El Cerrito was giving over 100K in car allowances

Post Updated with information from public records request June 2, 2020. I have added the employee positions that received this benefit. I have also clarified that the benefit for everyone except the city manager is $300 (I was told the prior number from a Council Person so I apologize for the error). The City Manager receives $323.08

In the May 19, 2020, City Council meeting at around the 3:16 mark, it comes up about the city staff car allowances. The City Manager suspended those April 5th right before she tried to cut the library hours. At that time we did not get full details as to the amount and extent of those allowances. In this meeting Councilperson Fadelli asked more questions. It is worth watching how both the City Manager and Assistant City Manager evade the question of what the monthly amount was ($300). The Assistant City Manager does say that it is $100K savings. When Councilperson Fadelli pushed the City Manager stated that 25 people received this allowance. Which comes out to $105K. I have a public information request pending as to what positions were receiving this benefit.

The positions receiving this benefit are as follows

City Manager

Assistant City Manager

Assistant to the City Manager

City Clerk

Three Employees in the Finance Department including the Director

Two Employees in Information Technology Department

One employee in Environmental Science

Three Public Works Engineers

Two Employees Public Works Maintenance

Two employees in Community Development/Admin

One Employee from Community Development Planning

One Employee from Community Development Building Services

Two Employees from Recreation-Adults

One Employee Recreation Staff-Childcare Admin

One Employee Recreation Swim Center

One Employee Recreation Senior Services

One Employee Recreation Youth

It appears from the document I received that all senior management is getting this benefit. That is not confirmed.


The point here is that these benefits for those many staff members is outrageous. This is yet another example of the ongoing fiscal irresponsibility that got us into this crisis. The current IRS reimbursement rate is 57.5 cents a mile. This means the staff has to travel over 600 miles a month every month for the city to break even. Also, in the conversation, the City Manager stated that there are city cars available. Both the City Manager and Assistant City Manager minimized the benefit saying that it saved the reimbursement paperwork and the City Manager calling it a moot point right now as there is no travel.

I appreciate Councilperson Fadelli pushing back on the issue and hope he continues to be vigilant as I would expect as soon as the crisis is over that staff will try and get that benefit again. With the exception of the Fire Department and Police Chiefs who may have to respond to emergencies in their personal cars I have no understanding of why this benefit was necessary on top of staff’s already high salaries.


I also want to note that Councilperson Pardue-Okimoto was questioning the benefit packages of the management staff and requested that a comparison be done with other cities. Thank you for that.

May 19 meeting

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