Mono County’s Board of Supervisors met on June 8, 2021 to discuss, among other things, the recommended budget changes for the county, which will go into effect on July 1, 2021.
The budget anticipates a $1.2 million operational deficit for this year with the hopes that it will come into balance by 2022.
While Finance Director Janet Dutcher harped on the theme of transparency during her presentation to the board, there was a notable lack of transparency regarding the methodology of employee compensation.
In short: the county conducted a survey of 14 similar counties across the country to determine what other governmental entities were paying their employees so that it could adjust the salaries of some 40 at-will employees accordingly.
The adjustments selected by county officials fell above the median, in the 65th percentile.
That survey will be discussed in depth at next Tuesday’s board meeting prior to a vote on the 2021-2022 budget.
The bulk of recommended spending increases were within the category of salaries and and benefits.
There is an expected 8.36% increase year-over-year in salaries and benefits in Mono County. The majority of that increase is headed to pensions.
All county employees in unionized positions now get a 5% step increase, up from 2.5%.
Dutcher stated that one of the main reasons for the salary increases has to do with the fact that the county still hasn’t fully recovered from the 2008 recession.
Supervisor Bob Gardner proposed having a revenue workshop in the fall of 2021 given the need to solve long-term revenue-related challenges. He also proposed a workshop within the next year to discuss long-term strategies regarding pensions.
The Sheet obtained a copy of the salary survey ahead of next Tuesday’s meeting.
The survey breaks down the decisions that lead to the proposed increases, referencing data from the 14 similar counties.
Some notable proposed salary increases of the county’s 40 at-will employees:
-Head of Public Works (Tony Dublino): $144,552 to $147,084
-Director of Finance (Janet Dutcher): $150,384 to $154,440
-Director of Information Technology (Nate Greenberg): $154,872 to $162,156
-County Administrative Officer (Bob Lawton): $180,000 to $187,716
-County Assessor Barry Beck: $123,900 to $133,404
-District Attorney Tim Kendall: $157,272 to $170,268
-Public Health Officer, formerly Tom Boo: $218,400 to $228,168
Sheriff-Coroner Ingrid Braun: $151,248 to $170,268.
-Board of Supervisors Chairperson: $53,544 to $62,424.
-Supervisors: $49,308 to $57,504.
In other budget news: An estimated $450,000 was proposed to be spent towards the county Civic Center next year. Head of Public Works Tony Dublino broke this down further:
-$50k for audio/video equipment in board chambers
-$15k for a record of survey for the property
-$123k for additional sound-proofing requirements
-$264k for insulation of snow rails on the roof as well as drainage improvements, minor repairs to the HVAC system, and a new logo sign for the front door.