mitzelfelt

Re: “This ‘n that” (Our Opinion, Daily Press, Dec. 15).

The Board of Supervisors has no control over the salaries of board members. Salaries for members of the Board of Supervisors have been set by voter-approved ballot measures — Measure P in 2006, and Measure K in 1986. This salary level was recently reduced due to a reduction in the average salaries of county supervisors derived from a formula established by Measure P.

It is also important to note that I voted against the proposal to increase medical and other benefits for county supervisors when they were first proposed and implemented, and I voted to repeal them when they were later reconsidered and rescinded.

You also state that the number of people working for the Board of Supervisors has doubled over the past five years. However, my office was budgeted for 12 full-time employees in 2004-05, and currently I have only eight full-time employees and a group of part-time employees who amount to slightly more than two full-time positions. That ends up as a net reduction of two full-time positions since 2004.

Although staffing is currently under the budgeted number of positions for my district, the size and challenges of the First District necessitate higher staffing. At more than 18,000 square miles, it’s the largest in the nation. It includes seven cities and more than 450,000 residents — more than 100,000 of whom live in unincorporated communities in one of the fastest growing regions in the nation.

Finally, I take exception to the implication of a nexus between these factors and the ethical transgressions our county has addressed over the years. The Board of Supervisors has the responsibility of overseeing the work of 19,000 county employees working in 40 different departments with a budget of more than $4 billion. An ample and well-qualified staff working for the people’s elected representatives is crucial to the county’s ability to detect and put an end to misconduct while ensuring crucial and responsive service to the public.

Brad Mitzelfelt

Supervisor, First District