Elk Grove public and elected official cited in national business publication as California grapples with $54 billion deficit

California has a $1 trillion unfunded pension liability.

The COVID19 state of emergency and shelter-in-place has had far-reaching effects on every aspect of life. For residents in the Californa, one of the many consequences is the $54 billion deficit projected by Gov. Gavin Newson.

Not surprisingly, the projected budget shortfall for California, as well as most state governments, has re-ignited the debate on a long-festering problem - pension reform. The topic, a favorite of fiscal hawks, is coming back into focus.

In a Forbe's story published yesterday titled Why California Is In Trouble – 340,000 Public Employees With $100,000+ Paychecks Cost Taxpayers $45 Billion contributor Adam Andrzejewski outlines several individuals drawing high taxpayer-funded salaries and pensions. Among those highlighted included in the report are Elk Grove Unified School District Superintendent, Christopher Hoffman, and California 9th district Assemblymember and retired Sacramento Sherriff's captain Jim Cooper (D - Elk Grove).

According to the story, Hoffman's annual salary of $351,885 puts him in the top five salaries or pensions of public school officials. Cooper, who retired as a captain from the Sacramento Sheriff's Department, draws a pension of $173,820, and an annual salary as $107,242 as an Assemblymember was pegged by Andrzejewski as a double dipper.

Cooper, it should be noted, declined a modest City of Elk Grove pension after serving 14 years as a council member.

According to the most current information posted on the website Transparent California, The City of Elk Grove's highest-paid employee as of their 2018 report is city attorney Jonathan Hobbs who is drawing a salary of $247,115. Given the salary information is two years old, it is likely Hobbs has seen a pay increase, and Jason Behrmann, who was appointed city manager about 18 months ago, is now drawing a salary of $269,156.

As Elk Grove and other local governments and special districts deal with multi-million dollar revenue shortfalls in the coming weeks (the fiscal year 2021 budget must be in place by July 1), it will be noteworthy to see if executives at the City of Elk Grove, Elk Grove Unified and the Cosumnes Community Services District impose temporary salary cuts on themselves or cut municipal or classroom services and raise Mello Roos and to maintain their high salaries.    

Using Open the Book's interactive mapping tool, you can quickly review (by ZIP code) the 340,390 California public employees and retirees who earn more than $100,000 and cost taxpayers $45 billion (FY2018-9). Just click a pin and scroll down the page to see the results rendered in the chart beneath the map.

Copyright by Elk Grove News © 2020. All right reserved.


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D.J. Blutarsky said...

I'm sure Mr. Hoffman's $351,885 salary is well-deserved! While Gavin Newsom is managing the state COVID-19 crisis on his $201,680 salary, Hoffman is hard at work managing the empty school buildings.

As for Assemblyman Cooper, I'm sure he is hard at work in the Assembly, except when he is on recess from the end of August thru the first week of January. During recess he may be hard to find, but call 1-800-LOBBYIST and speak to one of their trip coordinators for assistance.

As for City Attorney Hobbs, well, good courtroom litigators are hard to find...we're still looking!

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