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Horsley reverses, will forgo supes salary

Original post made on Jan 12, 2013

San Mateo County Supervisor Don Horsley issued a brief statement Friday saying he had changed his mind and would keep to his campaign pledge to not accept a salary as supervisor.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Saturday, January 12, 2013, 9:03 AM

Comments (24)

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Posted by Lew Stein
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jan 12, 2013 at 6:12 pm

no doubt due to the reporting by the Almanac News...boy did you folks show your true colors


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Posted by reality
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jan 12, 2013 at 7:04 pm

This story was also covered by the San Mateo County Daily Journal.


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Posted by Thomas
a resident of another community
on Jan 12, 2013 at 7:24 pm

The Almanac staff and Mr. Stogner deserve alot of credit for bringing this issue to the public's attention. It is a perfect example of the power of the press, and the good work of an informed citizen who had the courage to stick his neck out for the betterment of the residents of San Mateo County. Keep up the good work Mr. Stogner. I thank you for all the folks behind the scene that I'm sure appreciate your efforts and what you have accomplished, but have not had the opportunity to thank you.


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Posted by Lew Stein
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jan 13, 2013 at 6:39 am

It is clear the Almanac would have never covered this story and would have swept it under the rug if Susan Smith hadn't tipped the story. Michael Stogner pushed the point util it was made right. The Almanac could do with some better reporting, and maybe a little less turning away.


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Posted by Thomas
a resident of another community
on Jan 13, 2013 at 7:57 am

Now that Mr. Horsley has made the decision to not continue to accept the supervisor salary there is really only one additional question for him to answer. Does he intend to repay the additional salary he has been receiving since the middle of November? Was the repayment of those additional funds that he has received for the past two months part of his promise to end acceptance of his supervisor salary? Not a little thing, it would probably amount to something over $10,000.00? Do the right thing Mr. Horsley, repay the County of San Mateo for whatever amount you have already received.


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jan 13, 2013 at 8:19 am

There are no additional questions from me. As far as I'm concerned, Mr. Horsley made a mistake and rightfully corrected it.

Time to move on and let him get to work. We have bigger issues facing our county.


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Posted by Leslie Stepp
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jan 13, 2013 at 12:59 pm

I guess we can put away our pichforks and the rail we were going to ride this man out of town upon.........keep them close by for when the next elected official pulls a stunt like the one Supervisor Horsely just tried to pull on his constituency....and he did.


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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Jan 13, 2013 at 1:45 pm

San Mateo County now with District Elections of our Supervisors is a game changer.

Now for the first time in the History of our County since 1856 a Supervisor needs to be concerned with what the residents think, Never before was that true.

Now we need the media to wake up to the residents interest instead of the advertising $. Not sure if that is possible.


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Posted by Thankless
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jan 14, 2013 at 12:22 am

This just goes to show that no matter what a person does, people will hate. Neither mr. stogner nor the almanac had anything to do with getting this "story" and neither did this smith person. Supervisor Horsley put out a press release informing the public that the contract that he signed was ending and that he was now going to take a salary. The headline should have been "thank you Supervisor Horsley" for saving the County $220,000. There is no one among YOU who would work for free but you have the gall to think that someone else should work for you for free. It is WRONG to expect that NO ONE can run for public office in an elected position if they have retired from any Government job unless they work for free! It is ok with you, though, that someone who retired from IBM or General Motors or some other company and collects a pension runs for public office and gets paid for it. This is NOT double dipping. Mr. Horsley did not retire from his job so that he could go back and get hired for another one. HE WAS ELECTED and that is a very different thing. We cannot take away the right of ANY citizen to run for public office because we require that he or she do it for free. This just proves that it doesn't matter what a "politician" does - he could have solved the budget deficit, cured cancer, and ended crime and it wouldn't make one iota of difference to you. You are mean and hateful people. No good deed goes unpunished that's for sure! Mr. Horsley's biggest mistake was not taking a salary in the first place. He did not run on that issue, you didn't vote for him because of it and most of you never even knew that he wasn't taking a salary in the first place. He did it to set an example because the County was in dire straights, County positions had been eliminated and employees were being asked to forego raises and to take reductions in pay. What a pathetic bunch you are - you disgust me.


