The Accomack County Board of Supervisors voted Wednesday to move forward with a plan to change the compensation for certain county employees who are asked to work overtime. The issue came up when the General Assembly mandated that local governments pay all employees overtime pay in lieu of comp time which, in Accomack County, some, including Sheriff’s Deputies received while others including EMTs received overtime pay.
The General Assembly in August cancelled the action because of numerous complaints that local governments had not been notified and did not anticipate this action when preparing their FY21-22 budgets. County Administrator Mike Mason asked the Board to allow staff to prepare a resolution and to identify a funding source. Mason said that the state mandate could very well be reinstated during the 2022 General Assembly Session.
After a discussion, the Board decided that in all fairness to county employees that this was an opportunity to level the playing field and treat everyone the same.
Later in the meeting, the Board voted to move forward with the meals tax. The tax was approved as a funding source for the new overtime policy. The meals tax will apply only to restaurants that are in the county and not in any incorporated towns. The meals tax is predicted to raise approximately $300,000 which will cover the costs of paying overtime for county employees.
In other action, the Board considered a request to provide a one time bonu of $3000 eligible employees in the Accomack County Sheriff’s Department. The State Compensation Board has funded $161,475 to the county to be awarded to Sheriff’s department employees who were first responders during the COVID pandemic. Identified as eligible are any sheriff, sheriff’s deputy or regional jail officer who had served at least of 5.8 weeks during the pandemic.
Sheriff Todd Wessells asked the Board in a letter to provide local funds for bonuses for unsworn civilian employees of the Sheriff’s Department. After a discussion, the Board decided not to do that because that would require them to offer county employees in other departments the same bonus as given to the first responders.
The Board voted to instruct the county staff to prepare a resolution which will be voted on during the October meeting.