Right to address mileage

Published 5:51 pm Thursday, June 29, 2017

Though issues in a board of supervisors meeting may begin in a room, the impact of those discussions rarely, if ever, stays there.

This is especially the case with a June 13 meeting in Prince Edward County, where a discussion sparked by Farmville 801 District Supervisor and Board Vice Chairman Pattie Cooper-Jones brought up board members’ mileage reimbursements and a solution of putting the records in board meeting packets.

Over a nine-month period, board members have been reimbursed between $40 and $1,733 and have received a collective total of $4,353.19. These expenses are ultimately funded by taxpayer’s dollars.

Email newsletter signup

Cooper-Jones, who had the fewest miles recorded among board members, contended that these reimbursements could be abused, citing allegedly high mileage counts of Farmville 101 District Supervisor Howard Simpson. Simpson, having the second-highest total miles recorded among board members, responded that all of the mileage he submitted was related to board activities and that he handles mileage records no differently than other board members.

While initially appearing to be an issue limited to board members, Cooper-Jones brought up that the reimbursements are ultimately funded by taxpayers in the county.

“I don’t think it’s fair to taxpayers, and for me. We do get paid for being on the board,” Cooper-Jones said during the meeting.

Putting the records in board meeting packets, Cooper-Jones said, would keep all members in check and held further accountable to the public, a suggestion that Simpson, Cooper-Jones and all board members agreed to.

I commend the Prince Edward Board of Supervisors for discussing the issue, continuing to promote accountability and providing the public with easier access to county records, particularly those that ultimately affect the taxpayers.

EMILY HOLLINGSWORTH is a staff reporter for The Farmville Herald. Her email address is Emily.Hollingsworth@FarmvilleHerald.com.