Our view

Supervisors: Cut your base pay now

By From page A10 | December 4, 2011

Solano County continues to make small yet important cuts in employee costs to balance its books, but the most significant cuts have yet to materialize.

No, we’re not talking about cuts either agreed upon or imposed on the county’s largest employee group, Service Employees International Union Local 1021, some 1,600 members strong. Rather, we’re talking about cuts to the one employee group that answers directly to the voting public: the Solano County Board of Supervisors, which is five members strong.

Those five members have accomplished something much larger employee groups have failed to accomplish; they have protected both their numbers and the lion’s share of their pay.

We have five Board of Supervisors districts so we must have five supervisors. Nothing, however, requires that our elected supervisors be spared the budget ax.

The board majority was late in answering our repeated calls to show leadership and cut their own pay while cutting the pay of those around them. Our supervisors opted in June, on a split vote, to take a 10-percent cut in overall compensation, and gave themselves latitude to determine how they would meet that cut.

Base compensation of nearly $95,000 a year, however, remains intact.

The board last month imposed a contract with significant cuts on the Solano County Probation Peace Officer Association for bargaining units representing probation employees and supervisors. The move includes 152 probation workers and will save the county up to $1.3 million annually, with $997,138 in general fund savings.

That’s a drop in the bucket for the county’s general fund, which maintains a persistent year-to-year structural deficit of some $18 million to $20 million, depending on when the budget temperature is taken.

It is past time that Solano County cut base pay for members of the Board of Supervisors to $75,000. It is well over a year since we first demanded they show leadership and share in the pain of salary reductions. It is now time for this reduction to be imposed. Seems like fair play, but unlike the county employees there is no process for this to happen beyond the ballot box.

Arrogance of power is prevalent at all level of politics from Washington to Sacramento to Solano. To demand of others what you fail to demand of yourself is just as wrong no matter what level of governance. Arrogance of power leads to failure and eventual change sooner or later.

Our elected supervisors need to do what is right, and do it now.


Discussion | 11 comments

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  • Good luck getting anything from Jim Spering!December 04, 2011 - 6:47 pm

    In my Opinion......Jim Spering is the most arrogant, condescending elected official in Solano County! This guy needs to be scheduled for pickup by Solano Garbage!

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  • Rich GiddensDecember 04, 2011 - 6:53 pm

    Recently Supervisor Spering was grilled by the Taxpayer's Group. He refused to answer the question: "why won't you pass a resolution or proclamation urging your Cities and Contractors to comply with the Federal E-Verify laws?" Supervisor Spering and the other supes are not on our side! Now they want to pour millions into the Vallejo Fairgrounds even though paid for consultants have warned the proposed project is not economically viable and is a BOONDOGGLE.

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  • Danny BuntinDecember 04, 2011 - 7:39 pm

    Couldn't agree with you more. I umpired little league in Suisun in the early 80's, and had a few run ins with him on the field. He coached his sons team, and I could not believe the arrogance this man possessed. This was nearly 30 years ago when he was in his thirties. I could say more, but I do not want Mr Spering to make a call to Mr Stanton, and then have you talking about me in the hooskow.

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  • Rich GiddensDecember 04, 2011 - 6:48 pm

    I would like to thank the Editor of the Daily Republic for publishing this editorial. However, it only addresses the fiscal failures of Local Government. This editorial fails to address the moral failures and the mission failures. The full editorial slam is now in good order---Especially in light of the recent horrific revelations regarding manager/supervisory misconduct approving fradulent overtime claims. Time is up Solano County Goober-mint! Why have you failed to recoup money stolen by your public employees and hold them accountable for embezzlement? Discredit must also go to the DA's office--Donald DuBain is off to a rocky start with his broken promises to hold bad parents responsible for their horrible kids and his failure to go after County Government employees who are embezzling the public's money. Again, thank you Daily Republic!!!!

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  • Rich GiddensDecember 04, 2011 - 6:58 pm

    Solano Communist County ! Solano USSR! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDPkobDpUyw&feature=channel_video_title

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  • Keeping up with the JonesesDecember 04, 2011 - 7:22 pm

    I agree...I think $60k is too much...Starting with Vasquez...He leads his minion in the scruuueem attitude towards the workers of Solano County...

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  • I REMEBER ---December 04, 2011 - 10:39 pm

    I remember some of the supervisors from the "days of old". They did not have the attitude "the boys" have now. They were not self serving and thought of the people they represented. These 3 men are so self serving and the public does not understand the control they try have over the county. There needs to be more education on the function of local goverments in the schools. The citizens of this county need to be educated on what they can do to change the attitude of some of the BOS members. Vote them out next time around.

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  • Fairfield's Innovation InstituteDecember 05, 2011 - 1:51 pm

    Before one acts like a cyber bully www.Cyber-Bullies.Net, the attacker should ideally mention their org or personal name. What's this from "Good luck getting anything from Jim Spering!". Jim is easy to speak with and very pro business. Linda Seifert also has lots to offer. Realize one other facet. Supervisors often take pay cuts from the private sector before joining the board. Having smart supervisors can end up saving millions down the line. Like our other blogs, this over simplifies the problem. Penny wise, pound foolish? Let's try to be positive.

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  • Rich GiddensDecember 05, 2011 - 5:06 pm

    Steve---that's a very poor defense of their bloated salaries of largesse. Would you hire Spering to run a business?--especially in light of the Vallejo Fairgrounds BOONDOGGLE? Mr. Editor-----please publish my YouTube content on the Supes and County Government. There is no reason not to. It contains no profanity or name calling.

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  • Glen FaisonDecember 05, 2011 - 5:18 pm

    @Rich Giddens: One has been approved to the site. The other has not because it contains profanity, in spite of you written assurance here that they contain no profanity or name calling.

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  • Good luck getting anything from Jim Spering!December 05, 2011 - 5:47 pm

    Voters in Solano county got rid of Timm...now Mraz, Moy and Spering are next!

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