S. E. Williams |

In 2020 voters in San Bernardino County approved Measure K by an overwhelming margin of nearly two thirds of the vote.

The measure would imposed term limits on county supervisors restricting them to a single four-year term while also capping their salaries and benefits at a combined $60K per year compared to the supervisors’ current $250K+ in salary and benefits combined. 

Within a few short weeks of the measure’s passage in 2020 San Bernardino County  and the Board of Supervisors filed suit effectively halting the measure’s implementation. However last Tuesday, July 12, the 4th District Court of Appeals in Riverside tentatively ruled against the San Bernardino County and the board. 

In its ruling the appellate court declared, “We will hold that the one-term limit is constitutional”.  The court further held that the compensation for the supervisors can be set by initiatives and further noted the board had not shown that the compensation limit established by the measure violated minimum wage laws.

The measure would imposed term limits on county supervisors restricting them to a single four-year term while also capping their salaries and benefits at a combined $60K per year compared to the supervisors’ current $250K+ in salary and benefits combined.  (source: invoice.com)

In the appeal the board argued that once benefits and all taxes are taken from the proposed $60K salary board members’ compensation would average out at less than the minimum wage of $15 per hour. 

In its ruling on July 12 the appellate judges split on whether Measure K applied to supervisors newly elected in 2020. It determined that although the one-term limit applies, the compensation cap did not.

In light of the appellate court ruling the board is considering its next steps as the appellate court ruling is not yet final. 

Each side still has an opportunity to make oral arguments before the court and regardless of the outcome at the appellate level with side can still appeal to the California Supreme Court.