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Tonight: Atherton council meets on outsourcing

Original post made on Jul 20, 2011

The Atherton City Council meets tonight (Wednesday, July 20) to consider outsourcing contracts for public works and emergency staffing of the building department despite a judge's restraining order that temporarily prevents layoffs.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, July 20, 2011, 11:15 AM

Comments (12)

Posted by peter carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 20, 2011 at 12:44 pm

peter carpenter is a registered user.

"That doesn't seem fair," Ms. Tevis said. "Was fairness considered?"

The Town of Atherton is not a welfare organization. The Town exists to provide essential services to its residents, not to be a source of jobs.

Posted by Melinda Tevis, a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jul 20, 2011 at 2:03 pm

I don't believe you were attendance at this meeting Peter.
I also believe my comment was " How is it fair or equitable for you to ask these 12 employees making 60,000 for 500,000 in concessions, and at the same asking 30 APD employees making 100,000 plus for only 200,000 in concessions? Had the very simple strategy of across the board concessions that were proportional for all Town employees been considered?'
My comment was not intended as an opinion on the concept outsourcing in Atherton or any where else. It was a response to the strategy the council had already chosen to apply which I believed might have benefited a more simplified formula. It just seemed more practical than a law suit.
Everyone knows that I am a terrible public speaker. I will try to be much more careful about use of the word "fair" when used in the context of Town afFAIRs if you will agree to do the same.

Posted by John P Johns, CPA, a resident of another community
on Jul 20, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Shame on you Peter Carpenter.

You have cast Atherton's long-standing employees in a most unfavorable light and unfairly so.

The long-standing employees of Atherton expect nothing more than a living wage and decent benefits. They aren't asking for a handout. Your statement "the Town is not a welfare organization" is technically correct but it is outrageous nonetheless, it is insensitive it is disrespectful, it is despicable.

[Portion deleted. Please discuss the issue without attacking posters.] You seem to be content with sending 13 public works and building department employees on their not so merry way without so much as a thank you. You seem to think that these public servants have no expectation of reciprocity in regards to loyalty.

[Portion deleted.]

Melinda raises a very good point, with all your brilliance you fail to grasp.

She raises the issue of fairness. Is it fair to expect that the average police officer who makes over $100k per year makes no sacrifice whatsoever? Is it fair that taxpayers should extract concessions from its public servants that equate to perhaps 30% of their income? Is it fair that Atherton would be advertising for a Finance Manager at a salary of $100k when it is laying off 13 other employees?

I think not.

[Portion deleted.]

Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 20, 2011 at 2:40 pm

John John - relax, cool down, read my words - I said nothing about the Town's employees but rather that the mission of the Town is to provide services not jobs.

Posted by Melinda Tevis, a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jul 20, 2011 at 3:10 pm

Peter and John:
Could the both of you please carefully examen item 12 on the consent calendar for tonight and weigh in on this here for all of us?
In May of this year, The Grand Jury issued a recommendation that the Council owed the Atherton Public an explanation on this major accounting issue which might explain the shortfall.
It's great if they are going to fix the problem--but maybe we all need to understand what happened to be sure what lesson was learned.

Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 20, 2011 at 3:13 pm

"Is it fair that taxpayers should extract concessions from its public servants that equate to perhaps 30% of their income?"

Yes John, it is fair. In our current economy where 12% don't even have a job and the rest of us in the private sector have taken pay cuts of 30% or more. My pay is down 40%. So, yes John, you're damn right it's fair.

What's not fair is that the town isn't asking for the same level of concessions of its polite officers. The police department eats up more than half the town's budget yet all the city manager has asked for from the APD is a measly $200,000?

Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 20, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Item 12 looks straightforward to me - no huge dollars and no smoking gun and a prudent recommendation.

"Accept the recommendation from the Audit Committee to set up an IRS approved Section 115 irrevocable trust to prefund retiree health care cost and to direct the Finance Committee to make recommendation on the trust provider."

Posted by Melinda Tevis, a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jul 20, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Peter I wanted you to examen the item 12 2 page background as it appears in the council packet please-not just on the agenda menu list.
If the Grand Jury feels that an explanation to the public is required, then I would hate to see it slip through on the consent calendar vote with out you taking a look first and commenting please.
Or anyone else
Again I believe they are fixing it--I want to understand what went wrong

Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 20, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Melinda - I did - the recommendation comes from page 2 of ietm 12 in the packet.

Posted by John, a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 21, 2011 at 9:35 am

All of you should be taking a look at the town council,something is not right. Where are the statistics showing that there is savings by outsourcing . Has anybody but the town council seen this magical report?
Didn't the town pay for a study and it shouldn't it be public record? Isn't the towns only source of income parks and the building department,and doesn't that pay for our employees for those departments as well as some other departments. If so ,why would we hire outsourcing companies with employees that are receiving twice the wage . Something seems a little rotten in Atherton.

Posted by Moreover, a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 21, 2011 at 10:39 am

Didn't Kathie Mckeethan talk for over 30 minutes about how the community needed to make the decisions about the new library? I heard her say nothing had been decided.

It seems something has. They are turning away money at the park from special events because they want to build the new library where the main house sits. I think that means they have decided to build at the park.

I think everyone agrees, the library is less than ideal.

Rebuilding at the current location will cost less.

Posted by R.Gordon, a resident of another community
on Jul 24, 2011 at 3:15 pm

R.Gordon is a registered user.

Mr. Carpenter is not to be criticized for his opinions.
It is terrible that most of us spend so much time looking for words to say against others when MOST of you (not me) has never had the opportunity to live a diversified life amongst the richest,cultured, truly educated, well-born with proveable lineage; or devastatingly attractive people who might like you for yourselves and even care to be friends with you for your charms.
The people who are admirable, like Steve Jobs, Mr.and Mrs.David Kelley, and a few others, do not read this stuff to find their names to feel important. They do important things.
There are a lot of well intentioned locals who do not have a clue as to whom they let the gates open to this beautiful area but are not too thrilled when the snob appeal made this area have appeal.
As for me, I can judge primarily because I have seen the importance of taking the focus off of the hundreds of millions I inherited without doing too much to deserve it.
If you've got it, spread it around. Do not pretend to be civil servants.

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