Beverly Hills, California

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Grade2.pngC
Budget
{{{1}}}
Meetings
{{{1}}}
Elected Officials P
Partial.png
Administrative Officials P
Partial.png
Permits, zoning
{{{1}}}
Audits
{{{1}}}
Contracts P
Partial.png
Lobbying N
600px-Red x.png
Public Records
{{{1}}}
Local Taxes
{{{1}}}

School district websitesGuide.png
Transparency grading process
Beverly Hills is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. With a population of 34,109 at the 2010 census, up from 33,784 as of the 2000 census, it is home to numerous Hollywood celebrities. Beverly Hills and the neighboring city of West Hollywood are together entirely surrounded by the city of Los Angeles, California. To be specific, Beverly Hills is bordered on the northwest by the Los Angeles neighborhood of Bel-Air and the Santa Monica Mountains, on the east by West Hollywood, the Carthay neighborhood of Los Angeles, and the Fairfax District of Los Angeles, and on the south by the Beverlywood. The area's "Platinum Triangle" of affluent neighborhoods is formed by the city of Beverly Hills and the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Bel Air and Holmby Hills.

Website evaluation

See also: Evaluation of California city websites


The good

  • Budget documents are available.[1]
  • Council meeting schedule, agendas, and minutes are posted.[2]
  • Elected officials names and photos are posted online.[3]
  • Administrative officials names and titles are posted online.[4]
  • Building permit and zoning information is provided.[5]
  • Financial and other audit reports are available.[6]
  • Open bids are posted online.[7]
  • Information on how to request public records is provided, along with necessary forms.[8]
  • Local tax, fee, and charge schedules are posted online.[9]
  • The city has posted total compensation for full-time employees online.[10]

The bad

  • 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.

Budget

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.[11]

Public officials

Elected officials

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.[12] Members of the council are:[13]

Name Title
Barry Brucker Mayor
William Warren Brien Vice-Mayor
John A. Mirisch Councilmember
Lilli Bosse Councilmember
Julian A. Gold Councilmember

Administrative officials

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.[14]

An organizational chart of the city administrative offices can be found here.

Salaries

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."[15] 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.[16] 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.[17]

Pensions

The city posts a full benefits summary chart on its website, which can be found here. The chart describes various benefits for classifications of employees, including retirement benefits.[18]

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.[19]

Lobbying

Main article: California government sector lobbying

For 2007 and 2008, Beverly Hills spent $175,164 on lobbying.[20]

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.[21]

In August of 2011, it was found that the city's website prevents search engines from indexing content.[22]

Taxes

The city's primary taxes are business taxes. A full description and schedule of taxes, fees, and charges can be found here.

External links

References