Contra Costa County Supes Give Themselves Hefty Pay Boost

Contra Costa County Supervisors have joined a growing list of county boards which have tied their salaries to those of Superior Court judges, effectively giving themselves a 33 percent raise. The supervisors’ salaries will now be set at 70 percent of what the judges make. As a result, they’ll be pulling in more than $129,000, compared to $97,483, per year.

Tuesday’s vote was 4-1. Supervisor Candace Andersen dissented, believing a 33 percent increase was simply too extravagant.

"A raise of this magnitude is not acceptable to the public and our employees," Andersen said, instead recommending an annual raise of 3 to 4 percent. "We need to lead by example ... 33 percent is just too much."

Andersen’s comment garnered applause from public employees who expressed anger and dismay at the decision.

"Shame on you, shame on you," they shouted at the rest of the board.

Margaret Hanlon-Gradie, executive director of the Central Labor Council of Contra Costa County, AFL-CIO, acknowledged a need for some type of pay boost, but noted that county workers had only received a raise of 4 percent. That raise came after nearly a year of bargaining “and four years of sacrifice,” she added.

The Contra Costa Taxpayers Association has also criticized the move, which will add $235,000 in annual expenses to the budget, including $66,876 in pension costs.

Tuesday’s vote will make Contra Costa supervisors’ pay the fourth-highest in the Bay Area. Supervisors in Alameda and Santa Clara earn the highest pay at $147,684. Sonoma County supervisors rake in an annual salary of $138,459.

Read more about Tuesday’s vote here.