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Posted by Michael G Stogner
a resident of another community
on Jan 14, 2013 at 7:35 am

Thankless says, "He did not run on that issue, you didn't vote for him because of it and most of you never even knew that he wasn't taking a salary in the first place. He did it to set an example because the County was in dire straights,"

Fact check

In a Jan. 19, 2009, press release, 18 months before the June 2010 primary election, San Bruno-based political consultant Ed McGovern leads with this statement attributed to Mr. Horsley: "As a former San Mateo County Sheriff and county employee, I am fortunate that I receive an excellent package of benefits, and believe the compensation I would be awarded as a County Supervisor would be better spent elsewhere. Therefore, if elected, I will forgo my salary and benefits so that the money may be used for other County needs."


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Posted by Thomas
a resident of another community
on Jan 14, 2013 at 8:02 am

Good for you Mr. Stogner, thanks for the fact check. Like I stated previously, many of us voters really appreciate that you did the right thing by exposing this injustice by Mr. Horsley.
I totally disagree with " Thankless " and feel that many uncommitted voters DID in fact vote for Mr. Horsley because of his campaign statement, which was brokem, to forgo his supervisors salary for at the very least, his full four (4) year term. In my opinion, four years is long enough for this type of candidate. Let's all hope that the district elections produce some excellent candidates during the next election cycle.


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Posted by closest to the people...
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jan 14, 2013 at 12:45 pm

With District elections, I am sure there will be one or more well qualified challengers to Mr. Horsley, and I (and I assume many others) will not be soon forgetting this sad episode. He clearly promised not to take the salary. That he didn't appreciate that it would be a big deal for him to back track on that seems like a serious lapse of judgment.

To the County's good ole boy type insider group: take note! Times have changed. Your thinking also needs to change.

District elections bring government closer to the people which increases accoutnability. A good thing, overall.


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Posted by Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jan 14, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Horses-a88-ly.

Can't wait for the next opportunity to not vote for him.

As to the quality of Almanac reporting: what's going wrong there? Very poor, inaccurate and late info on horses killed on 280, and last week's cover was tabloid-like, asking questions not answered in the article. The paper missed the Las Lomitas Christmas Eve flooding entirely. And what about that bothersome peregrine falcon in PV? It would be great to have someone keeping up on local stories like they used to.


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Posted by WhoRUpeople
a resident of another community
on Jan 14, 2013 at 1:47 pm

Other than Mr. Stogner, who has run and will likely do so again, my guess is that none who has posted negative comments about Mr Horsley here will even consider running for this office themselves. I totally agree with the post of Thankless, to you, sir or madam, ditto, ditto and ditto. Responding to Voter regarding the critical news coverage, you get what you pay for.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Jan 14, 2013 at 3:43 pm

WhoRUPeople - You write as is NOT running for office is a bad thing. How many people in the county are qualified & not already overcommitted? I, for one, would never consider running because I'm not qualified, nor am I interested, but I am overcommitted. However, as a taxpaying voter, I get to write negative comments about politicians who dishonor their promises, especially when they do so in such a slippery manner as Mr. Horsley did.

Are you interested in running for office at any level? If so, what office do you think you'd be best in? I've watched a number of Supervisors work their way into county positions after being on voluntary city and school boards, then city council, and so on. Some of them have become more effective, some less & w/most of them, their effectiveness all depends on who you ask.

It's their job to do their job & it's our job to hold them accountable, as much as possible, for their campaign promises which are relevant to the constituents & to do their jobs from year to year. We've held up our end of the bargain & now so has Mr. Horsley.


