Mathews registrar seeks benefits for position

by Sherry Hamilton - Posted on Jan 29, 2014 - 01:30 PM
Mathews Voter Registrar Ruth Ann Hutson pleaded with the county supervisors Tuesday to provide benefits for the position she is vacating at the end of the month.
Hutson explained to board members that the county began providing the registrar’s position with benefits nearly three decades ago. When Hutson took over the office eight years ago, she opted out of the health care package because her husband was already covered by the state system, but she has received retirement benefits.
Now that she’s leaving, Hutson said, the local electoral board has been advised by county administrator Mindy Moran that the position being advertised will not offer any benefits.
Under regulations established by the state board of elections, the registrar is a salaried position, said Hutson, but in a locality with 10,000 or fewer residents, the registrar receives only part-time pay. Under a formula, the hours are increased during election season and decreased at other times, but the salary remains the same. 
Moran reminded the board that it amended the county’s personnel policy last year in anticipation of both the Affordable Care Act and the Virginia Retirement System’s new rules, and it now provides benefits only to full-time employees. Since the registrar is required by regulation to be classified as a regular county employee, she said, the county is in compliance as long as it doesn’t offer benefits to a part-time employee. She urged the board not to offer benefits for the position.