Puller Pushes to Increase Gunston Hall Director Salary
The upcoming Virginia General Assembly will have to amend the Governor's budget, or else it may be a while longer before the position is filled.
Gunston Hall needs a new director, but the position will not be open until it pays more. Virginia State Sen. Toddy Puller (D-36th) recently told Patch that next month she will present a budget amendment to the Virginia Senate Finance Committee that would increase the salary of the director position from about $90,000 a year to a yet-to-be determined six-figure salary.
"The main thing Gunston Hall wants is to be able to pay their executive director more money than they are allowed by state law to do," said Puller. "I told them (Gunston Hall representatives) that I would carry legislation for that, but they are hoping the governor will include that in his budget, and they won't know about that until he unveils his budget on Dec. 19. But that's too late for me to do legislation, and I told them I would put in a budget amendment if it's not included in the Governor's package."
Gunston Hall First Regent Wylie Raab has asked the Governor's office for a special request to adjust the current budget. "The Commonwealth, since they own the plantation, insists that the director be a Commonwealth employee," she said. "And the Commonwealth, like the military, has pay bands and we were not given even a remotely sufficient or substantial enough pay range to be able to offer.
"So, we said we needed to raise the pay band, and we were told that it would require legislation, which is next year. So, we said, 'OK, leave the pay where it is and we'll supplement it,' and we were told that would also require legislation. And that left us with option three, and make the new director a non-Commonwealth employee, and we were told we couldn't do that. So, that left us with no choices, and now we're waiting on the legislators to figure out how we want to handle it," said Raab.