Fiscal Health Support

Resources for California’s Cities

In October of 2019 the California State Auditor launched a new dashboard that allows the public to compare the financial statistics of 471 cities and see which ones are at the highest risk of distress.

As explained by the State Auditor’s office, they used 10 indicators to assess each city’s ability to pay its bills in both the short and long term. Specifically, the indicators measure each city’s cash position or liquidity, debt burden, financial reserves, revenue trends, and ability to pay for employee retirement benefits.

There are steps that cities can take now that will address immediate short-term problems, and establish long-term sustainable fiscal health.

While so many cities are facing similar financial challenges, each city has a unique mix of these challenges. From the ability to utilize general fund reserves to address funding shortfalls, to the level of funding (if any) for OPEB obligations, each city needs solutions specific to its needs. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions.

Ultimately a city needs to think of the entire lifecycle of an employee – from onboarding through retirement – and build solutions that encompass the totality of the employee/retiree engagement.


Fiscal Focus: Where Can We Affect Improvement

There are a number of areas where small steps can yield significant improvements for a city’s fiscal health:

  • Utilizing a trust to offset pension contribution increases resulting from  CalPERS’ pension program underperforming
  • Pre-funding OPEB liabilities and addressing GASB 74 & 75 compliance
  • Evaluating whether it is in your agency’s best interest to remain in CalPERS medical/PEMHCA or whether there are viable and fiscally sound alternative options
  • Examining unfunded Leave Liabilities, and mitigate the fiscal impact of these  potentially huge expenses

Keenan’s subject matter experts – former municipality employees and officials – have been on the frontline dealing with these issues, and have developed strategies for mitigating their negative fiscal impact.


Economic Impact of COVID-19:
Alternatives to Reduction In Force

Wednesday, June 3, 2020
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Presented By
Amy B. Donovan, Esq., Keenan | Troy Butzlaff, Keenan-MidAmerica | Megan Gardner, Keenan

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Fiscal Health Support

Presented By California Senator John Moorlach




Here are a few recommended resources for maintaining your cities fiscal health.


Senator Moorlach's Financial Soundness Report


GFOA Fiscal First Aid Resource Center


ICMA Coronavirus Crisis Response Resources for Your Community


Know Your Options with a CalPERS Breakaway Study 

Keenan has created the CalPERS Breakaway Study for those agencies who are looking to evaluate their CalPERS medical and PEMHCA plan versus alternative benefits options. The objective of the study is to assess, before going to market, what kind of risk the city is, without having the advantage of claim experience and then develop a baseline expectation of how competitive the market might be outside of CalPERS. If your agency is an ideal candidate, then you may be able to reduce your OPEB liability and eliminate your agencies PEMHCA cost.

Interested in participating?
Complete the form to request more information.