My comments to the Caroline County Board of Supervisors at their September 23rd meeting.

At the September 8th, 2008, meeting of the Caroline County Board of Supervisors, the board approved the following item on their consent agenda: Adoption of a Resolution that Revises the June 24, 2008 Budget Resolution to Incorporate Errors and Omission that Were Approved by the Board during Budget Discussions.

Item #2 in the resolution was the following:

Davenport [& Company LLC, the firm hired to help with preparing this year’s budget] learned after the June 24, 2008 Budget Resolution adoption that in July 2007 the Board adopted an increased in the Board of Supervisors’ salaries. Therefore this was not included in the original Budget Resolution.

The resolution stated that this would have the following impact on general fund expenditures:

[…] 1) a $25,518 [possibly a typo and should be $23,518 -ed.] increase in the Board of Supervisors budget to compensate for the increase in the Board’s salaries […]

$23,518 increase. That accounts for a $4,703.60 increase per supervisor. That’s a 26.43% increase in pay compared to last year.

Meanwhile, members of the county staff only received a 2% salary increase this year. So, unless someone on the county staff makes $235,180, not only did the Board receive a bigger percentage increase, the Board also received a bigger net increase as well compared to anyone on county staff.

This pay increase was approved after the tax rate in county was increased by $0.05/$100 during a sagging economy. This pay increase was approved after the supervisors learned there was a $755,321 shortfall from the last fiscal year.

To make this matter even worst — as if that was possible — the board a hour and half later later told the Ladysmith Volunteer Fire Department that the Board and the county had no idea where they would find the money necessary to finish paying for a fire truck.

The cost to finish paying for the fire truck? $25,000 to $30,000 dollars.

Those aren’t the only problems with the pay increase.

According to the summary for the consent agenda item, this pay increase was approved by the Board in July 2007.

However, § 15.2-1414.2 of the Code of Virginia requires a pay increase such as this to be adopted “prior to July 1” of the year that the board will be up for election:

Prior to July 1 of the year in which members of the board of supervisors are to be elected or, if the board is elected for staggered terms, of any year in which at least forty percent of the members of the board are to be elected, the current board, by a recorded vote of a majority present, shall set a maximum annual compensation which will become effective as of January 1 of the next year.

The last I checked a meeting in July isn’t “prior to July 1”.

Thank you for your time.

They didn’t have anything to say about that, by the way.

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