San Luis County Counsel seeking 20 percent pay raise

August 10, 2020


Less then one week after San Luis Obispo County administrators announced plans to eliminate 28 full-time positions because of a $26.3 million budget shortfall, the Board of Supervisors is set to approve a 21.38 percent increase in compensation for County Counsel Rita Neal from her previous contract.

On the consent agenda, county staff recommends a four-year contract extension for Neal, with an increase in salary and benefits of $66,000. The Board of Supervisors have already budgeted for Neal’s proposed raise in compensation, as well as the 28 positions they plan to eliminate.

The job cuts are being considered as part of $26.3 million in budget cuts due to a loss of revenue because of the coronavirus.

Neal, who has worked as County Counsel since 2012, is eyeing an increase in compensation from a $204,152 salary and $104,434 benefit package to $234,811 and $139,768 respectively, for a total of $374,579 a year.

Neal is responsible for overseeing the SLO County Counsel’s Office which is comprised of 14 lawyers and eight staff members. Her office provides legal advice to the Board of Supervisors, 26 county departments, and multiple outside agencies

In comparison, U.S. Attorney Nicola T. Hanna, the chief federal law enforcement officer for the Central District of California, oversees approximately 260 attorneys, and over 250 staff who serve over 19 million residents – half the state’s population. His salary without benefits is approximately $170,000.

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This is what I just submitted to the Super, all of you should do something similar at

Concerning the new offering for County Counsel. I oppose the raise and sweetheart deal such as a year compensation if she is terminated. That is ridiculous and neither should be offered in these trying times, or any times.

Here is a better deal for us, the ones paying the bills. Let her contract lapse and allow her to apply for the job at a greatly reduced rate and no sweetheart options.

You are contemplating laying people off AND giving her a fat raise above what the US Attorney and our Governor make?

Unconscionable. This position should not be worth more than the US Attorney or Governor, ever…

With all the misdeeds of the mayor, police chief and others she has been able to cover up she deserves even more (I’m sure they think).

No. Just No.

Let her go look for a better job during this time when all counties have a hiring freeze due to budget shortfalls. She should accept no raise at best or take a walk. Or could it be that she has some valuable knowledge that the supervisors don’t want the public to know about. Wonder what the FBI was looking for in Adam’s office?

Flat out insane! Even the suggestion of a raise should be considered grounds for termination.

Timing is extremely poor, no shame…

It sounds like it’s time to out-process this greedy and oblivious individual, and hire her replacement.


She shouldn’t get a raise even in the best of times. If the supervisors approve a raise given the current grim financial landscape then it is time for torches and pitchforks.