Vines proposes School Board raises

Published 1:20 pm Thursday, January 20, 2022

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Isle of Wight County School Board member Michael Vines has asked that he and his fellow board members be given raises.

Vines, who holds the District 2 seat, brought the matter up during the School Board’s reorganizational meeting on Jan. 6, and again at the board’s regular meeting on Jan. 13.

“The Isle of Wight County School Board has not received a raise within the last 10 years,” Vines said.

According to IWCS spokeswoman Lynn Briggs, members are currently paid $5,000 per year, with the chairman or chairwoman receiving $6,000.

Surry County, despite having a much smaller student population than Isle of Wight, pays its school board members $6,000 per year, and its chairwoman, $7,000, according to the school system’s finance director, Melissa Harvey.

Suffolk, by comparison, voted at its Jan. 4 reorganizational meeting to set a salary of $10,000 for board members, and $11,400 for its chairwoman.

Vines made a motion at the Jan. 13 meeting to authorize a salary increase of an unspecified amount, which was seconded by newly elected District 3 member Michael Cunningham.

Vines said he would like to see Isle of Wight’s School Board pay align with the salaries of the county’s Board of Supervisors. Isle of Wight pays its supervisors $11,744 per year, with the vice chairman receiving $12,980 and the chairman $13,598, according to Assistant County Administrator Don Robertson.

“Y’all really don’t know the amount of work that goes on,” Cunningham said. “You see what goes on here on the nights of our meetings, but we actually do a lot of work during the week, and some of these members up here have jobs.”

District 1 member John Collick said he’d already spoken with the school board clerk about declining his salary.

“I don’t need the money and I really didn’t want it … I personally will not support a pay raise because I consider this my civic duty,” Collick said.

Vines then withdrew his motion, agreeing to table the matter until February.