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Madera County supervisor plans public apology over pay cut tirade

October 19, 2011 |  2:50 pm

On the agenda: Say you're sorry.

It's not listed that way: But "remove foot from mouth" will be among the tasks at the next meeting of the Madera County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

Supervisor David Rogers plans to publicly apologize for a tirade in which he explained why he would never be goaded into taking a pay cut during hard times:

"I'd like to point out to the general public ... most of you don't have to run for a year and spend $50,000 to get this position. So it's, uh, it takes a lot of work to be on this dais and be in this position," Rogers said at the last meeting.

As for anyone who ever thought Rogers should take a reduction in pay:

"Well, I'll tell you right now, I'm not going to," he said. "I don’t think that’s fair. Because you’re not in the same position I’m in. When you have to run every four years and you have to spend $50,000, then come talk to me. It will be a different situation."

Rogers' remarks may have gone largely unnoticed, except current and former county employees were there to protest a proposed 16.9% increase in the salary offered for a vacant auditor controller position, although other workers had either been forced into early retirement or taken a 10% pay cut.

But someone with sharp eyes, ears and/or sense of irony sent a video to PublicCEO.com, a website with 21,000 subscribers mostly working in local governments.

"It's an odd thing to say. Especially in front of at least one video camera," said Dan Oney, who in an editorial for the website characterized Rogers' remarks as "monumentally stupid" and "mind-numbingly insensitive."

By this week, the video had yet to make waves in Madera in Central California.

"No one at our paper has heard of it," said Paul Stanford, managing editor and sports writer at the Madera Tribune. "We have three reporters and those meetings are in Chowchilla. But this may get people paying more attention. I tend to think if you don't take a more active role in government, government is going to do just what it wants."

Rogers has already issued a written apology to be followed by his in-person mea culpa.

Oney said that's a good sign.

"He's already wised up since his slip-up," he said of the supervisor. "Now he can get back to the work of being a public servant."

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— Diana Marcum

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