Beverly Hills, California
|Transparency grading process|
See also: Evaluation of California city websites
- Budget documents are available.
- Council meeting schedule, agendas, and minutes are posted.
- Elected officials names and photos are posted online.
- Administrative officials names and titles are posted online.
- Building permit and zoning information is provided.
- Financial and other audit reports are available.
- Open bids are posted online.
- Information on how to request public records is provided, along with necessary forms.
- Local tax, fee, and charge schedules are posted online.
- The city has posted total compensation for full-time employees online.
- Individual contact information is not posted for elected officials.
- Individual contact information is not provided for administrative officials.
- Current contracts are not posted.
- Lobbying information is not available.
The proposed FY 2011-2012 operating budget can be found here. The city's proposed FY 2011-2012 capital improvement budget document here. Revenues for the fiscal year are projected to increase by 1.3% over the previous year. In drafting the budget, however, the city faced a projected $4.5 million General Fund deficit, as a result of expenditures outpacing revenues. The city closed this gap with budget cuts, including decreasing the General Fund contribution to the capital improvements fund by $500,000, extending the lives of city vehicles, and requiring non-safety city employees to take five days of furlough. The city also used $500,000 of the Budget Stabilization Fund established in FY 2009-2010.
Beverly Hills voters elect 5 City Councilmembers to four year terms. From these members, the Council appoints a mayor and a vice-mayor, with positions rotating annually. The mayor serves as the presiding officer over Council meetings and is the ceremonial head of the body. Members of the council are:
|William Warren Brien||Vice-Mayor|
|John A. Mirisch||Councilmember|
|Julian A. Gold||Councilmember|
The City Manager, appointed by the City Council, serves as the chief administrative official in the city. The manager's office oversees the implementation and coordination of City Council policies. The current city manager is Jeff Kolin, who has held the position since January, 2010.
An organizational chart of the city administrative offices can be found here.
Following several demands under the California Public Records Act made by the Beverly Hills Courier, as well as threats of litigation, the city released employee compensation costs in 2011. The information revealed that 20% of full time municipal employees receive compensation totaling greater than $200,000 per year. 13 workers earned more than $300,000. The city employs a total of 977 full time municipal employees. Other significant findings include 16 fire department captains who's average salaries totalled more than $295,000, two dozen mid-level supervisors with compensation packages ranging from $198,000 to $312,000, and "city employees receiving as many as 13 paid weeks per year in time off including vacation (two to six weeks based on tenure), overtime, sick pay, regular holidays and flex schedules." Complete compensation information can be found here.
The full contract of City Manager Jeff Kolin was recently posted online. His compensation totals $275,000 per year, plus deferred compensation equal to six percent of base salary. On April 5, 2011, the City Council approved a 2% cost of living adjustment for the City Manager, increasing his base salary to $280,550 per year.
The pensions promised by Beverly Hills to all of its employees will run $1 million to over $3 million or more for each one, simple calculations show. Based on The Courier’s calculations, the average cumulative retirement pay for each City worker is $3.321 million. Each year, Beverly Hills turns over to the California Public Employees Retirement System, CalPERS, a certain amount of money. None of the pension is paid for by an employee. All is paid by Beverly Hills.
- Main article: California government sector lobbying
Transparency and public records
While initially unresponsive to public records requests made by the Beverly Hills Courier, the city finally agreed to share public employee compensation packages after the threat of legal action was made by paper. The paper claims that the city was initially reluctant to share benefit package totals, as opposed to just "salaries" themselves.
In August of 2011, it was found that the city's website prevents search engines from indexing content.
The city's primary taxes are business taxes. A full description and schedule of taxes, fees, and charges can be found here.
- Financial documents
- Building & Safety
- Records request
- Taxes, fees, and charges
- Compensation information
- FY 2011-2012 Proposed Budget
- City Council
- Council Members
- City Manager
- Beverly Hills Courier Forces City of Beverly Hills to Disclose Employee Compensation Costs, "Business Wire," August 17, 2011
- City Manager Contract
- City Council Approves Cost of Living Raise for City Manager, News Details, City of Beverly Hills
- Benefits Summary Chart
- Beverly Hills Courier, Average Beverly Hills Employee Pension Over $3.2 Million, Aug. 25, 2011
- State-Level Lobbying and Taxpayers: How Much Do We Really Know?, Pacific Research Institute
- Beverly Hills Courier Forces City of Beverly Hills to Disclose Employee Compensation Costs, "Enhanced Online News," August 17, 2011
- City of Beverly Hills Transparency? Fail!, "BetterBike.org," August 10, 2011