The following information is from the California State Controller’s Office and is based on information provided to the State Controller by the City of Marina in 2016. For more information and a complete listing of city staff wages, retirement, and health benefits visit


POSITION                                         WAGES                        RETIREMENT AND HEALTH

City Manager                                 $236,865.00                             $20,905.00

Police Chief                                     $199,522.00                            $47,461.00

Finance Director                            $187,243.00                            $31,274.00

Fire Chief                                          $171,962.00                           $34,564.00

Recreation Director                       $142,538.00                            $24,476.00

Mayor                                                 $3,000.00                                  None 

Council Member                               $2,400.00                                  None

I provide you with this information so that you will have a better understanding of the city expenses as they relate to wages, retirement, and health costs.

It is always a challenge to find competent employees while staying within the revenue limits for the city. Does the city have to compete with other jurisdictions when it seeks a new employee? Sometimes. Does the future employee consider, not only the employment position, but also the wages, retirement and health benefits being paid/offered by other jurisdictions? Certainly.

The question is how much consideration/weight should the compensation being offered by other jurisdictions be given when making a decision as to the hiring of an individual? If it is a major consideration, then the wages will continue to spiral upward and the city budget will never be balanced, city services will always be less than necessary, and the residents will be asked to contribute more than their fair share.

ON NUMEROUS OCCASIONS I HAVE VOTED AGAINST WAGES BEING INCREASED. My votes have been for two main reasons: (1) the city cannot afford it; (2) too much weight is being given to what other jurisdictions pay.



On June 21, 2017, the City Council majority voted to adopt the Fiscal Year (FY 17/18) 2017/2018 City budget.

Before that vote, I made the following motion and requested that the City Council vote on the same, before voting to adopt the FY 17/18 budget. The motion did not pass. Mayor Delgado, Council members Amadeo and Brown voted against it.The following are the six sections of the motion: (After each section I will give my reasons for making that section a part of my motion).

1. Staff brings back to the City Council, by no later than the second meeting in August, the estimated expense of filling all authorized vacant city positions, whether presently funded or unfunded.

REASON: There are presently 92 city staff positions that are funded and filled. There are 25 additional authorized city staff positions that are not filled. This includes 8 police positions, 2 fire department positions, 2 Finance Department positions and 1 recreation department.

Thus less than 79% of the authorized city staff positions are funded and filled.

The purpose of this motion was to bring to the City Council’s attention the financial numbers involved in the salaries, and benefits, to fill all of the city staff positions.

    2. The directors of each city department provide the City Council with the modifications to their respective budgets so that the authorized vacant position(s) in their department(s) can be filled and funded in FY 17/18.

REASON: This was an attempt to better inform all the City Council members as to the opinions of the directors. The directors of each department know their needs and where any changes could be made. It is quite possible that the directors would state that no additional financial cuts could be made to their respective departments.

 3. Staff provides the City Council with a list of the estimated recurring obligations that it deems are discretionary and are presently not being funded in the proposed FY 17/18 General Fund budget before the city council.

REASON: The Marina balanced budget resolution, (Res. 2012-46), requires the City Council to satisfy recurring obligations each year from the revenue received. In my opinion, the adopted FY 17/18 city budget treats certain recurring obligations as discretionary and, in some cases, does not pay the obligations from the revenue. On certain recurring obligations the unallocated general funds, and not the revenue, are applied to the paying of the recurring obligations. This results in the General Fund balance being reduced.

The purpose of the motion is to make the City Council aware of the obligations and the amount needed to satisfy the same in FY 17/18.

    4. City manager provides the City Council with the benefits and detriments to the FY 17/18 General Fund if a 6 month moratorium on any new projects is enacted.

REASON: A growing Marina cannot function properly with a city staff which is operating with less than 79% of the authorized staff. This approach leads to staff being overworked; and unattended to matters; and possible errors. If the benefits exceeded the detriments then it may be appropriate to consider a moratorium. It not, then a moratorium may not be proper.

  5. Staff look into the payment on the outstanding pension bond indebtedness of approximately $245,000.00, and proceed with payment in full if it is found to be a financial benefit to the city.

REASON: There is a potential of saving approximately $24,000.00 in General Funds if the indebtedness is satisfied this fiscal year.

