San Luis Obispo County administrators seeking large raises

June 20, 2022

SLO County Counsel Rita Neal


After battling against giving line-level staffers raises of more than 3% a year, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors is set to approve raises of up to 23% for county administrators and management staff.

As part of the consent agenda, on Tuesday the Board of Supervisors is slated to approve modest raises for the 2,400 line-level employees represented by unions and larger pay increases for administrators, department heads and management staff. County administrators recommend awarding raises to higher level employees that greatly exceeds what they propose for the county’s line level staff.

Proposed raises for the county’s 2,400 represented employees is slated to cost the county $4,620,091 this year and $5,253,091 the following year.

The proposed raises for the county’s 500 administrators, officials and management staffers is slated to cost $5,199,000 this year and $9,796,000 next year.

On top of the modest raises all county employees are slated to receive this year, many county administrators, officials and managements staffers are also in line to receive equity raises.

In order to determine equity raises, the county conducts a survey of a selected group of government agencies and private businesses and determines if the management wages in SLO County reach the average rate of the compared entities. If not, county administrators propose equity raises to meet the average.

Proposed yearly and equity raises for the next 25 months include a 23% bump in pay for the library support services director and a 22.72% raise for the library director.

Many managers and officials are in line for 17% to 19% pay increases, including County Administrative Officer Wade Horton, Health Agency Directors Penny Borenstein and Nick Drews, Animal Services Manager Eric Anderson, Deputy Agriculture Commissioner Martin Settevendemie, District Attorney Dan Dow, Assistant District Attorney Eric Dobroth and all social services division managers.

While the 15.56% increase in pay proposed for County Counsel Rita Neal appears to fall short of other department heads, it is in addition to a 20% pay hike the SLO County Board of Supervisors voted to give Neal in 2020 that provided her a compensation package of $374,579 a year.


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So many private businesses are looking at cutting their workforce by 3%-15% to prepare for the economic downturn that we are heading into, so when are government entities going to announce their own workforce reduction?

Wish someone would do the back story on Rita Neal. At one point, Neal was an Assistant District Attorney. Suddenly she switches over to county counsel’s office. What’s that about? Why was it so important to get her out of the DA’s office? So much drama in the county building.

Corporate salaries are performance/merit based. Where is the accountability to the tax payers? What is the justification for the raises?(other than ,other administrators get more).

Where ,exactly, is thispney coming from.Thr public SChpuld have an opppy to vote on public employee salary increases

Andpg course, this will address the next COLA calculation, which will impact the equity calculations, and so on

Small business eats it and the folks on the Gov get to give themselves a raise………the recent invasion is some of the cheapest folks around. LA and San Fran……gas prices going up….I know most of these readers are retired folk with a more equity and pension than you deserve, but us blue collar small business men are suffering and these regulators get a raise? Can we please stop voting for progressives? I am certain my post won’t make it. I am a singe full time Dad with 35+ years in the estero bay. Thanks Boomers for selling us out to China and Progressives. Nice work

I understand this was on the consent agenda but was pulled because only four Supervisors were there, John Peshong being absent. Perhaps the concern was it would be a two-two vote and fail?

Let’s see if this comes up again as a consent agenda item. To me, anyway, saddling the taxpayers with an additional expense of over $9 million a year in salaries, plus additional pension benefits, deserves a lot more discussion than a consent agenda item.

The corruption rears its ugly blatant head.

Have we forgotten Adam Hill?

I see Bruce Gibson making laughable statements as he seeks re-election.

What a joke.

Pretty much like federal politics. We all complain about how much money is spent by the government, but when it comes to voting out the actual politicians who approve these salaries, we sit on our hands. More than 90% of Congress gets reelected, even though the House of Representatives gets only a 16% overall approval rating.

Don’t like these salaries? Vote out the Board of Supervisors who control them. Hopefully, Mr. Jones will make the runoff with Gibson. He should immediately make this his top campaign issue. And thanks to the voters in the Five Cities for ridding the board of Ms. Compton. Too bad Ms. Ortiz didn’t have a legitimate contender. She needs to go as well.