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Matherly gets pay increase for work as commission chair

For the first time in more than 20 years, the Washington County Commission will consider a pay increase for its chairman.
Upon a unanimous recommendation from the Budget Committee, a resolution to increase the chairman’s monthly stipend from $50 to $500 will be considered during the May 29 meeting.
For the previous 25 years, the chairmanship had been with the mayor, something Mayor Dan Eldridge said is a totally different situation.
“The mayor is a full-time county employee,” he said.
While current commission chair Greg Matherly also works for the county, the recommended change has to do with the amount of time the chair spends on commission business.
Eldridge recently learned Matherly has been taking vacation time for the approximate 20 hours a month he spends with the mayor during regular work hours tending to county concerns.
“I’m not sure that’s a fair situation,” Eldridge said. “He is losing the value of that benefit for the benefit of the county.”
Eldridge said other commissioners have faced the same conflict.
“Ethan Flynn had to take a day of vacation to attend a morning meeting of the county commission,” he said. “Other employers allow commissioners to miss work, and they are paid for it.”
But again, according to Eldridge, it comes back to the number of hours the job requires of the chairman.
In addition to meeting with the mayor and the county attorney, the chairman attends committee and commission meetings at night.
“If it were just an extra hour or two, that would be different, but the county is getting value from it,” Eldridge said. “I don’t think $500 fully compensates (the chair).”
Combined with the $375 received for serving as a commissioner, the increase would bring the chair’s monthly pay to $875.
The resolution states the per diem would only apply to if the chair is a county commissioner. Should the chairmanship revert to the mayor, that office holder would not receive the additional supplement.
During the May 16 Budget Committee meeting, Commissioner Mitch Meredith moved to recommend the increase to the full commission. Flynn seconded the motion.