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Supervisors to get 1.4 percent pay raise

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From page A1 | December 12, 2013 | 9 Comments

FAIRFIELD — Solano County supervisors will get a nifty stocking stuffer for Christmas – a 1.4 percent raise, their first in about six years.

As in many counties, supervisors in Solano County have their salaries tied to that of state Superior Court judges. Supervisors get 53 percent of a judge’s salary.

The state has raised the salaries of judges by 1.4 percent. Thus, county supervisors will see their pay rise by 1.4 percent, from $94,758 to $96,085.

As of Wednesday morning, several supervisors said they hadn’t heard their paychecks would rise.

“That would be complete news to me,” Board Chairwoman Linda Seifert said, adding she has not received a raise since joining the board six years ago.

Supervisor Skip Thomson also hadn’t heard the news. He said a 1.4 percent raise is reasonable.

Thomson in March proposed that supervisors take a pay cut to $85,818 annually, or 48 percent of a judge’s salary. The county had gone through years of budget cuts and possibly faced more. But the economy has improved since then. The county recently agreed to give its union employees a 2 percent raise as of last October and a 2 percent raise in October 2014.

“If we had given them something less than 1.4 percent, I might have an argument,” Thomson said.

Thomson was on the board in 1997 when the Board of Supervisors raised its salary from $34,932 annually to $49,399. He said the job had become full-time and the board wanted a salary that matched the work.

But those public hearing proved contentious. The board in 1997 also decided that supervisors’ salaries would from that point on be set in relationship to Superior Court judge salaries.

“When you’re setting your own salary, it’s always too much from the public perspective,” Thomson said. “That was an administration attempt to take it from the contentious area and make it a straightforward raise.”

The 1.4 increase to judge salaries is retroactive to July 1. County spokesman Steve Pierce said the supervisor raises will not date back to July, but only to Nov. 27, when the county got notified of the judge raises.

Retroactive pay back to July wouldn’t really involve that much money, but would violate a county policy against retroactive raises, Pierce said.

“It’s not really about money, it’s about being fair and equitable and consistent,” Pierce said.

Supervisors Jim Spering and John Vasquez could make a few hundred dollars extra from the raises. They each get longevity pay based on both salary and number of years of service for local governments. Now their base salaries are rising.

Thomson has declined to receive longevity pay. Supervisors Erin Hannigan and Seifert are not eligible for longevity pay.

Pierce noted that supervisors in recent years have reduced their benefits, as has happened for other county employees as well.

It’s the season for pay raises in the public sector. California legislators recently got a raise of nearly $5,000 and Gov. Jerry Brown received a raise of $9,000.

Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or beberling@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling has been a reporter with the Daily Republic since 1987. He covers Solano County government, transportation, growth and the environment. He received his bachelors of art degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.
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Discussion | 9 comments

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  • PatriotDecember 12, 2013 - 4:30 am

    wow , even the county supervisors are getting a pay raise. Vacaville employees are taking a 8.82% pay decrease.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • The MisterDecember 12, 2013 - 6:26 am

    Makes ya wonder if Vacaville "leaders" have some other agenda. Hmmm.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • innovationinstitutellcDecember 12, 2013 - 6:07 am

    Just a constructive thought. Quality gained by paying those on the management level a bit more can translate into bigger cost savings overall. Bottom line is paying the supervisors more can mean smarter decisions that avoid costly mistakes. So we're for their salary increase.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Taxed Enough AlreadyDecember 12, 2013 - 6:40 am

    You mean we have to bribe the supervisors to get them to make "smarter decisions"? What an utterly wrong-headed idea!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • The MisterDecember 12, 2013 - 2:03 pm

    I second that! Motion moved. Kick the bums out!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Salty DogDecember 12, 2013 - 7:32 am

    Well their is a very simple solution to this in the next election vote them all out of their position and then they will have to get a real job.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rich GiddensDecember 12, 2013 - 11:25 am

    I don't begrudge their salaries but some of the perks are excessive. $200 a month for a cell phone? What really torques my tube about State and Local leadership is the outcomes they are responsible for---bad neighborhoods, bad people on public assistance, bad schools full of employees carping and harping for more of the same with jobs, business along with 2 parent families saying ''buh-bye'' like a David Spade SNL skit.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Kene WinstonDecember 12, 2013 - 8:19 pm

    My last supervisor was the worst. On a nice day she would be decorated like a Christmas tree.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • bahhumbugDecember 13, 2013 - 7:18 am

    Wow, the judges, already making over $178,000 a year, get a pay raise which is tied to "state employee" salary increases. Meanwhile, court employees, who are NOT "state employees," are being laid off or furloughed. And the Solano Supervisors get a raise while the Solano court employees haven't seen even a COLA in 5 years. Yeah, by all means, take care of those at the top of the food chain first!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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