Do Nothing City Council-Does Nothing-First meeting January 19, 2021

The agenda is out for the next city council meeting. THERE IS NOTHING ON THE AGENDA ABOUT FINANCES!!!!!! I want to keep the blog family-friendly but WTF!!!!!!

Seriously! They take a month off during a massive financial crisis plus pandemic and they can’t even have a new financial forecast. The last one was 12/15/2020 and we were promised one every month. We were also told numerous times that we would know more after December. Well here we are in January and finances are not even on the agenda. Not an auspicious start for the new Mayor. It is the Mayor and the City Manager who decide on the agenda. To not have financial statements and suggested cuts on there is negligent in this writer’s opinion.

There are a few other things of interest on the agenda and in the packet found here.

Item 7A is a letter signed with the Police Union after negotiations. This is found on page 101 of the packet.

Here are some of the main points

“The agreement will be effective January 1, 2020 through June 20, 2024.

  • Effective January 2021, there shall not be a salary increase for any classification in PEA.
  • Effective the first full pay period in July 2021, the base monthly salary ranges will be increased by 3.0% for all represented classifications.
  • The parties agreed to eliminate the 3.0% salary increase effective the first full pay period in January 2022.
  • Effective the first full pay period in January 2022, the base monthly salary ranges will be increased by 2.0% for all represented classifications.
  • Effective the first full pay period in July 2022, the base monthly salary ranges will be increased by 1.5% for all represented classifications.
  • Effective the first full pay period in January 2023, the base monthly salary ranges will be increased by 1.5% for all represented classifications.
  • Effective the first full pay period in July 2023, the base monthly salary ranges will be increased by 3.0% for all represented classifications.”

So essentially the police are putting off their COLA for 6 months for a whopping savings of $110,000. The police also get bonuses for education. the financial assessment is as follows

FINANCIAL CONSIDERATIONS

The cost of a 3% COLA for this bargaining unit for 12 months is approximately $220,000. With the deferral of the COLA to July 2021, this represents savings to the City of $110,000 for FY 2020-21. Based on the timing of the increases in the proposed MOU in FY 2021-22, there will also be a small savings in FY 2021-22 from the previous MOU. The savings to the City through FY 2021-22 with the deferral of the COLA for FY 2020-21 and the 2% COLA in January 2022 are as follows:

FY 2020-21 savings: $110,000  FY 2021-22 savings: $65,075

Extending the MOU through FY 2023-24 has the following costs in future fiscal years, including the education incentives, that will be included in the upcoming 5-year projections for future fiscal year budgets:

FY 2022-23: $124,933

FY 2023-24: $296,768″

I seriously cannot believe that in this financial crisis the best the city could negotiate is a 6-month deferment of the COLA. I cannot believe the police refuse to do anything more to help our city. I mean actually, I can believe it but……it is pretty bad optics IMO.

Also, there is an interesting item 4-C. this item authorizes $60,000 to study whether the city’s recycling should be privatized. It seems like a huge waste of money. It appears they justify the 60k because they raised consumer rates to cover it. Page states

“Funding for consulting services to conduct this evaluation has been incorporated into the IWM Fee setting effective January 1, 2021, as authorized by the City Council in December 2020 through Resolution 2020-58”

I understand that this is part of the fiscal response plan but it seems to me 60K is a huge waste of money to make this decision. And the public should be given a chance to discuss the POTENTIAL loss of the beloved recycling center.

Again please write in comments and if you are interested in a Zoom meeting to further organize email me at eccfrg@gmail.com and I will set something up. I understand everyone is overwhelmed with what is going on in the US and that is so important. But this negligence by the city council can very likely lead to bankruptcy and EC residents need to do our best to get our council to ACT.

Public Comment can be sent

Via email to cityclerk@ci.el-cerrito.ca.us. Email must contain in the subject line Public Comments – Not on the Agenda or Public Comments – agenda item #.

If you are commenting on the lack of finances on the agenda that would read Public Comment-Not on the Agenda.

One thought on “Do Nothing City Council-Does Nothing-First meeting January 19, 2021

  1. Yeah, that solid waste recycling contract is a scam. First off, solid waste/recycling is not funded by the general fund, so it’s not part of the city’s fiscal cluster*F. If there’s money to be saved it could reduce our waste collection fees, which would be nice because they are so high, but this just isn’t the highest priority for a city that’s on verge of bankruptcy. Second, the consultant that they are giving the contract to is a former city employee who gets ALL of the city’s solid waste contracts. There’s no way to view this other than that the city decided that they wanted to throw some money to a friendly former employee, so they’re collecting extra money from residents so that they can give the consultant $60,000 to produce a report that won’t do anything to address the city’s current fiscal crisis and that is nothing but a distraction.

    Like

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