6. The proposed General Fund Budget for FY 17/18 be balanced as required by Resolution 2012-46.

REASON:  It is my opinion that the City Budget for FY 17/18 is not balanced.



Every one of us realizes the tremendous hardship of being homeless and living under a freeway overpass, or in an alley-way on the “shady” part of town. It is not a problem that is limited to one city, county or state, but the question comes up as to whom, how, and when to help.

At the Transportation Agency of Monterey County’s (TAMC) meeting of April 26, 2017, the Board of Directors voted 8-7 to allow a warming shelter in Salinas to remain open for another 30 days, past the lease’s end date of April 30th. TAMC owns the building and leases it to the County of Monterey and the City of Salinas.

On May 2, 2017, Marina Mayor Delgado placed on the City Council agenda a request to donate $3,000.00 to $5,000.00 of Marina’s General Fund to the City of Salinas. The donation was to help reduce Salinas’ monthly cost of $15,000 to operate the shelter.  It did not result in a reconsideration of the TAMC vote, nor did it increase the capacity or the length of time the shelter is to be open.  It only helped the lessee (Salinas) to cover its cost under a lease agreement with TAMC. Note: The City of Marina is not a party to this lease agreement. Neither the City of Salinas nor Monterey County requested this donation.

At the Marina City Council meeting the mayor made a motion to donate $5,000.00, (1/3 of Salinas’ expense), to Community Homeless Solution (CHS). Salinas and Monterey County have a contract with CHS to provide service to the warming shelter. The motion passed by a 4-1 margin.  I voted against it. My stated reason was, in part, the need to provide for the homeless and less fortunate in Marina.

Our City food pantries, and residents in need of rent assistance must be given priority by a City Council that wants to provide for those in need.  This motion did not address those needs nor even consider them. This donation (i.e. gift) simply helped to pay a contractual expense/obligation of the City of Salinas and Monterey County.

Note: The 5 County Supervisors and Salinas Councilwoman Craig voted on the TAMC item, but none of them asked for financial support from other cities. Salinas Mayor Gunter spoke at the meeting and did not seek financial support from other cities.





In 2008, it was the opinion of some members of the City Council that the city budget was balanced because the General Fund had a positive balance. The City Council would simply apply funds from the General Fund to pay for the annual expenditures that exceeded the annual revenue. That approach is similar to an individual taking money from his/her savings account and transferring it to the checking account to cover the expenses which exceed his/her earnings. Thus the city’s General Fund was being reduced due to the annual expenditures exceeding the annual revenue. In my opinion, that approach did not meet the definition of a balanced budget.


In 2012, the Marina City Council passed a resolution requiring that the city budget be balanced. It reads in part as follows:

“NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the City Council of the City of Marina does hereby:

1.     Require that the city manager submit a proposed balanced general fund budget for fiscal year 2012-2013 and each year thereafter; and

2.     Agree that a proposed balanced budget shall be defined as the anticipated annual fiscal expenditures not exceeding the annual fiscal revenues less non-recurring fund transfers; and

3.     Require all future proposed balanced budget shall, if necessary, reduce expenditures of a specific department in a manner that is consistent with the proportional percentage that that specific department has to the total proposed City General Fund Budget appropriation per the proposed General Fund budget, annual propose expenditures, and;

4.     Direct staff to add the component of having an optional budget that balances within the foreseeable future of 2-3 years and maintains our policy of reserve balance of whatever that is, 5%” Resolution 2012-46


Unless, and until, the resolution is amended, the city manager must submit a proposed balanced budget for consideration by the City Council. It is the City Council’s duty to see to it that the General Fund budget is balanced. The burden is on your elected officials (Amadeo, Brown, Delgado, Morton and O’Connell) to make decisions that result in the annual revenue being equal to, or greater than, the annual expenditures.


On May 24th, June 13th, 20th and 27th, the City Council will be reviewing the proposed budget submitted by the city manager. Pay close attention to the non-recurring versus recurring expenditures. Non-recurring expenditures are not to be considered as annual expenditures when determining whether or not the budget is balanced. An example of a non-recurring expenditure is the gift of $275,000 made to Cinemark Holdings, Inc., a billion dollar corporation, by the City Council majority (Delgado, Amadeo and Brown) in 2013. It was a one-time gift of public funds. A recurring expenditure  would be an expenditure that happens each year. Examples would be city salaries, CalPers retirement,  etc.