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LA Supervisors: Big Salaries, Chauffeur, Plasmas, Huge Staffs

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With a base salary of over $150k a year, a car allowance of over $600 a month that will cover some pretty high-end leases, a chauffeur, and a staff of between 24-40 workers, the five LA County Board of Supervisors are living the high life on the taxpayers' dime, according to the LA Daily News.

Among the nation's largest counties, only commissioners in Harris County, Texas (the Houston area), come close in annual pay at $134,474 each. San Diego and Orange County supervisors follow at $120,557. Next highest pay is for supervisors in Maricopa County, Ariz. (Phoenix area), $67,800.

The Supes rationalize their pay and benefits by saying that LA County is physically huge, they serve millions of citizens, and they have to work with billion dollar budgets.But the Daily News reports that the staff salaries are also pretty large, and they too get cars.

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And the salary-benefit package for an individual staff member grew by as much as 41 percent from 2002-03 to 2005-06, according to a Daily News analysis of the data. More than two dozen staff members received pay increases of 20 percent or more in that period. Total salary packages for full-time staff members ranged from $41,884 to $174,556 last fiscal year. "It would appear to me that a series of these increases were egregiously high," said Steven B. Frates, a senior fellow at the Rose Institute for State and Local Government at Claremont McKenna College. "These salaries increased much more rapidly - orders of magnitude more rapidly - than the personal income of the taxpayers who paid them."

Which means that the next time LAist is looking for a job instead of worrying about getting a seat on the Board, we'll just apply to be a staff member, or better yet, a driver.

photo by another sarah via flickr