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Editorial: Why the hurry in Atherton layoffs?

Original post made on Jun 9, 2011

We know there is a sense of urgency in Atherton to bring some stability to the city's growing budget problems. The town has made horrendously bad management and legal decisions in recent years, which has resulted in an out-of-balance budget that city officials say will mean a nearly $900,000 deficit in the 2011-12 fiscal year.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, June 8, 2011, 12:00 AM

Comments (12)

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Posted by peter carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 9, 2011 at 6:28 pm

peter carpenter is a registered user.

The Almanac is, particularly for a NEWSpaper, very uninformed. Anyone with any connection to Atherton knew that we have a structural deficit, anyone knew that the Interim Town Manager was given the assignment of eliminating that structural deficit, anyone knew that the Interim Town Manager had received Town Council approval to conduct management reviews directed at eliminating that structural deficit. If the Almanac and citizens chose to ignore these facts and failed to attend Council meetings then they have only themselves to blame.

When the Town is rushing over the cliff of financial deficit it is not the time to say let's stop and see if we might possibly encourage citizens to suddenly become involved. If citizens don't come to council meetings they are voting with their feet.

Anyone who thinks that a new parcel tax would be approved is sadly out of touch.

Danielson is doing exactly what he was hired to do and the Council is doing exactly what it told the citizens it would do.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 9, 2011 at 7:33 pm

Peter:

EVERYONE KNOWS the police department eats up far more of the town's budget than these department yet Danielsen didn't hand them pink slips and didn't request an RFP from the Sheriff's Dept. WHY????

Because these guys are EASY the police are not. If he really wants to make "carte blanche" cuts which he has been authorized to do, and he had any stones he's get rid of the APD. The town wouldn't have to cough up ridiculous amounts in law suit money and the cost of police services would be at least cut in HALF. Yet no outsourcing of police services. WHY???? the emperor has no stones.


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Posted by peter carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 9, 2011 at 7:57 pm

peter carpenter is a registered user.

Menlo Voter asks:"EVERYONE KNOWS the police department eats up far more of the town's budget than these department yet Danielsen didn't hand them pink slips and didn't request an RFP from the Sheriff's Dept. WHY????"

As I have patiently told MV over and over the Town Manager does have the authority to fire the entire PD but lacks the authority to outsource police services to the Sheriff without the approval of the Town Council.

I have consistently advocated outsourcing police services to the Sheriff but so far I am the only Atherton resident who has publicly advocated such a move to the Town Council - hardly an overwhelming mandate.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 9, 2011 at 8:04 pm

Then WHY, Peter, has he not asked the council for permission to outsource the police department? Because he has NO STONES! Or an ulterior motive. I've said it before, you don't treat a cut when the victim has a gunshot wound.


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Posted by peter carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 9, 2011 at 8:30 pm

peter carpenter is a registered user.

MV states:"you don't treat a cut when the victim has a gunshot wound."

Analogies often lead to misrepresentations but I would respond that faced with a patient who has cancer and a bleeding would I would always begin by stopping the bleeding.

Leadership involves choices and not every choice satisfies the critics. But not making choices is even worse.

And accusing somebody who is making tough choices of not having "stones" is a cheap shot from somebody sitting anonymously on the sidelines.


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Posted by wasteland
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jun 9, 2011 at 8:51 pm

About that cancer...eating away at everyone else's jobs.....is it going to be chemo or the knife?


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Posted by John P Johns, CPA
a resident of another community
on Jun 9, 2011 at 10:52 pm

I have reviewed the City's FY 2011-12 recommended budget. The amount of money that outsourcing will purportedly save is trivial, particularly in comparison to the risks that outsourcing carries.

Peter Carpenter is flat out wrong in his assessment of the current situation. Mr. Carpenter has unfairly criticized this paper for an editorial that was incisive and on point.

Mr. Danielson is acting with reckless disregard for those who will be affected by this rash move, to wit: the residents of Atherton and the 13 employees who stand to loose their jobs after countless years of faithful service.

Mr. Carpenter also continues to ignore the elephant in the room. While using the threat of outsourcing as a way of extorting wage and benefit concessions from Public Works and Building, Danielson actually recommends an increase in the Atherton Police Department's budget.

If Mr. Danielson had half of the foresight and courage that Mr. Carpenter seems to suggest that he does, Mr. Danielson would have sought staffing and/or wage and benefit concessions from Police.



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Posted by wasteland
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jun 10, 2011 at 12:24 am

Peter: I am shocked at your attack on Gibbony's editorial. You are spending way too much time alone with your facts and numbers and charts if you can not recognize that every well reasoned question he posed is exactly what needs to be explained to the public. There are other kinds of balance sheets and equations to consider here-like fairness, or how about this math--EQUATABLE concessions = EQUANIMITY for a living breathing organization X all departments.
I for one appreciated Tom's article and await your cure for Cancer.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 10, 2011 at 6:53 am

Peter:

your description of the APD is apt. Danielsen should remove the cancer.


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Posted by Arlin Murry
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jun 10, 2011 at 7:34 am

carpenter is all wet

Taking such a drastic action for such limited benefits is unworthy of praise.

I say fire danielson and hire someone who has the stones to address overspending and corruption in police


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Posted by Hasty
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 12, 2011 at 5:44 pm

Hey, lets all attack the first City Manager in greater Menlo to actually address the employee cost disaster that every previous city manager has brought our towns. Lets fire anonymously from the bushes - and do it now, because in two months the effort (barely begun with a small group of employees) may actually stop the bleeding and we'll have missed our chance! Get him now!


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Posted by Arlin Murry
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jun 12, 2011 at 6:53 pm

[Portion deleted. Don't attack posters.]

There's a saying. "You get what you pay for". We in Atherton expect premium services for our dollar. Not the Walmart kind of service one can expect from private contractors.


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