http://almanacnews.com/print/story/print/2012/10/24/letter-intimidating-tactics-in-atherton-council-race


Almanac

Viewpoint - October 24, 2012

Letter: Intimidating tactics in Atherton council race

I give the Atherton police an "A" for their professional actions under the leadership of Chief Flint and Lieutenant Wade.

It was not always this way. Under previous councils, bad judgment was made in hiring officers. One chief was arrested, prosecuted and convicted of voter fraud. The next chief was sent to anger management counseling for altercations with citizens. The following chief, Glenn Nielsen, left after a short period with over $300,000 in a pension after promising the town manager he would stay for a much longer period.

I give the APOA (Teamsters union) an "F" for its activities in this upcoming election. It is backing two candidates with signs and robo-calls in order to try to influence the town council in its favor when negotiations start on a new contract.

Some voters are afraid to place signs for other candidates in fear of retaliation by the police.

The APOA's lightly disguised threats at intimidation have no place in Atherton.

I feel very well-qualified to make these comments. I was a San Francisco police lieutenant for over 30 years in charge of up to 250 officers, and also the past president of the San Francisco Veterans police officers association. I am still on its board of directors.

I am a 33-year resident of Atherton and, unlike one of the APOA candidates, I have worked on numerous town committees. I love this town and I hate to see this kind of behavior by the APOA. It degrades many of our young excellent police officers.

John Ruggeiro

Stockbridge Avenue, Atherton

Comments

Posted by Kudos to John, a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 23, 2012 at 9:38 am

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


Posted by Michael G Stogner, a resident of another community
on Oct 23, 2012 at 10:33 am

Great letter from Mr. John Ruggerio, and as usual honest and direct communication.

He also took the time to express his thoughts and concerns at the last council meeting.


Posted by keep it fair, a resident of another community
on Oct 26, 2012 at 12:24 pm

let's be fair and reasonable.

I live in a much larger city then Atherton and have recently received numerous robo-calls from my surroundings services, such as the Fire and Police Association in support of their selected candidates. The phone messages I have received are no different then the written phone message on the APOA PAC website that I just read. Mr. Ruggeiro stated, "there is no place for this in Atherton". No place for freedom of speech and politics? I disagree, as every town has it's politics. I agree with John that Atherton's past city council has poorly managed the hiring of some past chiefs. This tells me, the APOA needed to speak up and endorse candidates, as the new council may be selecting the next Chief, AND is responsible for all town decision making. Mr. Ruggerio's letter reads self-serving, as he may be in support of a candidate, or outsourcing the PD. As an experienced veteran officer his statement, "Some voters are afraid to place signs for other candidates in fear of retaliation by the police", is unlikely that he really supports this own statement, as he should know first-hand, this is a chargeable offense against the police if it was true. John should also be experienced to know police are trained to be fair and impartial and they are held to a higher standard. So let's be reasonable and impartial, the past council MUST have been horrible for APOA to take a risk in speaking out. The only retaliation going on is directly from letters like this, and from city council McKeithen's last article, attacking the APOA. Really, when was the last robo-call in Atherton? Maybe that's all the excitement!
A successful city council is capable of staying on budget by still providing the best services, effectively communicating with the residents, supporting measures in the best interest of the town, including parks, trains, libraries and letting residents vote on it.

Most importantly maintaining good working relationships within their own city offices. As this will affect the community too. It's important to listen to the actual town employees who work along side the council as they are your voices too.

posted by professional business women, and I don't list my name because of fear of retaliation by some stranger that posts on here, NOT from the police.


Posted by On Point, a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 26, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Keep it Fair,

Your letter explains the situation in Atherton.

"The only retaliation going on is directly from letters like this, and from city council McKeithen's last article, attacking the APOA." and "I don't list my name because of fear of retaliation by some stranger that posts on here, NOT from the police."



Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 26, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Keep it Fair:

clearly you haven't paid much attention to what has gone on in Atherton. Corrupt cops anyone? It wasn't until recently that the town hired a new chief that they were able to rid themselves of one bad cop. There's at least one more to go. Citizens in Atherton have repeatedly expressed fear of the officers in their own department. Officers falsley arrested a citizen and he was able to obtain a finding of factual innocense. That's a finding that is all but impossible to obtain. The chief at the time then tried to (ineptly) white wash the whole thing. The current chief fired the officer. All right, the officer actually "retired" but we all know what happened. It was retire or get fired.

The APOA would probably have less push back on their excercise of their free speach if some of their bretheren hadn't missbehaved in the past.

On point:

betting you are an Atherton cop.


Posted by Q.E.D., a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 26, 2012 at 6:22 pm

For "keep it fair": Your comment," "I don't list my name because of fear of retaliation by some stranger that posts on here, NOT from the police." and then Menlo Voter's rant regarding corrupt cops etc. only
illustrates quod erat demonstrandum.
Your post was one of the best I have seen on politics in Atherton.
Thank you!


Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 26, 2012 at 7:12 pm

QED:

pull your head out if you don't think you've had corrupt cops working for you or that you still do. As a resident of Atherton you have much to fear from those that are sworn to protect you. Personally, I don't like driving through Atherton given what I've seen some of your officers are capable of. As ex-law enforcement I know what someone in that position of trust can do if they are willing to violate that trust. Be afraid QED, be afraid.