News - June 9, 2010

Menlo Park city manager wants to renegotiate loan terms

A recent story in a local newspaper about the status of a home loan from the city of Menlo Park to City Manager Glen Rojas inspired speculation on The Almanac's website that Mr. Rojas is having trouble repaying the loan.

That's not the case, Mr. Rojas said in an interview, but he is renegotiating the terms of the loan in private meetings with City Council members. Mr. Rojas is not in violation of the existing terms, he said.

When the city hired him in 2007, he received a $1.27 million home loan. The contract stipulated that he would make a 10 percent down payment on the Menlo Park home when he sold his house in Riverside, where he had lived previously.

But he hasn't sold the Riverside home yet because of the housing bust, and knows that he won't be able to sell it any time soon. Rather than make the city wait, he decided to amend the contract so that he could pay the down payment back before he sold the Riverside property, in a way that "doesn't kill me with taxes." (In an article published in late 2008, Forbes Magazine called Riverside the third-worst post-bust real-estate market in the country, second only to Stockton and Los Angeles; housing prices fell nearly 25 percent.)

He noted that the loan is secured both by the Riverside property, and the Menlo Park home.


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