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.


I’d be smiling to knowing I already make more money than I’m worth and soon to get more because the stupid people keep voting the greedy politicians in that condone these outragiouse wages. The voters have a choice every election time but keep voting these fools in and then complain about there performance. Solution vote them out or just enjoy the bed you made for yourself


What a bunch of useless over paid a$%holes. I say make it a volunteer job.


Here is one more reason why our governments have failed their people.

First, a big announcement of strong action to save millions by not filling jobs that did not exist!; then turning around and proposing a huge increase for someone that is already getting paid more than 98 or 99%% of all residents.

There is so much wrong with this that it amazes me.

We must stop filling the trough – the hogs will not stop eating until the trough is empty.

Consider this when you vote – Vote NO on all tax increases. We deserve much better county and city governments – but we have to demand them – we can not be complacent and just hope for them.


NO to all taxes.

Don’t be fooled by the effort to repeal Prop 13 for commercial properties, conveniently referred to as Education and Local Government Funding.


Reading this infuriates me beyond belief. It’s hard enough to swallow her current salary, but to increase it by over 21% during a budget crisis is completely reckless. Moreover, what type of human being accepts such an increase given the circumstances? One that is delusional about her worth I suppose. Sickening really.


You ask what kind of human being…? I don’t know her but for her to accept this makes her immoral in my opinion.

How will she be able to look people in the eye. Moreover, if they (BOS) approve this, what does it say about our elected leaders. Any that vote for this raise automatically loose my vote.

Eyes Everywhere

I’m guessing that the Super won’t have the guts to pull thee trigger on Neal. They’ll let her slide for another four years. Sad.


As stated vociferously below by others more calm than myself, the raise would be an outrage.

County Counsel Neal is sometimes a political hack who has made some very political and incompetent, incorrect rulings. My favorite was when she stated that the “county is protected” by an agreement “not to sue the county” by persons in the county government complex who engaged in a workplace sexual romance, to wit: Supervisor Gibson found himself involved with his admin, the then Ms. Aspero. She was transferred from his office then promptly transferred back under his authority when they both executed no-litigation agreements, which Neal approved but a second year law student knows are VOID and valueless on the first day in court, since one CANNOT “sign away” their rights to future workplace litigation such as sexual harassment, etc. because such agreements fall into a category known as “agreements in violation of public policy”.

That’s just one galling instance of less than first-class work by a county counsel. NO bizarre RAISE.


10% departmental funding cuts across the board. No exceptions. 15% pay cut for all City Senior Admin, 10% departmental Admin, 5% for staff.

See where that gets you.


Ian Parkinson earns $325 k, plus he draws “retirement” from the City to the tune of $128K.

I am all for earning two pensions; as long as we start paying them out at 65. He is 45 now. We will pay him $2.5 million in retirement benefits before age 65. 65-85 we will pay him closer to $6 million since he will draw two pensions at once, the new one will cost a lot more too.

Across the boards cuts is a start.

Mitch C

Memo to SLO County Board of Supervisors: recent action reduced the county workforce by two actual employees. These people have a life and I am sure that their job is important to them and their families. Instead of giving a raise to an employee that is currently highly compensated (no interest in debating her value to the organization) the money in consideration could go a long way in saving someone’s job.


Thinking Hanna can afford to take less. HIs partner share in the law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher is reported to be about $3.7 million. Also pretty certain that Ms. Neal could go out into private practice for a big law firm and make far more than she is now—of course she’d have to leave the cozy confines of the Central Coast and she probably doesn’t want to do that.

But, sure, I get it. Seems exorbitant when millions of Americans can’t make rent and cities and counties are going bankrupt.