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Herndon Town Council considers increasing board compensation

Town of Herndon government offices (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Another round of compensation increases could be on the horizon for some Town of Herndon bodies.

The Herndon Town Council is considering a proposal to increase the compensation for members on the Architectural Review Board (ARB), Historic District Review Board (HDRB), Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals, resulting in an annual increase of $20,400 overall.

The increases would go into effect in July, if approved. It’s in the early phases of the town’s review process and, at an April 18 work session, was placed on the council’s consent agenda for future consideration.

Councilmember Cesar del Aguila said the compensation increase might increase the diversity of candidates who apply, though he noted that it was possible that presumption could be “completely wrong on the statistical side.”

“There are segments of our community where $35 is a lot of money,” del Aguila said. “The thinking was if you invest a little bit, you might reach a broader segment of residents.”

Councilmember Donielle Scherff also said it could boost the “diversity of opportunity” for applicants.

Mayor Sheila Olem, however, noted that some people may not simply seek specific positions due to life circumstances. Prior to her role as mayor, she served on the town’s appeals board because meetings were on a monthly basis and did not interfere with her family commitments, she said.

For ARB and HDRB members, compensation would increase from $100 to $250 per month, $175 to 250 per month for PC members and $50 to $75 per month for Board of Zoning Appeals members.

Last year, the council instituted its first pay increase in 15 years.

The move — which passed as part of the budget with one dissenting vote — increased annual pay from $4,000 to $10,000 for council members and $6,000 to $12,000 for the mayor.