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O.C. Supervisor Gives Staff Raises Despite Freeze

November 02, 1995| From a Times Staff Writer

SANTA ANA — Despite a freeze on raises for most employees of Orange County's bankrupt government, Gov. Pete Wilson's new appointee to the Board of Supervisors ordered raises for every member of his personal staff just weeks after taking office, officials confirmed.

Supervisor Donald J. Saltarelli defended the raises for his six employees, saying they were significantly underpaid and overworked compared to employees in comparable positions in other board offices.

"They have proven their competence to me," said Saltarelli, who inherited his staff from former Supervisor Gaddi H. Vasquez, who resigned in September.

"I wanted to bring them into parity with other board offices and pay them a competitive wage," Saltarelli said.

Furthermore, Saltarelli said, three of his employees had received more lucrative offers to work elsewhere and he felt he needed their experience and expertise in county government to accomplish his goals.

But Saltarelli's explanations didn't sit well with some county activists and government observers who have repeatedly complained that county workers are overpaid.

"It's wrong giving pay raises when we're still in bankruptcy," said Carole Walters, a member of the anti-tax group Committees of Correspondence.

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