Declaring that "the pain of budget cuts has got to start at the top," County Supervisor Gloria Molina said Tuesday that she and her four board colleagues should voluntarily take an 8.25% pay cut.
In a motion filed for consideration next week, Molina asked that the county auditor-controller come up with a plan to reduce a supervisor's annual pay of $99,297, which is set by county ordinance.
"The county is looked on as having a bloated bureaucracy, and we do little to dispel that," she said.
The tentatively approved $12.3-billion budget is based on the assumption that 84,000 rank-and-file county workers will take an 8.25% pay cut, or that enough workers will be laid off to save $212 million. County officials and union representatives are negotiating the pay and layoff options.
Two weeks ago the Board of Supervisors asked county department heads making the highest salaries to forgo a planned cost-of-living raise.
Molina's motion requesting a voluntary pay cut was supported by some colleagues but greeted coolly by others.
Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke seconded the motion, and Mike Antonovich said he also would support the action.
But Board Chairman Ed Edelman said, "We'll take a look at it and see how it goes." Supervisor Deane Dana added, "It's complex."
The county is facing a $300-million revenue shortfall and is planning to close hospitals, sheriff's stations and libraries, and to cut welfare benefits.
In addition to their annual salaries--which would still total more than $90,000 a year after the proposed pay cut--supervisors receive $20,000 a year in fringe benefits.