The following communication was sent to the Piedmont City Council Monday afternoon, concerning Monday night's consideration of a proposed contract with the Piedmont Police Officers Association.
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 percent. 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