At the Madera County Board of Supervisors meeting on January 13, 2015, Rebecca Martinez, an elected official who is in charge of the Madera County Elections, Clerk-Recorder Department gave respectful and logical comments and requests regarding the Madera County Supervisors’ request of a 29% annual salary increase. One of the Supervisors thanked her for her comments and clarification of the percentage of the desired salary increase.
After that, another Supervisor launched a condescending verbal barrage on her that questioned if: she took a pay cut during the County work furloughs in recent years, if she worked more hours than the Supervisor did, if she worked on the weekends and if she thought her pay should be so much more than that of the Supervisors.
These questions were inappropriate and irrelevant as the issue related to the Supervisors wanting a 29% pay increase and not Ms. Martinez’ work history and salary. Spinning the discussion to focus on Ms. Martinez was unprofessional and inexcusable. Constituents find such badgering and bullying unacceptable and a sign of weakness on the part of the Supervisor.
This Supervisor continued stating: “I gotta know everything and you only gotta know about the clerk and the election.” and “I resent someone like you who makes so much more money than I do….”
The same Supervisor made the comment: “If it was a man, I would whip his ass.” Are male constituents now under threat of violence should they voice an objection to this Supervisor?
Supervisors are elected and paid by taxpayer dollars to represent constituents regarding Madera County matters. Bullying, threats and petty resentment over how much money other County officials are paid, in no way represents constituents’ interests. An apology is owed to Ms. Martinez and the residents of Madera County.
Justifying a raise should never be based on how much time is spent doing the job, but rather on pay for performance. How effective are the Supervisors? What do they accomplish that is in the best interests of their constituents? There was much discussion on what the Supervisors considered to be sacrifices, long hours, working weekends, taking calls at home, less time to spend on their privately owned businesses, the added burden of knowledge of law and planning, and changing job requirements. These are conditions that many of us encounter in the public and private sectors as well. Yet many of us do not receive raises or COLAs or government pensions and work for less than the generous salaries and benefits the Supervisors receive. If the amount of time spent on their jobs is a concern for the Supervisors, perhaps they should practice some time management techniques. That is, work smarter and not harder.
With regard to the desired 29% salary increase, one Supervisor commented “If we don’t do it, nobody will do it.” Constituents recommend the Supervisors ask their employers, we the people, who fund their salaries and benefits, to vote on a raise request. If the Supervisors can prove their effectiveness in representing the peoples’ interests, there should be no problem obtaining a reasonable salary increase. That is pay for performance.
Constituents wish to thank Supervisor Brett Frazier for his intelligent, logical response to this issue and his sensible “no” vote for the 29% salary increase. Thank you, also, Supervisor Rogers, for voting “no” and commenting that the amount of the desired salary increase did not make sense at this time.
The Supervisors’ annual salary of $71,515 plus benefits and retirement appear to be fair. If any Supervisor believes he is not receiving a fair salary for his job performance, then he should resign or plan not to run for another term.
A video recording of the meeting can be found at: www:madera-county.com/index.php/boardmain/topvideo (discussion on salary starts at 1:17:34 and Ms. Martinez comments start at 1:33.25) and on the front page of the Republican Party website: www.maderacountygop.com.
Gail Workman, Bass Lake
John Pero, Oakhurst
Sharon Holly Oakhurst
Lou Aceto, Oakhurst
Terre Sparkman, Oakhurst
Cynthia Sobel, Oakhurst