El Dorado supervisors look at county leaders’ pay

Dawn Hodson
Mountain Democrat

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors has taken up a number of salary issues, including its own pay.

At the board’s April 6 meeting Human Resources staff was authorized to conduct an analysis of compensation paid to each supervisor and to return with updated salary resolutions and documentation establishing compensation paid to each member at an amount no less than 8% of the median.

Members of the board currently receive a salary of $76,876.80 annually plus most of the same benefits offered to employees.

During the discussion of this agenda item, Supervisor John Hidahl suggested an alternative approach to how board members are compensated, saying that in some counties board members receive a fixed percentage of what superior court judges get in pay and when the judges receive a pay increase, board members automatically get an increase as well.

Supervisor Sue Novasel agreed to further explore that approach, noting that it, along with other benefits, should be examined since it may influence people’s decision to run for office and that board compensation is only one-quarter of what some of “our other executives” make in pay.

Staff was asked to return with a new salary resolution stating the sheriff’s total compensation will remain 2.5% above the undersheriff on an ongoing basis, as well as confirming the district attorney and sheriff will continue to receive the same base salary no later than June 30. Currently the sheriff and district attorney both make $236,683 a year plus a 2.5% contribution to their deferred compensation plan.

For the public defender’s base salary staff will prepare a resolution setting it at 15% below the district attorney’s base salary no later than Sept. 30, 2021.

The assessor and treasurer/tax collector will continue to be compensated at the same amount.

Human Resources staff was directed to return with an updated salary resolution increasing the compensation paid to unrepresented department heads, unrepresented management employees and confidential employees totaling no less than 8% below the median of comparator organizations no later than Sept. 30.

Staff will also determine the total cost of increasing deferred compensation contributions and other non-public employees’ retirement system contributions from 2.5% to 4% of the base salary for unrepresented and elected department heads in order to provide a more competitive compensation package without increasing ongoing pension liability.

The 2% solution

In other action at its April 6 meeting the board approved a 2% increase in parks and recreation development impact mitigation fees for the El Dorado Hills Community Services District.

The fees for new development will be $12,347 for a single-family home, $8,149 for multi-family homes and affordable homes, $7,215 for age-restricted homes, $6,601 for Serrano single-family homes and $4,356 for Serrano multi-family homes. Mobile park homes and accessory dwelling units are both exempt from the fees.

These new fees go into effect 60 days hence.

The board decided to put off until the May 11 meeting a presentation on options to address Vacation Home Rental clusters in the Tahoe Basin.

The discussion and potential rules governing VHR clusters are designed to address the problem of people renting out their homes in residential areas as Tahoe has become an increasingly popular year-round recreation spot.

The delay also gives Supervisor Sue Novasel more time to hear from the Fair Political Practices Commission regarding whether or not she can participate in the debate on the issue given that she may have a conflict of interest.

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