Published March 11th, 2015
Supervisors Settle Salary Dispute
By Nick Marnell
By declining to take the lead of Supervisor Candace Andersen, the county supervisors will each earn an additional $81 in salary in 2015.
The Board of Supervisors passed a motion in November to increase the supervisors' salaries by 33 percent, but Andersen, whose district includes Lamorinda, voted no and vowed to take only a 4 percent raise. "It's not the appropriate thing to do," she said at the time. "For us to take that large of an increase, while the raises for 9,000 county employees average around 4 percent, seems arrogant, and is not the way to lead." She asked her fellow supervisors to forfeit a portion of their raise as well, but the board voted 4-1 for the 33 percent increase.
An outraged public called for a referendum to block the salary increase. Responding to both the public backlash and the outcry from labor unions, the board rescinded its raise in January. It directed county counsel to prepare an ordinance authorizing a 7 percent salary increase, and an alternate ordinance that linked the supervisors' salary to 56.5 percent of a Superior Court judge's salary. The 7 percent increase was based on a 4 percent cost of living adjustment granted to county employees in July 2014 plus a 3 percent COLA that employees will receive July 1.
The supervisors eschewed the benchmark formula at the March 3 board meeting and passed a motion 3-1 introducing an ordinance calling for the 7 percent pay increase. The board also voted 4-0 to create an ad hoc committee to study the supervisors' compensation. Supervisor Mary Piepho dissented on the raise motion, suggesting that the board not vote on its compensation until the ad hoc committee releases its findings. Absent was Supervisor Federal Glover (see separate story).
The 7 percent increase takes effect June 1, giving the supervisors a 2015 salary of $101,463. Had they taken the 4 percent raise suggested by Andersen in November, the supervisors would have earned $101,382 this year.
The ad hoc committee will report to the board in July. "It's a fresh look at our compensation, and it's preferably now out of our hands," said Andersen, who advised the board that the committee may also recommend to lower the supervisors' compensation.
Glover Awaits Organ Transplants
District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover announced in an internal email that he checked himself into UCSF Medical Center on Feb. 26 and underwent tests to determine his eligibility for a heart and kidney transplant. The doctors concluded that he was a candidate for the dual organ operation.
Glover wrote that he was told a donor could surface at any time. "I feel confident and strong and I anticipate that this amazing new technology will give me many more quality years with my family and of service to the residents of District 5, who matter a great deal to me."
"I was saddened to hear that Federal was in the hospital," said Supervisor Candace Andersen. "However I did receive an email from him ... and he was very upbeat and engaged in the work of the county. We're fortunate that our technology today makes it possible for him to work remotely and continue to represent the constituents in his district."
"Over the past 15 years that I've worked with Federal, he's been a good friend and a great partner on helping find solutions to the important issues we face," said board chair John Gioia. "I know the board shares my best wishes and hope for Federal's full recovery. He needs to focus on improving his health right now."
"Life is precious," wrote Glover. "I ask for your prayers. I am excited about a future of improved good health and our continuing to do good work for our community - together." N. Marnell

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