WASHINGTON — The subject of the total compensation of Washington County employees came up at the Nov. 19 meeting of the Washington County Board of Supervisors. Supervisor Abe Miller questioned whether the current rate of increases to employees is sustainable in the long run. He said that in the past four years, employee raises and benefits have cost the county $1 million dollars.
Supervisor Jack Seward Jr. asked, “What is our alternative?” He said cutting the total compensation packages of current employees would result in staff turnover and would degrade the quality of the county’s workforce.
“I’m not saying they don’t deserve it,” Miller said, “if we can afford it.” He said that during two recent years, employees received wage increases in excess of the cost of living. He said that projecting in the future “We have some serious increases coming up.”
Supervisor Richard Young told Miller that when he makes such comments, he is sending the wrong message to county employees. Miller said he was not being critical of the county workforce but was thinking about personnel expenses like a business owner would think about his business. Young asked Miller to put any ideas he had on paper and to bring them to the supervisors for consideration.
Supervisor Chair Bob Yoder tabled the discussion until the supervisors receive a recommendation from the Compensation Board.