Despite economy, county gives execs raises

Officials says salary increases scheduled to happen
By: Jenifer Gee Journal Staff Writer
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The recent decision to give county managers salary increases has raised questions among some employees about the actual budget situation. At the Tuesday Placer County Board of Supervisors meeting, 5 percent merit raises were approved for seven county employees. County CEO Tom Miller said the raises are scheduled to occur and are based on years of service and passing certain evaluation criteria. He said the managers listed on the board of supervisor’s agenda are not represented by a public union and therefore need the board’s approval. Union employee raises do not appear on public agendas, he said. The raises included a range of department employees from Richard Colwell, chief assistant CEO, whose hourly wage will increase 5 percent to $116.89, to Richard Buckman, veteran services officer, whose hourly wage will bump up to $39.92. Miller said the county would have to negotiate to withhold the merit increases. He said all county employees, including those who received the recent salary increases, are taking 12 furlough days this year. County probation officer Chuck Parcher said he doesn’t have a problem with negotiated pay raises but said he wonders if the county is being forthright about the current budget situation. “I’m concerned the county didn’t come forward and clearly say what financial dire straits we are in,” Parcher said. In April, the Placer Public Employees Organization — the county’s largest union — agreed to 12 furlough days. Now, Parcher says he questions the necessity. “At the time it was portrayed as doom and gloom,” Parcher said of the county’s financial situation. “Now I don’t think it’s as doom and gloom.” Miller said the furlough agreement, along with other adjustments, “saved $7 million.” Parcher said union employees are scheduled to receive a negotiated 2.5 percent pay raise this year. He said that percentage was reduced from a normally higher pay raise. The Journal’s Jenifer Gee can be reached at or post a comment. ---------- Which county employees received a 5 percent merit increase? The following is a list of employees who received a 5 percent merit increase per approval of the Placer Board of Supervisors Tuesday. - Richard E. Buckman, Veteran Services Officer, $39.92 per hour, retroactive to May 9; Annual salary $83,033.60 - Richard E. Colwell, Chief Assistant CEO, $116.89 per hour to include longevity retroactive to June 20; Annual salary $243,131.20 - Maryellen Peters, Deputy County Executive Officer, $67.03 per hour, retroactive to March 14; Annual salary $139,422.40 - Nicole C. Howard, Managing Accountant Auditor, $51.30 per hour, retroactive to June 20; - Brett Holt, Deputy County Counsel III, $56.61 retroactive to June 20; Annual salary $117,748.80 - Michael Lombardo, Assistant Client Services Program Director, $52.31 per hour, retroactive to April 11;Annual salary $108,804.80 - Stephen G. Pecor, Chief Probation Officer, $76.48 per hour which includes longevity, effective July 4;Annual salary $159,078.40 ----------