Three of Arlington County’s top employees were quietly awarded raises of about 3.5 percent Tuesday night, an action taken without prior notice at the end of a regularly scheduled County Board meeting when nearly no one was left in the audience.
County Manager Barbara Donnellan received a 3.2 percent raise, to $261,000 per year. County attorney Stephen A. MacIsaac received a 3.5 percent increase, to $218,738 annually. County clerk Hope Halleck also received a 3.5 percent increase, bringing her pay to $106,496 per year. All the raises are retroactive to January 1.
Just like last year, the raises were not listed on the County Board’s publicly available agenda and were announced after a closed-door session that was held between the afternoon and evening portions of the board meeting. The board passed the increases with little comment on a 4-0 vote; new board member John Vihstadt abstained because he had not yet been elected when the board deliberated on the matter, board chairman Jay Fisette said. Vihstadt was elected April 8 and took his seat within a week.
Most Arlington County employees will get 3.5 percent raises in the coming fiscal year if they have met their performance standards and have not reached the top of their pay scale. The County Board, in an attempt to cut real estate taxes, considered eliminating those raises , but decided not to after an outcry from police, firefighter and municipal employee unions.