Transparent CA has great information on salaries and pensions for all of CA.
There has been much discussion on different forums about the compensation of El Cerrito city employees so I did a quick check on Transparent CA for 4 cities. El Cerrito, Albany, San Pablo, and Pinole. All are reasonably close in size from 19k residents in Albany to 30K in San Pablo compared to El Cerrito’s 25k.
Albany has a little less than 20k residents. They have 208 total city employees, 76 of whom are full-time. The cost per resident for these employees is $835
Pinole has close to 20k residents. They have 151 city employees and 68 of them are full-time. The cost for the employees per resident is $683.
San Pablo is the largest of the cities I looked at with almost 31k residents. They have 252 employees of which 114 are full time. The cost per resident for the employees is $704 per resident
Our city has 25k residents and 384 city employees of which 159 are full time. The cost per resident is $1,163, which is $328 per resident more than the next closest city of Albany. Our city has a 132 more employees than San Pablo which has 5k more residents.
The question is why does El Cerrito have so many more employees than other cities the same size? Are we in El Cerrito getting services that residents in other cities are not receiving? I have listened to El Cerrito City Council speak of how high quality our staff is and how they need to be compensated well in order to keep them. In theory, I would agree with rewarding high quality employees with high compensation. The question I have is are we paying our employees wages that are not sustainable for our city? Why were wages raised dramatically in 2018 at a time that the city did not have adequate reserves? And if some employees have lead us into this financial disaster( that predates COVID) are they the high quality employees that we want?
El Cerrito total employee compensation over the last three years (2019 data is not yet available)
Per transparent CA El Cerrito total employee compensation in 2016 was $23,427,687. This was for 354 positions 141 of which were full-time.
In 2018 employee compensation rose almost 5 MILLION dollars to $29,323,885 for 384 positions 159 of which are full-time. There were 9 added positions and 21 additional full-time positions.
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