Placer supervisors eye pay hike
Placer County supervisors moved a step closer to backing a $69,000 pay raise for themselves on Tuesday.
At their regular meeting in Auburn, the supervisors came close to adopting a proposal by the county’s Charter Review Committee to boost the annual salary of the elected officials from $30,000 to $99,000.
But with a motion by Supervisor Bruce Kranz and a second by Supervisor Robert Weygandt on the table, the county’s counsel recommended the supervisors first accept the report and ask for additional information requested by Supervisor Kirk Uhler ” advice the board adopted.
The final decision on the salaries will be made by voters, since a 1992 salary cap of $30,000 was voted in by the county’s electorate and is included in the county’s charter.
Before the supervisors’ vote, comments from the five-member board made it clear that the pay raise proposal has backing on the county board.
“In public service I think you are willing to work for less, but should it be punitive and unfair?” asked Supervisor Robert Weygandt during the meeting.
Bruce Kranz voiced his support for the raise in a telephone interview the day before the meeting. Kranz said the low pay narrows the field of candidates that can afford to run for the job.
“Right now the only people that can run are people that get permission from their employers to work on a part-time basis, or are retired or independently wealthy,” said Kranz, a retired state parks superintendent.
Kranz said he works 50 hours a week at the supervisor job.
Placer’s $30,000 pay rate for elected supervisors ranks the county near the bottom of the 58 counties in California. Only six other counties ” all very sparsely populated ” have lower pay than Placer County.
Placer County Counsel Anthony LaBouff said if the raise goes to an election, the vote would not be scheduled immediately.
“We’re not talking about a June election,” LaBouff said at the meeting. “We’re talking about a November election.”
Nevada County Supervisors have also contemplated the prospect of giving themselves a raise. The elected county officials make $39,447 a year ” with the board chair receiving $41,419.
At a November meeting, the Nevada County supervisors decided to let the Nevada County grand jury make a recommendation on whether they should receive a raise.
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