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Peter Carpenter running for Menlo Park fire board

Original post made by Hank Lawrence on Aug 14, 2013

Peter Carpenter has qualified for the Menlo Park Fire Protection District election on November 5, 2013. Peter Carpenter lives in Atherton and is the husband of Jane Shaw, the former Chairman of the Board of Intel corporation.

Comments (44)

Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 14, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Peter F. Carpenter

Age 73

Occupation
Retired Corporate Officer and Director

Education and qualifications
Harvard BA, Chicago MBA

It has been my privilege to have served as a Director of your Fire District for over 9 of the 32 years that I have lived in your Fire District. Twice you, the citizens of the MPFPD, elected me as a Director; twice, after vacancies occurred, the four remaining Fire Board Directors also unanimously appointed me as a Director.

I have a long history of public service (volunteer firefighter, Smokejumper, Air Force Officer including service in Vietnam and the White House) and decades of management experience including the Office of Management and Budget, the Advanced Research Projects Agency, Executive Director of the Stanford University Medical Center and numerous senior level roles at the ALZA Corporation. In addition, I have served on more than a dozen non-profit boards.

This year's election will be pivotal for the citizens and taxpayers of the MPFPD. While I have deep respect for our individual firefighters, I cannot say the same for their union which, disregarding the District's fiscal health, demands an excessive pay, benefit, and pension package. It is crucial that you, the voters, elect those candidates who will serve your interests rather than serve the interests of the firefighters' union.


Posted by whatever, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 14, 2013 at 6:37 pm

Peter,
I believe you posted to the wrong section of the Almanac. I think you wanted the advertising form Web Link.
I'll still vote for you, but please advertise through the proper channels.


Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 14, 2013 at 7:55 pm

I know who I'll be voting for. Peter has a great track record of representing the taxpayer. I think he's the best candidate for many reasons, but if I didn't, the fact the fire fighters' union hates him speaks volumes. The fire fighters are over compensated and just keep asking for more and more. If things are really bad for the fire fighters they should be leaving in droves and yet, they're not. Hmmmm


Posted by Bob, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 14, 2013 at 8:05 pm

Well done Mr. Carpenter; you have my vote. He will fill the void for the departing Mr. Nachtsheim.

If things are so bad for the firefighters, how come there were more than 400 applicants for some open positions at the department?


Posted by Hank Lawrence, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Aug 14, 2013 at 8:11 pm

I posted this twice and the Almanac took down the post twice. I called David Boyce after the first expurgation and complained about the Almanac taking down an information piece of interest to the Almanace readership and gave him the telephone number of the Board of elections on Tower Road to verify it. He said he had no control over the editorial staff. I believe him.


Posted by Good choice, a resident of Atherton: other
on Aug 14, 2013 at 8:23 pm

Peter is a great choice for fire board, but since his home town of Atherton is in much more disarray than the Menlo Park fire district, I wish he had thrown his hat into the ring for interim council member.


Posted by Michael G. Stogner, a resident of another community
on Aug 14, 2013 at 8:35 pm

Peter,
Thank You for offering your services to the Taxpayers.


Posted by WhoRUpeople, a resident of another community
on Aug 15, 2013 at 9:34 am

Peter, you have my vote as well, and my sincere gratitude for yet again stepping up and offering your outstanding leadership, time and service to the cocmmunity. To other readers of this forum who reside in the MPFPD, I urge you to vote for Peter, regardless of your views with regard to the specific issue of the District and the firefighters union contract. We have an opportunity to elect someone who has a proven (many times so) track record of experienced, balanced and fiscally responsible leadership to the fire board. Don't let this become a one issue election, the board has many responsibilities beyond negotiating a union contract.


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of another community
on Aug 15, 2013 at 10:28 am

I appreciate that Mr. Lawrence posted this - this is information for many locals. I reside in MPFD & I prefer that Mr. Carpenter run for this office than an office that just impacts Atherton.


Posted by James, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Aug 15, 2013 at 2:14 pm

I know that Carpenter holds strong, perhaps rigid, opinions, which has made me disinclined to vote for him. Now that I learn of his opposition to unions, I definitely will not be voting for him.

Why must our public servants be constantly harassed over their pay? I'm sick to death of the 'hate unions' sentiment and the resentment toward paying public servants what they're worth--a worth which is under-appreciated by the well compensated in our midst. We do not need a confrontational relationship with people who provide essential services, sometimes at great personal risk.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Aug 15, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Mr. Carpenter's candidacy is one of the shining lights in this election. I would encourage those of you who wish to support his candidacy to take a few minutes and contact your friends and neighbors in Menlo Park, Atherton and East Palo Alto and urge them to vote for Peter Carpenter.

