County Supervisors Increase Their Own Salaries

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By the edhat staff

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors voted to give themselves a salary increase last week.

The decision was 4-1 in favor of a measure that would increase their salaries by 5%. Supervisor Bob Nelson of District 4 in north county opposed.

According to county officials, the annual salary for Santa Barbara County is approximately $107,00. Their recent vote ensures the annual salary will increase to $112,452 (not including benefits) starting in September along with automatic maximum future increases of 5% per year.

Supervisor Das Williams stated the position is underpaid and commended said it's only due to his wife's financial contribution that he's able to afford this job.

Supervisor Steve Lavagnino brought up the cost of housing as a challenge making it nearly impossible to live in the county on one salary.

The last time the Supervisors gave themselves a raise was in 2021 for 3%.

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KarmaSB May 26, 2023 10:59 AM
County Supervisors Increase Their Own Salaries

what? that is a truly absurd thing to say. what do you know about his work record and accomplishments? To say something like that just lets us know you're probably just jealous. No marketable skills? Lol that's comical. You clearly don't know him or know squat about him. I suggest you reach out to Das directly rather than being a tough guy behind a screen. Reach out and talk to him. Ask questions. He'll respond, he'll talk to you. He's a very reasonable man, yes i know him and his work record very well.

Alexblue May 26, 2023 12:09 PM
County Supervisors Increase Their Own Salaries


I've known Das for many years, from the start of his political career as Hannabeth Jackson's aide. In the past I supported him, I gave money to him, etc., etc.. If you have done the same then I'll bet we have met and crossed paths at his fundraisers over the years.

I've watched his development in to a true career politician, someone who compromised over and over to make the move to Sacramento and then retain his placeholder seat here in SB County. I've watched him kowtow to and collect money from the pot industry and lash out at people who have had concerns about his relationships there.

Now here he is crying about making six figures with great benefits. As if this is a sacrifice? Are you kidding me? To truly serve the community should be an honor and a privilege and unfortunately, I think that Das has become just another entitled careerist. I know he will never leave politics because it's literally the only thing he knows how to do and that is not what we need in that seat or any other in local government.

And jealous? About what? I make more money than him, I have more autonomy than him, and a significant portion of the work that I do directly benefits people, so, no.

You don't know a thing about me but I know Das' track record extremely well.

And so you understand this is not partisan crap, and blah, blah, blah, I still have a great deal of respect for people like Salud Carbajal, who has not lost his moral compass.

a-1685130061 May 26, 2023 12:41 PM
County Supervisors Increase Their Own Salaries

ALEX Of course he has marketable skills. He knows who to cater to and who to condescend to, who’s back to slap and who’s to stab. These qualities wrapped up in a semi charming package make him a perfect politician. Don’t kid yourself he works hard for the money.

JoeG May 26, 2023 03:44 PM
County Supervisors Increase Their Own Salaries

I too have known Das for many years. Ran against him for District 2, before he carpetbagged District 1. Your description of him is spot on. You lost me, however, when you praised Carbajal. I’ve known Salud for 30 years. He’s a puppet for the Democrat Borg. He will follow the master’s orders in order to stay in Congress and spend pork to look good.

KarmaSB May 30, 2023 09:55 AM
County Supervisors Increase Their Own Salaries

well i can't argue your own personal observations nor will i. i personally do not see Das in that light.
Back to them getting a 5% raise since this is what the discussion was about.
I just got a 6% annual raise, should i decline that too? Inflation is rampant and costs are rocketing up. Just like us, they too have families, bills, etc. I have no problem with a 5% raise. That isn't even at the normal average (6-9% is the average).

If you're not jealous, then what is your exact issue here? Because he got a raise, 5%? If so, that isn't worth our time to discuss or debate.
You think Salud is any different? Cmon man...seriously. They are all politicians, they are all doing the same thing at some point.

Alexblue May 30, 2023 10:55 AM
County Supervisors Increase Their Own Salaries

Karma, if you read the comments you'll see I have no issue with a raise at all. I already mentioned that. Why do you take my criticism of a politician as being personal or motivated by jealousy? Your ad hominem attack is weak.

