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Shenandoah County supervisors consider 2-percent bonus

Proposal for school employees on agenda at tonight's meeting

By Kaitlin Mayhew -- kmayhew@nvdaily.com

WOODSTOCK -- The Shenandoah County School Board has proposed a one-time bonus of sorts to employees, which will go into effect officially if it is approved by the Board of Supervisors tonight.

The School Board voted 6-0 Thursday to give each full- and part-time employee a bonus of 2 percent of their overall salaries.

The funds will be taken from a leftover balance from 2010 that is a mixture of "over revenue, under expenditure and special budget carryover," according to School Board documents.

The finance committee as well as the board considered several options for using the balance and how to most effectively distribute it among public school employees. Options included giving bonuses only to full-time employees, or giving a larger amount to teachers and a smaller amount to other employees.

The School Board approved the blanket 2 percent bonus recommended by the finance committee.

"I looked into some of the other options and I think this would probably be the best option to go with at this time," said board Chairman Gary L. Rutz, who represents District 4.

School employees have gone without raises of any kind for three years, "and going on a fourth," Rutz said.

Because of this, Karen S. Whetzel, the District 1 representative, agreed and said she thought it was important to get the money out to the employees as soon as possible.

"Whenever we have a committee I try to go with that committee's recommendation whenever I can," she said. "There may have been different options that each of us may have preferred individually, but those may have taken a longer period of time to work out."

Irving L. Getz, the District 5 representative, said when he first saw the proposal he thought there may have been better options.

"My first inclination was to give the teachers a little more money and then take what was leftover and divide it amongst the other employees," he said. "Or to divide it equally among everybody."

He said one thing to consider with the 2 percent increase for everyone is that those with the higher salaries are going to get more money.

However, he thought the urgency of getting money out to the employees soon made it worth passing the proposal as-is.

"We are now prepared if the board of supervisors passes it, and I feel sure that they will," he said "We want to get it out to everyone before the Christmas holidays."

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