Mr. Mowry's remarks during the February 28, 2017 joint meeting of the Gloucester County, Virginia Board of Supervisors and School Board.
Intro: Chairman’s, Members of the Boards, Dr. Clemons, & Mr. Fedors, Staff
Howard Mowry, Gloucester Point
1. Scrap the idea of improving the Transportation/Facilities site on the old Page site and move your process directly to the new Page Site. Costs a little more but is assessable for the next 25 years where Route 17 (Interstate) will be a disaster.
Reduce the passenger vehicle inventory, to what is really needed, scattering the fleet around the county to hide vehicles that may not move once a week borders on criminal, and only increases the budgetary costs to insurance and upkeep.
2. County Garage, call out the fire marshal and the hazmat team right now and secure that place. Clean up and bulldoze immediately. The below the ground level pit I thought was illegal. Who is really watching the store?
3. Teachers Salaries, I must have been asleep in the past as I reviewed the current scale and then accomplished a timeline. The salaries have been stagnating in growth. With a projected loss of 75 students or 750 thousand dollars, these funds could be re-directed to a change in the scale make-up.
Let us not forget we cannot compare ourselves to any other county or city in the area. We must stand-alone; our revenues are driven by industry, business and taxes, (which do not need increasing). Many spend their money across the river, a greater variety of stores and close to one another a cost saver but a revenue loss to Gloucester.
So back to the scale, which is equal or very, close to the 2015 state salary average or above? The scale needs a lot of improvement such as:
38 teachers are past grade 31 in salary, how do you arrive at these annual salary values?
Even though the Bachelor and the Master’s are equal in step alignment step 1,2, 3 from step 0 and the salary increase is equal at 582 dollars or 2.61 cents a day, the scale continues to follow the same course to step four, where you are looking at 5 years of service or 4.07 cents a day increase.
Now the first of two kickers, step 5 taking away step 4 salary is an increase of 104 dollars or .52 cents a day for 6 years of work. Who would hang around for this salary schedule?
After 25 years of service the salary has increased by 20.59 cents a day from the fifth step. Of course, the scale changes annually by step and the increases still parallel one another the costs do not stand still but increase yearly. What would the scales look like if compressed to 25 years, or 15 levels spread over 10 steps or 20 to 25 years?
There could be a need to define a separate scale for those subjects that require continued life improvement and educational and occupational advancement, and a separate scale established to create a higher level of learning to compete with the international workforce that is moving into this country.
The scale needs a lot of work to ensure we are not a stepping-stone to other divisions.
As time runs out the need for a town hall meeting on the combined budgets needs to be considered and held on a Saturday afternoon.
I thank you for the time.