By Linda Cicoira — Accomack County’s 15 senior administrators and constitutional officers are being paid a total of $1,568,035 annually, according to information provided on request to the Eastern Shore Post. The tally does not include benefits.
Eight of the county leaders make more than $100,000, up from seven in 2017 and five in 2016. County school workers are not part of the calculation. The figures are as of July 12.
County Administrator Mike Mason is the best-paid employee. His annual salary is $138,679, which now surpasses that of his predecessor, Steve Miner, who was getting $137,862 a year when he retired in early 2017.
County administrators are appointed by the Accomack County Board of Supervisors. Before taking this job, Mason worked for years as Accomack’s finance director. His salary is up by almost $6,700 in two years. He makes more than the other top salary-getters: the county prosecutor, county attorney, sheriff, and clerk of the circuit court.
“All employee salaries were last adjusted in mass on July 1, 2019, for a 3% general salary increase approved by the board (of supervisors) when they adopted the fiscal year 2020 county budget,” said Mason.
Commonwealth’s Attorney J. Spencer Morgan III is paid $130,637. That figure is up from 2017 when his annual wage was $124,345. His former boss, Commonwealth’s Attorney Gary Agar, was making $127,643 when he retired in 2016. Morgan is running unopposed in November. His post comes up for election every four years.
County Attorney Cela Berge is paid $128,433. That figure is up from $122,247 in 2017, and $117,500 in 2016. But it is still less than the amount the previous county attorney, Mark Taylor, was paid for 2014. Taylor was paid $131,602. Both Berge and Taylor were appointed by the board of supervisors.
Clerk of the Circuit Court Samuel Cooper is paid $126,206. He brought in $120,128 in 2017 and $115,463 in 2016. Cooper faces voters every eight years and has held the job for decades.
Sheriff Todd Godwin is paid $123,246. He was elected twice by the voters and is planning on retiring at the end of the year. Godwin was a deputy for decades before he became sheriff. He oversees a staff of 82, which includes workers at Accomack County Jail. In 2017, Godwin had a staff of nearly 70 employees, and he was paid $113,656 annually. His third in command, Todd Wessells, is running unopposed in November for the job.
Assistant County Administrator Stewart Hall is paid $108,919. He was previously called the director of public works and has also held the title of deputy administrator of public works and facilities. His position also oversees the airport and parks and recreation. Hall was paid $103,674 in 2017.
Chief Information Officer Ben Fox is paid $107,244. Fox’s previous title was information technology director. Now he is also responsible for overseeing the county’s translator television service and communications towers. Fox was paid $97,288 in 2017.
Assistant County Administrator Rich Morrison has an annual salary of $107,242. He was previously called deputy director of buildings, planning, and economic development. Before that, he held the title of director and planning and community development. Morrison was paid $102,077 in 2017.
The salary for Chief Human Resources Officer Kathy Carmody is $98,200. Her annual pay went from $75,000 to $93,470 in a reorganization in 2017. She is also in charge of records management.
Director of Public Safety C. Ray Pruitt is paid $91,914. In 2017, he was paid $87,487.
County Assessor Brent Hurdle makes $90,616. He was getting $86,252 in 2017.
Director of Environmental Programs Chris Guvernator is paid $89,111, which is up from $84,819 in 2017. His job includes overseeing the county’s storm drainage.
Treasurer Dana Bundick will retire at the end of 2019. Her annual pay is $88,344. Bundick’s post is an elected one. Her annual salary in 2017 was $84,089.
Commissioner of the Revenue Deborah T. Midgett makes less than Bundick because she hasn’t been doing the job as long. She is seeking another term in November and is paid $81,099. Commissioner of the Revenue Leslie Savage, who died in office, was paid $83,672 in 2017. Her salary usually matched Bundick’s.
Registrar Patricia White was listed with a salary of $58,145. In 2017, White’s annual pay totaled $55,345.
The annual salary for Airport Manager Barbara Haxter was also not included in the tally for directors. However, the “employee by department listing” had a single airport employee getting $54,921 annually. Haxter was paid $44,735 in 2016.
Average Salary for Other County Workers
There are 225 county workers who are not considered administrators. The average salary among them was $41,776. A footnote stated, “the average salaries for the following departments are not comparable to those provided to the Eastern Shore Post in October 2017 due to re-allocation of staff after reorganization or vacancies.”
That average salary figure included the airport worker. There was a circuit court worker making $44,815.
The eight building and zoning department workers make an average of $48,395.
The five workers at the circuit court clerk’s office are paid an average of $36,534.
The four workers from the commissioner of the revenue’s office are paid an average of $30,450.
The five commonwealth attorney’s office employees are paid an average of $47,854.
The two county administration workers have an average salary of $41,670.
The four environmental programs department employees make an average of $35,892.
The four finance department workers are paid $53,572 on average.
The two human resource workers have an average salary of $36,816.
The three IT employees have an average salary of $65,443.
The juvenile probation worker is paid $37,550.
The legal services employee was listed as having a salary of $46,006.
The three parks and recreation department employees average $48,086 and must include manager Wayne Burton as his position was not listed elsewhere.
The two planning department workers are paid an average of $48,086.
The 52 public safety workers are paid an average of $42,105.
The 44 public works department employees have an average salary of $35,405.
The seven assessor’s department workers have an average salary of $46,930.
The two voter registrar employees are paid $34,360 on average.
Sixty-eight sheriff’s workers were listed with an average salary of $43,795.
The six employees of the treasurer’s office are paid an average of $34,448.