How do you know if your Commonwealth’s Attorney is a Republican? Greene County knows their Commonwealth’s Attorney is a Republican because he has asked for a reduction in his salary.
That’s right. Matt Hardin says he makes too much money as the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Greene County, a small rural county of around 18,000 residents. His predecessor asked for the CA’s office to be changed from part-time status to full-time status, and with it enjoyed a pay raise that resulted in a $120,000/year salary. Newly elected in 2017, Hardin says that’s too much for a small rural county. He wants his status changed back to part-time, which would result in a significant pay decrease. Ever hear of a Democrat doing that?
But there is a problem, detailed here from the Greene County Record–
[Virginia’s Attorney General Mark] Herring told Hardin “that once a part-time commonwealth’s attorney [opts for] full-time status under the provisions of [state code] 15.2-1629, [it] is binding, and his successors in office cannot revert to part-time status.”
“I basically wanted to reverse the [choice]. But my interpretation is my [choice] would binding, too. It’s binding until someone else unelects,” Hardin said. “It’s purely a statutory analysis. The law can be changed and I would hope if you bring it to some people in Richmond and here in Greene County that any law that makes me be paid more than I want is a bad law and it needs to be changed. I’ve never met a citizen that said we need to pay our politicians and lawyers more money.”
So Democrat Mark Herring says Hardin is stuck with a full-time salary, regardless of what Hardin wants and/or what the workload of the office requires. Democrats sure do love the opportunity to be career politicians.
To sum up, a Republican wants to take less money from the state government and a Democrat won’t let him because the Democrat says that’s the law. Oh my.
Hardin will have to press General Assembly members to change the law. With Republicans holding a razor thin majority in the General Assembly, this coming session could be a good opportunity to make the change. Hopefully our Democrat governor will sign such a bill.
When Hardin ran for Commonwealth’s Attorney last year he made a promise to voters that he would cut the office’s budget. What better way to cut the budget than to cut his own salary? I can’t think of another request similar to Hardin’s except for when I hear that a professional sports union won’t allow a certain player to re-sign with a pay cut because it would be bad for the union (Democrats love unions too).
Cheers to Greene County Commonwealth’s Attorney Matt Hardin for leading by example in an effort to rollback excessive government spending.