How much do elected officials make?

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

As the voting public is asked to choose which leaders will represent them at the different levels of government, the News Review looked at some of the salaries our leaders collect from taxpayers for their service.

Although the actual cost of those jobs (employer’s share of benefits and taxes, extent of what expenses are reimbursed, etc.) were not available, salaries generally in-crease with the level of responsibility.

Most offices also have a delay in implementing the authorization of salary increases, which helps prevent elected officials from voting to increase their own salaries.

Topping that list, naturally, is the office of the President of the United States, who collects $400,000 per year plus benefits and expenses.

Rank-and-file members of the House and Senate each collect $174,000 per year, plus expenses and benefits. Leadership collects up to $193,400 annually.

California legislators (state Senate and Assembly) recently took a pay cut from $113,098 in 2011 to collect $95,291 in 2012 — still the highest in comparison to their counterparts in other states. They also collect per diem of $143 per day in session.

Members of the Kern County Board of Supervisors collect about $112,000 per year in salary, plus a $599-per-month car allowance and expenses.

District representatives on the Kern Water Agency are paid $227 per day (up to 10 days per month), plus benefits.

The local offices offer a per-month or per-meeting stipend, with most offering health benefits as well.

Members of the Ridgecrest City Council collect a stipend of $776 per month plus health benefits. Councilmembers with enough years of service are also eligible to collect a pension when they retire. (Councilmembers must serve a minimum of five years before they are vested.)

Trustees on the Sierra Sands Unified School District Board of Education collect a stipend of $240 per month, as well as a benefits package.

Members of the water board collect $125 per board meeting and $60 per committee meeting, with an average of one regular and two committee meetings per month. They also receive a health benefits package.

Members of the airport board receive $100 per meeting up to four meetings per month. They do not collect benefits.

Story First Published: 2012-10-31