Results of Charlottesville Compensation Study released to city council

Charlottesville City Council April 3
Charlottesville City Council April 3(wvir)
Published: Apr. 3, 2023 at 10:54 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The city of Charlottesville is working on hiring and retaining more employees. As part of this effort, it completed a compensation study to see how competitive its wages are. On Monday night, April 3, the results of that study were presented to Charlottesville City Council.

“Overall for the city, you are definitely in some cases competitive. And I believe we had a few categories that were highly competitive,” Beverly Moultrie said. Moultrie is with Gallagher, the consulting firm the city hired for the study.

The compensation study looked at the 225 job types the city hires, which covers almost 1,000 employees. It compared salaries to other localities and private employers in the area.

“If we were looking at, for example, maintenance jobs for engineers, it allows us to look at all of those cuts on that private sector side to ensure that there’s a balance. Because you do recruit, you’re gaining talent from all other places outside of city government ,” Moultrie explained.

It found that, in general, the city is competitive, but it does have 40 positions that are not being paid competitively.

The next steps are for the city to decide how it wants to use the data. The firm provided a range of options that the city can choose from. Whichever option it chooses will impact hundreds of employees.

“We have to select which options we think make the best service and what we can afford -- at this time, and in the future. So we’ll be coming back to you after we consult with human resources and staff,” City Manager Michael Rogers said.

Council also took its first look at a proposed new fee schedule for building permits.

“We have three permit techs out front. If I walked up here with the permit, the chances are, I’m gonna get three different answers. And that’s just unacceptable in my mind,” Building Code Official Chuck Miller said.

Miller says using a simpler schedule would change that.

“When I got here, back in August, our review time was horrible,” Miller says, “It was 80 days plus. And right now, we’re down to roughly about two weeks.”

Miller also says the department currently does not fully fund itself and relies on the city. He is proposing the base rate it uses to determine the fee be raised from .3% to .7% so that the department can be independent.

“So it doesn’t come out of housing, it doesn’t come out of roads or any other department that we need to. So that’s a big thing for me. Where if you’re not getting a permit, you shouldn’t have to support this,” Miller said.

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