Petitions Calling For Vote On Part Time Supervisors Go To Registrar

Proponents of a county-wide initiative to reduce the county board of supervisors to part time status submitted petitions with more than 73,000 signatures to the county registrar of voters on Wednesday, March 7.
Officials with the registrar’s office will now examine the petitions to see if they are uniform and the signatures to see how many of them are valid. For the initiative to qualify for the November ballot, proponents must present 43,000 validated signatures on the petitions.
The effort, which began as a relatively limited undertaking by a handful of residents in the High Desert mushroomed into a political juggernaut when members of the local Tea Party and the county’s deputies union took up the cause.
The movement has brought together some disparate, even contradictory elements. Much of the impetus for reducing the supervisors to part time legislators, by which they would have their current $151,000 per year salaries reduced to $50,000 and their $120,000 annual benefit packages reduced to ones worth $11,000, stems from the desire to rein in county spending in general, including salaries and benefits to county employees.
Nevertheless, the deputies union, the Safety Employees Benefit Association, known by its acronym SEBA, took up the cause in large measure because county supervisors have given county chief executive officer Greg Devereaux wide latitude in pushing all of the county’s employee bargaining groups to accept either pay reductions, decreased benefits, greater employee contributions toward health coverage and pension funds or a combination thereof in preparation for upcoming contract negotiations.
In addition to cutting the supervisors back to part time, the initiative if passed would draw their office budgets down to $1.5 million from the current $6 million per year.

Leave a Reply