Additional Links and Resources on the Budget Crisis

El Cerrito Chamber of Commerce News Letter -with interview of Daniel Borenstein of the East Bay Times Editorial Board speaking on El Cerrito Finances.

Current adopted budget 2018/2019 and 2019/2020

Proposed Budgets from 2006 to 2018

El Cerrito Finances in Pictures-Information compiled by Ira Sharenow

More information on El Cerrito Finances from Ira Information compiled by Ira Sharenow

State Auditor’s Report  risk index listing El Cerrito the seventh worse city out of 470 California cities

San Francisco Chronicle Article on the financial crisis and how it happened (Oct 27, 2019)

San Francisco Chronicle Article pointing out high financial risk of three Bay Area cities  (Oct. 24, 2019) Note that Oakland and Richmond responded to the Chronicle’s request for comments; but El Cerrito ignored all requests.

San Jose Mercury News Nov. 26, 2020 article on West Co Co County being the Bermuda Triangle of government finance.

Mayor Lyman addresses the financial crisis at the Dec 17, 2019 city council meeting (starting at 29 minutes) opposing a full audit by the state auditor

Transcript of Mayor Lyman’s Dec 17 comments to city council (as above). 

Disclosure by independent auditor at the Nov. 20, 2018 City Council Meeting revealing a false 2017 budget report. “In this case, funds have been outstanding, without reimbursement for almost three years.  As a result, the “so called” balance budget reported by the City staff, and passed by the Council, is by no means balanced. When funds were transferred out of the general fund it was done without action by the Council and without a plan for repayment. The auditor also reported most of those agencies did not have any identifiable ways to pay back the money.” In short, these were not loans, but a debit. Article thanks to the El Cerrito Progressives  https://elcerritoprogressives.com/

The Independent Auditor’s presentation to the city council by Badawi and Associates on Nov 20, 2018. Begins at 1 hour:28 minutes regarding unfunded liabilities and reserve fund deficits , expenses versus debits, and legacy issues. Notice that the independent auditor stated that the general fund liabilities exceed the assets by $2 million. FAB recommended a separate emergency/disaster reserve fund to cover for disasters such as fires and earthquakes.  

Video recording of the City Council Meeting January 21, 2020. The City Manager’s budget and audit report is at c. 2:16:20-2:28:30. Her report on the strategic plan process, which will be relevant to budgeting going forward, is at 2:28:30-2:31:10. The council’s comments begin here and last to 2:51. https://elcerritoca.civicclerk.com/Web/Player.aspx?id=311&key=-1&mod=-1&mk=-1&nov=0

City Manager’s October 31, 2019 Report on the Financial Crisis

El Cerrito Salaries 2018 from Transparent California 

El Cerrito Personnel cost increases from 2014-2018 (4 years) is $8 million

Annual Budgets 2015-2019  broken down in categories (actual and proposed)

El Cerrito Pension Plan 2018 

Labor Relations City of El Cerrito Website  Contains the MOU with the SEIU 1021, Police Association, Fire Fighters local 1230, the city manager’s contract, etc. 

Financial Advisory Board (FAB) minutes November 2019 discussion on the State Auditor’s report 

Financial Advisory Board (FAB) minutes December 2019  Greg Lyman briefed the FAB on recent Council action; passage of Measure H; his interview with the State Auditor; upcoming budget process; need for right sizing costs to match revenues; capital improvement plan; proposed Citywide Townhall (Finance 101) and the part FAB members could play in explaining financial terms such as: CAFR, bond, OPEB, Unfunded Liability, Fund Balance, etc. to local residents and answer questions on fiscal matters of general interest to the public, in simple terms.

Financial Advisory Board (FAB) Minutes 5/14/2019 on measure V 

Financial advisory Board (FAB) handout on January 14, 2020 as a google docs PDF for public view. (TY to Barbara for uploading) 

General link to the Financial Advisory Board Agendas, Minutes, and packets

City Manager’s Report 01/23/2020 (pp 1- 8 regarding the financial crisis while announcing the Town Hall Meeting). 

El Cerrito’s Annual Budget Process

El Cerrito’s Budget Book 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 Fiscal Years

El Cerrito’s Strategic Plan 

El Cerrito Employees Pension Trust Fund 2014

El Cerrito’s bond rating dropped from A- to BBB in November 2019 

Flow Chart State Auditor’s Full Audits

Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) ending June 2018  

Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) ending June 2019 DRAFT

El Cerito’s Financial Transparency Web Site

Transparent California El Cerrito Salaries 2018 

El Cerrito Demographics from FactFinder US Census

Unfunded pension liabilities

https://www.calpers.ca.gov/page/employers/actuarial-services/employer-contributions/public-agency-actuarial-valuation-reports

https://www.calpers.ca.gov/page/employers/actuarial-services/employer-contributions/public-agency-contributions

Click to access public-agency-required-employer-contributions.pdf

Pension Tracker El Cerrito FY 2017  

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