RIVERSIDE – Riverside County supervisors voted Tuesday, Dec. 13, to freeze their salaries for the next two years to demonstrate support for salary caps at all levels of county government.
“Recognizing the economic conditions of the county, the Board of Supervisors proposes to defer any salary increases from Dec. 31, 2016, through Dec. 31, 2018,” according to a statement posted to the board’s policy agenda by Supervisor Marion Ashley.
During last week’s board meeting, Ashley expressed sensitivity to public criticism about pay hikes. It was reported in November that board members were in line to receive a 1.36 percent increase in pay, retroactive to July 1.
Neither Ashley nor his colleagues commented on the decision to put off any further salary adjustments until the end of 2018. Supervisor John Benoit was absent for health reasons and did not join in the 4-0 vote.
Supervisors salaries are based on a formula that fixes the rate at 80 percent of the amounts paid to Superior Court judges. Salaries are adjusted every four years.
Ashley, Benoit and fellow Supervisors John Tavaglione and Chuck Washington are paid $153,289 annually.
Supervisor Kevin Jeffries, who was elected in 2012 on a plank of refusing all salary increases for the duration of his time in office, earns $143,031 yearly.
Board members also receive health care coverage and vehicle allowances.
The county is in the early stages of negotiating contracts with several unions and the board is seeking to hold down costs by freezing cost of living adjustments and merit pay bonuses for employees.