By Giana Magnoli
Noozhawk Managing Editor
The majority of the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors supported a 3% salary increase for themselves on Tuesday, as well as ordinance changes automating 0-3% annual raises in the future.
Approval was set to be finalized on Oct. 13, after which the new ordinance would take effect for the mid-December pay period, raising salaries to approximately $103,255 from about $100,248, according to the Human Resources Department.
County Executive Officer Mona Miyasato said past boards decided to tie salary increases to the Consumer Price Index, and cap yearly increases at 3%.
This ordinance would automatically increase supervisor salaries by 0-3% percent annually, based on the CPI increase from the previous year.
Supervisors Joan Hartmann, Steve Lavagnino and Das Williams supported the ordinance changes and salary increase, while Board Chair Gregg Hart and Supervisor Peter Adam voted against it.
“This is not a huge compensation for the responsibilities of this job,” Hartmann said.
Adam, who is in the last few months of his term after deciding not to run for re-election, has routinely voted against salary increases for the board members.
Hart said he wasn’t comfortable with the pay increase “at this time” because of the COVID-19 pandemic and financial hardships others are facing.
The board vote included approval for a 3% increase to the chair’s allowance (to $73.73 biweekly); reducing the automobile allowance $2 to $230 to match elected department heads’ compensation; increasing each member’s cost-sharing for pension plans if they participate; and increasing county contributions for health insurance plans for members who participate (to about $427.40 twice monthly).
Miyasato said the median salary of comparable counties’ supervisors is $128,000.
Records available on Transparent California for 2019 show neighboring Ventura County supervisors were paid around $150,000 in salary while San Luis Obispo County supervisors were paid around $87,000.
The Board of Supervisors recently approved a 3% salary increase for the 2019-20 year, which ended in July; a 3% salary increase in 2018-19; a 2.2% increase in 2017-18; no increase in 2016-17; and 1.4% increase in 2015-16, according to the Human Resources Department report on the proposed ordinance.