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Some on San Ramon City Council back manager's high pay

Original post made on Aug 27, 2010

Some San Ramon City Council members are lining up to support Mayor Abram Wilson and City Manager Herb Moniz. Both Wilson and Moniz have come under fire recently for the city manager's salary, which, counting benefits is $356,000. That makes him the richest city manager in the Bay Area.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, August 26, 2010, 4:47 PM

Comments (28)

Posted by LMP
a resident of Danville
on Aug 27, 2010 at 7:24 am

There is no justification for these salaries. San Ramon is a great town and is fairly well managed, but this is another example of public sector salaries out of control.

Posted by Danville Resident
a resident of Danville
on Aug 27, 2010 at 8:07 am

Why don't these articles specify the duties of the city manager? I am curious: does it require an advanced degree (like a law degree, business degree, etc)? How large is the organization he is responsible for (people and budget)? Is he in a position where he generates significant revenue (e.g. fundraising) for the city?

Posted by jrm
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Aug 27, 2010 at 8:39 am

jrm is a registered user.

Kudos to the media for keeping the sunlight shining on this shocking lack of financial controls and fiscal discipline in San Ramon city staffing. Mr. Hudson's justifications are ridiculous and frankly depict a lack of business experience. Of course the City Council will defend the result of their lack of you really expect them to say, "by golly, you are right, we really let things get out of control"...not going to happen.
Moreover in essence he is saying "Herb runs the show, the Mayor doesn't do squat" will be interesting to see how Pave'em Abram will react to his City Council claiming that his position is largely ceremonial. Seems to fly in the face of his campaign claims.
Folks, all of us will pay this exhorbinant retirement package and this is just plain old government run amuck. If I lived in San Ramon I would absolutely hold their feet to the fire on this. Clearly the Grand Jury for the County should look into this whole situation if they are not already.

Posted by Jim
a resident of Danville
on Aug 27, 2010 at 9:03 am

Absurd Salaries ... Absolutely absurd.

Then there's the San Ramon Fire District ...

Have you noticed the Board of Directors / Trustees are usually all firefighters from other jurisdictions? It's playing out here. It looks like its playing out in West Contra Costa County, also.

Looks like the UNION STRATEGY is working.

It's great that we have a terrific economy with such trusted leaders that manage taxpayers' money.

If you're satisfied ... vote in all incumbents. Need a change? KICK THEM OUT TO THE STREET and require all overpaid positions be declared vacant and establish new positions with more realistic pay.

Apologies to President Carter ... I thought he was the worst President in my lifetime. I must admit he had ONE GOOD IDEA: Zero-based budgeting (everything sunsets)... unfortunately the bureauacracy was too much to battle.


Posted by member
a resident of Danville
on Aug 27, 2010 at 9:45 am

Three words:
Overpaid and underworked. Something few local/state/federal officials seem to understand.

Posted by Michael
a resident of Danville
on Aug 27, 2010 at 9:50 am

Jim, you must have forgotten about George Bush junior when you were thinking about the worst president in your lifetime.

Posted by Brad
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 27, 2010 at 10:01 am

The San Jose City Council ratified the City Manager's voluntary decrease of salary and benefits this month. The City Manager's salary is $185,436. The City of San Jose has a population at just over 1 million people. San Ramon has what, 8,000 people? Yet the San Ramon City Manager makes $285,120 in base pay. WOW! Uh, where is te reasoning here?

Posted by Julia
a resident of Alamo
on Aug 27, 2010 at 10:19 am

Hey people...look in the mirror, that's the person that allows all this foolishness to go on and on and on. Too busy with or own little life to be concerned...well wake up.

Maybe someday, hopefully soon we all will wake up and realize 90% of the politicians we vote for are self serving. Alway vote the incumbent out, then he/she doesn't have the time to screw you. They couldn't care less about we the people. It's sad but true.

Remember what just recently happened in the Town of Danville. The council members appointed the incumbents back into office...SELF SERVING and folk's you let it happen.


Posted by Craig
a resident of Danville
on Aug 27, 2010 at 10:21 am

Abram Wilson is running for state assembly. On his website he states:
"California’s legislature has little interest in being fiscally responsible or accountable to the taxpayers. The deficit is now in the neighborhood of $15 billion. Instead of discipline, innovation and transparency, Sacramento operates with gimmicks and broken promises – leaving you and me to pick up the tab."

How on earth can he say this and then defend the san ramon city manager being the highest paid in the bay area?

Posted by Joe
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Aug 27, 2010 at 10:51 am

I just wanted to say thanks to all the poeple from Danville and Alamo that commented and think they know better then the people who actually live and work in San Ramon. Where would San Ramon be without our wonderful nieghbors to the north?

