Update on resources 2/8/2020

The city manager issued her new report found here. There is no new information on the financial crisis in it. There are links to past and future meetings. There are two firefighter jobs listed. They mentioned one was a replacement position. I wonder if either of those hires will reduce the $1.2 million in overtime we are paying for the fire department.

One of our community members managed to get the audio somewhat fixed on the City’s Town Hall meeting. Not perfect but better than what we got from the city. Thanks Mike.

The slides from that presentation are found here.

I am also adding the slides from Mark Rasiah (Finance Director) presentation here. The video can be found here. Click on the long-term plan study session to see the applicable video.

Here is some information from the 2019 Comprehensive Annual Budget Report (CAFR)

In November 2018 the independent auditor expressed the going concern statement for the second year in a row. It appears in the CAFR. In the June 4, 2019 meeting the city finance director expressed the view things were improving and the going concern statement would likely go away. this was backed up by Karen. When asked if he felt better, the finance director said something like  “considerably so”. At the next meeting, the council raised the wages of management. Not until January 2020 did staff disclose to council and the public that there was a $2.9 million cost overrun and that the going concern statement appeared for a third year in a row.

The video of that meeting is found here. The budget information starts at 2:59 in the video. The packet is found here. Pages 47-110 are very detailed budget documents. At the very end of the packet (no page numbers are available is Karen Pinkos’s presentation on the budget.

In addition, here is the information from the Standard and Poors report downgrading the city’s bond rating to BBB.

El Cerrito, CA COP Rating Lowered Two Notches To ‘BBB’ On Deteriorating Budgetary Flexibility

  • 26-Nov-2019 16:38 EST 

“The lowered rating reflects our view of the continued deterioration of the city’s already weakened budgetary flexibility, driven primarily by continued strain on the city’s revenue, rising fixed costs with projected pension pressures, and one-time costs associated with the state’s wildfires,” said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Benjamin Geare.

El Cerrito, CA COP Rating Lowered Two Notches To ‘BBB’ On Deteriorating Budgetary Flexibility

  • 26-Nov-2019 16:38 EST 

“The lowered rating reflects our view of the continued deterioration of the city’s already weakened budgetary flexibility, driven primarily by continued strain on the city’s revenue, rising fixed costs with projected pension pressures, and one-time costs associated with the state’s wildfires,” said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Benjamin Geare.

The negative outlook is supported by our expectation that there is at least a two-in-three chance that we could lower the rating within the one-year outlook horizon.”

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