Most full-time government, school employees would qualify for salary increase
UPDATED: MAR. 11, 10:17 P.M. – Henrico County has tightened its belt during the past four years, trimming $115 million in expenses, cutting nearly 10 percent of its workforce through attrition and the elimination of vacant budgeted positions while asking each of its agencies to scale back on spending but not on services. Many of those cuts were suggested by county employees, who recommended them when county officials sought their input.
So, it made sense to County Manager John Vithoulkas to reinvest some of that savings into the workforce that produced it to begin with.
Vithoulkas tonight presented to the county’s Board of Supervisors his $1.097-billion operating budget proposal, which calls for the first raise for eligible full-time county employees in three years. The unique salary hike would would provide a 3 percent raise to full-time general government and school system employees with more than three years of service as of Jan. 1, 2015 and a 2.4 percent raise (the equivalent of a one-step increase on the county’s pay scale) to those with 1 to 3 years of service.
Citizen Staff Reports 11/18/2013 Government
U.S. Congressman Eric Cantor (VA-7) presented 11 veterans from Virginia’s Seventh District – including one from Henrico – with the 2013 Congressional Veteran Commendation during a ceremony at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond Nov. 18.
"Each year the Congressional Veteran Commendation gives us an opportunity to honor the veterans in our community and preserve their stories," Cantor said after the event. "Today, I had the privilege of presenting eleven distinguished veterans from the Seventh District of Virginia with the Congressional Veteran Commendation. Each of these heroes selflessly served their neighbors and their nation. We are forever indebted to all our soldiers and their families for the sacrifices they made to defend our freedoms."
By Tom Lappas, Citizen Editor 11/05/2013 Government
UPDATED: NOV. 6, 12:02 P.M. – In a reversal of a similar vote eight years ago, Henrico voters Nov. 5 narrowly approved the implementation of a 4-percent meals tax, which county officials intend to use as a dedicated revenue source for the school system.
The vote – 51.8 percent in favor, 48.1 percent opposed – was as close as most observers expected it to be, decided by a difference of just 2,891 votes among the 100,003 ballots cast.
"This vote is a vote for the standards that we have established for our local school system," County Manager John Vithoulkas told the Citizen. "It speaks to the credibility that the county has established over many, many years. There's a lot of cynicism that is out there in the community with other levels of government."
The vote broke down along geographic lines, with the county's three westernmost magisterial districts (Three Chopt, Tuckahoe and Brookland) voting against the tax by slim margins – and the two easternmost districts (Fairfield and Varina) voting in favor of it. The vote seemed to turn in the Fairfield District, where 61 percent of voters supported it by a margin of nearly 4,000 votes.
Henrico County CPS Career and Technical Education students have teamed up with Henrico Police to build a new substation at Virginia Center Commons.
The substation, which is nearly complete, will provide increased visibility for Henrico Police and has reinforced a strong relationship between students and county law enforcement.
A Staff/Student Day will be held Saturday, Nov. 2, from noon to 3 p.m. at the new substation, 10101 Brook Road, Glen Allen, to give the public an opportunity to see the results of this partnership.
Citizen Staff Reports 10/31/2013 Government
Henrico voters eligible to vote absentee for the upcoming election will have an increased opportunity to cast an absentee ballot in person. Henrico’s Voter Registration and Elections offices will be open for eight hours Saturday, Nov. 2 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There are two locations at which citizens can cast their absentee ballots:
Citizen Staff Reports 10/29/2013 Government
U.S. Congressman Eric Cantor hosted the first #ServiceRVA Volunteer Fair at Deep Run High School Oct. 26, an event that connected more than 200 people with 27 service organizations in the Central Virginia area.
"Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community," Cantor said. "Through this ongoing effort, I encourage all Virginians to get involved and share their service on social media using the hash tag #ServiceRVA. With more helping hands we can make our community even stronger.”
By Tom Lappas, Citizen Editor 10/21/2013 Government
Less than three weeks before Henrico voters determine the fate of the county’s four-percent meals tax proposal, the decision may hinge less on the tax itself and more on philosophical differences about how Henrico should address its growing needs in the face of stagnant revenues.
The meals tax proposal – first floated last year by outgoing County Manager Virgil Hazelett and later recommended this year by new County Manager John Vithoulkas – would generate an estimated $18 million annually, if approved by voters Nov. 5. That money would be split evenly between the operating budget and capital improvement budget of the county’s school system, officials have promised – closing a funding gap that would exist otherwise.
By Tom Lappas, Citizen Editor 10/17/2013 Government
Two years from now, Varina residents may be able to walk, jog or bike their way from Route 5 to Dorey Park and back, as they travel along a unique stretch of the Virginia Capital Trail.
The 3.5-mile Park Phase will be the only portion of the 52-mile Richmond-to-Williamsburg trail that is not constructed along Route 5. It would break away from Route 5 just west of Wood Mill Drive (across from Buffin Road) and head north to Dorey Park, then loop east around the Four Mile Run subdivision, travel beneath I-295 and head south to reconnect to Route 5 at Rocky Hill Farm Drive Road near Dairy Queen.
By Tom Lappas, Citizen Editor 10/03/2013 Government
Henrico County officials now believe that more than half of the annual revenue generated by a proposed 4-percent meals tax would come from non-Henrico residents.
Officials expect that the meals tax would generate about $18 million annually – money that they've indicated would be dedicated solely to the school system. About 50.3 percent of that amount would come from visitors to the county, according to a study conducted by Richmond Region Tourism, which analyzed the number of travelers and commuters who visit Henrico for work, business or recreation.
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