Posted by cardinal
a resident of Diablo
on Aug 27, 2010 at 10:59 am

People used to go into government work because it was relatively easy and risk-free -- you gave up the expectation of a high salary in return. Then public sector unions grew up, and government "leaders" abdicated their duties as stewards of the taxpayers' money -- after all, they'd be termed-out of their current positions by the time the bills came due, so it was easier to give-in than risk a politically unpopular response from police, fire, teachers, etc. I am not certain who slept at the switch in the case of the SR city mangler job, but I'm guessing the cause is similar -- the taxpayers were not represented at the table.

The upshot is that public sector jobs are now relatively easy, secure AND exceptionally well-paid.

So, query: what do we tell our kids when they think about careers?

Posted by craig
a resident of Danville
on Aug 27, 2010 at 11:11 am

You are very welcome Joe (of Walnut Creek).

"Where would San Ramon be without our wonderful nieghbors to the north?"
fyi... Alamo and Danville are SOUTH of you.

He's running for State Assembly...ya, I care

Posted by Jae
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 27, 2010 at 11:50 am

San Ramon is one of the best managed and fiscally solvent cities in the State. The management and leadership provided by Moniz and Wilson and the City Council is transparancy defined. Have any of you arm chair
key strokers ever attended a Planning Commission or City Council meeting? Have you had to deal with Chevron,AT&T or Bishop Ranch? The enlightened and open governance is the reason it has the quality of life and infrastructure it does. This isn't the City of Bell, California. Get over yourselves!

Posted by cardinal
a resident of Diablo
on Aug 27, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Jae: with all due respect, your first paragraph, if true (source?), is irrelevant to whether the City Mangler is overpaid -- the issue is not "did he do a good job;" instead, it's "did the taxpayers get their money's worth"? To answer that, you need to compare his responsibilities and performance to that of other CMs.

As to your second, sort-of-paragraph, what does "get over yourselves!" mean, exactly?

Posted by Jae
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 27, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Cardinal: The City of San Ramon has maintained a cash reserve over the last number of years. A "rainy day" fund if you will. There were many requests to spend,spend,spend in the heady days of increased tax revenues when the economy was doing well. Go to the City of San Ramon's web site to source. We're getting our Moniz worth!

Wilson, Moniz and others made the case to plan for the future and maintain cash reserves as a contingency for any future down turns. While other cities are going bankrupt, eliminating services etc., San Ramon has maintained it's service levels.

As far as my "get over yourselves" comment, it is in response to reading the comments above. Snap shot, top of the eye chart, over simplfied emotional analysis with out knowing the facts.

Posted by Danville Resident
a resident of Danville
on Aug 27, 2010 at 1:02 pm

Many mid to high level corporate executives do not earn as much as the San Ramon city manager. There is no excuse for this blatant misuse of taxpayer money.

Posted by cardinal
a resident of Diablo
on Aug 27, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Thanks for your response, Jae.

You write like someone with whom to have a beer, meaning "civilly." "Would post again."

Posted by Dan
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 27, 2010 at 1:36 pm

It is a fact that San Ramon city officials earn more than the
Governor of California. It is just "pure greed"! These officials
have found a "cash cow" and will continue to "rob" the tax payers
of San Ramon until they are removed!

Posted by Mimi
a resident of Danville
on Aug 27, 2010 at 2:12 pm

San Ramon is fortunate to have large companies such as Chevron & AT&T, otherwise, how would they be able to afford paying the city manager's salary for such a small citizen population. This is such a farce, the guy is way overpaid no matter how you spin it!

Posted by Jae
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 27, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Dan: If the San Ramon City officials earn more than the Govenor It's because they DO more than the Govenor!

To cardinal: Thanks for that. Cold beers. You mean GO BEARS!

Posted by jrm
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Aug 27, 2010 at 9:44 pm

jrm is a registered user. don't get it...none of your comments are substantiated by documentation. Cardinal is right, do you really think Herb deserves more salary than the President of the US or the Governor of our state? With all due respect so where do you Herb zealots draw the line, $400K, $450K ? Seems like managing San Ramon is sooooooo complex Herb is the only man that can do it. He seems to have you all brainwashed that he is the only Sheriff that can handle big bad Chevron, AT&T and of course Alex Mehran. Maybe the next highest paid employee in the city will be groomed to step up...he is the parks and rec dude soaking you all for $273,000.. Please wake up San not allow your once beautiful city to be the next Rancho Santa Margarita or Mission Viejo...your city logo depicts now vanished hills.... Trust me, Herb will retire in the next 12 months and walk away with a pension not available in the private sector....this is a real election issue for Abram to deal with...

Posted by Jae
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 28, 2010 at 1:10 am

JRM: As far as documentation you can go to the city of San Ramon's web site and gleen most of the documentation or Google articles about San Ramon government, Planning commision, City Council meetings etc.

JRM: Where to begin. The President of the US and the Govenor of Ca. have other subsidies to their compensation package. For the most part City employees run on their own salaries plus reimbursed business expenses.

$400k,$450k where do you base this conjecture?

What ever you are, butcher, baker, candle stick maker what's your background on mumicipal employee compensation?

