Is it time to give Loudoun’s supervisors and planning commissioners a raise? That’s a question the board’s finance committee is asking.
Since 2008, county supervisors have been paid $41,200 a year for their service on the board. The vice chairman is paid $45,320, and the chairman is paid $50,000.
The previous Board of Supervisors considered boosting the stipends just a few years ago, but ultimately declined to make a change. The issue re-emerged this spring when County Administrator Tim Hemstreet’s proposed fiscal year 2018 budget included $4,634 to give raises to the chairman and vice chairman of the Planning Commission—added to the budget at the request of the commission. But supervisors cut that line item. At the time, they said that, although raises are merited, any changes should be part of a comprehensive discussion.
On Tuesday night, that discussion began with a comparison of Loudoun to other large counties as well as a look back to how much the county has grown since supervisors’ stipends were last raised in 2008. Then it had a population of close to 300,000, as opposed to a predicted 410,000 in 2020. The general operating budget has also increased from $340 million to $504 million since 2008.
For comparison, Prince William pays supervisors $43,422; Henrico pays $53,262; and Fairfax County pays its supervisors $95,000, with the chairman bringing in $100,000.
In a very brief discussion, supervisors asked for more information, including a request from Supervisor Koran T. Saines (D-Sterling) about the differences between full-time and part-time salaries for supervisors. County Chief of Staff Caleb Weitz said he would look into it, including researching the distinction, if any.
Also up for consideration is the compensation for the Planning Commission. Commissioners make $21,315, with the vice chairman earning $21,315 and the chairman pulling in $22,334.
Any discussion about raises for supervisors and their advisory boards is bound to be fraught.
“That was easy for now,” said finance committee Chairman Matthew F. Letourneau (R-Dulles). “It will be a little bit more difficult discussion next time. But you know what, sometimes you need to have those difficult discussions.”
Any change in pay would not take effect until 2020, after the next election.