Atherton parcel tax campaign raises $10,000

Supporters of Measures S and T, a renewal of the Atherton parcel tax on the Nov. 3 ballot, raised more than $10,000 as of Oct. 17. With the addition of Councilman James Dobbie, the financial supporters now include all five members of the City Council.

In the finance report filed Oct. 22, campaign treasurers Richard Moore and Douglas Devivo reported receiving $5,759 in contributions between Sept. 20 and Oct. 17, bringing the Yes on S and T campaign's total to $10,533. The biggest expenditure reported by the group is $2,540 for newspaper advertisements.

The biggest contributions made during the most recent campaign finance filing period are from Mindy Rogers, a retired Atherton resident, and Jeffrey Wise, an inventor, who each gave $500.

Other top donors are: Councilman James Dobbie, $300; Robert O'Donnell of Capital Research & Management, $250; Bernard Ross, an engineer, $200; Joseph Comartin, retired, $200; and Jonathan Venverloh, a senior manager at Google, $200. The parcel tax is an annual assessment that costs most Atherton homeowners $750, unchanged from the current rate. The proceeds fund infrastructure improvements as well as town general fund expenses such as police and employee salaries. It generated about $1.86 million last year.

Measure S renews the tax at the existing rate. Measure T allows the town to raise its appropriation limit to spend revenue from the tax.

Measure S, the four-year renewal of the parcel tax, requires approval by two-thirds of the voters to pass. Measure T needs a simple majority: at least 50 percent of voters plus one.


Posted by Accuracy, a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Oct 30, 2009 at 11:28 pm

Please let me, politely, point out the inaccuracy in what you have stated above. The parcel tax does not "fund infrastructure improvements as well as town general fund expenses such as police and employee salaries." It is put into the same pool of money (as was pointed out in the ACIL Thread) as the rest of the revenue the Town of Atherton takes in, and the Town of Atherton's total expenditures come out of the total pool of money. Thus, it funds (on a pro-rata percentage basis) every single expenditure the Town of Atherton has including the ones that we're probably all ashamed of (like millions for lawsuits).

Look at the bottom pie chart on page 3 of

Web Link.

The parcel tax is allocated according to these percentages. That is, of the $750 per most households, $2.25 will go to the city council, $129.75 to public works, $372.75 to police, $31.50 to "non-department" (I guess legal), $73.50 to the building department, $14.25 to the planning department, $38.25 to the finance deparmtent, $30.75 to legal, and $57.75 to "administration".

FYI the total legal budget extimated for 2009-10 is $698,871, not $500,000 (that is, 4.1% of the $17.045M of total expenditures).

These are the facts. Here's the opinion: deny the existing parcel tax, and ask the council to resubmit with a lower amount that at least scales back administration and legal expenses.

Posted by Accuracy, a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Oct 30, 2009 at 11:33 pm

Slight correction: stating the "parcel tax funds infrastructure improvements as well as town general fund expenses such as police and employee salaries" is technically the truth, but not the whole truth. It makes it sound like these are the only uses of the money.

Posted by Ed, a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 30, 2009 at 11:46 pm

Dear Accuracy--would you please run for town council or apply for the city manager position or possibly become a reporter for the Almanac AS SOON AS POSSIBLE --you make alot of cents.

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