MARTINEZ (KCBS) – Contra Costa County supervisors said there will be some “extremely serious” economic issues that they’ll have to tackle this year.

Outgoing Chair Supervisor John Gioia asked for a moment of silence on Tuesday to remember the victims of the Arizona shooting rampage.

He then turned the gavel over to Supervisor Gayle Uilkema, who knows that there are tough economic issues that both she and her colleagues face in the coming year, including rising pensions and salaries.

“We have been warned for months by our [County Administrator’s Office] that in the current environment, we cannot afford our current level of salaries and benefits,” Uilkema said.

KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

The new vice-chair, Supervisor Mary Piepho, said lengthy contract negotiations with several unions last year helped to reduce costs, but there’s still more work to be done.

“Together we must build pension reform and we need our employees to work with us to make the appropriate changes to create a sustainable system for everybody,” said Piepho.

There is a new face on the Board as Supervisor Karen Mitchoff was elected to office after former Supervisor Susan Bonilla was elected to the California Assembly.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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