Posted by memory lane, a resident of the Atherton: other neighborhood, on Mar 7, 2013 at 8:25 am
Much to do about Nothing states:
The city manager has figured out that without making sure our police officers have a competitive, living wage, they will leave, and wind up costing Atherton much more than simply getting the correct compensation increase put into place for the contract negotiations. This is addressing taxpayer concerns since it will costs taxpayers more to adopt a nickel and dime strategy.
A look into the past.......
Issue date: April 12, 2000
Atherton loses veteran police officer **Lieutenant leaves; captain may follow. Both got layoff notices.
By Anne H. Kim
Almanac Staff Writer
A top-ranking Atherton police officer said a lay-off notice helped make him decide to leave the department for good, and the department's second-in-command may soon follow. Both received layoff notices last week.
The notices are part of a reoganization that will cut department positions by nearly a third -- from 25 officers and managers to 18.
Veteran Lieutenant Pat McTaggart, 36, responded to his layoff notice with a resignation, effective last Friday. After 19 years, including years as a cadet, in Atherton, he has accepted an offer with the Sheriff's Office and is scheduled to be sworn in at 9 a.m. Friday, April 14, said Lieutenant Don Leed with the Sheriff's Office.
"I'm 100 percent elated," said Lt. McTaggart. "The Sheriff's Office has always treated me wonderfully and I have the utmost respect for the people up there. I'm very happy to be a part of that organization."
Atherton's Captain Steve Chaput, who just celebrated his 50th birthday and also received a layoff notice last week, said that he, too, has applied at the Sheriff's Office and may learn whether he'll get the job by mid-May. Capt. Chaput has been with Atherton police for 27 years, he said.
The layoff notices were effective July 1, said Interim Police Chief Brown Taylor. The notices follow a proposal by Mr. Taylor and Interim City Manager Ralph Freedman to save about $600,000 from the department through a reorganization plan that includes cutting the two positions.
"It's not like it's a total shock," said Capt. Chaput. "I guess in one respect, to finally have it (layoff notice) in print brings a little bit of closure to it and gives me a little better idea of what I'm going to have to do from this point on."
Capt. Chaput also said he was interested in Atherton's police chief position, but has not yet turned in a resume. He has until April 21.
The department is under pressure to cut costs since a parcel tax measure, which provides a quarter of the town's revenue, failed twice -- last November and this March. However, Chief Taylor said he would recommend the reorganization and cost-cutting even if the tax had passed. The bulk of the town's $6.2 million budget -- 55 percent -- has gone to run the police department.
Chief Taylor said Lt. McTaggart's departure will "leave a void in this organization," and added that his decision to layoff the two managers was not a matter of personal performance.
Under his organizational study, which is set to be finalized in the next few weeks, Chief Taylor said having four managers for a department as small as Atherton's was too many.
Without Lt. McTaggart and Capt. Chaput, the department would be run by the chief and Lt. Glenn Nielsen, who is the senior lieutenant.
Chief Taylor is also recommending that the department not fill five positions -- three traffic officers, a school resource officer and one investigator. Those officers have recently left for other jobs or are in the process of leaving, said Chief Taylor. The cuts and vacant positions would leave a force of 18 officers in the patrol and investigations units, down from 25. Other leave-takings
In addition to Mr. McTaggart's leaving and Mr. Chaput's pending layoff, the department has recently lost Teresa Bartlett, the executive assistant to the police chief. That position will also be closed out, said Chief Taylor.
At town hall, Marti Brown on Wednesday turned in her resignation after about five years as the city manager's assistant where she earned about $52,700 a year, said Interim City Manager Ralph Freedman. Her last day is April 19, after which she may take a position with the Stanford Alumni Association, Mr. Freedman said.
Ms. Brown did not return phone calls last week.
Mr. Freedman said he's not sure what he will do with Ms. Brown's position. He may hire one assistant to work for both the city manager and police chief's offices.