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Atherton seeks bigger cuts to shore up budget

Original post made on Mar 10, 2009

Atherton staff narrowed the $2 million shortfall in the town's projected revenues, but the cuts don't go far enough to close the gaping hole in the town's $10.6 million adopted budget, council members said at a special March 2 meeting.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, March 11, 2009, 12:00 AM

Comments (10)

Posted by Fiscally responsible, a resident of Atherton: other
on Mar 10, 2009 at 4:05 pm

Here is an idea...drop the police department and have the Sheriff's Office take over. It would save alot of money. All the town would have to do is pay for the one or at the most...two deputies to cover the area. Woodside and Portola Valley do this and it works just fine. They are even wealthier that the Athertonians. Get smart and fiscally responsible...that is your job after all.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of another community
on Mar 10, 2009 at 5:32 pm

I'm using anonymous because I don't want Atherton's finest to come break my door down even though I no longer reside in its jurisdiction.

Fiscally responsible has a point.

On a per-capita basis Atherton spends twice as much as Menlo Park. One would have to ask what gives?


Posted by right on, a resident of Atherton: Lloyden Park
on Mar 10, 2009 at 5:38 pm

Atherton spends a ridiculous amount of money on the police dept. Sure they get great service but really folks...crime is very very low and the money saved would be huge. The service received from a contracted agency such as the Sheriff would be more than adequete if not better. The level of experience of a deputy who works in the jails and in some pretty seedy and also affluent areas exceeds the exposure an atherton cop gets in his entire career. No bashing here...just the truth. Lose the PD and save millions for other projects.


Posted by its about time, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Mar 10, 2009 at 8:41 pm

With bad times comes fresh thinking.

The Atherton PD's annual budget is $4.3 million works out to about $20k per household. Can we really afford that?


Posted by exactly, a resident of Atherton: Lloyden Park
on Mar 11, 2009 at 10:47 am

I have been saying this for years and years! Atherton does NOT need a police dept. Sure they are spoiled with the one they have but it is way to expensive. The Sheriff provides contract services to most of the coast, woodside, portola valley, ladera, unincorporated menlo park, unincorporated redwood city and unincorporated parts of atherton. Don't think that the service Woodside and Portola Valley is anything less than 5 star either! This would be the most cost effective thing to do. If the residents want a car to say Atherton on it the Sheriff's office can easily do that...just like Contra Costa County and Santa Clara County do with areas like Atherton. The City Counsel needs to wake up and get real. They would save millions and millions of dollars. Then the town could fix all roads and areas that flood with a whole lot of money left over. This is the financial stewardship the counsel members should be focusing on.


Posted by jenny r, a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Mar 11, 2009 at 5:03 pm

[Removed due to excessive posts by the same poster]


Posted by uncharacteristicly frugal, a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Mar 12, 2009 at 8:18 am

[Removed due to excessive posts by same poster]


Posted by Menlo Park Too, a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Mar 12, 2009 at 9:19 am

I am a life long resident of Menlo Park, and as you probably know, we have the same issue over here. There HAS to be some type of grassroots effort to cut these city bloated budgets. Most of our expenditures are "nice to haves", and I think the economic turmoil has forced us all to start looking at the "fat" in our cities. There is absolutely nothing wrong with outsourcing items, or cutting items, if we as citizens are paying too much. This is the right thing to do, it is within our right as taxpayers. Our #1 problem though is not the city employee themselves, it's the government Unions. Track the history of some of these contracts, you would fall on the floor with the out of line pensions, benefits, vacation days, overtime....the list goes on. We need a citizen revolt!


Posted by ernest fraiser, a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Mar 12, 2009 at 3:10 pm

I've served on many boards.

Rarely have seen such a train wreck as I saw during the Council's recent discussion the Town's budget.

While you are debating on whether or not to keep the police department, think about outsourcing the finance department.

[Portion removed] That new gal seems incapable of making a coherent presentation. Every time I look at the agenda she's asking for money to buy a new software package or to hire a consultant for what the Town paid her to do: writing an investment policy, collecting business taxes, setting user fees. What's next hiring a consultant to make good decisions?

Yes, I subscribe to the belief that town government should be run like a business. That's why the Town should adopt a simple straightforward policy: to acquire the services of the highest value irrespective of source.

Its as simple as that folks.


Posted by be careful what you ask, a resident of Atherton: other
on Mar 12, 2009 at 3:25 pm

If you've ever looked at the Police Blotter, not just for amusement, you'll get a sense of what is asked of Atherton's Finest. If there is a change in service provider, everyone will need to understand what services they can reasonably expect. Probably not everything the current officers are willing to do for us!


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