Monday, March 03, 2008


Today's Pot. News carries a page-one, above-the-fold story on how the top ten administrators in the Prince William County government schools can look forward to an across-the-board pay raise of 6%.

For a limited payroll which already tops $1.6 million dollars, this translates into a cost to taxpayers of nearly $100,000.


Let's see. Assessments are dropping, and with it, County income in tax revenue at the current tax rate. County Executive Craig Gerhart has proposed a budget which would raise the tax rate to over $1 per $100 of assessed value, and would result in a tax increase to the average homeowner an additional $258 per year in County property tax payments. By some measures --- I don't necessarily buy into these predictions --- the economy is slowing.

Yet County Superintendent Steven L. Walts is going to get a pay raise of more than $14,000? And his top deputies are in for pay raises of nearly $10,000 apiece? Oh, and by the way, government-schools administrators are getting nice, shiny new offices (to the tune of nearly $40 million), slated to open in September.

Enough is enough.

What is really disturbing is the fact that people like Gainesville School Board member Don Richardson, who ran with the GOP endorsement, is making excuses for these exorbitant salary increases. How many County taxpayers got a 6% pay raise this year? What percentage have seen their net worth drop with declining home values?

Government employment should reflect the economy, and County revenues, as a whole. The notion that the County's top government-schools administrators are asking for, and may well get, such huge increases in times like these should outrage everyone who foots the bill.

That would be every taxpayer in Prince William County.

No comments: