In a meeting held on Tuesday, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors voted in favor of raising their annual salaries to $173,398, effective next month. The decision to increase their pay came after a consultant and county staff pointed out that the current annual base pay of $127,159 fell below the median for comparable counties in the region.
With a 4-1 majority, the board not only approved the adjustments to their base pay but also agreed to raise their car allowances. Beginning June 4, board members will start earning 75% of a Sacramento Superior Court judge’s salary instead of the previous 55%. Furthermore, after the forthcoming raise, members will continue to receive pay adjustments every February 1 based on the salaries of judges from the previous month.
Supervisor Sue Frost stood as the sole dissenter, casting her vote against the raise. She had also expressed opposition when the board initially discussed the proposal on April 18. Frost’s decision was motivated by her concerns about the financial challenges faced by her constituents due to increased inflation and rising prices.
During Tuesday’s meeting, the board did not engage in further deliberations regarding the salary increase, and there were no verbal public comments on the matter. County Executive Ann Edwards clarified that the proposal for the pay adjustment originated from the staff, not the board members themselves.
The decision to include supervisor pay in the comparison of employee salaries across various agencies was prompted by a report conducted by consultant Ralph Andersen & Associates in March. Prior to this assessment, the last time Sacramento County had reviewed supervisor pay was in 1991 when it was set at 55% of a municipal judge’s salary, as stated in a staff report.
According to Edwards, the salary survey revealed that the supervisors’ pay was significantly below the median, which is the benchmark used for evaluating all county employees’ compensation. The aim is to ensure that county employees receive salaries at or slightly above the median. The raise approved by the board was intended to bring supervisors’ pay to a level slightly above the median.
To determine competitive rates, the consultant collected pay data from 15 government agencies, including counties such as Alameda, Contra Costa, Fresno, Placer, San Joaquin, and Santa Clara. Among these counties, Alameda had the most comparable population size, with approximately 1.7 million people compared to Sacramento County’s 1.6 million. However, Sacramento County’s total revenues and expenditures in 2020 exceeded those of Alameda by approximately $100 million each.
Based on the latest salary surveys conducted by the California Citizens Compensation Commission, supervisors in Alameda County received salaries of $190,225 and $181,246 in 2021 and 2020, respectively. In the same years, Sacramento supervisors received $128,943 and $114,088.
According to the database of the state controller’s office, the three counties that reported the highest supervisor salaries in 2021 were Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Bernardino. Los Angeles, with a population more than six times that of Sacramento, paid its county supervisors $269,929 each.
Additionally, the Ralph Andersen report indicated that at least six of the surveyed counties also tied supervisor salaries to Superior Court judge pay. For instance, Alameda and Santa Clara counties set supervisor salaries to 80% of judge salaries, while Contra Costa and Fresno set theirs at 65% and 60% of judge pay, respectively.
In addition to the salary increase, the Sacramento board also approved raising the car allowances for members representing Districts 1 through 4 from $500 to $550 per month. This adjustment aimed to account for increased driving and maintenance costs. The supervisor of District 5, currently Pat Hume
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