Mr. Horsley, a former county sheriff who receives $215,000 annually from his pension plan after 35 years in county government, issued a statement on Jan. 11. "I made a commitment to forgo the salary and I will keep that commitment," he said.
He had announced late in 2012 that he would begin collecting his $120,000 salary, citing as justification a healthier local economy than when he was elected.
Mr. Horsley won election in November 2010 and represents Atherton, Portola Valley, Woodside and several nearby unincorporated communities. He has not yet responded to an interview request.
The decision not to take his full salary effectively renews a pre-election pledge made in a January 2009 press release in which Mr. Horsley says that he is "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."
When asked recently to comment on this statement, Mr. Horsley said he did not remember making it, but told the Almanac that the county in 2009 had a structural deficit, which "put us in an austerity position. ... The overall economy of San Mateo County is not what it was three years ago."
Recent figures from the county budget director bear out Mr. Horsley's view of the health of the local economy, but his announcement to take his full salary did not go over well with some voters. Michael G. Stogner, a frequent critic of county government, said in the Almanac's online forum that he would initiate a recall election if Mr. Horsley did not recommit to his 2009 pledge.