Authority Board approves regional jail budget

FRONT ROYAL – Members of the Rappahannock-Shenandoah Warren Regional Jail Authority Board Thursday approved a $14.6 million budget for the jail that gives staff raises.

The board had been considering either a 2 percent or a 2.5 percent raise to take effect either on July 1 or Jan. 1. What they would choose to offer as a raise would affect the operating budget.

“I would like to recommend you approve a 2.5 percent raise to take effect July,” said Superintendent Russ Gilkison.

He asked them to consider that jail staff would be hit with a dramatic increase in their health insurance on July 1.

Chair Doug Stanley, who is also the Warren County administrator, had been considering supporting a December raise until that point was made and then began to support a raise in July.

The board, however, at the suggestion of Board Member Daniel Murray who represents the Warren County Board of Supervisors, approved a budget that provided for a 2.5 percent raise with the provision that 2 percent would go into effect July 1 to help staff deal with the increased cost of medical insurance and the remaining .5 percent would take effect Jan. 1.

That would save localities about $16,000.

Board members Stanley, Murray, Conrad Helsley, Mary Price, (both representing Shenandoah County), Christopher Parrish and Garrey Curry (both representing Rappahannock County) approved the budget with the revised raises.

Warren County Sheriff Daniel McEathron opposed the budget.

“I oppose it on the grounds of splitting the raise. I would like it all to apply July 1,” he said.

Earlier he had argued that splitting the raise would require paperwork changes in July and then again at the end of December.

“That is a lot of paperwork to save $16,000,” McEathron said.

With his budget in place,  Gilkison said  after the meeting that he was satisfied and thankful for the support of the board in trying to keep salaries at the jail competitive.

Other matters at the meeting included voting for officers.

Stanley will continue as chairman.

Helsley will continue on as vice-chair and Curry will remain in his role as secretary and treasurer.

Shenandoah County Sheriff Tim Carter and Rappahannock Sheriff Connie Compton were not at Thursday’s meeting.