By now, many of you might have heard that three members of our Board of Supervisors have waived county policy to give over 20 percent raises to their administrative assistants.
I want to tell you unequivocally that I did not support that measure and did not vote for those raises. I was joined by my fellow board member Steve Miller in opposing this action.
No matter what you call it or how you defend these pay raises, it comes down to one simple fact: our policy was not followed. The policy was thrown to the side for a select few to gain a large increase in their pay. As the policy making body of Pinal County, the Supervisors should be held to a higher standard when it comes to following the rules we pass. Unfortunately for the 1,988 employees of the county, this did not happen.
One of the arguments by the majority who passed these pay raises was that it took too long to go through Human Resources for the position reclassification. To me, this argument falls flat when you have a Human Resources Department who previously did a position survey for the Supervisors administrative assistants and found all but one of their salaries to be right on target for the marketplace.
These pay raises are a direct slap in the face to those Pinal County employees, such as our law enforcement personnel, that have not seen a raise in six years. While we did pass a 2.5 percent increase for 2014, even though it is not even in the ballpark for three employees receiving a very generous 20 percent salary raise. It boggles the mind to think that these three employees, who carry on the same day-to-day duties as my assistant and Supervisor Miller’s assistant, merit such a high increase.
I enjoy working with my four fellow supervisors, I feel they do have the best interests of the county at heart. But this action of tossing policy for pay raises while we are expected to encounter a $9 million deficit at the end of this fiscal year is not wise, nor does it work in the best interest of the county.
Pete Rios, Member, District 1
Pinal County Board of Supervisors