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Updated: City Manager Glen Rojas announces retirement

Original post made on Mar 22, 2011

Calling it a tough decision, Menlo Park City Manager Glen Rojas announced this morning (March 22) that he is retiring, effective July 15.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, March 22, 2011, 12:28 PM

Comments (25)

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Posted by Debra Rojas
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Mar 22, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Congratulations Glen! I'm excited about this next phase of our life and look forward to spending more time with you. You've worked nonstop for so many years I promise not to create a "honey do" list until 2012.


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Posted by member
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 22, 2011 at 5:16 pm

HIP HIP HOORAY!


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Posted by Jennifer Bestor
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 22, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Jennifer Bestor is a registered user.

Good luck, Glen! Enjoy retirement and -- whatever you do -- do not become interested in anything controversial. Cultivate your garden.

Rich, may I politely -- and gratefully -- disagree? I believe public service (appointed, paid, and/or elected) is becoming dramatically harder year after year.

One third of us here in Menlo Park households are paying an average of $20,000 a year in property tax towards local services. We would like to see a commensurate level of local schools, libraries, parks, etc. We bought our houses within the past decade. Some of us moved here for jobs, others moved out of Mom's house next door.

Another third of us are paying an average of $8,000 a year. We've been paying it for 10 - 25 years and are wondering why local services are declining. When do we get our Prop 13 payoff of equal services for less money? It feels like we've been footing the bill long enough -- instead, the shoe is pinching harder as we find ourselves incredulously considering local private schools ($33K/year!) for our kids.

And, yes, the last third of us have owned our property for 25+ years. We're paying an average of $2,000. And we're frightened that the fiscal house of cards in California is coming down and that our taxes are going to leap to $10,000 (the fair market value of our homes is $1M+). So we're furious at every indication that any public service is spending a nickel more than it needs to.

Frankly, I don't know how anyone survives in the public sphere with such a divided body politic to answer to. Especially as our town population increases (4% over the decade) and open space shrinks.

Thanks so much -- all of you -- for trying to reconcile our contradictory demands and expectations.


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Posted by Rob Silano
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Mar 22, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Congrats to you and your family. Thank you for your public service. You leave our city in good hands with Starla and Kent, Best, Rob and Barb


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Posted by Gene Hernandez
a resident of another community
on Mar 23, 2011 at 11:29 am

Glen, congratulations on your many achievements and a very successful career. You can look back on the many years of your commitment to public service with pride. I am thankful for the years of leadership you provided me, as I served as your Chief of Police for the City of Chino. Your honesty, high ethical standards, sense of humor, strong people skills, and promotion of a team environment will be remembered by all who had the privilege to serve under you. I know you will enjoy your retirement, as you certainly have earned it.


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Posted by Bob
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 23, 2011 at 12:26 pm

So how about a morw comprehensive story on the retirement.
How much will Mr. Rojas be receiving each year in his Menlo Park pension for his four years of employment? Also what are his retirement health benefits? Any lump sum separation payment?
Also why no mention about his Oct 2010 discussions with the city council about his job performance and extending his contract?


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Mar 23, 2011 at 12:43 pm

And what ever happened to Mr. Rojas's low interest loan that the city provided him? Has he repaid it yet?


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Posted by Irwin Derman
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Mar 23, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Glen:
You arrived in the middle of a matter we had with the City. My wife and I found you to be an understanding official who was dedicated to finding a solution that served both our needs and the City. As a result, we came to a conclusion that might not have been reached so quickly without your patience and understanding.
You are welcome to come visit our garden anytime!


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Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 23, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Those are very important questions, Bob.


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Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 23, 2011 at 2:15 pm

POGO, he has NOT repaid the low-interest loan.


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Posted by Reading Comprehension
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Mar 23, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Bob,

Do you read the articles or just attack people in the forum?


