|Last mayoral election:||2012|
|Next mayoral election:||2016|
|Last city council election:||2012|
|Next city council election:||2014|
|City council seats:||9|
|2014-2015 FY Budget:||$819 million|
|Population in 2013:||479,686|
Hispanic or Latino 26.9
African American 14.6%
American Indian and Alaska Native alone 1.1%
Two or More 7.1%
|Median household income:||$50,661|
|High school graduation rate:||82.1%|
|College graduation rate:||29.4%|
|Related Sacramento offices|
|California Congressional Delegation|
California State Legislature
California state executive offices
The city of Sacramento utilizes a council-manager system. In this form of municipal government, an elected city council, which includes the mayor and serves as the city's primary legislative body, appoints a chief executive called a city manager. The responsibilities of the city manager include overseeing the city's day-to-day operations, planning and implementing the city's operating budget, carrying out council policies and hiring most city government employees.
In the November 2014 elections, citizens of Sacramento will have the option of restructuring their city's form of government. "Measure L" - also known as the Sacramento Checks and Balances Act of 2014 - will transition Sacramento from a council-manager system to a "strong mayor" and council system. If Measure L passes, the city manager will be replaced by the mayor as the city's chief executive. A similar initiative almost appeared on the June 8, 2010 elections, but a Sacramento judge ordered its removal.
The Sacramento City Council is the city's primary legislative body. It is responsible for approving and adopting the city budget, levying taxes and making or amending city laws, policies and ordinances.
The city council consists of nine members including the mayor. While the mayor is elected at-large, the other eight council members are elected by the city's eight districts.
A full list of city council members can be found here
A series of advisory boards and commissions that are made up of non-elected citizens, whom city council members have appointed and approved, advises the Chesapeake City Council. The roles of these boards and commissions are to review, debate and comment upon city policies and legislation and to make recommendations to the city council.
For a full list of Sacramento's commissions, boards and committees, see here
The city of Sacramento, California will hold elections for city council on November 4, 2014. A primary election took place on June 3, 2014. The filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in Districts 1 and 5 was on March 7, 2014 and for Districts 3 and 7 was March 12, 2014. Four seats are up for election.
Sacramento's adopted operating budget for fiscal year 2013-14 was $819 million.
The city's fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30. The city manager proposes a budget annually to the City Council, who must approve a balanced budget.
Sacramento has its own initiative process for ordinances determined by the city charter. The state process (see above for details) is applicable wherever the city is silent. The signature requirements are 10%, as the minimum, and 15%, for a more expedited process, of the last official report of registered voters. The petition goes to the ballot unless passed unaltered by the legislature and the time frame is dependent on the number of signatures.
In 2013, Sacramento spent a total of $440,000 on federal lobbying.
Sacramento is facing nearly $2 billion in long-term unfunded pension liabilities. The big three categories are:
- $950 million in retirement benefits
- $823 million in bond debt
- $167 million in other future costs, including insurance claims, development fee credits and landfill closures
Under agreements reached between the City Council and labor unions more than 20 years ago, most city retirees receive $300 a month for medical costs. Employees who retire from the Fire Department get roughly $750 a month. City leaders said the pay-as-you-go formula is not sustainable. To keep pace with future obligations to the medical benefit, he said annual payments by the city would need to increase by $30 million, leaders said.
City employees are required to participate in the California Public Employees' Retirement System. A summary of employee benefits can be found here.
Police and firefighters are currently exempt from paying into their CalPERS retirement accounts, something that Mayor Kevin Johnson and the City Council are looking to change. Firefighter and police contracts run through 2013, and any changes would have to be made by re-opening the contract or waiting for its expiration. As a result of rising emergency personell pension costs, the FY 2011-2012 budget laid off police and firefighters. The city estimates that a 4% contribution to the CalPERS system would save the city $4 million annually.
Councilman Steve Cohn that the city attorney's office provide a legal opinion on a possible ballot measure on pension changes. Cohn wants to know whether a ballot measure requiring added employee contributions to pensions would be legal, given that those changes could supersede the collective bargaining process.
A half-cent hike passed in November kicks in April 1, raising the total sales tax in Sacramento to 8.5 percent. The city will get about $5 million more before the current fiscal year ends June 30 and an estimated $27 million a year after that. There's still a general fund deficit projected at $9.5 million for 2013-14 and around $14 million each of the next four budgets. Those figures – outlined in a five-year financial forecast the council is set to receive Tuesday night – are based on current contracts with city employee unions and on expected increases in pension costs.
