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A DISSENTING VIEW on the ELTON WADE CONTROVERSY; TIME for HANOVER COUNTY to STAND with WADE!

I have admired Supervisor Elton Wade for some time.  I believe him to be a man of integrity and strong personal faith.  Since I read what people have compiled and stated about his crossing guard salary, and since as a follower of Christ, it seemed right to me – I decided to contact Supervisor Wade personally and ask him for a “rebuttal” if one is needed.  And he responded.

Supervisor Wade has worked for Hanover County schools since 1960.  He started out as a bus driver and was a bus driver for 26 years and then he took the Lee-Davis/Stonewall crossing guard position.  Several years later, the Pole Green position came up and he was asked to take that “contract” as well.  Hence, he told me, nothing special was ever done for him nor did he ask for anything special done for him.  Wade advised me that the Commonwealth’s Attorney at the time, Eddie Vaughn, approved him being a supervisor and a cross guard at the same time.  In fact, he said he might not have run for supervisor if he had to give up the crossing guard position.

Wade talks about how he is keenly aware that at some point he must give an account to his Lord for his stewardship; he made that clear several times.  Essentially, Wade says, “I wouldn’t do anything to hurt mys standing before God.” (That is not a direct quote but the flavor of his sentiment.)  I believe him; might be naive on my part but Wade is much my senior and probably closer to that awe-some day when we will face our Creator.  (Better know Jesus as Lord and Savior on that day!  Here’s how!)

A patriot, who I do not have permission to name, did a FOIA request on the Wade matter.  He found out and sent to me that the position of the Hanover School administration is that this is the normal (albeit unusual due to his long service) process of pay increases.  I thank that patriot for his efforts in keeping the elected officials accountable.  This seems reasonable to me as I worked for the state at one time and my salary did go up – not a lot – but some nearly every year due to regular legislated increases.

People may argue this is outrageous government waste and maybe they are right.  That does not mean Wade did anything wrong.  Others think how he handled the school board matter is also outrageous.  However, I think this shows Wade’s heart, that he made this so-called promise and brought it out in the open and stated he felt he had to keep his word on this.  I believe we need elected school boards.  But that again is not an attack on Wade.  Wade was trying to do right as he sees it.  He could have said nothing.  But he revealed the so-called promise.

I now ask the county to help Supervisor Elton Wade in his hour of need:  Reveal it all.  Show this salary was wholly legitimate.  Let’s not let an exceedingly rare but innocent situation be a black mark as Wade reaches the end of his career.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

8 Responses to “A DISSENTING VIEW on the ELTON WADE CONTROVERSY; TIME for HANOVER COUNTY to STAND with WADE!”

  1. Tom White says:

    Sandy, I have to totally disagree with you on this one. Anyone in Wade’s position to appoint school board members, set the budget and pay himself has a moral responsibility to set an example of making sure the taxpayers get their money’s worth. Elton Wade is just another pig at the big government trough. And he is in charge of the food.

    An honest man who truly considered the taxpayers first would have refused raises that put him above the range the job is supposed to pay.

    This is not a new issue and he has had many opportunities to make this right AND HE HAS NOT DONE SO.

    I think it is time for Wade to resign as both a crossing guard and s supervisor.

    This is an absolute betrayal of the public trust.

    • It may well come out that you are right but I can only report it as I see it. Wade was an unusual situation. It is good for both sides to be brought out. I wanted to be fair to Wade.

      Sandy

    • ken knust says:

      don’t know wade and don’t live in hanover, but I suspect he runs around and spouts the usual stuff about small govt, fiscal conservatism, hanover doesn’t waste money lake Washington does etc. ive heard this sort of stuff before.

  2. Scott Dailey says:

    $41.25 an hour is ridiculous pay for a school crossing guard. I don’t care who it is, how long they have worked, or what religion they are. This is taxpayer money; it is my hard earned money, and the BOS and the school board are derelict in their duties by letting this type of situation exist.

    How many more stories like this are hidden in the county and school budgets? How much more money is being wasted? The BOS is too busy helping their developer friends get lucrative zoning changes to fulfil their fiduciary responsibility.

    We don’t need another tax, we need responsible county officials.

  3. Joseph Pierro says:

    Sandy:

    Just because something isn’t illegal doesn’t make it ethical. Or responsible.

    Wages are supposed to have some connection to the value of the work being performed. The school system’s own job specifications say Elton’s job is supposed to max-out at $19.07/hour. But Elton gets $41.25/hour. Because he’s a crook? No. Because in its infinite stupidity, Hanover has no limits on school jobs but fixed salary caps on all the others.

    Why should employees of Rhu Harris have salary caps but not those of Jamelle Wilson? Are we more interested in retaining crossing guards than in career sheriff’s deputies (who, btw, max out at just over $40/hour).

    As for Wade himself, as a crossing guard he has a responsibility to earn the highest possible wage the market will bear. That’s how free markets work. But as a supervisor, he has a responsibility to do the public’s business in the most efficient way possible with the least waste of their money. And that is a conflict of interest. Just because it isn’t criminal doesn’t make it less so.

    As for the fact he works at two schools, that is a red herring. He’s paid hourly. Not per school. Not per child. Not per street he crosses.

    Whether he does 2 hours at two schools or 4 hours at one, I’m reasonably certain the math is the same. And that math is $41.25/hour. And that’s still wrong.

    Yes, Wade does not make $41.25/hour because he is also a supervisor. But that fact IS the reason why everyone on the school board and the Board of Supervisors looked the other way every time the question was asked.

    Spin it however you wish, but Wade (as a supervisor) hires his own boss (as a crossing guard). That is a system in which–by definition–there can be no proper oversight. And that is the essence of bad government.

  4. I will probably say nothing more about the Wade controversy. I did what I felt was right – after prayer and all that – I felt led by the Lord to reach out to Wade and offer the man a chance to offer a rebuttal. There may be things to criticize about it (maybe the immediate family of supervisors and school board members cannot work for Hanover government) but there seems still insufficient evidence to say that Wade too advantage of the system.

    Sandy

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    Tom White Says:

    Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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