Christine Daniel has only been city manager for three years, but in that short amount of time her work addressing Berkeley’s unfunded pension liabilities has been impressive, argue the board members of the North East Berkeley Association in an Opinionator piece published on Berkeleyside.
“Ms. Daniel did a superb job in outlining the City’s vast unfunded liabilities over time and in creating budgets which more clearly addressed these liabilities. Under her leadership, we have seen great improvements in the way plans and projects for parks, streets, and other services are conceptualized, presented and budgeted,” the five board members write.
NEBA members are concerned that Daniel is leaving to work for Oakland because Berkeley city council members aren’t taking her advice.
“In February, we listened as she made abundantly clear to Council that over the next ten years increases in personnel costs will overwhelm the general fund,” they write. “She stated that if employees received even a 1% raise in 2015, 100% of any general fund revenue increases (e.g. from more real-estate transactions) would be spent on the increased personnel costs beginning in FY2017. If there were to be no such revenue increases, then further cuts would have to be made elsewhere. And what is Council doing in response to Ms. Daniel’s warnings? From all indications, the city plans on giving 3% raises… Could this be a major reason for her departure? “
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