Thursday, July 3, 2014

Gloucester, VA Board of Supervisor's Meeting, Video and Notes, July, 2014

Notes for citizen comment during the July 1, 2014 Gloucester County Board of Supervisor meeting. (This is not an exact transcript of what was said but the notes used to make comments)

Chairman Orth, members of the Board, Ms. Garton, Mr. Wilmot

Wayne Crews

Each of us is represented by three members of the board: two at large and one District.  Currently, I am only represented by one board member looking out for the county’s interest .  Thank you Mr. Meyer.

Two weeks ago the Daily Press ran a story on the Great Recession and the recovery in Virginia.  Last week The Gloucester Gazette-Journal ran a similar story.  Both talked about no recovery or the lack of recovery in Gloucester County and it is the only area in the state like this.

I believe there are on two reasons, both reported on your Gloucester County web site.

1.  County Government is out of control.

Example: Pictures of county vehicles at fast food restaurants, shopping, and banking have been documented and presented to the county for over a year and nothing has been done to stop it.  It is a violation of County rules, and Virginia Code. Wasting gas and man-hours as well as legal liability if there is an accident. 

2.  Board of Supervisors appears to lack moral integrity.

Example:  During the first vote on Terrapin Cove last month Mr. Hutson did not tell the Board of his potential conflict of interest; and the actions and conversations of Mr. Orth and Mr. James during the discussion led me to believe to believe they both were aware of the potential conflict and said nothing.

During the second vote, the second meeting of the month, all members of the board, as well as Mr. Wilmot and Ms. Garton were aware of the potential conflict and no one said anything and allowed Mr. Hutson to vote a second time.

How to Fix This?
Here is what you to do:

1.  Integrity at the Board of Supervisors level.
Quit voting for things that benefit you over the county.

2.  Hold Department Heads and Supervisors to high standards and get rid of them when they break the rules. You cannot hold lower level employees to high standards if they are not practiced at the higher levels.

3.  Fire employees on the spot if they use vehicles for personal business, except in the case of an emergency and the employee better contact the supervisors before the supervisor contacts them.  No shopping, banking, and fast food restaurants in county vehicles.  If trash is found in the vehicle from these places the employee needs to receive the same punishment.

4.  Quit wasting taxpayers money.  The Board of Supervisions and all county employees need to be good stewards of the resources.

5.  Bring County Ordinances into compliance with Virginia Code.  Mr. Wilmot can help you with this if not consider hiring a competent county attorney.

This is presented as notes used during the citizen comment period during the July 1, 2014 Gloucester County Board of Supervisors meeting and not as a transcript of the actual talk.  To get transcript please see the BOS video or County minutes.

Submitted by Wayne Crews

Our Notes:  About use of County Vehicles yet again.

IRS code.

De Minimis Fringe Benefits

In general, a de minimis benefit is one for which, considering its value and the frequency with which it is provided, is so small as to make accounting for it unreasonable or impractical. De minimis benefits are excluded under Internal Revenue Code section 132(a)(4) and include items which are not specifically excluded under other sections of the Code. These include such items as:
  • Controlled, occasional employee use of photocopier
  • Occasional snacks, coffee, doughnuts, etc.
  • Occasional tickets for entertainment events
  • Holiday gifts
  • Occasional meal money or transportation expense for working overtime
  • Group-term life insurance for employee spouse or dependent with face value not more than $2,000
  • Flowers, fruit, books, etc., provided under special circumstances
  • Personal use of  a cell phone provided by an employer primarily for business purposes
In determining whether a benefit is de minimis, you should always consider its frequency and its value. An essential element of a de minimis benefit is that it is occasional or unusual in frequency. It also must not be a form of disguised compensation.
Whether an item or service is de minimis depends on all the facts and circumstances. In addition, if a benefit is too large to be considered de minimis, the entire value of the benefit is taxable to the employee, not just the excess over a designated de minimis amount. The IRS has ruled previously in a particular case that items with a value exceeding $100 could not be considered de minimis, even under unusual circumstances.
Cash Benefits
Cash is generally intended as a wage, and usually provides no administrative burden to account for. Cash therefore cannot be a de minimis fringe benefit. An exception is provided for occasional meal or transportation money to enable an employee to work overtime. The benefit must be provided so that employee can work an unusual, extended schedule. The benefit is not excludable for any regular scheduled hours, even if they include overtime. The employee must actually work the overtime.
Meal money calculated on the basis of number of hours worked is not de minimis and is taxable wages.
Gift certificates
Cash or cash equivalent items provided by the employer are never excludable from income. An exception applies for occasional meal money or transportation fare to allow an employee to work beyond normal hours. Gift certificates that are redeemable for general merchandise or have a cash equivalent value are not de minimis benefits and are taxable.
A certificate that allows an employee to receive a specific item of personal property that is minimal in value, provided infrequently, and is administratively impractical to account for, may be excludable as a de minimis benefit, depending on facts and circumstances.
Achievement awards
Special rules apply to allow exclusion from employee wages of certain employee achievement awards of tangible personal property given for length of service or safety. These awards
  • Cannot be disguised wages
  • Must be awarded as part of a meaningful presentation
  • Cannot be cash, cash equivalent, vacation, meals, lodging, theater or sports tickets, or securities.
In addition, there are other requirements specific to achievement and safety awards and there are dollar limitations that must be met. See Publication 5137, Fringe Benefit Guide or Publication 535 for more information.

How are de minimis fringe benefits reported?
If the benefits qualify for exclusion, no reporting is necessary. If they are taxable, they should be included in wages on Form W-2 and subject to income tax withholding. If the employees are covered for social security and Medicare, the value of the benefits are also subject to withholding for these taxes. You may optionally report any information in box 14 of Form W-2.
Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 28-Jan-2014

Now this is only a about 6 days worth of pictures collecting them in a small area around the county only in the morning hours until about 10:00 AM at the latest.  This begins to give you an idea of how minuscule the county thinks the issue is.  
  These are only the ones we did get pictures of.  We saw a lot more than this that we did not get pictures of.  The vehicles are a combination of both Gloucester County and Gloucester County School Board.  


York Herald, Gloucester, VA BoS 2014 8 from Chuck Thompson
Newsletter by Phillip Bazzani, Gloucester, VA Board of Supervisors, York District.