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Posted by Voter
a resident of another community
on Jan 14, 2013 at 3:49 pm

First of all, I didn't vote for Don Horsley, nor did I (nor would I ever, not even for dog catcher) vote for Michael Stogner. I did vote for the candidate who lives on the Coastside. That having been said, I think Mr. Horsley has done a fine job as County Supervisor and, since my vote had absolutely nothing to do with his pledge, I frankly think it rather ridiculous that we expect someone to do the job of County Supervisor for free. He earned his pension and he is earning his salary as Supervisor. What do we think we should get his service for free? Excellent question. Anyone have any thoughtful answers? By all means advocate for pension reforms, but expecting a County Supervisor to work for you for free is just silly.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Jan 14, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Voter - have you paid attention to the history of this little kerfuffle? If not, you might want to, so that your comments/questions are more accurate. Today's Daily Post had a column about it, albeit rather mean-spirited in some aspects. But reading up on the whole story might answer some of your questions. I, for one, have no problem w/the Supervisors pay. I don't like sneaky promise breaking.


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Posted by Stop the nonsense
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jan 14, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Voter, read the above comments. Many of the posters answered your "excellent question" reasonably and unequivocally. Horsley should serve out his term with no pay because he promised to do so. His reneging on that pledge tells me he's tone deaf to the fact that so many people don't trust their government and politicians, and they don't need one more reason to be distrustful.

And to the person who claimed that Horsley didn't run on the issue, Stogner and the Almanac accurately pointed out that his decision was announced in 2009 in a formal press release, sent out by professional political consultant Ed McGovern, who was working on Horsley's election effort. How does this translate into "he did not run on that issue"?


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Posted by Haricot Vert
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jan 14, 2013 at 5:28 pm

"Thankless" said it all. What a petty, petty bunch of folks who have nothing else to do hang out online and pick at and criticize people who stick their necks out, run for public office, and give splendid public service. Petty, petty, petty. And the Almanac encourages it (eyeballs on their site = advertising revenues and future "controversies" to report on).

Thank you, Don Horsley, for setting an example when times were very tough. But it just goes to show you that no good deed goes unpunished, and generous impulses are quickly forgotten if appreciated at all. Your gesture saved somebody's job and continued some unspecified services...but does anybody care? Apparently not.


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Posted by Aquamarine
a resident of another community
on Jan 14, 2013 at 5:49 pm

Please, Haricot, if you have any facts to back up your claims, "Your gesture saved somebody's job and continued some unspecified services..." please post that information here.

I wasn't aware that politicians were so slavish in their devotion to the public; what an original point of view you have.


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jan 14, 2013 at 7:59 pm

Many of the posters on this thread transparently provide wonderful arguments against something that is not even at issue.

In this case, the issue isn't whether or not Mr. Horsley deserves or has earned his salary. THE ISSUE IS A POLITICIAN HONORING A KEY CAMPAIGN PROMISE. In this case, candidate Horsley made it a big issue that he was forgoing his salary. Making that promise was HIS idea, not ours.

Now, please continue asking your important questions and making your arguments about people not wanting to run for office. Mr. Horsley is an experienced politician and knows exactly what public office entails.


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Posted by Michael G Stogner
a resident of another community
on Jan 14, 2013 at 8:43 pm

Supervisor Don Horsley has made no comment on this issue period. Chris Hunter emailed at 4:15 PM Friday to 3 reporters and 4:16PM to myself the official response. Mr. Horsley refuses to speak with any reporter so far. Before this finally got settled he made this comment to a reporter.

"I don't know if I said it. I don't remember," Mr. Horsley said when asked about the $1 a year pledge. The decision was based on the county's structural deficit, which "put us in an austerity position," he said.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jan 15, 2013 at 7:08 am

Interesting the county's structural deficit put us in an "austerity position," yet the supes could give the Sheriff's Deputies a 3% raise. Clearly someone needs to consult a dictionary as to the meaing of "austerity." To those who think Mr. Horsley is doing a "great" job, keep that 3% "payback" raise in mind when you think about it. That was your money he was giving away.


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Posted by Thomas
a resident of another community
on Jan 15, 2013 at 8:15 am

To completely correct this totally embarrassing situation, there is really only additional step that is left for Mr. Horsley to accomplish, which is really the right thing to do.

Mr. Horsley needs to pay back the County of San Mateo the $18,616.32 salary that he began collecting from his supervisor position salary effective from 11/11/12 to the present. Mr. Horsley owes the voters and tax payers of our County that much for his mistake in judgement.


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