Spotsy Supervisors Make Public Committment to Public Safety Employee Plan Plan
At the May 14th Board of Supervisors meeting, the Board voted 6-1 (Supervisor Yakabouski) to send a message to public safety employees that the Board intends to address their pay concerns in the upcoming year. The vote ear marked roughly $600,000 in rollback taxes from the sPower Special Use Applications and any unexpected new revenue to begin to implement a new pay plan to bring public safety employees to market-rate pay.
Earlier this year Spotsy Sheriff Harris and Fire Chief Cullinan briefed the Board on their struggles to retain and recruit personnel due to the growing pay gaps with nearby localities.
Chancellor Supervisor McLaughlin was a strong, persistent advocate to pass this vote to send a signal to public safety employees, since the pay plan failed to generate enough support during the budget process. The commitment along with ensuring all County and school employees are all at market-rate pay could force the Board to raise taxes to meet the commitment.
It was on this point that Battlefield Supervisor Yakabouski based part of his opposition vote. Mr Yakabouski stated that he did not believe funds should be allocated outside the budget process or ear marking new revenue before it was collected. Mr Yakabouski did say up front that he supported the plan to bring public safety personnel and county employees to market pay, but did not agree with the method.
Mr. Yakabouski's stance is not without merit, especially considering in the past the Board has made verbal promises only to be less supportive when the bill comes due and the result is the need for a tax increase.
Time will tell if this public gesture will halt the flow of public safety employees leaving the County as well as whether the Board will be open to raising taxes to meet this commitment.
Click here to read Scott Shenk’s Free Lance-Star article.