An increase in pay and staff could be in the works for the members of the next Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, who will take office in January 2012.
Supervisors on Dec. 7, as part of a discussion on how to increase the pool of citizens interested in running for elected office, agreed to make a salary increase part of their fiscal 2012 budget talks which will begin in earnest in January.
The board is looking at whether to increase the salaries of the chairman, vice-chairman and supervisors by 5, 10 or 15 percent for the upcoming four-year term.
Currently, the Loudoun County Chairman is paid $50,000 a year; the vice-chairman is paid $45,320 a year; and supervisors are paid $41,200 a year.
At least two supervisors – Jim Burton (I-Blue Ridge) and Andrea McGimsey (D-Potomac) – already have said they won’t support an increase in pay at all, but do believe additional support from aides is necessary for elected officials to properly do their jobs.
“I don’t think I’m interested in increasing board salaries,” McGimsey said. “However, with respect to aides, it’s hard to find somebody who is willing to do the administrative tasks, such as schedules, and then do the policy work. I think it would make life easier for any board member in the future to have two different people with two different skill sets.”
A separate motion regarding supervisors’ aides’ salaries and benefits already is being discussed by the county’s Finance and Government Services Committee.
The salaries of Loudoun’s Board of Supervisors have increased by more than 100 percent in the last 18 years.
Since 1992, the chairman’s salary jumped from $23,000 a year to its current level of $50,000 a year. The vice-chair’s salary increased from $18,000 a year to $45,320 a year and a supervisor’s salary was raised from $18,000 a year to $41,200 a year.
But with the increase in pay over the years has also come an increase in workload, according to Burton.
The Internet, specifically e-mail, has increased the time supervisors spend answering constituent concerns, he said.
“It’s so easy to ask a question, send in a complaint, that the constituency work is becoming quite a load,” Burton said. “I do believe in the budget session I’m going to push for making the district budgets large enough to handle two full-time aides.”
In comparison to other Virginia jurisdictions, salaries for supervisors in Loudoun fall somewhere in the middle.
Loudoun’s Board, including the chairman and vice-chairman, make more than officials in Chesterfield, Fauquier, Frederick, and Prince William counties, but less than supervisors in Arlington, Fairfax and Henrico counties.
In Fairfax County, where the population is more than 1 million residents, the board of supervisors, including the chairman and vice-chairman, are paid $75,000 a year.
In Frederick County, the chairman is paid $10,800 a year, the vice-chairman $10,200 a year, and supervisors are paid $9,000 a year. Frederick County’s population is almost 75,000 residents.
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