And, again, I have known both Das and Salud personally and professionally for over twenty years--IMO, Salud has done a better job and stayed true to himself, whereas I have seen Das become a sellout.

sacjon May 30, 2023 11:08 AM
County Supervisors Increase Their Own Salaries

JOEG and others - " He’s a puppet for the Democrat Borg" - Name one politician who IS NOT a puppet for their party and self-serving? Seriously. All this "shock" and "distrust" of politicians doing/being what they've done/been since the ancient Greeks!

Localtransplant May 26, 2023 10:24 AM
County Supervisors Increase Their Own Salaries

Remember, this group just voted to dismantle your EMS ambulance system against the recommendations of the public health dept, local hospitals/physicians, as well as the independent consultant and panel of experts that they paid for, just to save face with the Fire Dept - increasing taxpayer costs at the expense of public health. The only ones benefitting are Fire Dept pensions and the political careers of these individuals who just voted themselves a pay increase for doing it.

The definition of corruption.

a-1685123870 May 26, 2023 10:57 AM
County Supervisors Increase Their Own Salaries

Pay them the median wage for the County. Otherwise, they lose sight of the average resident's struggles. We have got to stop pandering to the rich, exorbitant representative salaries are one piece of the puzzle.

toot May 27, 2023 12:16 PM
County Supervisors Increase Their Own Salaries

Agreed. Pay all pols the median national wage. When our lots improve, theirs can too – but not until then. If we have to tighten our belts, so do they. When we have to stand in line for medical care, so do they. If we go hungry, so do they. And if we have to forego the finer things in life, so do they.

It's called equality.

citizenSB May 26, 2023 03:49 PM
County Supervisors Increase Their Own Salaries

I've meet with Das a couple times and concur with ALEXBLUE -- Das has become a self serving career politician that does not serve his constituents. I am hopefully others in the county wake up and vote him out.

Alexblue May 26, 2023 04:08 PM
County Supervisors Increase Their Own Salaries

And by the way, on this topic, I have no problem with the pay increase. I think that elected officials need to make a reasonable living or else the middle and lower economic classes will never be able to serve.

It's this BS that Das' family is making a big sacrifice at 130k salary and benefits, that kind of statement oozes entitlement which is not a good sign in a public servant.

CoastWatch May 26, 2023 07:51 PM
County Supervisors Increase Their Own Salaries

Das has never had a real job in his adult life- The epitome of a "career politician" and all that goes with it, from self-serving, will do anything to get elected, to taking money for favors... (Pot Inc. and The Chumash come to mind). Such a wholesome "Representative".

seaninsb May 26, 2023 10:37 PM
County Supervisors Increase Their Own Salaries

How about they get a raise when they show they’ve saved money, cut costs, benefited the community to validate a pay raise. The self appointed raise at top percentage during down times is bad form.

Benicee May 27, 2023 12:06 AM
County Supervisors Increase Their Own Salaries

@ coast the Chumash is one of the largest employers in this county and have donated countless millions of dollars to said county . Of course politicians will do business with them, but to throw Chumash under the bus is not cool.

SBEducator May 27, 2023 06:34 AM
County Supervisors Increase Their Own Salaries

Well, they are making more than teachers. Is their job more important? Hilda won’t consider giving us a raise. Wish we could vote one for ourselves. And our benefits? Extremely expensive. Are the Supervisors paying for theirs? Poor Das. I didn’t realize he was “sacrificing” more than the educators in this city.

Babycakes May 27, 2023 10:45 AM
County Supervisors Increase Their Own Salaries

SBEducator: Of course, those who can vote themselves more money WILL do just that. Hilda has considered increasing the salaries of educators, but having difficulty justifying salary adjustments. A substantial increase (20-30%) in the number of students who tested at grade level would make it easier for her to "go to the well" for higher pay. The general public would also support raises for educators when they (we) see better results.

