San Bernardino County supervisors vote to slash own benefits
The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted to slash their own benefits by close to 40%, including some retirement benefits, medical expense reimbursements and county contributions to 401(k) plans.
The action, approved unanimously, comes after a county grand jury report last year found that benefits for the five-member board far exceeded those provided to supervisors in neighboring counties.
The benefit package provided to each supervisor was worth $121,000 a year; Tuesday's vote reduces that by about $48,000. Overall, the cuts are expected to save about $240,000 a year.
The supervisors’ $151,971 annual salary and $14,600 annual car allowance were not reduced.
The reduction in benefits will take effect for newly elected supervisors, most likely beginning in 2013, and after reelection for those incumbents who win new terms.
Supervisor Janice Rutherford said it was important that elected officials accept a share of the cutbacks that have been the norm in the county in recent years.
Supervisor Neil Derry urged the board, without success, to impose similar cuts on all countywide elected officials, including the sheriff and district attorney. He said he will offer a similar proposal when the cuts come before the board for the second and final reading Jan. 24.
Derry said the cuts were long overdue, even if they “won’t balance the budget."
-- Phil Willon in Riverside