SAN RAMON -- In his final State of the City address as San Ramon mayor, Abram Wilson wanted to clear up something.
No one attending Tuesday's San Ramon Chamber of Commerce luncheon asked about City Manager Herb Moniz's salary, so he brought it up himself.
Moniz, who is retiring after his contract expires in March, made headlines last year after it was determined that he was one of the highest paid city managers in the state, with his $359,699 in compensation.
Wilson asked that the salary be put in perspective. Moniz's salary costs each of San Ramon's 63,000 residents $5.69 a year, Wilson said, adding that the city manager has no assistants.
Danville, which has a population of 43,000, has a town manager and an assistant town manager, Wilson said. Those two jobs cost residents $455,000 per year, or $10.58 per person.
Dublin, with 48,000 residents, also has a city manager and an assistant city manager. Their compensation costs $403,000 per year, or $8.40 person a year, Wilson pointed out.
"Trust but verify," he told the attendees at the San Ramon Golf Club. However, he did not break down and compare what the duties and responsibilities are for each of the city managers and assistant city managers.
San Ramon has been fiscally responsible, Wilson said. He declared that San Ramon is financially sound and will continue to find ways to be efficient and proactive.
He pointed out that, with the help of the city's AAA credit rating, San Ramon sold $17.6 million in bonds to fund the city's pension fund debt.
Instead of paying the minimum on the city's debt, San Ramon is paying off the principal, he said. He said that proactive, out-of-the-box thinking like that has kept the city afloat.
The city maintains a 50 percent contingency reserve, Wilson said, with much of the money squirreled away in other accounts so the state can't take it away.
City staff has won about $11 million in grant money in the past few years, which has been used for various projects in the city and alleviates the need for spending city revenues, he said.
As part of his report, Wilson said revenues have taken a hit in San Ramon. In the 2008-09 fiscal year, San Ramon had $41 million in revenue and spent about $39 million. For the 2010-11 fiscal year, the city has about $35.5 million and spent about $37.6 million, with reserve money plugging the holes so the city is not operating at a deficit.
Salary freezes were instituted last year, and a hiring freeze has been in place since 2008. In addition, the city is exploring other cost saving measures including the possibility of instituting furloughs, Wilson said.
"We must continue to look for (ways) to provide the best for less," he said.
Contact Sophia Kazmi at 925-847-2122.