Police and fire pensions
Sacramento officials have reached a tentative agreement with the city's firefighter union, a deal that would save 44 jobs. Details of the tentative deal have not been released, the City Council has sought increased pension payments from firefighters to help fill a citywide $15.7 million deficit.
However, the police unions are not willing to make the same concessions, which could cost 19 officers their positions due to lack of funding. In 2011 several Sacramento officers were laid off because they were not willing to make concessions on pensions which limited the city budget. The city wants the officers to pay nine percent of retirement costs. If the union doesn't agree, 19 officers will lose their jobs. Police officers currently do not pay into their funds. The City Council voted 8-1 June 12 to approve a citywide budget that will result in 19 police officers being laid off at the end of the month after labor negotiators failed to reach a deal with the police union over pensions.
- See also: Evaluation of California city websites
|Transparency grading process|
- Budget information is available online.
- Budgets are archived to 2004.
- Audit reports are available.
- Audits are archived to 2003.
- Agendas and minutes are available for City Council Meetings.
- Meetings are archived for over three years.
- Elected officials
- The Mayor and city council officials contact information and detailed biographies are posted online.
- Administrative departments and officials' names and contact information is provided.
- Permits and zoning
- Public records
- Provides access to public records
- Tax information and forms are available.
- City requires registering of lobbyists who lobby council.
- Information on taxpayer funded lobbying is not provided.
- Checkbook register
- There is no checkbook register available
- City of Sacramento official site
- Convention Visitor’s Bureau
- Sacramento detailed profile
- Sacramento Community profile
- Sacramento city profile
- Sacramento information
- U.S. Census, "State and County Quick Facts," accessed on September 2, 2014
- City of Sacramento Charter Art. IV, Sec. 40, accessed on September 2, 2014
- City of Sacramento, "Office of the City Manager," accessed on September 2, 2014
- City of Sacramento, "Impartial Analysis of Measure L Prepared by Sacramento City Attorney," accessed on September 2, 2014
- Sacramento Bee, "Sacramento judge intends to bar strong-mayor proposal from ballot," January 15, 2010
- City of Sacramento, "Mayor and Council," accessed on September 2, 2014
- City of Sacramento, "Committees," accessed on August 11, 2014
- City of Sacramento, "Candidate Information for the June 3, 2014 Primary Municipal Election," accessed March 10, 2014
- City of Sacramento FY 2013-14 Budget in Brief, accessed on August 18, 2014
- City of Sacramento, "Budget process" accessed on September 2, 2014
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- Open Secrets, "City of Sacramento, CA," accessed on September 2, 2014
- Sacramento Bee, :Editorial: Sacramento must tackle unfunded debts, worker benefits," Jan. 8, 2013
- Sacramento Bee, "Sacramento city manager details unfunded debt obligations," Jan. 9, 2013
- Sacramento Bee, "Mayor Johnson urges pension talks to save Sacramento police jobs," 29 June, 2011
- Sacramento Bee, "Sacramento council steps up talk on pensions, taxes," June 8, 2012
- Sacramento Bee, "Editorial: Even with sales tax boost, Sacramento City Council must take hard look at benefits," Jan. 13, 2013
- Sacramento Bee, "Tentative deal with Sacramento firefighters would save 44 jobs," June 12, 2012
- Sacramento Bee, "Marcos Breton: Cops risk losing public support over pension stance," June 13, 2012
- California Public Radio, "Sacramento Police Union Still Balking at Pension Contributions," June 12, 2012
- Sacramento Bee, "Sacramento council approves city budget; pension talks continue with police union," June 13, 2012
- City of Sacramento, "Budget," accessed on September 2, 2014
- City of Sacramento, "Audit reports," accessed on September 2, 2014
- City of Sacramento, "Agenda and Minutes," accessed on September 2, 2014
- City of Sacramento, "Mayor and City Council officials," accessed on September 2, 2014
- City of Sacramento, "Departments Guide," accessed on September 2, 2014
- City of Sacramento, Building Permits," accessed on September 2, 2014
- City of Sacramento, "Zoning Information," accessed on September 2, 2014
- City of Sacramento, "Bids and Proposals
- City of Sacramento, "Vendor portal," accessed on September 2, 2014
- City of Sacramento, "Public records," accessed on September 2, 2014
- City of Sacramento, "Revenue services," accessed on September 2, 2014
- City of Sacramento, "City Lobbying," accessed on September 2, 2014