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County Supervisors to Consider Ordinance Giving Themselves Regular Pay Raises

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors will host a hearing next month focused on how to best go about raising board member salaries.

Officials will host a public hearing on the subject during the board’s June 2 meeting, where members will consider passing an ordinance that would give them a 1.4 percent salary increase, in line with the Consumer Price Index.

A final vote on whether supervisors should receive annual raises reflecting cost-of-living type increases is set for June 16.

On Tuesday, the supervisors approved scheduling the hearing to talk about their salaries — an altogether awkward topic that started an argument among supervisors in March.

Back then, supervisors teamed up against Fourth District Supervisor Peter Adam, who voted against a wage increase in December but was still paid the same increase in biweekly auto and benefit allowances. He’s been a vocal challenger of salary increases because he thinks the county could do a better job.

A special citizens committee reviewed board member salaries last year, recommending in March that the board update its ordinance to implement annual salary increases ranging from zero to 3 percent, based on the Consumer Price Index.

That committee suggested the board place itself in the middle of the pack of local government board salaries, increasing wages to $106,575. The current board member salary is $84,200, according to the committee.

Prior to this year, the last supervisor salary or benefit increase was in 2006.

If supervisors approve the ordinance, it will take effect and salaries will be adjusted 60 days later on Aug. 17, 2015, according to county staff.

A 1.4 percent increase will equal a biweekly salary increase of $46.25 for each board member, for an annual increase of $1,202.50, county staff said.

The total increase to salaries and benefits for the five supervisors would be less than $10,000 annually and would come from the county general fund during the 2015-16 fiscal year.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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