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By Miriam Raftery

December 14, 2016 (San Diego) — San Diego Supervisors voted 4-1 to raise their pay 12.5%, or $19,000, over the next nine months, with no public discussion.  The item will come up for a second reading on January 10th and if passed, will take effect March 17th

The salary raise was included on the consent calendar normally reserved for non-controversial items.  Supervisor Dave Roberts, who lost his reelection bid, was the only Supervisor to object. His successor, Kristin Gaspar, will take office before the Jan. 10th vote.

Currently, local Supervisors’ salary is based at 80 percent of what a Superior Court judge earns. The new ordinance would change that to 85 percent from March17 to Dec. 7, 2016 and raise it to 90 percent of a judge’s salary after that.

Supervisor’s salaries will rise from $153,289.60 to $162,870.20 starting March 17 and after December 7, go up again to $172,450.80.  Supervisors’ pay could rise even higher if salaries for judges are raised. 

Supervisors’ salaries have risen less than 1 percent a year over the past nine years, according to a statement issued by Chairman Ron Roberts. It’s been 20 years since the formula for calculating their salaries has changed.

The Union-Tribune reports that San Diego ranks fourth in the state for total monetary compensation for county supervisors, including benefits and salary.

Service Employees International Local 221 president Tracey Carter questioned the raises. “My fellow public servants are asking if the board will be as generous to their employees and their clients as they are to themselves,” she said in a statement. The union represents over 10,000 county workers.

Voters who object to the pay hikes for supervisors won’t be able to vote the officials out, since all four supervisors who voted for the salary increase will be leaving office in 2018 and 2020 due to term limits.

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pay raises for public officials

Seems to me that it's time to take pay raises for public officials out of the hands of public officials. The people who are served by these public officials are the only ones who should get to decide on the pay as well as any pay raises. We may bicker about the exact mechanism to accomplish this basic need but there's certainly nothing "democratic" about public officials setting their own pay and deciding when and if they should get a pay raise. It's way past time to remind these public officials about who is in charge.


A raise? social Security did not raise for 2 years and the 2017 raise is canceled by an increase in Medicare "fees". The head of the fed says inflation is not yet to 2%. So whats with a 12.5% raise?