Why San Rafael will Never be a Bell

City manager emphasizes transparency



Much has been written recently about the City of Bell. Their salaries of the city manager and other high ranking staff and elected officials is, at a minimum, obscene and in complete violation of the public trust. The public has the right to know the pay and benefits of all public servants. Our San Rafael city government is committed to transparency on compensation to every member of the public.

This is especially important today, when more than half of American workers have lost their jobs or had a reduction in hours or pay because of the recession. Meanwhile, the outrageous pay for elected officials and top staff in the tiny city of Bell, California has become international news. Public employee salaries and benefits generate much public debate. But one thing should not be up for debate: the public's right to know how public money is spent.

San Rafael has long been transparent about employee salaries and benefits. Employee contracts, established through the collective bargaining process with union representation, may run for one or multiple years. The schedule of pay and benefits is publicly reviewed and adopted by the City Council. Labor contracts, as well as compensation data, remains on our website all year, along with the schedule of pay ranges for every position in the City. Pay for the Council is outlined in a City ordinance, and has not been increased for over a decade. (The Mayor's salary is $702 per month; the City Councilmember's each receiving $ 468 per month). City staff salaries, benefits and current contracts can be seen by clicking on the following link:www.cityofsanrafael.org/Government/Human_Resources.htm.

Ken Nordhoff is the San Rafael City Manager. To read more about Bell and what city managers are doing about this situation around the state see "Snapshot," a publication of the city of San Rafael.







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