Cashing in

With Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democrats in the state legislature asking voters to raise their own taxes in a series of measures set for a May special election, legislative salaries are becoming a subject of scrutiny. One interesting name is that of Ocean Beach resident Richard Grosch. According to recent figures dug up by the newspaper Capitol Weekly, he’s making $75,000 a year as district coordinator for Democratic assemblyman Marty Block. A longtime fixture in Democratic politics here who has failed in city council bids, Grosch is currently president of the San Diego Community College District board of trustees, the post held by his former colleague and current boss Block.

First elected in 2002 with the backing of teachers’ unions, Grosch is in his second term on the board; last summer he voted with Block against imposing term limits on its members, a recommendation made by the county grand jury. In September 2007, Block and Grosch joined fellow board members in voting 4–0 to repeal a $3500 campaign-contribution limit for members, saying eliminating the cap would make it easier for challengers to raise money, a position contested by ethics advocates. Grosch played a key role in Block’s Assembly campaign. Community college district spokesman Richard Dittbenner says board spots pay $10,764 a year.

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