Tuesday May 27 2008
Pay raise for supes OK’d for November vote
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
3-2 vote moves $48,000 package with cost-of-living adjustments to ballot
Placer County voters will decide Nov. 4 whether to give the Board of Supervisors a raise. With supervisors Kirk Uhler and Bruce Kranz opposed, a government-spending watchdog questioning part of the plan, and a supporter of the raise calling for the board to hold off, supervisors Robert Weygandt, Jim Holmes and Rocky Rockholm moved forward with a proposal that could raise their salaries from $30,000 to $48,000 a year. The proposal does not call for supervisors to receive medical and dental benefits. Under the compensation package offered management with the county, that could amount to a maximum of $15,500 in additional expenditures per supervisor. Benefits were considered but not included in the motion. Voters would be asked to approve a package that could see supervisors receive a total of $48,500 in compensation annually – and be in line for cost-of-living adjustments in subsequent years. In making the motion for the compensation package, Holmes said the $48,000 salary figure is easily understood by voters, at $4,000 a month. The figure was based on adding what would be a cost-of-living increase onto a $30,000 figure voters initially approved in 1992, he said. Weygandt said he was in favor of salary levels comparable to other counties with similar budgets and populations to help attract the “best and the brightest.” Rockholm said he’d like to see supervisors be compensated for full-time work on the board rather than part-time. Uhler said that with tough budget decisions looming, proposing a supervisor salary increase to voters would be “too soon.” Kranz said that he couldn’t ask everyone else to suffer while asking for a raise during a down economic cycle with the county. The impetus to move forward with a ballot question came from a recommendation by the Charter Review Committee last January. The committee had recommended taking a raise to voters and suggested a figure of around $100,000 for total compensation, with future cost-of-living adjustments. Wayne Nader, chairman of the committee, called on the three supervisors to delay taking the question to voters until 2010 and then seek about $100,000 in compensation. He said November would not provide the right financial climate for a vote. “Put it off,” Nader said. “I just think November’s going to be pretty ugly.” Auburn taxpayer watchdog Dan Sokol said he personally supported an annual salary in “the high 40s” because it represented the cost-of-living increases since 1992. Sokol is vice president of the League of Placer County Taxpayers but said he wasn’t representing that group. He added that he didn’t support automatic increases in the future. The Journal’s Gus Thomson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.