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Atherton seeks public input on police contract

Original post made on Apr 25, 2013

With labor talks set to begin soon, Atherton's city manager said he will follow Menlo Park's example and schedule a public discussion of issues that residents think the town should consider as it negotiates a new contract with the local police union.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, April 25, 2013, 4:22 PM

Comments (11)

Posted by Contract Facts, a resident of Atherton: other
on Apr 25, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Suggestion to the City Manager:

Disclose as much as possible:

2012 Salary and Benefits vs. Proposed 2014 Salary and Benefits vs. 70th Percentile Salary and Benefits











Posted by Bob, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 25, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Are all options on the table including outsourcing or is this just about modifying the current arrangement?


Posted by No intimidation, a resident of Atherton: other
on Apr 25, 2013 at 6:55 pm

Many residents don't want to truly speak their mind because cops may be at the meeting and have been videotaping all meetings. Some call it paranoia, some think the fear is entirely justified. Whatever your own opinion is, fear is there.

Cops attending – and perhaps videotaping – is legal. But cops should stay away that night and keep the video camera off. It's the right thing to do, and in their best interests as well, since residents will feel more comfortable.


Posted by Contract Facts, a resident of Atherton: other
on Apr 26, 2013 at 1:02 pm

However many residents will not be there and would want to watch the video to understand the pros and cons of outsourcing, what the APOA wants, what the Council is offering, and if the Council is offering too much.

Anyone who speaks risks being quoted in the paper anyway.


Posted by WhoRUpeople, a resident of another community
on Apr 26, 2013 at 2:21 pm

@No Intimidation --your advice and its justification-"its the right thing to do", is great advice and simply, but perfectly stated. I hope the right people see it and heed it. I have no skin in this game what-so-ever, but it is always disturbing when I see well intentioned people on opposite sides of an issue find they cannot openly communicate on that issue because trust is totally lacking.


Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 26, 2013 at 8:21 pm

The truly unreal thing is that the citizens of Atherton are afraid of their own police. Especially given the fact they could contract with SMCSO for police services at a savings of $2 million a year.

I understand they don't want to lose their "boutique" police services. So contract those things like having your keys if you lock yourself out or you need your mail taken in or you want a security check on your property while your away to a private security service.

Let's say private security costs you $500k. That means you save $1.5 million for the same service. No brainer if you ask me.

Don't believe the BS put out by the APOA about increased response times. Ask Portola Valley and Woodside. They have dedicated patrol cars assigned to their towns per their contracts. So if you contract for two cars in your town it's no different than what you have now. Two officers at night. Plus the private security folks you would hire for the non-police services. The other advantage is if you need to flood the town with cops the SCMSO can do so quite easily.

So why would Atherton citizens want to keep their own police department? To Keep Mattes and a bunch of over-paid people employed and paying their bloated pensions for years to come? Makes absolutely no sense to me. I would love it if an Atherton citizen could give me a logical, cogent reason for keeping their own police force. Seriously. I'm curious.


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of another community
on Apr 26, 2013 at 11:47 pm

MV - I love that this woman decided it's worth her time to kvetch about the security costs for VIPs visiting Atherton. It's not like Atherton has poor residents like...EPA! But even better are her comments protecting the PD. I thought you might enjoy it: Web Link


Posted by Bob, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 27, 2013 at 9:43 am

Kudos to Menlo voter.

Atherton can write a contract with a larger law enforcement agency for whatever services they are willing to pay for and still see a cost savings.

While I'm not saying bigger is better, what I am saying is: does San Mateo County really need 20+ police chiefs, 15+ fire chiefs, 25+ school superintendents, and how may dispatch centers. All this is costing us more than it should -- staffing, administration, equipment and retirement.

When someone calls 911 do they really care whose name is on the door of the vehicle?


Posted by SteveC, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 29, 2013 at 1:56 pm

SteveC is a registered user.

If you are afraid of your polie dept., contract it out. Residents can always send email or leters to their council person if they can't attend or are afraid to talk in public.

It may be tme to get a new president of the APOA. A POLICE OFFICER, not a dispatcher!! but then are their any real policemen in Atherton


Posted by LongtimeAthertonwatcher, a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on May 7, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Does Atherton have a multimillion dollar liability strictly for unfunded police pensions? When this happened in other areas, they either outsourced or went bankrupt funding police pensions. Is bankruptcy another option Atherton is considering or are they just shoving the police pension issue twenty years down the line to the next generation to deal with a bankruptcy when these cops all retire?


Posted by No intimidation, a resident of Atherton: other
on May 7, 2013 at 5:04 pm

LoingtimeAthertonwatcher, your hypothesis about twenty years down the line is a pretty accurate assessment of where things stand.


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