El Cerrito will hold a town hall on financial problems, audit


EL CERRITO – Residents who want to learn more about the city’s current financial difficulties can attend a virtual town hall on Saturday to directly question the city council on the issues.

The meeting, to be held on Zoom at 10 a.m. on Saturday, will allow people to ask questions and offer thoughts on the city’s budget and finances, weeks after a state audit put the council in the spotlight. pillory for years of reckless spending.

“Listen to an update on the city’s budget, ask staff questions and share your thoughts with city council on all financial topics such as budget priorities, state control, financial conditions and more. ”Indicates an agenda item on the city’s website. .

El Cerrito ranks sixth on the California State Auditor’s troubled cities scoreboard and came close to bankruptcy last year after the coronavirus pandemic exacerbated existing financial woes.

The audit, titled “Excessive spending and insufficient effort to remedy its perilous financial situation undermines the city’s ongoing fiscal sustainability,” city officials, including the council and the former city manager, blamed. to continue spending too much despite declining income.

The audit found that police and firefighter salaries account for about half of El Cerrito’s expenses, a problem that has been exacerbated by growing pension obligations. He also determined that the city did not have enough sustainable sources of income to offset all of its expenses.

In response to the audit, City Manager Karen Pinkos released a statement outlining the steps staff have taken to begin remedying the issues. She also criticized the tone of listeners, prompting listeners to issue another statement calling Pinkos’ response dismissive.

Residents can find the Town Hall’s special agenda at www.el-cerrito.org/482/Council-Meeting-Videos-Materials.


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