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Atherton Committee for Privately Funding the Police Department

Original post made by Believe it or not, Atherton: other, on May 11, 2011

Didi Fisher, former mayor
Nan Chapman, former mayor (who doesn't live in Atherton anymore)
Chris Colby
Betsy Glikbarg, member of the Atherton "crime prevention task force"

and former chief Glenn Nielsen

have asked for meetings with individual council members to discuss their idea of providing private fundraising for the police department.

What are the ethical ramifications of this? Has anyone ever heard of individual citizen's financing government functions that are supposed to regulate the behavior of citizens?

[Portion deleted.]

Comments (14)

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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 11, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Can you say HUGE conflict of interest? Even if there isn't one there would always be an appearance of one every time the police had any interaction with those that donated money. There would always be a question of special treatment. This is a stupid idea.


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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on May 11, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Example, that is an excellent example.

I know a private investigator who used to carry for many years, but is not able to get his cwp approved.


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Posted by for example
a resident of Atherton: other
on May 11, 2011 at 7:01 pm

This list looks like the same group of people that wanted to build the APD a new seventeen million dollar Police Station. Will they be willing to take on all the pension liability costs in perpetuity as well as the salaries?
Can't they just hire Glen Nielson to guard them - now that he seems to be so available?


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Posted by Lead by Example
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 11, 2011 at 9:01 pm

I think this group could have picked a better spokesman than former police chief Glenn Nielsen. He's basically a poster boy for why so much of the law enforcement pension system has gone too far. After leaving town with just one year as chief (despite promising to stay far longer), some $150K in vacation payout, and a $150K pension for life (plus medical), if he really wants to set an example for fundraising he should think about giving some of that windfall back to ease the budget crisis. Quiet a few police related scandals occurred during his watch that have brought disrepute to the department and town.


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Posted by Curious
a resident of Atherton: other
on May 12, 2011 at 11:36 am

Why would a former mayor and a retired police chief -residents of Woodside and San Carlos respectively- be involved in steering the future of Atherton?




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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 12, 2011 at 12:46 pm

"Why would a former mayor and a retired police chief -residents of Woodside and San Carlos respectively- be involved in steering the future of Atherton?"

Perhaps because they care more about what happens in Atherton than the people that actually reside there?


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Posted by for example
a resident of Atherton: other
on May 12, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Mr. M Voter:
Your point about too much apathy from the residents in general is well taken, but altruism as motivation from the non resident players mentioned above is harder not to question.
After all--if the ex Chief cares so much about Atherton, why would he have suddenly "retired" after the single year it took to qualify for a chief's pension and benefits?
Some other Unfinished business is a much more likely explanation.
Also--it is relatively common for ex council members to be still nursing old vendettas against more current ones who they might feel have replaced them.
Lets hope the new city attorney will rely heavily on the law and logic to sort out any conflicting interests involved in the discussion of a privately funded APD, instead of trying to read between Atherton's tea leaves where many before him have drowned.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 12, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Example:

I was being facetious while pointing out the apathy of Atherton residents. I have no doubt about these peoples' motivations and it has noting to do with what is right for Atherton.


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 12, 2011 at 7:25 pm

Hey, I'd like it if I could get the police to water my lawn on occasions when we're out of town. It would save me from having to have our gardening service do it.

I suppose that these people like that so-called "concierge service." And as long as others are willing to foot the bill, why not?


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Posted by Stan
a resident of another community
on May 12, 2011 at 10:29 pm

It's easy to begrudge those who work in public safety the 3% at 50 retirement formula, especially when a man like Glenn Nielson who spent 30 years watering lawns and feeding cats retires with a $100k plus annual pension along with free health care for life.

But for every Nielson, there are dozens of honest hard working men and women who earn their public safety pension. They do so by being willing to run into burning buildings to save lives or to become targets themselves while on patrol in uniform in some very dangerous neighborhoods.

I think this the best reason to outsource the Police Department to a larger law enforcement agency such as Menlo Park, Redwood City or even San Mateo County.

The fact of the matter is that when someone in Redwood City or Menlo Park dials 911 that someone can reasonably expect the public servant who responds to have the experience and attitude of a true public servant.

Unfortunately in Atherton, when one dials 911 the chances are better than even that the one who answers the call will, like Nielson be one who has become accustomed to feeding at the public trough while providing little if anything of value in return.


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Posted by Lead by Example
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 12, 2011 at 10:48 pm

Stan, I am sure Mr. Nielsen did more than water lawns over a 30-year career. What we all know he did do is check out the day his 30 years accrued, figuring he would only be working for 10% a year. This is not the attitude of someone who cares about his job or the town, just himself. It's a selfish choice, and perhaps a rational one under the circumstances, but not one that reasonably permits him to ask other people to be making sacrifices.


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Posted by Pietro
a resident of another community
on May 13, 2011 at 11:05 am

So odd not to have a couple of words added by someone named Peter in any language, so I am adding my two lira to say that this entire subject reads like such elitism and is so unnecessary to find voices of the former county reps who certainly add no glamor, or persuasion to this specially funded police dept.
If they are going to be paid out of pocket, then I suspect there will be a lot of sightings at coffee and doughnut places where money is being wasted on those "extra breaks"...former LAPD employee.


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Posted by Stan
a resident of another community
on May 13, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Nielsen did indeed do more than mow lawns in his 30 years with the Atherton Police Department. He sold real estate (or tried to anyway).

Word around town is that his new job is selling defibrillators.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 13, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Pietro = R. Gordon


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