Aug 9 2012

OPEN LETTER: 5 MTRC Members Urge Cap on Employee Benefits

A majority of 2011 Municipal Tax Review Committee Members Speak Out –

Representing the majority of the 2011 Municipal Tax Review Committee (MTRC), we note the proposed Memorandum of Understanding with the Piedmont Police Officers Association (item #2 on tonight’s agenda) and a related resolution for the police captains (item #3). Our report to the Council nearly a year ago concluded that it was essential for the city to cap its expenses for employee benefit costs at the then-current level of $5.1 million annually. Since then, additional expenses in 2011-12 and the 2012-13 budget adopted by the Council have increased benefit costs by more than $600,000 or about 12%. We have heard commitments from the city administration and individual Council members that the contracts now under negotiation would address the problem of out-of-control budgets.

Yet at tonight’s meeting, the Council will be considering an MOU that only goes to the end of the current fiscal year and continues business as usual, without even beginning to address the long-term problem.We urge the Council to direct its negotiators to pursue an MOU for the next term that clearly caps city expenditures for benefits, especially the out-of-control costs (driven by poor investment returns) for CalPERS pensions. No other outcome will ensure Piedmont’s long term fiscal stability.


Ryan Gilbert, Member, 2011 MTRC

Tamra Hege, Member, 2011 MTRC

Eric Lindquist, Member, 2011 MTRC

Steve Weiner, Member, 2011 MTRC

Michael Rancer, Chair, 2011 MTRC

Editors Note:  The opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Piedmont Civic Association.

One Response to “OPEN LETTER: 5 MTRC Members Urge Cap on Employee Benefits”

  1. At the 7/16 City Council meeting I urged the City to table the Parcel Tax. My issues are a lack of transparency, a dishonest process and a government of some, by some, for themselves. I reminded Council that recently they had asked taxpayers for an $11M sewer tax based on a City stated EPA mandate that did not exist, and that the $11M was twice what was needed had the EPA legal requirement in fact existed. I urged Council to undergo basic process reform before asking more of taxpayers.

    At the conclusion of my remarks Councilman Wieler asked me why I disagreed with the MTRC’s recommendation for the Parcel tax. I stated that Council had not followed the expectations of the MTRC minority report. That minority is now the majority position of the 2011 MTRC.

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