By Debbie Hall
A member of the Patrick County Board of Supervisors recommended the board cut its pay by $50 per month.
Clyde Deloach, of the Blue Ridge District, broached the subject of cutting supervisor pay at an April 27 budget work session.
“I know this affects the school board,” Deloach said of the proposal, because members of the school board are prohibited from setting their salaries higher than salaries paid to the supervisors.
However, Deloach said “people are hurting,” and he thinks the board “should be demonstrating that we will take some of the pain.”
According to preliminary budget numbers, the total amount proposed to be spent on board member salaries is $34,850.
Crystal Harris, vice chairman and of the Smith River District, said she did not “have a problem with” the recommended cut, “but you do know when we cut ours, it cuts the school board.”
County Attorney Alan Black also noted the pay cut for supervisors would result “in an automatic reduction in the school board” salary.
Black proposed that the supervisors could “accept your full pay and then donate $50 back to the general fund, if you want to do that, and that wouldn’t hurt the school budget.”
Deloach said that was satisfactory.
Brandon Simmons, chairman of the Patrick County School Board, said school board members also have discussed a reduction in their pay. However, he noted a reduction would not change the amount of the school division’s budget or impact the amount of funding the county provides to the division.
Simmons also noted that “none of our school board members has ever turned in mileage since I’ve been on the board.” Each member gives not only time, but also pays their own mileage expenses.
Additionally, “I didn’t think you could donate within board in which you sit,” Simmons said, adding that he “would never advise the school board to” cut their pay by donating a portion of their pay back to the school division.
Rather, if school board members opt to take a pay cut, Simmons said he would encourage them to earmark the funds for a school-related expense; for example, helping to support the Band Boosters or another school service organization.
Because supervisors discussed the measure during a budget work session, and motions could not be proposed, Deloach indicated he plans to revisit the issue at the board’s regular meeting on Monday, May 11.
The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the Patrick County Veterans Memorial Building, located on Rucker Street in Stuart.
School Superintendent Dean Gilbert will address the board. Supervisors also are scheduled to discuss a Transfer Station Compliance Agreement and the budget.
The board may meet in closed session to discuss personnel, legal, contract and real estate matters.
Anyone wishing to share their comments for the public comment period may do so via email at or by noon on May 11. The meeting will be livestreamed on the Friends of Patrick County Tourism Facebook page. A call-in number (276-806-2837) also will be provided.