Written by David Castellon
The Tulare County Board of Supervisors is expected to vote Tuesday to change the way its members authorize pay raises for themselves.
The current method, adopted in 1994, ties the supervisors’ raises to when the board authorizes raises for any of four elected county officials — the sheriff, the district attorney, the treasurer-tax collector and the auditor-controller.
For each percentage increase to the base salaries awarded to any of the four elected officials, the supervisors automatically receive their own raises at a quarter of that percentage.
For example, if the sheriff were awarded a 10 % raise, the supervisors’ base salaries would increase 2.5 %, and if the DA and auditor-controller also were given 10% bumps that same year, the supervisors’ salaries would increase by 7.5% percent.
Currently, the five supervisors’ base salaries are $113,700 a year, with the chairman and vice chairman respectively getting an additional 8% and 4% to compensate for the extra work they do, according to county documents.
The recommendation to change the system stems from county officials reviewing county procedures and concluding there is a better way handle supervisors’ salary decisions, as well as to make the process more transparent to the public, said Kerry Montero, a Tulare County spokeswoman, adding that the supervisors have indicated they favor the changes.
That will involve revising a county ordinance to state that pay raises for supervisors will no longer be tied to the salaries of other elected officials, and instead, the board members will be able to request their own collective raises as part of the county’s annual budget and vote on whether to approve them with the rest of the budget.
In addition, only one raise will be allowed yearly to the supervisors, unlike the current system in which the raises could occur any time of the year when raises are given to the other elected officials.