City Manager's Update / August 30, 2023
I'm proud to announce that the El Cerrito City Council has taken a major step in securing the City's financial stability for the future by making an investment of $10 million to set aside funds in case of an emergency and provide funding for the City’s pension costs. As regular readers of this Update know, the City’s financial position has improved significantly over the past two years and our financial health is stronger than it has been in over a decade, including a strong General Fund Reserve of over $16 million. This was cemented further when at their August 15th meeting, the City Council unanimously voted to place $9 million of the City's General Fund reserve balance in the City’s Emergency Disaster Relief Fund and $1 million in a separate Section 115 Pension Trust for funding pension obligations. The City now has General Fund Reserves of more than 28% of Citywide expenditures, including the fully funded Emergency Disaster Relief Fund that can only be used in case of severe economic downturns or disasters.

I can’t overstate this accomplishment. This is a direct result of the hard work that the City Council, staff, and community have done to improve and stabilize the City's budget. Because the City has been disciplined with our financial strategies and planning, coupled with a robust real estate market and funding from the Federal Government, we were able to dramatically shift the City’s financial position in just two years.

I am grateful for the leadership of the City Council in making these significant decisions, and to our incredible City Staff Team who continuously show their commitment to this community, as we have worked together through the difficult times to get to this point. I also want to thank the Financial Advisory Board for their thoughtful discussions and recommendations on the budget and the City's financial policies. Most importantly, I want to thank the El Cerrito community for your engagement, dialogue, and assistance in helping the City so quickly make these important achievements.

The City is investing in our future and taking steps to ensure fiscal sustainability for years to come. We must stay the course and the work continues, but I am deeply proud of what we have accomplished. I'm excited about the positive outlook for El Cerrito, and proud to serve our community from a stable financial position.

As always, please take care of yourselves and each other.
Karen Pinkos
City Manager
City of El Cerrito
10890 San Pablo Ave.
El Cerrito, CA 94530