Posted by Charles Marsala, a resident of the Atherton: West Atherton neighborhood, on Mar 1, 2008 at 11:53 am
To clear questions and concerns raised above.
In 2006 Atherton did a study of residents attitudes toward the police deptartment; 97% were satisfied and 82% were very satisfied. These numbers were the highest ever recorded by the surveying company for a police study. 93.6% opposed eliminating the police deptartment and 89.3% strongly opposed eliminating the police deptartment.
It is clear vast majority of residents want an Atherton Police Deptartment. We have two elections for council this year and anyone wanting to run on a platform of moving public safety to the sheriff's office can run and see how that plays with the voters.
Residents value the services police provide and frequently write council members to acknowledge that the police arrived quickly enough to save the life of someone who had a stroke or heart attack.
Specialists in the the police force for Identify Theft have solved cases quickly. Home alarms wired directly to the police station have lead to arrests of burglaries before the suspects could leave the property.
School Resource officers, Drug specialists and other officers work with the ten schools and are trained should any large scale emergency happen.
With several major streets in town: drunk driving, speeding,and traffic accidents need to be prevented.
The trailers our police, public works, and building department staff members work out of are worn and the town will either need to buy new trailers are build a facility.
The neighbors around town hall would like to see the existing trailers gone.
The brainnstorming idea to build a senior center on top of the police station was interesting but was not feasible. There is less than 1.5 acres available to build on. Current Council Chambers and the Train Station would have to stay as well as the access roads to them. What land is left is barely enough to build for Town needs.
Unless the town wanted to rezone and allow 4 story structures then there would not be enough space to have any senior housing on the land. I do not support rezoning.
The ecomonic committment needed for the project would have committed the town's land for 75 years. I could not support that position.
Ten years ago an idea that was not from any current council member was to have a second floor that could be rented out. I am not sure how I feel about that. We have to have resonable limits to traffic in the central Atherton residential neighborhood. If the neighbors become satisfied and comfortable with it, and town residents see it as a way to pay for the building then just because it was not a current council member's idea, I would think it would be supported.