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Bonus for county employees OK'd

Panel agrees to reimburse government workers for pay from six furlough days in 2011

By Sally Voth -- svoth@nvdaily.com

WOODSTOCK -- The stockings of Shenandoah County employees will be a little fuller this Christmas.

The Board of Supervisors approved measures Tuesday that will result in bonuses for county workers and school staff.

The panel agreed to reimburse county government workers the money they lost during six furlough days in fiscal 2011.

District 3 Supervisor David Ferguson brought up the idea during a supervisors meeting last month after Budget Manager Garland Miller said the undesignated fund balance contained more than $500,000 above what had been expected.

The board on Tuesday also approved a $909,442 fund balance reappropriation to the school division. Of that, $226,208 is for special budget carryover.

The remaining $683,234 is from money that is over-revenue and under-expenditure, and the School Board has said it will be used to give school employees a one-time 2-percent bonus on their salaries.

District 1 Supervisor Dick Neese voted for the special budget carryover reappropriation, but voted against both measures that would result in employee bonuses.

"I thought part of that [school fund balance] was to be paid into a special fund for use later on," he said.

Neese said he recalled the supervisors saying several years ago that such surplus moneys would be split between the School Board and a county fund.

"I do have a problem with them stating it's all going back to the employees," he said. "The private sector is still not giving pay raises. Not sure what our budget is going to be this year with funding coming from state and federal. I think it's being decreased every year."
County Administrator Doug Walker said after the meeting the bonus checks for county workers would go out Friday, while school employees will have their bonus included in their regular paycheck on Dec. 22.

Superintendent Keith Rowland sent a letter to employees letting them know about the bonus payments.

"And, our employees have been bombarding me with emails expressing their appreciation to the school board and the board of supervisors for giving them this opportunity," he said Tuesday afternoon. "I think they're most appreciative. Of course, the board of supervisors has just been a tremendous help in this case. Our people haven't received any type of cost of living increase over the course of the past three years."

It's been four years since Sheriff's Office salaries were frozen, Sheriff Timothy C. Carter said Tuesday evening.

"So, of course, the staff are appreciative for what they can get," he said. "I think it's a positive thing for the staff morale."


All those employees (county and school) deserved their "bonus" (or furlough days back). They have all done more with less for many years. It seems Mr. Neese believes that absolutely no one in the private sector has gotten a raise in the last 3 years. Really???...does he have facts for that because I'm pretty sure that's just not true. Mr. Neese, is there a situation where our county employees should be rewarded for excellent work by getting paid even a little extra? I think the Board of Supervisors thought this as a good thing to do that would also earn them favor by many in the community. Unfortunately after reading this article and comments from Mr. Neese, I'm left with the feeling of Bah Humbug! instead of Merry Xmas.

Maybe the county employees would rather have suffered a permanent salary decrease like some jurisdictions have done. Taking a 6 day furlough is nothing over the course of a year to keep your job.

Now I guess we will hear the whining of the school system as they always want something for nothing as well.

There are too many people out of work to be bending over backward for county staff that are way under worked. Just take a look at the staffing and you will see we are many times over in staffing than we were just 10 years ago. Namely the fire and rescue that does not need to fill every station in the county.

Really, seriously. You believe the school system does nothing. That is what is wrong with people today. They teach our children which you obviously don't have or don't care. They clean up after our children. They have not even had a raise in years where as every other county occupation has. They help to turn our children into good adults to make good decisions on their own one day. It is very sad that there is always one person out there that has to make something bad out of something great. I am not a teacher nor do I work for the county but I am very HAPPY these people are getting a little something of what they have deserved for years!

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