Board Of Supervisors Accepts Own Pay Reduction Measure For November Ballot

SAN BERNARDINO—With nary a comment, county supervisors this week approved the placement of an initiative on the November ballot to cut their salary and benefits from $270,000 per year to $60,000.
Advocates of the measure, which was drafted and  initially sponsored by Wrightwood resident and former grand jury member Kieran “Red” Brennan, needed to obtain the valid signatures of ten percent of the county’s electorate – 43,520 – to qualify the initiative for the ballot. Brennan’s effort was boosted when the union for the county’s general employees, the San Bernardino Public Employees Association, and the union for the county’s sheriff deputies, the Safety Employees Benefit Association, took up his cause and utilized union money to hire petition gatherers.  Three weeks ago supporters turned petitions containing 73,672 signatures over to the registrar of voters, who examined enough of those petitions and compared the signatures contained thereon against voter-registration documents to ascertain that the threshold to qualify the measure for the ballot had been achieved.
The only options left to the supervisors were to pass the initiative on a vote of their own, agree to place the measure on the November ballot or to delay doing so for a month while an analysis of its impact was undertaken. They chose to simply place it on the November ballot without discussion.
In addition to reducing their salaries from $151,000 per year to $50,000 per year and reducing their benefit packages from an average of $119,000 per year to $10,000 per year, the initiative if passed will limit their staff budgets to $250,000 each.
The pay reductions envisioned in the measure will not be applicable to those supervisors elected in the 2010 or current election cycles. Because the measure will not be considered until November, when voters will also be voting on who will serve as supervisor in the First, Third and Fifth supervisorial districts, those cuts would not go into effect for those office holders until after the 2016 election if the measure passes. The incumbent supervisors in the Second and Fourth supervisorial districts, Janice Rutherford and Gary Ovitt, would be subject to the reductions after the 2014 election if the measure passes.

Leave a Reply