If you support Mr. Carpenter, please consider voting for Chuck Bernstein and Rex Ianson as well!

This is a very important election.

And to James in Menlo Park - you should review the history of the union's relationship with the fire district. These workers receive extraordinary compensation, benefits and pensions, yet the union has been totally intransigent about negotiating with the district.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 15, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

James - I have strong views but I do not think I am rigid. I welcome arguments that might encourage me to change my views on the role of unions in elections and the inappropriateness of candidates for public office accepting support and endorsements from those whose pay, benefits and pensions they will be called upon to determine.

Note that the average MPFPD firefighter's pay exceeds $135,000 and they can retire as early as age 50 with 90% of their final salary. The average per capita income of the citizens whom they serve is substantially less.

And I note that one candidate in this election has already shown who she intends to be accountable to in that she has given the union her address and phone number but refused to give that information to the citizens whom she aspires to represent. See:

Web Link

Res: Not Authorized to Release
Phone Day:Not Auth to Release
Eve:Not Auth to Release

Do you want your elected officials to represent you or the employees and contractors over which they exercise oversight?



Posted by SteveC, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 16, 2013 at 6:07 am

SteveC is a registered user.

I will be voting for Peter.


Posted by Fawning Editors, a resident of another community
on Aug 16, 2013 at 7:25 am

I thought campaigning was against the rules on these forums. Where does the Almanac draw the line?

Peter Carpenter threw down one of his opponents, CAROLYN CLARKE, in an earlier message. He suggested she was a union pawn.

The Almanac ran a full edition about his wonderful civic work. Clearly, the editors are biased. Why do they let him violate the terms of service with impunity?


Posted by reality, a resident of Atherton: other
on Aug 16, 2013 at 8:12 am

Although I do not agree with Peter Carpenter on many issues it is mostly because he mainly sees things in black and white. I do respect him and find his comments and sharp retorts brilliant, interesting and amusing. Yes folks, he does have a sense of humor as well and generosity of spirit.
However my trepidation of voting for him is that he has staked out a very polarizing position with the union in just a few hours of his candidacy and this is not a good start for collective bargaining that ultimately has to occur to the benefit of both parties. It is fine that he will not accept PAC endorsements, but I find it distasteful that Peter vilifies others who do as their abilities and motives can be just as good as Peter Carpenter's stated experience.
Peter has had a shot as a director several terms before, and it is time for someone else with more moderate positions to take the field so we do not have months of conflict and invective which damages morale and dedication of district employees.


Posted by WhoRUpeople, a resident of another community
on Aug 16, 2013 at 8:25 am

@Fawning Editors - I just re-read (for the umteenth time) the Terms of Use posted for this forum. I suggest you do the same at least once. You will see there is no restriction on campaigning, either for yourself or for someone else running for office. Also, I submit that every post in favor or against a candidate for office or an issue being voted on is, in effect, campaigning and is one of the primary purposes and values of forums like this. So, that said, I repeat my endorsement of Peter Carpenter for the Menlo Park Fire Protection District Board.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 16, 2013 at 8:38 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" Peter vilifies others who do as their abilities and motives can be just as good as Peter Carpenter's stated experience."

No vilification involved - I simply point out that an elected official cannot serve two masters and that accepting support and endorsements from a union whose pay, benefits and pensions you will be called upon to decide is a conflict of interest.

"he has staked out a very polarizing position with the union" - I have stated my position "While I have deep respect for our individual firefighters, I cannot say the same for their union which, disregarding the District's fiscal health, demands an excessive pay, benefit, and pension package."

The Fire District and the union have not had a contract since I was last on the Board and the union has for years even refused to meet and confer. I believe that the voters need to understand this behavior and should elect people who are prepared to find a mutually satisfactory resolution rather than being committed to meeting the union's demands.

In addition, since the Fire District and the union are in the protracted state of negotiation, the Fire Board's Policy must be adhered to:

"The District Board should not directly engage in negotiations itself but reserves the right to delegate to:
(1) The Fire Chief
(2) A contract negotiator
(3) A designee

the responsibility of negotiating with employee groups. During contract negotiations a Board member should limit communication with the bargaining group on matters pertaining to the negotiation. Board members shall not negotiate directly with represented labor groups and cannot agree to anything as an individual or on behalf of the Board while bargaining is underway."

