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RDA shutdown crunches Menlo Park's budget

Original post made on Jan 24, 2012

A clearer picture is emerging of how the redevelopment agency (RDA) shutdown will impact Menlo Park's budget. But not everyone agrees on how to respond.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, January 24, 2012, 11:23 AM

Comments (9)

Posted by Joseph E. Davis, a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Jan 24, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Perhaps we could save some money by abolishing the Housing Commission and firing Menlo Park's 'housing manager'.

Posted by Nina Wouk, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jan 24, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Waiting to see if City Council will do the logical thing and add Belle Haven Pool & Kelly Park to the Park & Rec budget where they belong.

Posted by Dave, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jan 24, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Mr. Sinott has a prospective benefit from supporting the RDA. Be wary of those who have personal motive. Suggest the City request for proposals be generated for the RDA if funds remain dedicated.
It is astonishing the RDA funds contribute to 37 staff positions.
Seems a clear miss on proper allocation of those funds. No wonder we cannot understand the budgeting process.

Posted by new guy, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jan 24, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Wow, 37 positions, that contributed to "redevelopment"? Sounds like a slush fund to me. Just look at Oakland's redevelopment.

"The city's current stock of 57 affordable housing units isn't sufficient to meet demand, according to the Housing Commission."

What is the demand? and how does one calculate it?

Posted by Harry, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jan 25, 2012 at 5:24 pm

I agree with Joseph and Dave. Plus, Sam's project sounds like a good idea! It is at least worth a listen to find out more . . .

Posted by observing, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jan 28, 2012 at 7:56 am

The RDA has been abused for years. Menlo Park is certainly one of the Cities that has led in diverting funds away from from uses for which they were supposed to be allocated, into balancing the City's budget.

Incompetence reins supreme. Still no police sub-station. How long has it been? Ten years?

They really should dispose of at least 6 full time employees. Council Person Fergusson is out to lunch on this issue, just as she was on the Pension reform.

Is our part time City Attorney, who recuses himself from involvement in the Specific Plan and High Speed rail because of personal investments, sitting this on out also?

Will the new City manager be like outgoing Rojas, who for 4 years did little except manage to reduce the City's reserve fund by almost 50%, while increasing employee wages and pension benefits, make the necessary changes?

Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jan 28, 2012 at 8:59 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

This is what local governments were told over 3 years ago - too bad that they did not listen:

"With falling property values yielding less property-tax revenues, falling consumer and business spending yielding less sales taxes, increased retirement costs (because CalPERS has suffered significant loss of capital in the current financial downturn), continued demands for well-above-average salary increases by public employees, and the governor declaring a financial emergency, local governments in California are facing a Perfect Storm.
Unless local governments act promptly to respond to these dramatic changes we will see more of them joining Vacaville and Rio Vista in being forced into bankruptcy."

Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jan 28, 2012 at 9:18 am

This is one of those quiet scandals of government. Our elected officials have silently moved money that was originally intended for "redevelopment" of their cities and towns into ordinary budget items. Washington does this with our Social Security money and Sacramento does this with our gasoline and cigarette taxes.

Now they will pay the piper...

Just be aware the next time those same officials tell you they need to raise taxes to do something specific, like pay teachers or build roads. The chances are excellent that that dedicated money will end up in their own bloated bureaucracies.

Posted by Morris Brown, a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Jan 28, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Pogo above wrote:

"Just be aware the next time those same officials tell you they need to raise taxes to do something specific, like pay teachers or build roads. The chances are excellent that that dedicated money will end up in their own bloated bureaucracies."

Our Governator, Jerry Brown, is precisely on this path right now. Promoting a proposition to raise taxes while using "blackmail" language, that the school budgets will be cut if these taxes are not approved.

Yet at the same time, he is promoting the High Speed Rail project, which has been condemned by the Legislative Analyst Office, the State Auditor and the Peer Review Group, committee of experts, all of who say the project is financially unsound along with a myriad of other insurmountable problems.

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