn't completely surprised to hear of the donation when Jordan called her Friday.

"He's told me for several months that he intends to do something special," Everson said. "He and his wife have been leadership givers in the past."

HOPE Chest has received in excess of $50,000 in donations, and the gift from Jordan is the second largest contribution so far. A federal stimulus grant of $16,600 is the largest.

Jordan's gift also is one of the largest overall individual gifts received by United Way in a given year. Everson said there are eight individuals who have given in excess of $10,000, though the organization does receive corporate gifts that are much larger.

She said receiving the gift is both humbling and an honor for United Way and further evidence of the hard work and commitment Jordan has given the organization.

"I think the world of Danny Jordan," she said. "We're lucky he picked HOPE Chest."

Commissioner Dave Gilmour said he appreciated Jordan's generosity during tough economic times.

"He does understand the hardships that people are under," he said.

Gilmour, who has also donated to local organizations, said he was aware that Jordan had given contributions in the past, but wasn't aware until Friday that Jordan was going to donate his raise to charity.

"I understand where he is coming from," said Gilmour. "I've done it a number of times."

Gilmour said he remains convinced that Jordan's salary increase was justified.

"We appreciate all that Danny's doing," he said. "He's doing a fantastic job."

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 776-4476 or dmann@mailtribune.com.

County administrator to donate raise to charity