Hagman Taps Spence As Chief of Staff

(November 18) Mike Spence, who has served as Curt Hagman’s chief of staff during all six years he has served in the State Assembly, will serve as Hagman’s chief of staff in his new role as Fourth District San Bernardino County supervisor.
Spence, a councilman in West Covina who has a quarter of a century experience in various political roles in the state capital, including serving as the chief of staff for then-assemblyman Joel Anderson (R- El Cajon), will follow Hagman from Sacramento to San Bernardino.
Spence and Hagman share a hard-edged Republican streak, which was evident in the bare knuckled campaign waged against Gloria Negrete-McLeod for supervisor. McLeod, an incumbent Democratic congresswoman, was portrayed as soft on crime and an advocate of policies that are unfavorable to business interests in hit pieces originating with the Hagman campaign. Spence served as the chief strategist for Hagman in the campaign.
Spence is an anti-tax advocate who has long crusaded for paring back the bureaucracy of government and alleviating the financial burden on taxpayers.
In 1998, the city of West Covina unsuccessfully sued Spence over his opposition to a multi-million tax increase that would have imposed several hundred dollar-per year assessments on homeowners.  Spence prevailed in the lawsuit and the tax proposal failed.
Born and raised in West Covina, Spence was student body president at Edgewood High School  and he then attended and graduated from UCLA with a degree in political science. He was elected six times to the West Covina Unified School District Board of Education, was a founding board member of the California Virtual Academy-L.A. High School, and is a past-president of the East San Gabriel Valley Regional Occupational Program/Technical College where he served 18 years as a board member.
From 1996 to 2000, Spence served a full term on the Library of California Board. He received the Samuel Adams Leadership Award from the Washington, D.C.-based Local Government Council in 1997. Spence was for four years the taxpayer representative on the Mount San Antonio Community College Bond Oversight Committee. He is a board member of the local Meals on Wheels program.
While he will now be taking on a key San Bernardino County assignment, he remains a creature of Los Angeles County, and good naturedly jabs at San Bernardino County news reporters who confuse the smaller 7.041-square mile neighboring city of Covina, population 47,796, with 16.09 square mile, 106,098 population West Covina.
This week, the current board of supervisors, including Supervisor Gary Ovitt, whom Hagman will replace next month, approved an employment contract between the county and Spence to
provide support services to Hagman as the incoming Fourth District supervisor as a chief of staff, effective in the current pay period in which he will be paid at a rate reflecting an annual salary  of $98,094 and benefits of $85,726 for a full annual cost of $183,820.
County spokesman David Wert  told the Sentinel that “the county is providing Mr. Spence in his role as chief of the transition staff less than he will be paid as chief of staff.”
The salary range for a chief of staff for a member of the board of supervisors is $8,978.67 to $11,498.93 per month or $107,744.04 to $137,987.16 in annual salary plus roughly 90,000 to $95,000 in yearly benefits.
Given the close relationship between Spence and Hagman, it appears that Spence will be given the maximum salary permissible.
“What Mr. Spence is paid as chief of staff is something Mr. Hagman will take up once he becomes supervisor and he is briefed on how much money is available to him in his office budget.”
According to county chief executive officer Greg Devereaux, the contract with Spence “will allow the hiring of a chief of staff to support the incoming county supervisor for the Fourth District. Pursuant to Policy 02-03 an incoming county supervisor is allowed to select a chief of staff and executive secretary in order to transition into office and to facilitate district relevant documents and data gathering. This contract shall become effective in Pay Period No. 25-2014. Consistent with Policy 02-03, this contract approval has an effective date of no more than forty-five days prior to the newly elected supervisor officially taking office. Transitional staff hired under this policy automatically become regular staff when the newly
elected supervisor takes office unless the contracts are terminated by action of the incoming supervisor. All other terms of the transition employment contract will remain unchanged. During this transitional period, duties of transitional staff are limited to acquainting themselves with San
Bernardino County government and data gathering. Transitional staff may coordinate with the incumbent supervisor’s office to familiarize themselves with active projects as well as constituent concerns. Transitional staff shall not begin work on projects specifically related to the newly elected supervisor’s district or with San Bernardino County in general. Additionally, transitional staff may interview potential regular staff; however, further employment contracts may not be approved by the Board of Supervisors until the new supervisor assumes office.”
Hagman said,  “Mike Spence has an outstanding record in public policy, management and political activity. He’s been a chief of staff, an elected official, taxpayer advocate and governmental relations consultant.”

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