Sunday, December 4, 2011 – 12:30 p.m.
Now San Bernardino County supervisors want to cut their benefits package again.
They shouldn’t think twice about.
The benefits package afforded the county’s elected officials is the richest in the state, and can be adjusted by a mere majority vote of the supervisors.
Interestingly, the last time the Board of Supervisors voted to cut the benefits of all elected’s, they had to be shamed into it.
It’s still uncertain as to whether or not county supervisors will actually go through with it. Since the proposed ordinance will not come back to the body until sometime next year.
It should be noted that it doesn’t really take any time or effort to make changes to the county’s exempt compensation plan and related ordinance.
How about as little as two weeks?
This new proposal was brought forward by Second District Supervisor Janice Rutherford. So far Rutherford has made several grandiose proposals attracting her positive press coverage. But, so far, those proposals have failed to materialize into official actions.
The newly-proposed cuts won’t affect anyone currently seated, unless the individual official accepts the cuts voluntarily.
Any new changes would only take effect on the official assuming a new term of office.
Another interesting twist is the fact the supe’s appear resistant to cutting the benefits packages of Assessor-Recorder Dennis Draeger, Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector Larry Walker, Sheriff-Coroner-Public Administrator Rod Hoops and District Attorney Michael Ramos.
The four represent the highest-paid elected officials in the county, and any cuts to countywide elected officials is either all-or-none..
Earlier this year, Ramos and Hoops declined to accept voluntary pay cuts that all other officials agreed to.
It’s uncertain as to whether Draeger will seek a second term. Walker, who is on pace to be the county’s highest paid retiree, is likely to seek reelection. And all in-the-know say Hoops will not seek a second-term, and may actually want to get out of town early. Ramos currently intends on running again, unless another opportunity comes up. It’s no secret Ramos has aspirations for higher office.
The resistance to cutting the compensation of the countywide’s is no secret. Sources, both inside and outside the county government center, say some supervisors want nothing to do with cutting the compensation of Hoops or Ramos out of fear of retaliation.
Ramos, who never seems to be able to make enough cash, reportedly pretty much blew a gasket when Third District Supervisor Neil Derry was able to push through limited cuts prior to his (Ramos) assuming a new term of office.
Derry, for his efforts, ended up being on the receiving end of a criminal complaint and booking number, via former Senior Assistant Attorney General Gary Schons, and courtesy of an investigation conducted by Ramos’ Public Integrity Unit.
Schons, who had developed a close relationship with Ramos, now works as a Deputy District Attorney in the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office.