Tomorrow (June 20), the Fresno city council is expected to approve Mayor Lee Brand’s budget.

For the past two weeks, they have heard presentations from the various departments. Amendments were brought up and will be voted upon tomorrow.

In total, the city plans to spend $1.1 billion, with nearly a third ($321 million) to go to the general fund. The remainder is dedicated to specific divisions of the city. TLast Thursday (June 15), the Office of the Mayor and City Manager (OMCM) presented their figures.

The Mayor’s Office

When is a request for a 63% budget increase really just 4%? It is when an entire unit transfers from one department to another. Seven members of the budget team are scheduled to leave the Finance Department and head to the mayor’s office. This accounts for the budget increase, but does not have a net effect on the overall city budget.

Factoring out the budget position transfers, there will be only a net increase of half a position in the OMCM, attributable to the promotion of the Office of Independent Review to full time status. There is some inter-divisional shuffling (positions from the City Manager, OIR and Economic Development will move in the Support Office of the Mayor). In terms of staffing by raw number, the OMCM will increase from 17.5 positions to 25 (seven from the budget office and the half-staff increase for the OIR).

The OMCM budget has three line items of expenditures: Personnel Services, Non Personnel Services and Interdepartmental Services. Fresno considers the budget for both offices the same, as the City Manager is under direct control of the Mayor in the city’s strong mayor form of government.

On first glance, the 2018 budget for OMCM, goes from $2.4 million to $3.9 million (a $1.5 million increase over the 2017 amended budget or 63.8%).

However, the mayor’s budget notes that the main portion of that increase is the transfer the Budget and Management Studies Division from the Finance Department into the City Manager’s Office. Factoring in the budget division transfer, the real increase in the OMCM budget is 4%. Overall, finance’s budget is down 13% (from $8.3 million to $7.2 million).

Here is a list of some salaries of top executives who work for Mayor Brand:

Name                                                                                      Base Salary                       Source

Mayor Lee Brand                                                               $130,000                            Public document

City Manager Bruce Rudd                                               $243,240                            Public document

Assistant City Manager Wilma Quan-Schecter       $176,000                            Public document

Chief of Staff Tim Orman                                                $125,000                            Fresno Bee

Communications Director Mark Standriff                $125,000                            Transparent California

Director of Strategic Initiative H. Spees                    $100,000                            Fresno Bee

Rudd is slated to retire with Quan-Schecter taking over as city manager in July. In 2016, according to city documents and Transparent California, he earned $227,552 in base pay before signing a new contract with a pay increase in January 2017. The city council sets a salary range during budget resolutions. When Rudd first signed on as city manager in 2013, he earned a base of $189,000.

Quan-Schecter’s current salary is a bump of $53,468 of what she was making in 2016, according to public documents. It should be noted that in 2016, there were two listed assistant city managers: Quan-Schecter and Renena Smith, who retired when Brand took office in January (as reported then by CV Observer).

Right now, only Quan-Schecter is listed as an assistant city manager, with the other spot vacant. Current Public Works Director Scott Mozier will succeed Quan-Schecter when she assumes the city manager’s office.

Another interesting observation is the salary for the chief of staff. In the city’s 2016 documents, that post was held by Georgeanne White, who made a base salary $114, 416. White was promoted in 2016 to the assistant director of public utilities, where she current works. (The Fresno Bee reports that current chief of staff Tim Orman earns $125,000 but did not indicate whether that was base salary or including benefits).

City documentations for public employee salaries show that in 2016, the Government Affairs Manager made a base salary of $76,592. That position is currently held by John Ellis.

The Office of Independent Review (OIR), commonly referred to as the police auditor, will be made a full time position and be local (the prior man to hold that job, Rick Rasmussen, worked out of state). The budget says that position will serve in the Support Office of the Mayor. The budget also includes one other position under the Office of Independent Review banner.

The city also released figures factoring in how much that transfer of the budget office would be. In a chart (A-35 on the city budget documents), the 2017 budget would have been $3.7 million (instead of $2.4 million).

For the line item “Personnel Services,” in 2017 it was $2,035,400. Factoring in the budget division, “Personnel Services” would be $3,008,800 if it was included in the 2017 budget.

For the proposed 2018, “Personnel Services” is $3,095,900. That is an increase of $87,100 increase over the restated amount.

The office will also spend $44,000 on economic development, broken down as:

$21,500 for the California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED), the Retail Industry Leaders Association and the International Asset Management conferences

$14,000 for marketing to provide mailers for the Ulta and Amazon projects, an updated marketing booklet, and a video for E-commerce/fulfillment centers.

  • $3,500 for an economic study for a new fulfillment center.
  • $5,000 for incentive agreements.

For Interdepartmental Services, that increases by $51,900, $45,900 attributable to a rise in base Facilities Management charges.

Office of the Mayor and City Manager Budget (factoring budget dept. shift)

Item FY 2017 FY 2018 Change Percentage change
Personnel Services $3,008,800 $3,095,900 $87,000 2.9%
Non-Personnel Services 461,600 483,900 22,300 4.8
Interdepartmental Services 321,200 373,100 51,900 16.1
Total 3,791,600 3,952,900 161,300 4.3

 

Office of the Mayor and City Manager Budget (raw numbers, not factoring budget dept. shift)

Item FY 2017 FY 2018 Change Percentage change
Personnel Services (raw data) 2,018,100 3,095,900 1,077,800 53.4
Non-Personnel Services 106,900 483,900 377,000 352.7
Interdepartmental Services 288,600 373,100 84,500 29.3
Total 2,413,600 3,952,900 1,539,300 63.8

 

Amount in dollars; percentages rounded to the tenths place

 

What are your thoughts? Leave your comments below.

Contact David Taub

Phone: 559-492-4037 / e-mail

This story was not subject to the approval of Granville Homes.

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About The Author

Senior Reporter

David Taub has spent most of his career in journalism behind the scenes working as a TV assignment editor and radio producer. For more than a decade, he has worked in the Fresno market with such stops at KSEE-24, KMJ and Power Talk 96.7. Taub also worked the production and support side of some of TV sports biggest events including the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals and NASCAR to name a few. Taub graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science.

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