Council Approves $10,300 for Employee Wage Study

Cape Charles Wave

February 24, 2014

Cape Charles Town Council voted February 20 to spend $10,300 for a wage-compensation study for town employees. The study will be performed by a Minnesota firm, Springsted, Inc., that has an office in Richmond and has done work for Accomack County.

The request for a wage study was not put out for bid, so no other firm was given a chance to compete against Springsted for the contract. Springsted was chosen by Town Manager Heather Arcos.

There was no discussion on the proposal. Council members voting to spend the $10,300 were Chris Bannon, Tom Godwin, Joan Natali, and Mike Sullivan. Council members Steve Bennett and Frank Wendell were absent, but submitted written comments on the proposal.

Steve Bennett wrote: “I’m fully supportive of this as a definite need for the Town. It’s never been done that anyone can recall, there are complaints that we are over-staffed and over-paid, and I want to know how a professional will answer those and other questions.”

Frank Wendell said that he “continues to object to paying $10,000 for a compensation study. We pay the Town Manager and department heads to manage business efficiently regarding the number of people and compensation. We need to check with other localities similar to Cape Charles regarding their compensation for comparable positions and number of employees.”

According to the Springsted proposal, the $10,300 would only cover the study. Next would come an “implementation strategy.” The proposal states: “Springsted will suggest a plan to implement the study recommendations that coincide with the needs of employees and the financial and budgetary requirements of the Town. An estimate of the cost of the plan of implementation will be provided.”

At the February 8 Town Council Retreat, Councilman Bennett observed that if the study recommended higher wages for town workers, the result would be higher taxes.

Town Manager Arcos reported to Council, “the Town of Cape Charles has not updated the employee wage scale in a number of years. Most localities obtain a professional compensation and classification study every so often, but there is no record of the Town having done so.”



3 Responses to “Council Approves $10,300 for Employee Wage Study”

  1. Deborah Bender on February 24th, 2014 7:21 am

    Clearly this is one more case of runaway spending. We are paying a town manager, assistant town manager, two clerks and numerous other employees to be in the office 40 hours a week. Can someone please tell me why they can’t make a few phone calls to other towns, similar in size to our town,and find out what they are paying their employees? It’s a funny thing that a few months back I did a comparison of our town and Onancock (which by the way has 1,500 fulltime residents and is full of tourists in the summer). What I found out was they operate their office with 3-4 employees.

    I also wonder if Ms. Arcos told the folks doing the study that we have 1,009 fulltime residents.

    How much is the implementation information going to cost?

    Here we go again folks — RUNAWAY SPENDING.

  2. Pamela Parris on February 24th, 2014 7:29 am

    So there was no discussion regarding the proposal? Wow! Another example of government gone awry,

  3. Bruce W. Jones on February 24th, 2014 8:38 am

    Let the study be done by an independant person. Having your own town manager do this is like having a fox in the hen house. Having an outside entity will give you a better picture of all salaries including your top level managers.

    However this only works if all reports are transparent, to the community who has wanted this study done. Good or bad, all data should be put on the table unvarnished.