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Posted by Bob
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 23, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Gee Reading Comprehension perhaps you should choose a new moniker. I',m not attacking anyone, as you seem want to do. I'm just asking questions.
None of the items I mentioned were in the article. However Pogo did ask about the loan and that info was in the article.
Gosh, I believe I deserve a retraction from you.


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Posted by Thomas
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Mar 23, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Bob's post also brings up an interesting question. Why would The Almanac feel it is necessary to include the retirement and compensation package for retiring Fire Chief Muela only four days ago in another article but not do so for retiring City Manager Glen Rojas?

I'm wondering what criteria The Almanac uses when it includes the pension and retirement packages of some retiring local officials but fails to include it on others such as Mr. Rojas? I suspect it may have something to do with Chief Muela's capacity as a fire chief and the issues with the no contract with Menlo Park firefighter's.


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Posted by peter carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Mar 23, 2011 at 3:58 pm

peter carpenter is a registered user.

Thomas states:"I suspect it may have something to do with Chief Muela's capacity as a fire chief and the issues with the no contract with Menlo Park firefighter's.

Please explain your suggested connection - I, for one, am mystified by your remark.


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Posted by Scrape prop 13
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Mar 24, 2011 at 12:58 pm

jennifer, I will be elated and delighted when the property taxes go up to meet property values. In the East coast I pay over 10,000/year in taxes and that's low. I don't see why we should subsidize your children unless you also want to be part of a big money pot luck called a community and you in turn pay your fair share. Even at 33,000/year in an independent school ( it's also subsidized) ) you come out ahead because you are paying only 2,000.00/year in taxes and that doesn't really cover even the "other" city non-school related services you enjoy. In the current system you are getting a big break courtesy of childless people. How is that fair?


*when my children were in school we paid 25,000/year years ago so I believe you

*


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Posted by Morris Brown
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Mar 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm


@ Jennifer Bestor:

I admit to not knowing the numbers on property taxes, but your statement that 1/3 of Menlo Park households pay $20,000 / year in property taxes doesn't seem right.

I understand that almost 40% of Menlo Park residents live in multi-unit dwellings, apartments etc. The $20,000 in taxes implies an assessed value on dwellings of 1/3 of Menlo Park residents is about $1.7 million

This number seems way too high in assessed value for 1/3 of the dwellings in Menlo Park.

Where did you get your numbers?


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Mar 24, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Menlo Park has 10,073 parcels with a total 2010 assessed value of
$ 9,442,474,943

which equals an average assessed value of $937K


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Posted by morris brown
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Mar 25, 2011 at 10:01 am

Peter:

Bestor's comment was relating to households --- as was mine; using a gross number, including all parcels, commercial and otherwise, as you did, really sheds little light on the tax burden of households in Menlo Park.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Mar 25, 2011 at 10:11 am

Morris - I light my candles, you choose to curse the darkness. I suggest that you find more candles and thereby enlighten this discussion.


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Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Mar 25, 2011 at 10:32 am

[Post removed; personal attacks violate terms of use.]


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Posted by Replacement
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 25, 2011 at 11:27 am

I hope the Council realizes our community would far prefer Starla over Steffens, if choosing between the two.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Mar 25, 2011 at 11:41 am

Another little candle regarding the tax burden of households in Menlo Park:

As of the census[5] of 2009, there were 33,690 people, 12,543 households, and 7,248 families residing in the city.

Does anyone know how many of the 10,073 parcels in MP are residential and how many are commercial? How many of the residential parcels are single family vs multi-family?

It this worth starting a separate thread to explore further?


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Posted by Bob
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 25, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Thought this comment string was supposed to be about Rojas' retirement. Suggest you parcel tax folks start an new posting so we can get back on topic here.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Summer Brill
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Mar 25, 2011 at 3:43 pm

Your integrity, honesty and work ethic has been an inspiration to me and the people you touch. Thank you for your years of public service! We are excited to get to know "Retired Glen"!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 25, 2011 at 4:35 pm

What are his retirement benefits?


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