Last month when San Bernardino County First District Supervisor Robert “Bob” Lovingood appointed former county supervisor Fred Aguiar as his senior policy advisor, it turned heads. Aguiar resigned from the board in December 2003 to accept a position with then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and served in a variety of state-level positions in the years that followed.
Some raised questions as to why a politician who once served in the county’s top spot as chairman of the board would now want to work for a county supervisor. No real answer has been provided but a review of campaign finance reports indicates that during this election cycle Aguiar, through his committee, Aguiar for Assessor 2022, made multiple campaign donations to Lovingood totaling $1,750. The last contribution reported was $500 on June 5, 2015.
Aguiar’s new employment contract was approved by the Board of Supervisors on January 12, 2016. Aguiar will receive $120,000 per year. Under the terms of the contract, he cannot work more than 960 hours per fiscal year. Full-time county employment is 2080 hours per fiscal year.
At 960 hours per fiscal year, Aguiar’s hourly rate equals $125. His paycheck every other week will be $4,615.38.
However, one clause of Aguiar’s contract reads:
CONTRACTOR’S standard tour of duty (regularly scheduled work week) shall be established by the First District Supervisor of San Bernardino County, or designee. The First District Supervisor of San Bernardino County, or designee, may modify or change the number of hours in a standard day, tour of duty or shift to meet the needs of the service.
Insiders tell byteclay.com that Aguiar, who lives in the San Luis Obispo area, has an agreement with Lovingood to report to work at the County Government Center only up to four days a month. He must be there on the day of regular board meetings and the Monday before. Generally, there are two board meetings a month, but this month there is only one.
Even assuming 10 hours a day for the four days in question, Aguiar’s hourly rate jumps to $250. In comparison, Lovingood earns a base rate, not including benefits, of $75.45 an hour. Chief Executive Officer Greg Devereaux earns a base rate of $151.80 an hour.
Additionally, Fifth Floor sources say that Aguiar has no intention of moving to the district or even the county. He will commute from his ranch in Northern California twice a month, or less, depending on the board meeting schedule.
Aguiar’s duties include serving as an advisor to Lovingood on various legislative, policy, and regional district issues. He will also be responsible for conducting research and analysis, and making recommendations on a variety of regional issues.
Aguiar served in Schwarzenegger’s cabinet as the secretary of the State and Consumer Services Agency. He also was appointed as a deputy chief of staff and as a member of the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board. He was part of the Schwarzenegger team when the governor signed into law the largest tax increase in California history.