City Manager's Update / July 28, 2023
It was wonderful to see so many of you at our July 4th/worldOne Festival earlier this month! It was a fantastic event on a beautiful day and I was thrilled to be able to talk to so many community members and visitors. Many thanks to our sponsors and donors who helped make the Festival happen. And of course I must give a huge shout out to all of our City staff team, especially our Recreation and Public Works Departments, for putting it all together and making it our best event yet!

The fun continues as our next big community event is National Night Out, which takes place Tuesday, August 1, at more than 30 block parties around the City. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the event with over 38 million people across the country expected to participate, and El Cerrito is happy to once again be a part of it. National Night Out is one of my favorite nights every year, and I want to take this opportunity to encourage residents to attend a block party to meet their neighbors and connect with our Police Department, our First Responders, and other City officials that will be visiting the parties. Community connections are part of what make El Cerrito such a vibrant place to live and make our neighborhoods healthy and resilient. I'm looking forward to seeing you around the City!
This month, I’m also pleased to introduce Crystal Reams to the community, who began as the City’s new Finance Director/City Treasurer on July 17. Crystal Reams is an experienced finance professional with over 17 years in governmental and nonprofit accounting and financial reporting experience and we’re more than excited to have her overseeing the Finance Department. (Read more about Crystal on the City’s website). Among other initiatives, in the coming months Crystal and I will be working, in coordination with the Financial Advisory Board, on developing options for City Council consideration relating to pre-funding pension costs and reviewing the policies surrounding the General Fund Reserve and how to handle annual budget surpluses. We’re eager and excited to move those discussions forward.
Work is also continuing in many other areas, including on developing a new City of El Cerrito Strategic Plan (with a public workshop tentatively scheduled for October), collecting input from the community on their priorities for a new El Cerrito Library, updating the City’s Housing Element and Climate Action Plan, and much more. Community members can read more about many of these efforts in this update...or discuss them with our team during National Night Out!
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