Candidates for the Fire Board would be well advised to study the Board Policy Manual.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 16, 2013 at 8:42 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Peter Carpenter threw down one of his opponents"

No 'throw down' involved; I simply pointed out that that candidate has provided her phone number and home address to the union but refused to provide them to the citizens who she proposes to represent and documented that refusal.

Web Link

Res: Not Authorized to Release

Phone Day:Not Auth to Release

Phone Eve:Not Auth to Release

Do you want your elected officials to represent you or the employees and contractors over which they exercise oversight?


Posted by Right On!, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Aug 16, 2013 at 10:17 am

POGO-

I agree with you that this is a very important election!

I also agree with you that the three best candidates are Peter Carpenter, Chuck Bernstein and Rex Ianson.


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of another community
on Aug 16, 2013 at 10:41 am

Very disappointing of Ms. Clarke. Perhaps she'll read this & change her mind.

I've found email very useful to correspond w/city leaders in E. Palo Alto, calling only when it's the best use of time. Their being open & available is key, as are managing the boundaries necessary to have a public, professional & private life.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 16, 2013 at 11:04 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

This is the Code that I signed when I filed my candidacy on Aug15 - signing the code is optional and I do not know if the other candidates signed this code. I welcome anyone challenging me to withdraw any statement that I have made or make in the course of the campaign that violates this Code:

"CODE OF FAIR CAMPAIGN PRACTICES
There are basic principles of decency, honesty, and fair play
which every candidate for public office in the State of California
has a moral obligation to observe and uphold in order that, after
vigorously contested but fairly conducted campaigns, our citizens may
exercise their constitutional right to a free and untrammeled choice
and the will of the people may be fully and clearly expressed on the
issues.
THEREFORE:
(1) I SHALL CONDUCT my campaign openly and publicly, discussing
the issues as I see them, presenting my record and policies with
sincerity and frankness, and criticizing without fear or favor the
record and policies of my opponents or political parties that merit
this criticism.
(2) I SHALL NOT USE OR PERMIT the use of character defamation,
whispering campaigns, libel, slander, or scurrilous attacks on any
candidate or his or her personal or family life.
(3) I SHALL NOT USE OR PERMIT any appeal to negative prejudice
based on a candidate's actual or perceived race, religious creed,
color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental
disability, medical condition, marital status, age, sexual
orientation, sex, including gender identity, or any other
characteristic set forth in Section 12940 of the Government Code, or
association with another person who has any of the actual or
perceived characteristics set forth in Section 12940 of the
Government Code.
(4) I SHALL NOT USE OR PERMIT any dishonest or unethical practice
that tends to corrupt or undermine our American system of free
elections, or that hampers or prevents the full and free expression
of the will of the voters including acts intended to hinder or
prevent any eligible person from registering to vote, enrolling to
vote, or voting.
(5) I SHALL NOT coerce election help or campaign contributions for
myself or for any other candidate from my employees.
(6) I SHALL IMMEDIATELY AND PUBLICLY REPUDIATE support deriving
from any individual or group that resorts, on behalf of my candidacy
or in opposition to that of my opponent, to the methods and tactics
that I condemn. I shall accept responsibility to take firm action
against any subordinate who violates any provision of this code or
the laws governing elections.
(7) I SHALL DEFEND AND UPHOLD the right of every qualified
American voter to full and equal participation in the electoral
process.

I, the undersigned, candidate for election to public office in the
State of California or treasurer or chairperson of a committee
making any independent expenditures, hereby voluntarily endorse,
subscribe to, and solemnly pledge myself to conduct my campaign in
accordance with the above principles and practices."

_______15 Aug 2013______ ____Peter F Carpenter______________________________
Date Signature



Posted by joe, a resident of another community
on Aug 16, 2013 at 12:12 pm

I do believe Peter has years of experience keep costs - salaries low. I think he's highly qualified to take on the fire fighters.

Peter writes:
"Note that the average MPFPD firefighter's pay exceeds $135,000 and they can retire as early as age 50 with 90% of their final salary. The average per capita income of the citizens whom they serve is substantially less."

yet I see this ..
Web Link
"It's a myth that all firefighters retire at 50 with 90% of their salary. While less than 1/2 of Marin firefighters are covered by an age 50 retirement, few have the years of service by age 50 to retire at all, much less at 90%. The reason very few receive this level or benefit is that they would have had to start working age 20 to earn 30 years by age 50. Data shows that most firefighters start their careers between age 27-29, and is increasing as education and training requirements increase. Besides this, the majority of firefighters pay into a 3 percent at age 55 retirement."