JRM. Spit ball your view. Give us a number the City Manager of San Ramon should be compensated. What do yo FEEL the City Manager should make? Oh, you told us. How about trying what you think the City Manager should make.

Please come with some analytics. Not just "ooh.. it just feels wrong."

Thanks for the diversion. Just working on my positions in the stock market. Market orders,limit orders,fill or kill orders,stop limit orders etc. Setting and forgetting for Mondays stock market opening.

Market goes up= make money. Market goes down= make money.

So knee jerk if you will, iifes not fair, please pick me on your team yadda yadda yadda.

JRM: Please come with something more than it's not right and it's not fair. SHEEESH!

Posted by American
a resident of Danville
on Aug 28, 2010 at 7:16 pm

I agree 100% with JRM, there is absolutely no justification for this ridiculous salary for a city manager of a small, suburban city like San Ramon. I am a Republican, but I am an American first, and I will NOT vote for Abrams even though he is a Rebulican, for his approval of this ridiculous salary and refusal to admit a problem is a serious credibility problem.

Posted by jrm
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Aug 28, 2010 at 9:37 pm

jrm is a registered user.

Jae...not really sure of the relevence of your stock market strategy for Monday morning and how it plays into this thread but I guess that is glimpse into your thought process. I think at some point citizens have to say whoa, this is enough, things don't seem right and the status quo of trends need to be shifted a bit. If you don't think so I really can't change your mind nor do I want to endeavor to do so, I just hope other folks in San Ramon are now somewhat surprised at the revelation of what actually has occured on Abram's watch...and I reiterate, I was poised to vote for him. This is HUGE thing for him to deal I am on the hook to pay my share of Herb's pension, as are all of us...this is a HUGE rip off....
Let the Sun Shine In....

Posted by Julia
a resident of Alamo
on Aug 30, 2010 at 8:44 am

Good Morning JRM...I know you and I have disagreed in the past and that's keep the blood flowing. But with regard to this issue, I am 100% in agreement with everything you have presented.

It's the folks like Jae and his followers that allow the foolish to happen over and over again.

I'll say it again...if you want to point the finger of blame, start by looking in your mirror...we the voting masses are the blame and we the voting masses are the only ones that can correct it situation. Do not believe your current elected self serving group will take a stand and do the will of the people.

Remember the new 2010 and beyond MOTTO..."VOTE THE INCUMBENTS OUT"

Posted by Scott Tramell
a resident of San Ramon
on Sep 7, 2010 at 11:59 pm

I am a long time resident of San Ramon and have always supported A. Wilson. After watching him defend Moniz's outrageous salary, I have lost all respect for the man and will no longer support him. With all the talent out there, are you telling me that we can't find a smart and intelligent candidate who won't work for $200K a year? Residents of San Ramon, I urge you to vote out any City official that supports paying Moniz such an unjustified salary.

Posted by cardinal
a resident of Diablo
on Sep 12, 2010 at 12:24 pm

From today's CCTimes:

Full OpEd piece here: Web Link

SAN RAMON City Manager Herb Moniz, speaking to an East Bay business group last month, blamed CalPERS policies and the economic downturn for "unsustainable" public employee pension costs. Indeed, those are key contributing factors to the ballooning expenses. But if Moniz wants to reform the system, he might also look at his own city -- and at his own pending pension.

Moniz earns a jaw-dropping $344,200 a year, making him the top-paid city manager in the state, according to a new salary survey by the League of California Cities in which 90 percent of municipalities responded. His income doubled in the last decade. Although he runs a city of 63,000 people, he makes far more than, say, the city manager of San Jose (population 1 million) or the city administrator of Oakland (population 425,000).

Consequently, Moniz, who is 65, could retire now with a starting pension for roughly 26 years of public work of about $261,000 a year -- and perhaps a lot more. Whenever he leaves, he will benefit from pension increases his top staff negotiated with city workers in 2006 and 2007 -- benefits that will boost his own retirement pay by about 18 percent....

Whoever signed those employment contracts with Moniz on behalf of San Ramon absolutely screwed the taxpayers. Whose responsibility was that?

Posted by Rob
a resident of San Ramon
on Sep 14, 2010 at 2:12 pm

So, my son is a student at Pine Valley Middle School. The school year just started, yet the students at Pine Valley have ALREADY had time off because of the supposed "budgetary constraints." We were told the students had to stay home from school because they couldn't afford to pay the teachers.

Couple that with the ridulous "fees" we had to pay (roughly $760) - everything from a $90 "sports" fee to a "technology" fee, an "art" fee. I thought this was a PUBLIC school?

Perhaps if they didn't pay the city manager of San Ramon 3 times the median salary of the citizens who's taxes pay his wages - they would have the money to pay the teachers.

This is an abuse of the public trust & the city manager needs to step down, or be forced to resign.

Public servants are supposed to be just that - PUBLIC SERVANTS. They are NOT supposed to live a more privileged lifestyle than the citizens who pay their salaries!!

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