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Supervisors approve pay raises

Chairman’s wife gets 5% increase
By: Gus Thomson Journal Staff Writer
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With Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery opposed, the Placer County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to give Chairman Kirk Uhler’s wife a 5 percent raise after six months on the job with the county. Uhler was absent from a meeting that saw supervisors vote to give his wife, assistant director of child support services Tamara Uhler, a wage increase. Tamara Uhler was hired in July to take over a post that had been unfilled for two years. Chuck Thiel, a Placer Public Employees Union official, said at the time that county workers were upset over the hiring. The hiring had raised eyebrows at a time when the county was dealing with severe cutbacks that had forced employees to take monthly, unpaid furlough days off. Wally Reemelin, president of the League of Placer County Taxpayers, said Tuesday that he considered the raise – one of three supervisors voted 3-1 to approve – “unbelievable.” Supervisors Robert Weygandt, Rocky Rockholm and Jim Holmes voted in favor of the raises. “She just got the job,” Reemelin said. “What’s the wonderful thing that she’s done in six months? With the economy the way it is, they shouldn’t be giving raises unless they’ve done something extraordinary. This is just ridiculous.” Since the summer, Montgomery has consistently voted against each of the merit increases the County Executive’s Office has introduced for approval. Approved on 3-1 votes were 5 percent increases to county dentist Diego Rojas, who will now be earning $125,778 annually, and Uhler, who will now earn $99,195 a year. Her initial starting salary was $92,000, plus benefits, according to a previous Journal report. A 10 percent increase was approved for Kristina Berry, executive director of the Local Agency Formation Commission. She will now earn $106,204, not including benefits. Uhler was absent from Tuesday’s session and has absented himself from discussion in the past on votes dealing with his wife’s division. Placer County supervisors also approved voter-mandated raises Tuesday for sheriff’s deputies and most officers. Under a measure approved in 1977 by Placer County voters, wages for members of the Placer County Deputy Sheriff’s Association are based on the average maximum salary levels at similar positions in El Dorado, Nevada and Sacramento counties. This year, a member of the Deputy Sheriff II category would see an increase in the annual base salary of 1,884 to $67,632 – or 2.87 percent. The raises cover all sheriff’s law-enforcement positions except Sheriff Ed Bonner’s. Supervisors, who have no say in the salary determination, made no comment in approving an ordinance implementing the salary increases required under 1977’s Prop. F. Nancy Nittler, the county’s personnel director, said that the annual impact on the county budget from the raises will be $858,000.