Council Gave the Staff a Huge Salary Increase in 2018!

On Oct 12, 2018, at 7:46 PM, Phil Koen

Dear Town Council Members,

I am writing to you on behalf of a number of concerned residents of the Town.

In reviewing Items 4, 5 and 6 on the October 16 agenda, the Staff is requesting the Town Council to
approve salary increases (equity and salary adjustments) for the Police Officers Association, the AFSCME and the unrepresented employees (which includes management and confidential employees) and to authorize FY 2019 budget adjustments totaling $1,044,381. This would be in addition to the salary and budget adjustments already approved by the Town Council in August for the TEA totaling $440,106 and for the AFSCME totaling $53,417.

Taken all together, this would bring the total salary adjustments for FY 2019 to $1,537,904. This
represents just the impact for FY 2019, since there are additional increases planned for FY 2020.
If correct, this is a staggering number, the magnitude of which has never been clearly presented to the residents of the Town.

Using the information provided by the Staff, this $1,537,904 increase represents a 6.2% increase for
salaries alone (the impact on increased pension costs is not included). The 6.2% increase is computed by dividing the $1,537,904 by the FY 2018 estimated salary and benefits expenditures of $24,700,282 (this is the number reported in the attached schedule).

What is even more alarming is that in the FY 2019 budget document (again refer to the attached
schedule) the residents were told “salary increases are not reflected in the proposed budget as labor
negotiations with the Town’s unions are pending”. Apparently, this is why the Staff is now requesting the Town Council to increase the FY 2019 budget for salary and benefit expenditures by $1,537,904. This would bring the FY 2019 budget for salary and benefit expenditures to $28,884,998.

If correct, the year over year increase (actual to budget) in salary and benefit expenditures is now a mind blowing $4,184,716 or 17%!

Three members of this Town Council (Mayor Rennie and Council Members Leonardis and Jensen) have submitted a written ballot argument (which they also attested to the accuracy of all statements) stating that compensation increases in 2019 will only be 1.2%. This claim doesn’t appear to square with the facts.

Since facts matter, transparency matters and honesty matters, it is time for the Town Council to clearly state what is the “all in” increase in salary and benefit expenditures for FY 2019 that this Council has or will be approving. Is it the 1.2% that Mayor Rennie has publicly claimed, or is it the 6.2% that I have computed or is it something else? This is a legitimate question that deserves a straight answer.

In addition, we would like to know what the budget for FY 2019 for total salary and benefit expenditures will be as a result of all of the proposed budget adjustments. Is it still $27,347,094 as reported on C-15 of the FY 2019 budget, or is it $28,884,998 after giving effect to the $1,537,904, or is it some other number? The voters in Los Gatos deserve to know so they can make an informed decision when they vote for the next Town Council.

We would also appreciate an explanation regarding the increase in the FY 2019 budget (whatever that number is) for salary and benefit expenditures versus the reported FY 2018 of $24,700,282. Please do not provide an explanation of the FY 2018 budget to FY 2019 budget increase since you have already done this and frankly it is not relevant.

Lastly, we respectfully request that agenda items 4, 5 and 6 be removed from the consent calendar
because of the materiality of the requests and the lack of clarity as to the impact on the FY 2019 budget for salaries and benefit expenditures. This is a sufficiently important matter that the public deserves to hear the critical thinking of the Town Council and have the ability to comment on this matter.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Phil Koen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.