Government / Politics

OPINION: Proposed Supervisors Salaries

Either change the job description for the supervisors in the next elections and give increased salary or give them only cost of living salary now.

As a resident of San Benito county, I feel that the County Supervisors work for me and, thus, I have a voice in the determination of their salary. I have communicated with each of the supervisors and have had a dialogue with a couple of them. I do appreciate that they have given us, as residents, time to respond to their recent salary proposal which at this time, I feel is unreasonable. In fact, their proposal raises many questions that I feel need further discussion and consideration.

First, if the supervisors are being required to put in many more hours than before, why is this occurring? Our current supervisors knowingly ran for the job and salary that was in existence and one assumes that they did their due diligence before making the decision to run. Are our county employees from management on down effective in providing the needed information to our current supervisors so that they can evaluate the different situations and make well thought out decisions?

Our county employees receive very nice salaries (anyone can check on these salaries at to do this job. Are the supervisors evaluating this process? I have been assured that we have a reserve established for salary increases; however, I wonder what the reserve budgets are for road maintenance, road building, updating of county buildings like the library, etc? Why do we always have enough to give salary increases but never have enough to update our local services and to meet our local needs?

Second, if all of the above is evaluated and well provided for and, indeed, we need more time from our supervisors then it is time to propose a ¾ or full-time job for our supervisors. This will require time to evaluate the current job, establish a job description for a new position, a salary scale and a process to put this in place in a timely manner. If this group of supervisors moves to establish a new job and votes it in, the new position should only take place after an election. Thus, each current supervisor needs to run for reelection after the instatement of the new plan in order to get the new job with increased salary. This will prevent anyone from claiming that our supervisors are out to just reward themselves. Besides, how many people are given the job to give themselves a raise?

Until another job description such as above is put in place, I feel that the supervisors are entitiled to be given only a cost of living increase that they gave other county employees. I know that they have put in many extra hours but many of us do give many extra hours back to our community without any compensation or any compensation increase.

Gerry Wright