Jan 13, 2015
1 comment

Looks like the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors won’t be giving themselves a 33-percent raise, after all.

In the first of two required votes, the supervisors on Tuesday agreed to rescind the salary increase they had voted in favor of last year that would have boosted their annual salaries from $97,476 to $129,216, effective this month. The second vote, set for next week, is needed to officially rescind the pay raise.

The supes’ decision came after a wave of opposition from county employees and citizens, who responded by collecting enough signatures from voters for a ballot measure aimed at repealing the raise.

The supervisors, who voted 4-1 for the 33-percent increase in October, with Supervisor Candace Andersen opposing, offered two main reasons for the pay raise. One is that supervisor salaries had not been raised since 2007 and are among the state’s lowest for urban counties. The other is that supervisors did not want to have to vote on their own salaries anymore, so they fixed supervisor salaries at 70-percent of what Superior Court judges make. Judges salaries are determined by the Legislature.


Above is a chart from a board agenda item showing how Contra Costa supervisors are paid comparing to other urban counties.

Those reasons did little to convince outraged unions representing county employees. They had negotiated far lower salary increases last year and this year and were still negotiating for some employees.

Many taxpayers weren’t pleased, either. On Jan. 2,  unions petitioned to repeal the raise at the ballot box and collected more than 39,000 signatures from voters. The signatures are still in the process of being verified by the Elections office.

“Many people went out of their way to come to our office to sign and obtain petitions,”  said Alex Aliferis, executive director of Contra Costa County Taxpayers Association, in a statement.

The rescinding of the 33-percent increase won’t mean the Board of Supervisors won’t get some kind of raise. The board is expected to discuss at future meetings “how to proceed on a salary adjustment.”


  1. This collective action by a majority board of supervisors clearly was one of the worse political calculations in recent memory. Clearly the elected officials are drunk with the collective power of their offices. This is the same group whom voted against Richmond getting the Contra Costa County call center , even though the offer from Richmond was almost $1 million less. I’m personally hopefully qualified candidates will emerge , to run for supervisor board seats . Clearly a well funded opposition campaign from a independent Committee focusing on the self serving vote to impose a 33 percent salary raise and. Combining the self serving votes to locate the call center in Concord would be great fuel to defeat an encumber candidate.

    Richard Poe | Jan 14th, 2015

About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.