Should County Supervisors Get Their Jan. 1 Raise?

Sept. 26, 2019 Editor, The News-Gazette:

Before the Nov. 5 election, Rockbridge County citizens may want to learn whether a Board of Supervisors candidate will leave in place the compensation resolution passed by our current Board, or if the candidate will vote to alter or reverse it. [Note: Supervisor Dan Lyons voted against this resolution.]

The Board raised its pay (for the first time since 1996) to $5,500 effective July 1, 2019, as allowed by the Code of Virginia based on population. In the same resolution, the Board agreed to raise its pay to $12,280, effective Jan. 1, 2020 — an additional $6,780, or 123 percent! Why the second, large increase, you may ask?

Rockbridge County has allowed supervisors to enroll in the county’s Employee Health Care Insurance Plan for many years. The cost per employee for this plan is expected to be $6,780 for the year. If a supervisor elects to enroll in the plan, that supervisor must repay the county the $6,780 cost. However, if the supervisor does not enroll, he pockets the $6,780 pay increase! The rationale of the Board was that this extra $6,780 could be used by the supervisor to purchase health insurance elsewhere - but it doesn’t have to be used for that purpose.

Do you consider supervisors to be county “employees”? Should supervisors be eligible for the employee health care plan? Do you agree with a 123 percent pay increase?

Alleghany, Amherst, Bedford, Botetourt and Nelson counties do not allow their supervisors to enroll in their employee health care plans; Augusta, Bath and Highland counties do.

SUSAN WOOD

Glasgow

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