Mathews County supervisors voted Tuesday night to pay employees in the commissioner of revenue and treasurer’s offices a total of $16,212.66 for services they had provided for the Department of Motor Vehicles during fiscal year 2010.
The decision followed opinions by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and Virginia’s auditor of public accounts Walter Kucharski that the payment should be made. Commissioner of the Revenue Ray Hunley had asked the attorney general for an opinion, and DMV asked Kucharski to look into the matter.
In his opinion, Kucharski explained that the situation had arisen from a misunderstanding by several parties. He said that during budget development for fiscal year 2010, county administrator Steve Whiteway had provided the commissioner of the revenue and the treasurer with two budget alternatives in order to deal with proposed budget cuts to their offices. They could either have salaries reduced in both offices or forego the commission from DMV.
When neither office responded in writing to the proposed actions, Whiteway assumed the offices had agreed to give the county their DMV commissions, said Kucharski. To complicate matters, he said, the county provides local salary supplements to both offices. He wrote in his opinion that nothing precludes the county from reducing the budget when there are declining revenues or shortfalls.