Colusa County supervisors give themselves raises
On Tuesday, the Colusa County supervisors voted 3-2 to give themselves a salary increase from $32,832 to $59,004 a year starting Jan. 1.
Supervisors Tom Indrieri, Mark Marshall and Gary Evans voted in favor of the raise while Supervisors Denise Carter and Kim Vann voted against it.
"I've always looked at this as serving the community ... I'm still on the fence about this," Carter said before the vote was taken.
The vote came after a public hearing was held in regards to the pay raise. At the hearing, several residents supported the raise.
"I'm here on the behalf of the (Colusa County Employees Association). The hardest part for the membership is that this came at the same time as the CAO position," said Debbie Hickel.
Hickel said the organization supported both the establishment of the chief administrative officer position and the raise, but she believed it was time to start looking at, and addressing, other positions within Colusa County and how greatly underpaid they are compared to other counties.
On Friday, Hickel clarified her comments.
“When speaking on the behalf of the Colusa County Employees’ Association, I did not intend for my comments to be interpreted as supportive of the raise,” Debbie Hickel said after the meeting on Friday.
Hickel said that the stance she intended to portray was a neutral one.
“I wanted to emphasize that if they went through with the raise, that they needed to look at some of the other positions in the county that are grossly underpaid in comparison to the surrounding counties,” Hickel said.
Others spoke in favor of the raise.
"I am in favor of increasing the compensation ... I am also in favor of linking this wage to the wage of another county employee. It will help avoid controversy in the future and it will serve this and future boards," said Robert Sutton.
Mary Winters, a former councilwoman and board liaison in Colusa, also voiced support for the raise.
"I certainly do support you raising the compensation. Cities and counties are a business," Winters said. "They're no longer just, well, fluff. I have never seen five finer or harder working supervisors than you five are. I think a raise is proper, and I hope you make the proper vote."