By Alex Bridges
WOODSTOCK - Shenandoah County's top administrator received a favorable review and a raise this week.
The Board of Supervisors met in closed session at the end of its meeting Tuesday to conduct County Administrator Mary Price's annual review. The board came out of its session and voted 4-1 to give Price a $2,500 merit-pay increase. The increase brings Price's annual salary to $123,000.
Chairman David Ferguson explained in open session after the vote that Price's contract calls for the administrator to get a raise if the board gives her a favorable review.
Price worked as the assistant county administrator for 16 years, from 1997 until spring 2013. She replaced County Administrator Douglas Walker and served in the interim until the board appointed her to the position permanently with an annual salary of $118,000.
Price received a $2,500 salary increase in February at the end of her six-month probationary period. The $2,500 raise approved Tuesday equates to a 4 percent salary increase in her first year.
By comparison, Price's counterpart in Warren County, Douglas Stanley, earns a salary of $135,846.90. Stanley earned a salary of $131,864. until early Jan. 1 when the Board of Supervisors approved a 2 percent pay increase to $134,501. A 2.5 percent merit pay increase went into effect Jan. 1 for qualifying employees. Effective July 1, all employees received a 1 percent pay raise to offset the 1 percent increase in their contribution to the Virginia Retirement System.
Stanley and Price, as contractual employees, do not receive the cost-of-living-allowance increases afforded to other government workers if and when implemented.
District 4 Supervisor Cindy Bailey voted against the motion to give Price the raise but made no comments when the board took action. Bailey on Wednesday questioned the pay increase in light of the county's efforts to control spending.
"I don't know where they're going to get the money from when we keep talking about holding the line on the budget and yet we're giving these raises in the middle [of the year] after we've already passed the budget," Bailey said. "But my feeling is her overall performance did not meet my expectations."
Bailey declined to give specific reasons for not agreeing with the board on Price's performance. Bailey said the board did not vote on Price's earlier pay increase.
Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or firstname.lastname@example.org