(San Bernardino) – The San Bernardino County Safety Employees Benefit Association (SEBA) announced today that it is supporting the San Bernardino County Elected Officials Pay Reduction Act. SEBA represents more than 2000 of San Bernardino County’s sworn peace officers.
SEBA has been at odds with the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors since last December when the board decided to impose it best, last and final offer on SEBA’s Specialize Peace Officers (SPO) unit. The SPO includes welfare fraud investigators, coroner investigators, and probation corrections officers.
On December 13, 2010, on a 3-2 vote, the board voted to reduce pay and benefits by about 14 percent. Supervisors Mitzelfelt and Derry opposed County Executive Officer Greg Devereaux’s proposal to impose while Supervisors Rutherford, Ovitt and Gonzales voted in favor of his plan.
The San Bernardino County Elected Officials Pay Reduction Act was filed with the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters in August 2010. It started out as a grassroots effort but will now likely qualify more quickly for the ballot thanks to SEBA’s involvement.
The SEBA board of directors endorsed and authorized support of the initiative on January 4, 2012. In a press release today, union president Laren Leichliter stated, “This charter amendment establishes a part-time Board of Supervisors, reduces their pay and benefits commensurate with part-time status, and reduces their staff budgets from a total of $6 million to approximately $250,000 per office. It is our position that the Board of Supervisors has become a part-time body and should be compensated accordingly.
“Over the past two years they have met barely 50% of the time. They have delegated much of their constitutional duties to an unelected CEO. Their land use responsibilities are shrinking with annexations and incorporations. In these austere times, part-time work should result in part time pay. This is a very popular charter amendment.”
As of the writing of this story, no official response has been issued by members of the Board of Supervisors. As the campaign progresses, www.reformsbcounty.com will be updated.
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