IDA has to be happy with #036;50

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 6, 2003

Until the economy improves, IDA members should not only content themselves with $50 per month, but the fact that Suffolk City Council has granted them anything at all.

During the Wednesday night session, the council voted 4-3 in favor of this stipend. In the past, Councilman Bobby Ralph proposed $100 per month, which is half the maximum permitted under state law, and the Rev. Isaac Baker, the IDA’s vice chairman, wanted $200! Please.

We’re not begrudging the Industrial Development Authority folks a remuneration for their services, but now is not the time.

Email newsletter signup

Further, three other cities (Hampton, Newport News and Chesapeake) grant $50 to their IDA commissioners. Nearby Virginia Beach, Portsmouth and Norfolk don’t pay anything, and probably could afford to pay $200, or more if it were allowed.

There may be a time in a matter of years to increase this to $100 (like York County). But until Suffolk reaches a prosperity level closer to our neighbors, $50 will have to suffice.