Feb. 14, 2023 — Madera County Board of Supervisors

Documented by Josef Sibala

In a unanimous vote, the supervisors repealed Ordinance 701 and returned to the previous pay structure under Ordinance 530G.

What happened: During a special meeting Tuesday morning, the Madera County Board of Supervisors unanimously agreed to revoke the $20,000 pay increase they approved for themselves in December.

The special meeting was scheduled following the Feb. 7 meeting when several citizens voiced concerns about the pay increase, which came just before the county lost its only adult hospital leaving hundreds of residents unemployed. At that meeting, Supervisor Leticia Gonzalez said, “I have no intention of taking the increase.”

Supervisor Gonzalez and Supervisor Robert L. Poythress voted against the increase in December, but it still passed in a 3-2 vote with Supervisors Brett Frazier, David Rogers, and Tom Wheeler voting in favor of the ordinance.

However, on Tuesday, the supervisors unanimously voted to repeal Ordinance 701 and return to the previous pay structure under Ordinance 530G.

Ordinance 701 would have given supervisors with less than five years of service a bump from 41.2% to 50% of the annual salary for a Superior Court Judge, which would be an annual increase of $20,343.

For board members with six or more years of elected service, their salary is currently set at 43.26% of a Superior Court Judge’s annual salary and with the increase it would have jumped to 55% or an annual increase of $27,140. Currently two board members would be at this level.

Hospital update: The supervisors also approved sending two letters to state officials urging policy intervention on the delivery of healthcare services. 

The supervisors, various officials, and members of the public discussed solutions and the issues that led to the closure of Madera Community Hospital. Supervisor Poythress said it was due to the high cost of travel nurses and low reimbursement rates, while Supervisor Rogers said it was due to state-wide issues and the “unacceptable” requirements of Attorney General Rob Bonta on the sale of the hospital.

“This was not under the purview of the board of supervisors, I want people to understand that we did not break the hospital,” Rogers said.

Rogers also said that a farmworker in the county had been recently injured in a tractor accident. He said the injuries were made worse by waiting for a ride to the hospital, rather than using an ambulance and he urged others to call 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency.

Read more from the meeting:

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The Fresno Documenters are a group of local residents who are trained and paid to attend and take notes at local public meetings where officials decide how to spend public money and make important decisions...