Inyo Supervisors wrapped up their long and expensive review of Inyo government salaries when they examined elected officials’ pay this week under a new County policy. They gave only one official’s position a pay raise.
The new policy suggests that the Board of Supervisors review positions, not people, one year before the four-year elected term expires. Any raises or decreases in pay would take effect a year later. So, according to that policy, eight elected officials salaries came before the Board for their review on Tuesday. According to Supervisor Jeff Griffiths, four of those officials asked for raises – the Assessor, Treasurer-Tax Collector, Auditor and Public Guardian. The Board turned them down.
Supervisors looked at a 15-County survey of salaries and found that most of Inyo’s officials were above the average, except for the County Clerk whose pay was below the average. Clerk Kammi Foote specifically told the Board she did not want a pay raise, considering budget deficits ahead. However, the Board brought the Clerk’s pay up to the average in the survey for her position. The Board also asked for more information about the Public Administrator, whose position in Inyo is unique.
Board Chairman Rick Pucci said the goal was to look at the 15-county average and have Inyo’s pay around that. He said, “We want to have some consistency for positions.” Supervisor Griffiths said he hopes this was the “last of looking at all positions in the County. It’s been kind of a painful process,” he said, “because of the budget situation.” That situation is a projected $2 million shortfall next fiscal year and more than twice that amount the following year, mostly due to employee costs.
In spite of a serious deficit, the Board, Griffiths said, made a “conscious decision that we want employees to be fairly compensated to attract good workers and keep qualified employees as we ask them to do more and more.”
Board Chair Pucci thinks the County will be able to cover costs. Griffiths said he hopes the Service Redesign, on which all departments are focused, will produce savings, but he said, “Hard decisions will have to be made. We have to decide on core services and priorities.”
Base salaries of elected officials’ positions:
Treasurer-Tax Collector $7,807.
Public Administrator $5,271.
District Attorney $11,333.
Clerk-Recorder $7,307 ($7,976 as of 1-6-15)