The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors knows that good help is hard to find --- and it's expensive--- even in a recession.
Apparently that's why the county is paying its newly hired County Executive nearly $10,000 more than the retiring County Executive.
Tony Griffin, the departing county administrator after 12 years, earns $244,989.
The Supervisors on Tuesday hired his successor, Edward Long Jr., a former deputy county executive and chief financial officer, for a salary of $252,287.
Merni Fitzgerald, director of Public Affairs, Fairfax County Government explained the three percent salary increase this way: "The county executive’s salary was negotiated with the Board of Supervisors and it is market driven. As an example of the market, recently, the City of Alexandria hired a new city manager with a salary of $245,000 and Fairfax County is eight times the size of the City of Alexandria.
"Also to put this in perspective, Fairfax County staff have not being receiving regular cost of living or other compensation increases for a number of years; if there had been regular compensation increases for county staff over the past four years, the current county executive’s salary would today be higher than Mr. Long’s starting salary," she said.
County employes received a two percent salary increase beginning in September 2011.
Long will run the day-to-day operations of the largest local government in the Washington Metro area. He will serve the 1 million residents of Fairfax County, who range from the former vice president of the U.S. to immigrants from El Salvador, India and the Middle East.
He will oversee a $6.7 billion budget. That's a budget larger than four states. His bosses are the 10-members of the Board of Supervisors, seven Democrats and three Republicans. He's the boss of more than 12,000 county employees.
McLean Patch incorrectly reported the number of Fairfax employees in earlier editions. The number is now correct. We apologize to our readers.