Other Voices: Paying county supervisors what they deserve
Recently the grand jury issued a report recommending what they thought each member of the Board of Supervisors should be paid.
They received 10 “methodologies” or ways that a BOS’s salary could be determined, from making it a set percentage of the salaries of Superior Court judges to having a blue ribbon panel determine their salaries.
There’s a considerable amount of weight given to the apparent fact that the supervisors work a full 40-hour week. Even their average annual salary ($39,447) is compared to the average annual salary of county employees who are considered “management” (average salary $73,574) and professional (average salary $54,537).
The grand jury report goes on to point out that, on an hourly rate, BOS members are paid less than a cook or a road maintenance worker. That’s rather shocking. It’s like paying a four-star general less than a private.
But I believe this kind of thinking misses the point. Supervisors are elected to make decisions for us all – sometimes very tough decisions. They think, read, consult and also interact with their peers in other counties. And their decisions could affect us for many years.
They are making decisions that can impact 100,000 people. They are not making scrambled eggs or patching potholes in the road.
Therefore, supervisors are more important to us than all but one of the 986 employees of Nevada County. That one being the county CEO who both advises the supervisors and carries out their mandates and sees that our county remains fiscally sound.
Given the import of their responsibilities, supervisors should be paid more than any county employee, excepting the CEO.
Therefore, the grand jury’s recommendation that supervisors be paid less than the average of county “management” or “professional” does not reward them properly.
Dick Phillips lives in Alta Sierra.
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