MARIPOSA COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE) – One woman in Mariposa County is leading an effort to gather signatures to overturn an ordinance that gave the Board of Supervisors a significant raise.
With a clipboard in hand and others joining her, Mariposa County resident Barbara Cone tried to get the attention of drivers as they drove by on Saturday morning.
“If somebody doesn’t speak up, things aren’t going to change and we need to call it out,” Cone said.
On Jan. 7, the County Board of Supervisors voted to give themselves around a $32,000 pay raise.
“I was shocked,” Cone said.
Cone first needs 823 signatures, which is 10% of the county’s voter turnout in the last election.
“Today was our first day and I so far in an hour and a half have gotten 25 signatures,” she said.
The Board of Supervisors receives 25% of the county’s superior court judge’s rate of pay. With the approval of this ordinance, that increases to 40%.
It’s the first pay increase in nearly three decades. This year, three seats are up for election, and the candidates are running unopposed.
In a statement, District 4 County Supervisor Kevin Cann who voted in favor of the ordinance said in part, “It is unreasonable to expect to attract qualified, experienced candidates for a more than full-time position in constant public controversy if your only pool are those who are retired with supplemental income or are independently wealthy.”
District 3 Supervisor Marshall Long was the only supervisor who voted against it.
“I did discuss with my kitchen cabinet, who are the folks who help get me elected, they’re constituents in District 3 and they said ‘it’s just way too much of an increase,’ and I agreed with them,” Long said.
Cone said she’s concerned that taxpayer money isn’t going to where it should be in the county.
“I could stay quiet out of fear or I could speak up and let the citizens know what’s going on in this county,” she said.