Ordinance would provide equity for supervisors
June 25, 2013 — Lassen County’s Board of Supervisors unanimously waived the first reading of a county ordinance that would grant them the same benefits already approved for other county employees and elected officials.
According to a staff report prepared by Lassen County Administrative Officer Martin Nichols, the new ordinance, if approved at the board’s meeting today, Tuesday, June 25, would give the supervisor’s a raise to cover the portion of their retirement benefits once paid by the county that is now banned by state law.
“Beginning July 17, 2013,” Nichols wrote, “all county employees will be required to pay the full member contribution to the CalPERS retirement plan. In exchange, employees’ salaries will increase by a like amount. The proposed amendment to Ordinance No. 532-C will apply to the same changes to the county supervisor’s salaries and benefits … This cost neutral action is taken to implement the increase in salary for the board of supervisors in exchange for paying their full PERS member contribution, as other elected county officials agreed to on Nov. 27, 2012, Resolution No. 12-057.”
Each member of the board of supervisors currently earns $35,485 annually, and all county employees, through their bargaining units, already have agreed to the terms of this arrangement in which their salaries were raised to make up the amount of their retirement benefits formerly paid by the county. The employees will now be required to make that contribution themselves.
Jean Hodge asked how the change could be “revenue neutral,” and Julie Morgan, assistant to the county administrative officer explained the county would be paying the same amount either way. Now, instead of paying the county’s negotiated contribution to the employees’ retirement to CalPERS, the county instead will pay that amount directly to the employees who now are responsible for the entire contribution to CalPERS.
“We have to pay either way,” Morgan said. “It’s the same. It’s to not impact our employees in a negative way.”
District 4 Supervisor Aaron Albaugh said this ordinance does not apply to him because he became a county employee after the new law went into affect and he’s already receiving the benefit the rest of the board will get if the ordinance is approved.
“All the other employees are getting this, and now we’re fixing up the board of supervisors,” Albaugh said. “All it’s going to do is put these four on the same plane.”
District 2 Supervisor Jim Chapman said he wasn’t sure when the county began paying a portion of the employees’ retirement contribution, but that is common, even in the private sector.
He said to the employees the change would not be neutral because the employees now would be paying taxes on the salary increase.
“Whether we pay it as an employer contribution as retirement or we pay it as salary, it’s still the same dollar amount being assessed to the budget, and through the budget to the taxpayers,” Chapman said. “That part should be fairly clear. What this ordinance does is put the salaries of the board of supervisors on the same level of playing field as the employees.”
Chapman also noted the supervisors do not earn as much as they could according to the ordinance that links their salary to the salary of the county’s superior court judges.
“In many respects the board has contributed to supporting the county budget and the taxpayers interest in the county budget by waiving compensation it could otherwise receive,” Chapman said. “I’m not saying that from a self-serving point of view, but from the point of view of reality that the board members that serve, I think, serve for the most part because of their contribution to doing some good for the community rather than personal enrichment.”
Susanville native to play in college bowl with Boise State
Darren Lee, a Lassen High School graduate and former Lassen High football player, now plays football for Boise State and will be going with the team to a college bowl game in late December. Photo by Boise State Media Relations Dec. 6 — A Susanville native is making strides in his football career...Read More...
Lady Grizzlies celebrate a championship season
Miranda Langenhorst, back left, Mikailia Bustamante, Melica Woodhead, Dana Lovelace, Makenna Busse, Klari Scheff, bottom left, Hailey Hannah, Stevie Woodbury, Myeisha Shepard, Emilee Downing, Gabi Geoia and Jayde Hartzell pose together with the awards they were presented with at the Lassen High School...Read More...
Grizzlies soccer team plays tough, rain or shine
The Lassen High School boy’s soccer team is ready to give its opponents tough competition this year. The team is made up of Andy Wotjen, back left, Jon Langston, Cyrus White, Michael Pelfrey, Josh Schmidt, Jason Lilly, Jake Morgan, Jayce Gray, Carson Friedline, Garrison Collier, Jesus Garibo, Robert...Read More...