In this space last week, we called out Supervisor Don Horsley for his decision to take his salary after saying he would not during his campaign.
The reason for Horsley's original commitment was that he would already be receiving a generous pension for his 35-year law enforcement career of about $200,000. The rationale for that campaign commitment was that, if he did take the supervisor salary, he would be making approximately $320,000 a year. High pensions and double-dipping are spark plug issues here and elsewhere and Horsley negated the potential controversy by agreeing to not be paid for the supervisor job. That is what he did for the first two years on the job. Last month, in the heart of the holiday season when most people's minds are elsewhere, Horsley announced he would, in fact, begin taking the salary because his circumstances changed and he would soon have to pay for his mother-in-law's medical care.
Last Friday, Horsley announced he would not take his salary, simply saying he made a commitment and intended to honor that commitment. We are not so presumptuous as to take credit for the decision; ours was simply one voice among others in suggesting that all was not right in the decision — and that he should have honored the commitment or not made it at all. However, one former candidate for the same job two years ago also threatened a recall effort. Though such an effort is often challenging, it obviously helped convince Horsley that the issue was not going to go quietly even though it was announced during the holidays. So credit Michael Stogner for his recall plans and those who wrote letters to this newspaper in response to our stories about Horsley's decision. And credit should also go to Horsley for the reversal.
Though the decision to begin taking his pay was tone-deaf, he had the wherewithal to realize it was a poor one and change his mind. Not everyone does that, and doing so removes what could have been a stain of both disappointment and ire to his tenure on the board.