Saturday, February 18, 2006

Marin County retreats a bit on salary data

Marin Independent Journal reporter Keri Brenner reports that the Marin County Supervisors have backed down a bit from their decision to keep all county government salaries secret. They've decided to disclose their own salaries, those of their aides, department heads, assistant department heads and elected officials. But some 2,100 other salaries remain secret. County Counsel Patrick Faulkner claims there's a conflict in the law -- statutes require release of the salaries but at least one recent court decision seems to say that they should remain private -- and so he's recommending against additional disclosure. The IJ's Brenner points out that for decades the salaries of county government workers had been public. Supervisors Hal Brown and Charles McGlashan say the salaries should be public while Cynthia Murray, Susan Adams and Steve Kinsey voted for secrecy, saying they're deferring to the opinion of Faulkner. Also against disclosure are Auditor-Controller Richard Arrow, who is seeking reelection in June, and Human Services Director Laura Armor, an appointee.

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