Sacramento County Board of Supervisors members on Tuesday approved raising their annual salaries to $173,398 starting next month.
Supervisors currently receive an annual base pay of $127,159, which a consultant and county staff said is below the median for similar counties in the area.
The board voted 4-1 to approve base pay changes, as well as increase car allowances. Beginning June 4, members will start earning 75% instead of 55% of a Sacramento Superior Court judge salary. After the raise next month, members will continue receiving pay adjustments each February 1 based on judges’ salaries as of the month before.
Supervisor Sue Frost cast the sole vote against the raise. She also opposed the increase when the board approved the first reading on April 18.
“There’s a part of me that wants to support this item, but I’m just not going to be able to because I think given the fact that many of my constituents are suffering from increased inflation and increased prices,” Frost said before dissenting on April 18. “It’s difficult to give myself a raise at the same time others are suffering.”
The board did not further discuss the raise on Tuesday and no one gave verbal public comments. Last month, County Executive Ann Edwards said staff, not board members, brought forward the pay adjustment proposal.
When the county compared employee salaries to other agencies in order to determine competitive rates, Edwards said staff decided to include supervisor pay. Before the March report by consultant Ralph Andersen & Associates, Sacramento had not compared supervisor pay since 1991, Edwards said. At the time, the county set their pay at 55% of a municipal judge’s salary, according to a staff report.
“That salary survey indicated you all were far below the median, which is what we use when we’re looking at all county employees,” Edwards told the board on April 18. “We want county employees to be at or a little bit above the median. You were well below and this gets you a little bit above.”
The consultant collected pay data from 15 government agencies, including from Alameda, Contra Costa, Fresno, Placer, San Joaquin and Santa Clara counties. Of the group, Alameda has the most similar population size: about 1.7 million people compared to Sacramento County’s 1.6 million, according to the Ralph Andersen report. Sacramento’s total revenues and expenditures in 2020 were each about $100 million more than Alameda’s.
According to the latest salary surveys by the California Citizens Compensation Commission, Alameda County’s five supervisors received salaries of $190,225 and $181,246 in 2021 and 2020. Sacramento supervisors each got $128,943 and $114,088 in the same years.
The three counties that reported paying supervisors the highest salaries in 2021 were Los Angeles, San Diego and San Bernardino, the state controller’s office’s database shows. Los Angeles, which has more than six times the population of Sacramento, reported paying its county supervisors $269,929 each.
At least six of the surveyed counties also tie supervisor salaries to Superior Court judge pay, according to the Ralph Andersen report. Alameda and Santa Clara counties set supervisor salaries to 80% of judge salaries, while Contra Costa and Fresno respectively set theirs to 65% and 60% of judge pay.
The Sacramento board also approved increasing car allowances from $500 to $550 per month for members representing Districts 1 through 4 to adjust for higher driving and maintenance costs. The District 5 supervisor, currently Pat Hume, will see an increase from $575 to $625 because the largest area covers 650 square miles.
Sacramento City Council members and the mayor are also set to see a pay increase in June. The city’s compensation commission approved a 3.5% salary increase for them earlier this month.
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