The city's fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30. The city budget is developed annually in conjunction with the Mayor, departments, and City Manager. It is then sent to the City Council for approval.
The mayor's proposed budget for FY 2011-2012 included public employee pay cuts of 3% across the board. The proposed general fund budget totalled $214,619,000 for the fiscal year.
Since the budget's passage through the city council, the firefighter's union has agreed to a 2.5% percent pay cut estimated to save the city $660,000. Likewise, the Fresno City Employees Association has agreed to a 3% pay cut, which is estimated to save $300,000. Talks are still continuing with the city's police union. The final budget will be presented to the people in August, 2011.
Fresno had its ratings on $462 million of debt lowered one step by Moody’s Investors Service because of deteriorating finances. The city’srating was cut to A3, the fourth-lowest investment grade, from A2. Its pension obligation bonds were downgraded to Baa1, third-lowest, from A2 and its lease-revenue bonds fell to Baa2, one step lower, from Baa1. The outlook for the ratings is negative, meaning another downgrade is possible.
|Oliver L. Baines III||3|
A city organizational chart can be found here. Fresno's City Manager is appointed directly by the Mayor. The current City Manager is Mark Scott. The City Manager is responsible for overseeing the operations of the city's 14 departments, and is accountable directly to the Mayor.
The city publishes salary information for its employees. Salaries for top elected and administrative officials are as follows:
|President of the Council||$70,169.52|
|City Council Member||$65,000.04|
|Assistant City Manager||$162,804.00|
|Deputy City Manager||$105,999.96|
|All other department heads||$126,000-$160,404|
Public employee pensions for non-emergency employees are managed by the City of Fresno Retirement System. Employees are eligible after 5 years of service or at age 55. Retirement benefits are based on length of service, age, and salary amount upon retirement. Once eligible to receive benefits, employees may opt to participate in a Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP) in which their pay, benefits, COLA's, and interest are added to a DROP account for a maximum additional 10 years.
In July, 2011, City Manager Mark Scott announced that he will investigate the DROP program. According to Scott, retirees are receiving guaranteed high interest rates on their DROP investment accounts, which could cost taxpayers millions.
- See also: California government sector lobbying
Transparency and public records
In August, 2010, the city made public employee salary information readily available online.
Information is provided online on how to access public records under the California Public Records Act.
The city collects a business tax, through the Department of Finance. Taxes are either a flat rate, or determined at a rate set by a business' tax code classification.
|Transparency grading process|
- Current and previous budget information is available online.
- City meeting schedules, agendas, and minutes are available.
- Elected officials' names and contact information is available
- Key administrative officials' information is available on each departments' webpage, accessible through the city directory.
- Audits are accessible.
- Contact information, as well as service fees, are provided for the Office of the City Clerk for fulfilling public records requests.
- Information is provided on county and state taxes effecting residents of the city.
- Business tax information is available.
- The city lists all applicable fees annually.
- City contracts are unavailable on the website of the Office of the City Clerk.
- Building permit forms are not accessible online.
- The website provides no information on membership in any tax-payer funded lobbying associations.
- California on State Budget Solutions
- City of Fresno
- The Fresno Bee
- California State University, Fresno
- FY 2011-2012 Proposed Budget
- Police now key to Fresno's budget tightening, "Fresno Bee," 25 July, 2011.
- Bloomberg, California’s Fresno Ratings Cut by Moody’s on Fiscal Woes, July 23, 2012
- Mayor's office
- City Manager
- Elected and executive salaries
- Benefits Summary
- Fresno Pension Plan Could Cost Taxpayers Millions, "Fresno Bee," 6 July, 2011.
- State-Level Lobbying and Taxpayers: How Much Do We Really Know?, Pacific Research Institute
- Public Records Act
- City Tax Information
- City Council
- Public records
- Master Fee Schedule
- Building & Safety Services