Mr. Smitherman’s current salary is $155, 235.00. Therefore, his new contract provides for a salary increase of six percent, not ten percent.
In providing you with my thoughts, I would like to outline six reasons that support Mr. Smitherman’s new contract and pay increase. I could provide more examples, but I believe these six provide a sufficient basis for the new contract. First, he inherited an extremely difficult financial situation. Upon realizing the severity of the situation, he took the position that he needed to be completely transparent with the citizens of the county regarding the financial status of the county. Working with county treasurer (Vincent Shorter) and the director of finance (Kim Van Der Hyde), Mr. Smitherman revealed to the citizens that our general fund did not have a balance of $34 million as previously believed; but rather, the more accurate number was approximately $19 million. Therefore, he took the personal initiative to conduct nine town hall meetings in order to deliver this information to the citizens.
Second, he inherited a pet center that Pittsylvania County was not prepared to open on its own accord. Therefore, he found a solution by partnering with Lynchburg Humane Society for a period of approximately eighteen months, saving the county hundreds of thousands of dollars. Moreover, this partnership provided the county with time to adequately prepare and learn how to properly manage such a pet center.
Third, when Mr. Smitherman was hired, CSA services were running rampant and out of control. Mr. Smitherman worked with staff and has been able to reduce these expenses by hundreds of thousands of dollars. He also worked in conjunction with the Pittsylvania County School System to establish the Victory Academy in order to better serve these children. Through creation of this academy, Mr. Smitherman saved the county additional funds.
Fourth, Mr. Smitherman was able to work with the assistant county administrator, Richard Hicks, to address concerns surrounding the land fill. When Mr. Smitherman accepted his position, he found that the county’s land fill was not equipped with the adequate machinery to address the amount of trash produced by the county. Rather, the machinery had gone unrepaired and had not been well maintained. Therefore, he resolved this problem through the purchase of new equipment and improved operations at the landfill. The result of his changes to the landfill has increased its lifespan by approximately 50%, saving the county millions of dollars.
Fifth, when Region One canceled its contract for additional emergency services to the county, Mr. Smitherman and the Director of Emergency Services (Chris Slemp) reached out to our county volunteers who stepped up and provided a temporary solution to this very important issue of protecting the welfare of our citizens. Because of the assistance of our volunteers, Mr. Smitherman and Mr. Slemp were given time to find a permanent backup services replacement.
Sixth, economic development, under the guidance of Mr. Smitherman and economic director, Matt Rowe, is making giant strides within our region. These two individuals make up our entire economic development staff whereas our regional partners and most other counties will have average six members working on economic development. We held more economic growth announcements over the last couple of years than I remember the county having in the past. We also have more economic activity and potential than we ever have.
In closing, the county has gained state recognition in several different areas since Mr. Smitherman was named county adminstrator. We have gained recognition in the areas of economic development and parks and recreation just to name a few. Moreover, I have found him to be transparent and a problem-solver. Mr. Smitherman is not perfect; however, I have found him able to accept constructive criticism and take corrective action. I could have provided numerous examples that justify the approximate six percent increase that display which I believe; however, I believe these six show the progress made by the county through Mr. Smitherman’s work.