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Government on the cheap comes with a recurring high price tag

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Decades of being cheap are coming due in Waynesboro, where the City Council is facing the bill of having underpaid city employees constantly looking for new jobs.

This is the word as city leaders begin their annual budget deliberations, with the deputy city manager telling the City Council this week that it could cost upwards of $1 million to get city employees to market-rate pay.

This in an organization where 75 percent of the employees are paid below market rate.

This is a key factor in an employee turnover rate averaging 15 percent annually over the past five years.

What that means for Waynesboro taxpayers: you’re constantly paying to train new employees to do jobs, having to make do with less in terms of efficiency as they learn on the job, then starting the process over again when they get good enough at their jobs to be able to go somewhere else and get paid what they’re worth.

This is a classic demonstration of penny-wise, pound-foolish, but that’s been the way of Waynesboro for, well, forever – a cheap-ass city scrounging in the couch cushions for loose change while our understaffed, underpaid police fight a meth war, while our school system, which had to lay teachers off last year in the name of fiscal conservatism, struggles to get our kids ready for the jobs of tomorrow.

And the big issue of the day is that the city isn’t declaring itself a Second Amendment sanctuary.

This is what gets people all riled up in advance of the spring City Council elections.

You’re literally dripping wet mid-flush on your way to the sewer, and you’re bitching about gun laws that 75 percent of the rest of Virginia actively supports as common sense.

Which, unfortunately, is in short order here, but I’m not breaking any news on that.

Story by Chris Graham

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augusta free press news