Calaveras County elected officials met in a study session with the Board of Supervisors yesterday to discuss ways to improve their compensation packages.

No vote can be taken in a study session.

Supervisors in October approved an ordinance to improve the elected officials' retirement packages 3 percent at age 60 instead of 2 percent at age 55.

Yesterday, the elected officials agreed on four possible benefits for themselves:

? Health insurance four years after retirement, which would cover 75 percent of medical costs. After eight years, the insurance would cover all costs. Officials could add their spouses to the plans.

? Supplemental insurance after age 65.

? A monthly car allowance of $350 to go toward a car payment and in-county travel for elected officials while in office.

? An extra 7 percent of their annual earnings upon retirement as the county's contribution to their retirement pensions. That's how much the county pays now, but by giving them the money as soon as they retire, the move increases their final year's income, entitling them to more money from the state.

The county's elected officials including supervisors, the assessor, sheriff, treasurer/tax collector, auditor/controller and clerk/recorder have been trying to work out an increased benefit plan since October. That's when an independent consulting firm showed that about half the county employees were paid more than their counterparts in six similar-sized counties, while about half receive less.

Several county department heads and managerial employees got raises in the wake of that report.

Calaveras County Supervisors have agreed they could use federal grant money already in county coffers to pay down the Area 12 Agency on Aging's $43,000 deficit, but they have yet to allocate the money to the agency.

Area 12 racked up its deficit while providing the senior nutrition programs in Calaveras County.