CONTRA COSTA COUNTY (KCBS)— A 33-percent salary increase for the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors appears to be on its way out with West County supervisor John Gioia assuming his new role as Board chair in 2015.

He spoke of his goals and vision for enhancing the quality of life in Contra Costa, saying he’s committed to finalizing labor negotiations with county employees, but then he addressed the “elephant in the room”.

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“Let me address the board’s proposed salary increase. You know I couldn’t get through this talk without briefly addressing this issue. We respect the expression of the public through the petition process,” he said.

Last week a coalition of county labor unions delivered nearly 40,000 signatures on a referendum petition, calling on county supervisors to rescind a highly controversial salary increase that was passed in October.

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“As chair I will be placing an item on our board’s January 13th agenda next week to consider rescinding the proposed salary increase,” Gioia said.

Gioia later commented that the Board had not had a salary increase since 2007.

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“The fact is that the board has not taken a salary increase since 2007. Contra Costa Supervisors are currently the lowest paid urban county supervisors in California,” he said. That was the year the Board voted itself a 60-percent salary hike, which also ignited public outrage.