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Loudoun supervisors advance 62 percent pay hike proposal

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors wants the public to weigh in on whether the next board should get a roughly 62 percent pay raise.

The board voted 6-3 last week -- with supervisors Ralph Buona (R-Ashburn), Geary Higgins (R-Catoctin) and Suzanne Volpe (R-Algonkian) opposed -- to send consideration on the pay bump to a public hearing on July 12 to get more citizen input on the idea.

If the increase is approved, it would raise the current board salaries of $41,200 to $66,826 starting in 2020, the compensation for the chair from $50,000 to $81,100 and compensation for the vice chair from $45,320 to $73,363. After that, supervisors would receive a 2 percent salary increase for three years.

First-term Chairwoman Phyllis Randall (D-At Large) and second-term Supervisor Matt Letourneau (R-Dulles), who chairs of the finance committee, said they worked together on the proposed pay raise. The last time the Board of Supervisors had their salaries hiked raise was in 2008.

Several supervisors in favor of the raise argued it would remove financial barriers to access the role of elected official, widening the pool of applicants for future boards. But others said the proposed amount was too high.

If approved, the pay raises would go into effect Jan. 1, 2020. Under Virginia code, the board cannot increase its compensation during the current term.

Supervisor Ron Meyer (R-Broad Run) used members of the General Assembly, who make about $18,000 annually, as an example of a governing body that “absolutely limits people who can run for office.”

“Name me the normal person that can serve in that role who is not independently wealthy,” Meyer said. “When you limit roles in public service to those who are independently wealthy, you get a bias, different view. I think we need to make sure public service is an open option to a diverse group of people, including diverse ages, diverse backgrounds, diverse races.”

Supervisor Kristen Umstattd (D-Leesburg) said while she supports increasing salaries for supervisors, she could not support the rate the board was eyeing.

“I have both respect for the courage for putting this forward, but also concerns about the amounts, and I will support the motion to send it to public hearing, but I will not be supporting the amounts at the levels they were proposed,” Umstattd said. “I think the appropriate thing to do is to look at a 2 percent increase each year."

Buona said had the board been granted the same level of pay raise as county staff since 2008, the board in 2018 would be making $60,600, the vice chair about $55,000, and board members roughly $50,000.

“Those numbers to me represent what staff got for increases over those years, and they're much more reasonable than advertising over $81,000, over $73,000 and about $67,000,” Buona said.

Letourneau defended the proposed raise and said the job had changed significantly since 2008. He noted the board’s work on regional boards like the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC). With Metro coming to Loudoun in 2020, board members' work on the regional transit commission has also increased, Letourneau said.

The proposed salary increase also includes raises for planning commissioners. eapproved, members the Planning Commission’s proposed raises include: the Planning Commission chairman’s salary going from $22,334 to $30,000, the vice chairman from $21,315 to $27,500 and the salary of planning commissioners from $21,315 to $25,000.


Contact the writer at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or on Twitter at @sydneykashiwagi.

Comments


Buona’s justification for building 2 bridges at a cost of 20 billion dollars between Goose Creek and the Fairfax county line is the potential for a evacuation route in case of a dirty bomb in D.C.. Hyperbole like that is a good case in point that he is being paid to much already. He and his lackey Meyers have pulled a bait and switch on Farmwell Road to the tune of 30 million dollars and expressed that widening Route 15 to 4 lanes is not going to help traffic, digested baloney. Their bridge would increase traffic on Route 7 and Route 28 to support One Loudoun, Kincora and the airport. Turns a 10 mile radius at 7 and 28 into Los Angeles this will increases traffic, noise, pollution all so the Board of Supervisors can expand the tax base so they can spend more money.


Callme, I am saying the school board members who have given their spouses 4-5% consistent raises year after year are doing the same thing. In fact, the 4 school board members with LCPS spouses didn’t even disclose their conflicts as required by law. How is that any different than what the BOS is doing. And yes, when LCPS has the lowest retention on the region with no objective teacher evaluation, teacher pay should be throttled until the latter is fixed. For our kids’ sake.

I have no pro tem with the competent Sup’s earning more so we have good ones. Letourneau is able to present Loudoun’s profile to Wall St in a credible manner so they have confidence in our govt. He also spends a lot of time productively working the issues. Randall, on the other hand, is a disaster who just seeks photo-ops, has no clue what is really going on and just wants to spend more taxpayer $$ making herself “look good”. Too bad we can’t have merit pay for the BOS.


No raise.  Drain the Kool-Aid swamp of the apparent wannabe lifers.


People have a right to a cost of living adjustment each year so I have no qualms with a 2-3% increase in salary, but this is outrageous. Wouldn’t it be nice if all of us could vote to give ourselves a raise? The rest of us might get that 2-3% each year based on our performance so there needs to be some kind of balance here. I hate to say there needs to be some kind of oversight committee who would handle this type of situation because that would just steamroll and create more government, but common sense needs to prevail and these supervisors need to walk this back and be realistic. You knew what the salary was when you accepted the job people!


Good, Now they have no excuse to take bribes from Builders.


no raise. period.  We will need all the money we can muster to attempt to pay for the obscene increases in deductibles and premiums caused by Trumplicancare.


What are you trying to say, SGP?  Are you back on the topic of over paid teachers?  Are you saying that teachers should earn less than they do now and make it even less likely that anyone goes into teaching?  Or are you saying that the teachers who have your kids are not worth what they earn?


6 corrupt local politicians, trying to justify a 62% raise for what little they do. Most have voted on bad development deals in Loudoun over the years, so should be made to pay back $100K each to the Loudoun tax payers. Sounds fair to me. Randall is a typical corrupt politician, she complains but tries to justify her complaining by saying she’s not complaining. Look, I don’t know of anyone that asked you to run….You ran because of your ego or aspirations of running for a state office. Please step down ASAP if you can’t do the job, plenty of other people could do what you do in half the time. Part of your problem is you waste too much time researching/voting on stupid issues like 62% raises….


Public servants should be paid minimum wage and nothing more.  Servitude pays for itself.  This paints the entire BoS as out of touch and greedy.  Typical, I suppose.


Good Ole Umstattd she always plays both sides like the professional politician she is.  She voted herself a 100% pay raise on the Leesburg Town Council.  Now she will vote to move this 62% “forward” but claim she opposes the amount.  If opposed then don’t vote it forward KU.  You know you want that full increase.


I would support a 2% raise each year.  However, if they approve this increase, they should be quickly voted out of office so that they never get the chance to enjoy their theft.


10% would be good start.


Any good politician (I use that term loosely) runs for office to serve the public good—there are 6 greedy supervisors who are all in it for themselves…vote the 6 out next cycle, their poor judgment shows they are not worthy of a raise.


Callme, here, here. Let’s cut the teachers raise from 5% to 2% while we are at it since they only work 190 days per year.


Meyers plays word games as usual. If he wants diversity lets follow the example of the governors office and institute term limits for supervisors and chairpersons.


a $20k raise is all wrong for all sorts of reasons. If we want them to have a raise, give them the 2% or $800.  Do not go bac to 2008 and make the raises retroactive - we do not need to spend that money just to give these folks more

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