Cumberland Board Extends Admin/Attorney Contract Two Years

Published 4:11 pm Thursday, March 12, 2015

CUMBERLAND—An unusual cost-saving arrangement will most likely continue in Cumberland two more years.

The County will continue to have one person serve as both County administrator and attorney: Vivian Giles.

Giles was hired March of 2012 with a salary of $135,000. The previous year, the County had spent just over $351,000 to fill both positions.

Email newsletter signup

With her contract about to expire on March 31, the Cumberland Board of Supervisors voted to extend Giles’ contract two more years during their meeting Tuesday night, March 10. Supervisors Kevin Ingle, District Three; Bill Osl, District One; and David Meinhard, District Five voted in favor. Chairman Lloyd Banks, District Two, abstained. Supervisor Parker Wheeler was not present.

Osl originally moved to extend the contract only one year, but then amended his motion to two years on the request of Meinhard.

Banks stated he’d abstained “with concerns—one year or two years. We have a new board coming in and I think it should be up to the new board to… make that determination.”

“You can’t bind them,” said Osl. “We can’t bind a future board. So, if they want to change it, they can.”

“That’s right,” confirmed Giles.

However, if a future board chooses to terminate Giles’ contract, there will be a price to pay. The contract includes a severance package of 90 days pay, or roughly $35,000, if the board ends the contract before March 31, 2017.

When Giles’ contract was extended two years in 2013, the board increased her salary by $7,763 due to a required contribution increase to the Virginia Retirement System. At the time, Giles also explained that the proportional salary increase had gone into effect for all County employees at the same rate. Because her original contract was made before the increase, the increase was calculated into her salary when her contract was extended the next year.

Wednesday morning, The Herald contacted Banks to ask if Giles’ compensation had changed. He confirmed that it remained the same: $142,763.

The Herald also asked whether the board had sought any legal counsel, besides Giles’, regarding her contract. Banks did not comment on the question.

Giles’ contract appeared to be largely unchanged from two years ago when reviewed by The Herald. During Tuesday’s meeting, the board did amend it to increase the cap on membership dues from $500 to $750. The dues for the two professional organizations of which she is a member slightly exceed the $500 cap, she explained to the board. Osl moved to increase the cap to $750.

The board went into closed session during their February meeting, in part, to discuss “personnel matters.” Banks stated during Tuesday night’s meeting that the board had discussed the matter in closed session.