SLO County supervisors seeking a 26% raise in pay

May 4, 2023


The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 on Tuesday to bring back a discussion about raising their own salaries by 26%, with supervisors Debbie Arnold and John Peschong dissenting.

Supervisors Arnold and Peschong had both pledged not to vote to raise their salaries while in office, a promise they have upheld. Arnold argued against raising salaries at this time because of financial shortfalls.

“We have a budget gap. We have significant damage to out roads.” Arnold said. “I just don’t think this is the time for the supervisors to be raising  our salaries.”

In response to Arnold, Supervisor Bruce Gibson said, “It is never a good time to discuss raising our salaries, but HR brought it forward so we should discuss it.”

Supervisors Gibson, Dawn Ortiz Legg and Jimmy Paulding then voted in favor of moving forward with a plan to raise their salaries at an upcoming meeting.

Less then three months ago, Paulding voiced concerns that his first vote as a supervisor would be to raise his own salary, and voted against a raise noting he needed to build trust with his constituents. During the 2022 election, Paulding was criticized after he claimed he had voted twice against raising his salary while on the Arroyo Grande City Council.

On Dec. 10, 2019, Paulding voted to increase his pay as a council member by 60%, from $405 a month to $648 a month, after voting against the raise a month earlier.

Proposed Board of Supervisor salary increase schedule:

  • Effective July 23, 2023: increase the annual salary from $90,417.60 to $97,697.60
  • Effective June 23, 2024: increase the annual salary from $97,697.60 to $105,560.00
  • Effective June 22, 2025: increase the annual salary from $105,560.00 to $114,067.20
  • Subsequent to June 22, 2025, members of the Board of Supervisors shall receive annual increases as necessary to remain at fifty percent of the bottom of the salary range of the California Superior Court Judges.

“Subsequent to June 22, 2025, members of the Board of Supervisors shall receive annual increases as necessary to remain at fifty percent of the bottom of the salary range of the California Superior Court judges,” according to the staff report. “The increases will be approved by the Board of Supervisors annually on consent agenda in the same fiscal year the salary increase is applied to the superior court judges.”

Sign up for breaking news, alerts and updates with Cal Coast News Top Stories.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

How about you guys do 26% more work, fix 26% more streets, make our broken mental health system 26% more effective, and then come talk to us about a raise of maybe, oh, how about 2.6%?

As Obama said, elections have consequences. To the people who voted in Paulding and returned Gibson & Ortiz Legg this is on you. Too bad the Board won’t raise all county employees’ pay by the same 26% then raise your taxes (or cut county services) to pay for it, you deserve it. Maybe then you would wake up. Unfortunately the rest lose out too.

Good grief, that $97k figure is more than most public school teachers make in this area. One public school teacher is worth at least two supervisors (three in Arnold’s or Gibson’s case), IMO. Teachers work more hours, deal with more problems and have the future in their hands.

A supervisor is simply a cog in the wheel of government. City managers and county staff are the ones who do the real work. I’d love to see how many hours a supervisor actually works per month. I bet it’s way less than 40 hours and that’s not counting the numerous weeks they do absolutely nothing (guessing Ms. Arnold or Mr. Gibson work way less than that), while a public school teacher easily puts in 60 hours a week when school is in session and are doing planning during summer and holidays.

I appeal to Mr. Paulding, Mr. Gibson and Ms. Ortiz. Vote no. Do not give Debbie Arnold any ammunition to hold over your heads.

You really didn’t think the sales tax increase in Arroyo Grande if it passed was really going to go to road maintenance or public safety did you. They need money to pay the council’s new raises and government salary increases.