Board changes mileage protocol
On a 5-3 vote, supervisors in Prince Edward approved a new policy Tuesday calling for members of the board of supervisors to submit their county-related mileage monthly instead of quarterly.
Supervisors will continue to be reimbursed quarterly for their submitted mileage, which is part of the board’s meeting packet that they and members of the public receive prior to each meeting.
Farmville 101 District Supervisor Howard Simpson, Leigh District Supervisor Jerry R. Townsend and Prospect District Supervisor Calvin L. Gray opposed the action brought before the board by Farmville 801 District Supervisor Pattie Cooper-Jones.
“Me, personally, there’s nothing wrong with access. It’s public information, but monthly I think is too time consuming,” Townsend said. “… I understand your concern (in) making sure that people are honest and being good stewards of taxpayer money. …”
Townsend said he felt the system that was in place was working fine.
“If we need to be more detailed with the form, that’s OK, but I think submitting them monthly, that’s too time consuming,” Townsend said. “I work every day.”
Townsend said at times he travels to check on road matters and address constituent concerns, which he claims mileage for.
“I’m almost into the middle of my second year; I have never claimed any of that,” said Hampden District Supervisor Dr. Odessa Pride. “I really don’t. I just feel that’s one of my duties.”
Townsend cited that what he claimed was for official business.
“I agree with (Townsend) on this; I think what we’re doing is fine,” Simpson said.
According to submitted mileage records from July 7, 2016 to March 30, supervisors submitted a collective total of 11,135 miles and have been reimbursed a collective total of $4,353.19. Mileage reimbursement is subsidized by the county’s budget.
Buffalo District Supervisor C.R. “Bob” Timmons submitted the greatest mileage at 3,227 miles during the time period, being reimbursed $1,733.17. Cooper-Jones submitted the least mileage at 74 miles, being reimbursed $39.96.
Simpson, according to records, has recorded a total of 3,042 miles between July 2016 and March, with 1,149 miles being in the first quarter of 2017. The total reimbursement provided, calculated by multiplying the total number of miles in a three-month period by 54 cents, is $1,710.52.
Lockett District Supervisor and Board Chairman Robert M. “Bobby” Jones had recorded 170 miles during this time period, receiving a reimbursement of $91.35. Townsend recorded 2,270 miles, with a reimbursement of $1,221.55.
Gray recorded driving 727 miles and was reimbursed $391.70.
Wilck recorded 122.1 miles during the time span and was reimbursed $65.61.
Board meeting agendas and packets are accessible by the public online at http://www.co.prince-edward.va.us/.