SLO County Board of Supervisors vote for 26% pay raise

May 17, 2023


The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 on Tuesday to give themselves a 26% increase in pay, with John Peschong and Debbie Arnold dissenting.

Supervisors Bruce Gibson, Dawn Ortiz-Legg and Jimmy Paulding voted in favor of raising the base salary from $90,417 to $114,067 over two years. They argued that the raises were needed to attract good candidates in the future.

In typical fashion, county staff conducted a study of where the board of supervisors ranks in comparison to a select group of counties. With a monthly base salary of $7,534, SLO County was ranked slightly below the $8,064 monthly base salary Santa Barbara County supervisors receive. After the approved raise, SLO County’s maximum base salary will rise to $9,500 a month.

During public comment, about a dozen residents asked the supervisors not to take the raises because of the downturn in the economy and issues with the county operating in a deficit. Supervisor Ortiz-Legg said people encouraged her to vote for the raise.

Supervisor Peschong, who has not taken a raise since he was elected, said that people in North County had asked him to vote against the pay increase.

After multiple public speakers chastised Supervisor Paulding for running as a fiscal conservative and then changing his views after he was elected, Paulding said he would vote for the raises but would not take the increase in pay at this time.

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They will get away with it because we are all bigger idiots than they are.

I just hope that Ms. Arnold will fall in line with Mr. Peschong and Mr. Paulding in refusing to take this raise. She has yet to indicate her position, probably hoping it will be forgotten.

These supervisors don’t have any clue about the challenges of surviving in this county. From what I have seen they are all corrupt.

To justify this raiding of public coffers in the name of attracting better candidates is ludicrous. If your seeking public office for financial gain, we don’t need you.

Better candidates would be found if the supervisors were unpaid.