Elk Grove city attorney's office expanding in fiscal year 2024 budget as population shrank

Even though Elk Grove's population has shrunk,
city attorney Jonathan Hobbs is expanding his department. | 

During their Wednesday, June 14 meeting, the Elk Grove City Council will approve the city's annual budget for fiscal year 2024. By state law, the budget must be adopted by June 30.  

Even though the mayor, city council, and city executives crow about developing a balanced budget - it's a perfect campaign talking point - they usually omit one crucial fact. That fact is, by state law, they must have a balanced budget.

Within the annual budget, each department has a brief description of the activities. One of the smaller city departments growing faster than Elk Grove's population is the city attorney's office.

According to the budget report, the compensation budget in the city attorney's office during the current fiscal year is $1,572,721. However, for the fiscal year 2024, starting July 1, the city attorney's compensation budget will grow by a whopping $309,025 to $1,881,746. 

The report says staffing will increase by "adding another Senior Deputy City Attorney" because of "the continued growth of the City, the increase in City employees, and the related workload and impacts on the City Attorney's office."

Interestingly, according to the U.S. Census Bureau* reports, Elk Grove's population dropped from 178,283 on July 1, 2021, to 177,588 on July 1, 2022, for a population loss of 725, or 0.4-percent decrease. 

While Elk Grove lost population over one year, the city attorney's compensation budget is expanding by 18 percent. However, the city attorney's office is facing more litigation, most notably its decision to defend a lawsuit brought against the city by California Attorney General Rob Bonta over alleged violations of fair housing laws. 

The total budget for the department will grow from $1,927,856 to $2,226,439, an increase of 18 percent. Total staffing in the city's attorney's office will grow by one to seven employees. 

City attorney Jonathan Hobbs is Elk Grove's highest-paid employee earning $296,955 annually, not including benefits and retirement funding.  

* U.S. Census City and Town Population Totals: 2020-2022, see "places of 50,000 or more" or Califronia under incorporated places. 

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D.J. Blutarsky said...

Even the City's staunchest supporters must admit that in the post Laura Gill-era, the City has had less fiscal discipline, less decorum, and basically is bobbing around like a loose ship without a rudder, rather than a speed boat slicing through the water.

Few people seem to take notice that the City has been spending money like drunken sailors on liberty. The spending spree started with the police department, and today it is the City Attorney's office. Who will be the lucky prize winners tomorrow and the next day? It doesn't matter to most people, because we're getting a Nordstrom Rack and a Yardbird!

Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of rum!

Renegade said...

Why do we need more legal staff when Hobbs sends all our work to his former law firm to handle? Let's see if the city hires a litigator that can keep our legal expenses in EG. Otherwise, this is another waste of our taxpayer monies. Blutarsky is right about the way this city spends money, city hall is out of control.

Eye on Elk Grove said...

I firmly believe the Elk Grove City Council and Executive Staff are mismanaging the city so horribly they continue to open up the taxpayers to more and more litigation. Is Jon Hobbs that inept, he needs to expand the legal department? Begs the question why the council keeps him? Where are the three to fire? Hobbs certainly isn’t an experienced trial attorney which is why most lawsuits against the city are settled out of court.

What does Hobbs have on the Elk Grove City Council that he has such job security?

D.J. Blutarsky said...

Intriguing thought Eye On. Or since he still is attached to The Firm, what does he and/or The Firm have on the city?

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