El Cerrito is in big trouble and the Finance Director continues to project we are okay

Things you should know about the budget before the next City Council meeting on November 17. 2020. The packet is found here. 1. Charges for Services (mostly Rec Dept) are now estimated to end the FY 600k in the hole. Staff has slightly woken up and decided to maybe do cuts in the third quarterContinue reading “El Cerrito is in big trouble and the Finance Director continues to project we are okay”

Is El Cerrito Making Data Driven Financial Decisions?

This coming Tuesday, August 11th El Cerrito is having another meeting to discuss the budget. The consultants are recommending at least an additional 1.5 million dollars in cuts occur. Their recommendations are as follows: The problem with both the 1.5 million dollar number and the recommendations that are made is that there is no specificityContinue reading “Is El Cerrito Making Data Driven Financial Decisions?”

23k paid to consultants who advised cutting the library hours.

Management Partners, the consultants used to advise on budget issues, were first hired for a 25k contract to help revise the Strategic Plan. The original contract was for between $25,900 and $32,500 depending on whether the city had Management Partners do the public workshop or not. About half way through that contract the city modifiedContinue reading “23k paid to consultants who advised cutting the library hours.”

Looking backwards-El Cerrito did not get into a 5.5 million dollar hole yesterday. Part Two of Two

El Cerrito is in the midst of a major financial crisis. This the second of two blog posts addressing four issues we have found with how El Cerrito has managed it’s financial issues for years. Please refer back to the first post here and that post has the references used here also.  NO LONG TERMContinue reading “Looking backwards-El Cerrito did not get into a 5.5 million dollar hole yesterday. Part Two of Two”

Looking backwards-El Cerrito did not get into a 5.5 million dollar hole yesterday. Part One of Two

El Cerrito is in the midst of a major financial crisis. In October 2019 the State Auditor stated that El Cerrito was #7 on the list of CA cities most likely to go bankrupt. The issue was so serious that the auditor got state approval to do a full audit of El Cerrito. Unfortunately dueContinue reading “Looking backwards-El Cerrito did not get into a 5.5 million dollar hole yesterday. Part One of Two”

El Cerrito’s history of loans to keep afloat

El Cerrito has been using Tax Revenue Anticipation Notes (TRANS) since 2011 to keep the government afloat. Someone online calls them payday loans and to a large extent that is what they look like. Each year more is borrowed. It started in 2011 with 3.5 million and in 2019 it was 9 million which wasContinue reading “El Cerrito’s history of loans to keep afloat”

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 ManagerContinue reading “El Cerrito was giving over 100K in car allowances”

Library Hours on the Cutting Block but not high staff salaries

Notes Regarding City Council Meeting on April 21, 2020 There are two meetings on the 21st. The first is a Labor Negotiations meeting with Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1021; El Cerrito Police Employees Association; United Professional Firefighters Local 1230; Public Safety Management Association ­ Battalion Chief, Fire Chief, Police Chief, and Police Management;Continue reading “Library Hours on the Cutting Block but not high staff salaries”

April 7th Council Meeting-More Talk No Real Action

The April 7th El Cerrito City Council meeting had the budget on the agenda. Staff used the $150 an hour consultants to make new slides saying how bad things are. One slide said that we are at risk of an 8 million dollar deficit in the next fiscal year. This is even with the 2Continue reading “April 7th Council Meeting-More Talk No Real Action”