10/23/2015 UPDATE: Unfortunately, some news media provide stories to the public that misstate facts and leave out important information. In an effort to provide complete and accurate information to our citizens in response to such articles, the following “fact checkers” are provided in response to newspaper articles this week.
The article titled, "IW salary adjustment report elusive" left out a number of key facts in their article on the County’s compensation plan implementation and FOIA response. Below are responses from the County:
Newspaper Article: “Six weeks after a request was made for salary changes at the Isle of Wight County courthouse, the information has not yet been provided.”
Response: FALSE. The original request, submitted on September 9, 2015 was for salary information that did not exist. On October 19th, an amended request for information that did exist was made and the information was provided less than 48 hours later.
Newspaper Article: “The delay in receiving salary information is politically motivated as the actual salaries will likely not be available for print until after the Nov. 3 election”.
Response: FALSE. The County HAS NOT AND DOES NOT withhold information, nor is political information a factor when responding to requests.
Staff presented the compensation study to the Board of Supervisors on August 27th stating that it would take two months to complete the implementation process.
Newspaper Article: “At least one department head was to receive a pay increase of $30,000” as part of the compensation study”.
Response: FALSE. No salary adjustment reached this amount. However, all employees were reviewed to correct irregularities in compensation. Most were minor, but some were significant. ALL required corrections in order to provide fair and consistent compensation and recalibrate the system.
Newspaper Article: “According to the study presented to the Board of Supervisors in August, the County’s current salaries lag the market by about 10%. Of those, 87% of employees have salaries in the lower half of the pay ranges, and that 63% of the positions need compensation adjustments”.
Response: TRUE. In addition about 1/3 of the cost was to bring the Sheriff’s employees into the plan to address ALL employees consistently.
Please review the Presentation on the Compensation Plan from the August 27, 2015 Board of Supervisors Meeting below.
The article titled “Town questions year-end E911 bill” implies that the County has billed the Town of Smithfield incorrectly and without an explanation of the bill. The article left out some key information about the County’s response that readers should be aware of.
Newspaper Article: “Smithfield town officials are trying to figure out why the town’s bill for E911 support has unexpectedly increased by more than $40,000. When asked, Isle of Wight County, which manages the system and bills the town, could not immediately say why”.
Response: PARTIALLY TRUE. Staff provided explanation on the same day of the inquiry from The Smithfield Times. While there was an increase, the County bills the Town in accordance with a contract agreement and revised percentages that were agreed to. This was the first year of the new percentages. Detailed explanations of the bill have been provided.
The article titled “IW hearing set on ‘the water line’” omitted several facts that are important for citizens to be aware of.
Newspaper Article: “…the county will not talk to the town about the waterline and its water and sewer agreements with the town are currently expired.”
Response: FALSE. Supervisor Casteen provided a public report of discussions with Town Council member Andrew Gregory at the September 17th meeting. This report can be viewed by CLICKING HERE. (Then Click on New Business and his comments begin at 2:37:15 mark.)