Cathy Dyson writes about King George County.
Supervisors discuss raising their pay, decide it’s not the right time
King George supervisors haven’t gotten a raise in 20 years—and it doesn’t look like they’ll get one any time soon.
Supervisor Cedell Brooks Jr. mentioned raising the supervisor pay a few months ago. It’s been $5,000 a year since he joined the board two decades ago.
Brooks brought up the matter again Tuesday, when supervisors got their first look at the 2013–2014 budget. County Administrator Travis Quesenberry hadn’t included a raise in the budget, saying he was waiting for direction from the board.
Brooks said he’d like to see the sum raised to at least $10,000. Supervisor Ruby Brabo said this would be the time to do it, since it’s an election year.
The Code of Virginia says supervisors can adjust their pay before July 1 in a year when at least 40 percent of the board is up for election. The seats of Brooks and Supervisor John LoBuglio are on the ballot in November, and both seek re-election.
Chairman Dale Sisson Jr. said the board would be hard-pressed to pass such an increase, considering the rest of the needs of the county. That very night, board members spent almost three hours listening to various county officials spell out why 23 new positions are needed in the county.
Supervisors made it clear that nothing was guaranteed, not even the $21,000 needed to promote one animal control worker from part time to full time. At this point, requests for local funds, not counting schools, total $38.3 million—which is $4.5 million more than expected revenues.
Brooks agreed that board members would look “like the bad guys” if they raised their own pay.
“As much as we need it, that would be the worst thing in the world,” Brooks said.
King George supervisors earn less than all their counterparts in neighboring counties.
Westmoreland County supervisors make $5,500 a year; their vice-chairman, $6,250, and chairman, $6,500.
In Essex, the annual pay is $6,000 for supervisors and $7,200 for the chairman.
Supervisors in the rural county of Caroline make almost as much as those in suburban Stafford County.
Caroline supervisors get $19,500 a year while those in Stafford get $20,400. Stafford’s chairman makes $21,400.
Quesenberry, King George’s county administrator, did add a new budget line for supervisors: conference fees. Each member gets $1,000 a year to pay for registration for government-sponsored conferences of his or her choosing.
“If you want to go above and beyond that, it’s on you,” Sisson said.