The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors is getting a 10% pay raise.
The supervisors on Wednesday voted to hike their own their yearly compensation by nearly $2,000.
Interim County Attorney Cynthia Hudson said the increase from $17,311 to $19,042.00 per year is influenced by cost of living increases, with an inflation factor of 10%.
The increase will take effect July.
In addition to the salary, the board Chair, Donna Price, will get an additional annual stipend of $1,800 and Vice Chair, Bea LaPisto-Kirtley will get $35 for each board meeting she leads.
All supervisors voted for the increase, except LaPisto-Kirtley. She said she would not support it because of a campaign promise.
Supervisor Diantha McKeel said the county needs to look into increasing supervisors’ compensation even higher in order to attract candidates for the Board of Supervisors that represent more diverse populations.
“When I look at our board, there’s not a lot of diversity. And if we look at our salaries through the lens of equity, and we’re hoping to get people that are different from us to choose to run, one of the issues that we might need to address is our salaries,” McKeel said.
McKeel said she was fortunate to have support that others may not have when she first joined the Board of Supervisors and the county’s school board prior to that. She said she often used vacation time to perform her duties. She wants holding a seat on the county board to pay enough to attract others with less financial resources.
“I think we need to have a discussion as a board about how to boost our salaries,” she said. “We need more than just retired people.”
Price voiced similar concerns, saying the majority of the supervisors over the last twenty years have been “old white people.”
“We talk about equity and inclusion and we talk about having a government that represents the people,” she said. “The compensation the supervisors receive is a wholly inadequate analysis of the time, effort and responsibilities that we put into serving our community.”
Price said the county has a more than half-billion dollar budget but pays only $19,000 to the board members.
“So if we want to demonstrate equity and inclusion, then we the board have an obligation, I believe, to come up with a fair compensation not just for the board, but for all of those who are appointed in compensated positions,” she said.
Supervisor Jim Andrews said other boards, such as the planning commission and the zoning appeals have not received compensation increases.
“Hopefully we will take it upon ourselves to do something about that,” he said.
“Our planning commission, and other appointees who are compensated, have not had an increase in some cases in over 20 years,” she said. “And the board is looking to make a fair adjustment to those individuals who’ve been serving way under compensated for way too many years.”