Losing another good one

Floyd County government lost another good employee this week when building inspector Jimmy Whitten left to take a similar job with Carroll County.

Money, of course, was the central issue. Whitten says Carroll County doubled his salary and that is important in these tough economic times, especially for a man who hopes to retire soon and whose retirement income is based on his last few years of earnings.

Floyd's pay scale for county employees, teachers and other public servants is among the lowest in the Commonwealth and we've lost good deputies and others to nearby jurisdictions that offer better salaries and improved benefits.

Sheriff's Department Chief Investigator Jeff Dalton told me once that he could make more money as a beginning customer service representative at EchoStar in Christiansburg than he earns as the third ranking member of the county police force.  At current pay scales, a sheriff's deputy with a wife and two kids qualifies for food stamps if he or she is the sole income earner for the family. There's something wrong with a pay structure that places more value on sitting on your butt eight hours a day fielding customer complaints than it does on someone who lays their life on the line protecting the citizens and laws of our county.

Floyd County government lost another good employee this week when building inspector Jimmy Whitten left to take a similar job with Carroll County.

Money, of course, was the central issue. Whitten says Carroll County doubled his salary and that is important in these tough economic times, especially for a man who hopes to retire soon and whose retirement income is based on his last few years of earnings.

Floyd’s pay scale for county employees, teachers and other public servants is among the lowest in the Commonwealth and we’ve lost good deputies and others to nearby jurisdictions that offer better salaries and improved benefits.

Sheriff’s Department Chief Investigator Jeff Dalton told me once that he could make more money as a beginning customer service representative at EchoStar in Christiansburg than he earns as the third ranking member of the county police force.  At current pay scales, a sheriff’s deputy with a wife and two kids qualifies for food stamps if he or she is the sole income earner for the family. There’s something wrong with a pay structure that places more value on sitting on your butt eight hours a day fielding customer complaints than it does on someone who lays their life on the line protecting the citizens and laws of our county.

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5 Responses

  1. Jimmy was absolutely wonderful to work with when my wife and I built our log home 3 years ago.

    Knowledgeable, helpful, hard working….. the list could go on and on.

    He has also helped many of my customers in Floyd during their building process as well. I never heard a negative comment from contractors or homeowners. I cannot think of another building official in the surrounding area who has that kind of track record.

    Jimmy, if you are reading this, you will be sorely missed in Floyd. On the bright side, our neighbors to the Southwest have gained a tremendous asset.

  2. I have worked with a number of inspectors on various projects. I have had them walk off the site without even telling me whats wrong much less how to fix it. Jimmy is a different breed, he was always there with helpful and constructive comments, I almost looked forward to his visits. He will be missed.

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