Nevada County supervisors vote down pay raise | SierraSun.com

Nevada County supervisors vote down pay raise

Laura BrownSun News Service

NEVADA CITY The Nevada County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted down their proposed 2.3 percent pay raise Tuesday in light of uncertain economic times ahead. The board had approved the raise five weeks ago, but changed their minds in light of a troubled stock market, widening state budget deficit and high unemployment rate. It doesnt matter if its 11 cents. If we watch the news, the economy has rapidly declined in recent months, said board Chairman Ted Owens. Its just inappropriate at this time. In June, the countys unemployment rate reached 6.6 percent, the highest rate in 10 years, up from 4.7 percent the year before. In the construction business, Owens said he is lucky to have work. The people who arent working right now, how would I try to explain that to them? Owens said. Some residents had criticized the board for supporting the pay raise earlier. If approved, it would have been the first increase to the board in two years. In October, supervisors defended the hike, saying higher pay would bring a younger demographic to the countys lead governing body and prevent the board from falling further behind the pay of other counties of similar size. In June, the countys civil grand jury studied the boards salaries and benefits, using a complex methodology that compared Nevada County to other counties with similar demographics. It recommended the board hike its salaries by 36.4 percent, Supervisors rejected the grand jurys recommendation as too high, instead adopting an increase based on a 2008 Social Security cost-of-living adjustment. An increase would have raised Chairman Owens pay to $ 42,372 yearly, up from $41,419. All other board members would have received $ 40,354 yearly, up from $39,447.