SBEducator May 27, 2023 12:57 PM
County Supervisors Increase Their Own Salaries

So our raises should be dependent on test scores? Are you basing this on CAASP scores? Attracting and keeping good teachers would be easier if people were paid enough to live here. Hilda has not said that she won’t give us a raise because of poor test scores. Has she told you that? Has the general public said we shouldn’t get a raise because of test scores? Also, who purchased and rolled out our horrible math program and the reading program that is now being replaced? They weren’t supported by teachers when it was time to choose. In addition, the lack of support staff and the bloated admin at the district office hasn’t helped students improve. Wondering where you are getting your information about Hilda and the public. Do tell…

a-1685199425 May 27, 2023 07:57 AM
County Supervisors Increase Their Own Salaries

Is this a "raise" or COLA? Because the cost of living has gone up each year since 2021 - when they had their last increase - so it's hard to consider this a raise. In fact, with inflation at 8% in 2022, 5% after two years of no cost-of-living-adjustment is not a raise.
I'm a teacher in the public school system and we're fighting to get back-money for COLA that we were never paid (but the district was given it from the state) plus something equitable this year.
I have to admit, it would be nice to be the decision-maker for our COLA like the supes can do, but our process involves negotiating with the district.

fewtile May 27, 2023 09:02 AM
County Supervisors Increase Their Own Salaries

Vote themselves a raise...sounds real democratic; I wish I could do the same. I noted Bob Nelson demurred; the current salary must be plenty for N. county. (After taxes that's really not a lot), but by the hour "es un chingo!"

szq May 27, 2023 10:23 AM
County Supervisors Increase Their Own Salaries

I know half the country despises the man but it is worth noting that Donald Trump gave his entire presidential salary away to charity for the honor of leading the country.

Lucky 777 May 27, 2023 11:23 AM
County Supervisors Increase Their Own Salaries

Just for grins try attending one of their meetings sometime, when you feel you want your voice to be heard. They will spend the first hour congratulating themselves, approving commemorative days, and then work their way through the agenda. When will you get a chance to speak? Oh, way down the list, and then only for your strictly limited 3 minutes. And they won't even keep up a pretense of listening. We pay for them, they are supposed to represent our collective will, but unfortunately like most politicians their true constituency are the marijuana investors or the developers, the ones who grease their palms with invisible perks.

Basicinfo805 May 27, 2023 12:01 PM
County Supervisors Increase Their Own Salaries

Well stated Lucky. This is exactly what’s happening with “Boards” everywhere - handclaps for each other, blowhard talk, and wasted time - all on OUR tax dollars. No wonder we’re in such a financial pinch, from local school districts all the way up to the federal government. That’s why the concept of fiscal responsibility matters so much, but has apparently been lost. Voters, it’s up to us.

a-1685232923 May 27, 2023 05:15 PM
County Supervisors Increase Their Own Salaries

Its not the BOS salary we should concerned about it the unions and how they have inflated the salaries and benefits of County and City Workers that are shocking. For example the City of Goleta, a small city of 30k people pays the workers:

Name Job title Total pay & benefits
Michelle A Greene City Manager
Goleta, 2021 $324,423.13
Kristine Schmidt Assistant City Manager
Goleta, 2021 $260,590.45
Charles Ebeling Public Works Director
Goleta, 2021 $258,371.10
Peter Imhof Planning And Environmental Review Director
Goleta, 2021 $250,006.24
Luke B Rioux Finance Director
Goleta, 2021 $245,842.62
Winnie Cai Assistant City Attorney
Goleta, 2021 $238,662.65
James Campero Deputy Public Works Director
Goleta, 2021 $224,583.82
Jaime A Valdez Neighborhood Services Director
Goleta, 2021 $219,801.91
B Allison Gray Library Director
Goleta, 2021 $218,603.11
Deborah S Lopez City Clerk
Goleta, 2021 $206,362.70
Teresa J Lopes Senior Project Engineer
Goleta, 2021 $204,314.27
Lisa W Prasse Planning Manager
Goleta, 2021 $195,522.18

Basicinfo805 May 27, 2023 09:06 PM
County Supervisors Increase Their Own Salaries

515 post says it all doesn’t it? Completely unsustainable, and that doesn’t even include the lifetime benefits and pensions. Anyone like the way the way this is going? Sac? Alex?

edney May 27, 2023 11:41 PM
County Supervisors Increase Their Own Salaries

How many of you get to vote on your own raise in pay?

On my first job, I voted myself an increase in pay from $1.65HR to $1.75HR and the boss said GFY, Go "F" Yourself and I went to another place that offered me $2HR if I could substantially improve my production, so I did

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