June 2, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Assemblyman Brian Jones (R-Santee) has issued a press release sharply criticizing Governor Jerry Brown for signing a contract for Will Lightbourne to head up the state’s Department of Social Services. The contract totals $1.25 million, spread over the next three and a half years.
“The goal of anybody who collects their paycheck from the taxpayers should be to serve the public, not get rich,” Jones said. “At a time when state government is doing its best to save money without cutting vital services, it’s unconscionable that any state employee will be compensated $1.25 million for three and a half years of work.”
Lightbourne has formerly run the social services department in Santa Clara County for 21 years and previously worked in the non-profit field. His salary will be higher than his predecessor’s for the state—and higher than the Governor’s.
Lightbourne will be paid $58,478 for the rest of this fiscal year, then $343,493 for each of the next three years. Supporters have contended that the salary needed to be competitive with his prior position to be attractive. Lightbourne has indicated his experience will provide “value added” that will save the state in the long run as he helps carry out the Governor’s aim to shift key state responsibilities onto local governments.
A welfare applicant, interviewed by CBS 13 TV, expressed surprise to learn that the director who oversees welfare for the state will be paid $1.25 million over three and a half years. “They should give that money back to the poor,” she said.
Jones has filed public record requests seeking additional details on the contract deal.