Posted by $500,000, a resident of the Atherton: West Atherton neighborhood, on Jul 18, 2009 at 1:19 pm
Every time the Town of Atherton has set a budget for legal fees, it has been vastly exceeded. They just added $120,000 to cover through the end of the year. The requested $500,000 for next year will no doubt be increased mid-year. I estimate to nearly $1M.
Of course, if Atherton's lawsuits were just limited to those with former employees, the bill would be less. They've gotten entangled in lawsuits with residents over moving urns, inspections errors on Atherton's part that have prevented people from moving into their own homes, and police misconduct issues.
Again, it's not "their" money. It's "our" money. I think Mr. Gruber should either resign or be fired. When he took the job, there was already an acute awareness that Atherton's legal issues were spiraling out of control. Since he's come on board, the issues have gotten much, much worse. It can really be plotted as a simple function of legal bills.
One might thing the Town Council should be blamed (and they should), but it's been pointed out time and time again that their only function is to hire and fire the town manager, and all other issues flow through him or her.