Posted by reality, a resident of Atherton: other
on Aug 16, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Which candidate(s) might have most of these characteristics to work on a successful labor contract with the MPFPD?

open mind
charm
well thought out
articulate
experience
perserverence
patience
assertiveness
staying detached
flexible
insight
understand the other side
persuasive
knowing what you want

preparation and planning skill
knowledge of the subject matter being negotiated
ability to think clearly and rapidly under pressure and uncertainty
ability to express thoughts verbally
listening skill
judgment and general intelligence
integrity
ability to persuade others
patience
decisiveness
considers lots of options
aware of the process and style of the other person
is flexible
thinks and talks about possible areas of agreement


Posted by WhoRUpeople, a resident of another community
on Aug 16, 2013 at 1:51 pm

@Reality-thank you, you just provided people who don't know of his background the perfect description of Peter---maybe with the exception of one attribute (we all have our flat spots) - that would be, staying detached. My assessment of Peter is that when it comes to subjects of importance, staying detached is just not something he can do(thankfully).


Posted by James, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Aug 16, 2013 at 3:35 pm

@reality. Thank you for you comment. I'm glad I'm not the only one who sees Peter's clay feet.

I won't be making any more comments here since it has degenerated into a political forum for Carpenter to run his political agenda ad infinitum.


It's too bad that the Almanac staff is supporting the inappropriate use of 'comments' as a political platform.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 16, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

James and reality - I would be pleased to answer any questions you have about my qualification. Just checked and the feet are not clay but I share the same number of shortcomings as do most other people.

see:

Web Link

from my last campaign for background information.

An informed electorate is a wise electorate and the stated purpose of the Town Forum is "to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion." Hopefully the other candidates will be as open and accessible as I have attempted to be.


Posted by R U Kidding, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Aug 16, 2013 at 3:50 pm

All of these post are really confusing, some are for Peter and some against of course like any
other candidate. His anxiety about a union controlled board is crazy. Perhaps Peter has lost
touch with who is on the board, 3 of the 5 board members have been endorsed by the union
Peter and Rex have both been endorsed by the unions early on in their political careers, but you don't hear about that. Also any wage/benefit increases happened on their watch of 2 terms each. The present board has not authorized any wage increase's since there has been no labor contract. Since 3 of 5 current members are union backed, there has been no out of
control union favored voting, no one mentions that either. A good board member should be able to make intelligent decisions based on facts and not sentiment or negative public opinion. Bringing negative thinking into a candidate race is deadly for all sides. The world is not black and white any more, intelligent decisions can be made in the middle. You be the judge.


Posted by reality, a resident of Atherton: other
on Aug 16, 2013 at 4:22 pm

R U Kidding states " A good board member should be able to make intelligent decisions based on facts and not sentiment or negative public opinion. Bringing negative thinking into a candidate race is deadly for all sides. The world is not black and white any more, intelligent decisions can be made in the middle. You be the judge."

Very well stated and I totally agree. I stipulate Peter Carpenter professional qualifications are excellent and that is not the problem for me. It is the hardened position apparently aimed at union leaders but at the end of the day the union are the firefighters and they ultimately vote on a contract. I would hope the directors of the district are reasonable and open minded, and I do not believe Peter appears to be given his statements.
I would like to see the firefighter who may be digging me out of my wrecked car on 101 or giving me oxygen in my home as a happy dedicated individual satisfied that he is doing a great job and being fairly compensated for his risk,training and experience. Most certainly I do not want to go to war with him over a few bucks.
My last post on this thread.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 16, 2013 at 4:25 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Here is Fire Board's Compensation Policy (which I helped write and voted for):

5.11 Fire Board Employee Compensation Policy
The Fire Board values its represented and unrepresented employees and seeks to provide equitable compensation for each group and classification. The District's Board of Directors may observe this policy when adopting compensation plans and contracts covering District employees.

Principle No. 1 – Recruitment and Retention: Compensation should, when
economically feasible, be set at a level sufficient to recruit and retain employees who are qualified and committed to provide high quality services to the community. One critical measure of whether compensation meets this criterion is whether there are a sufficient number of qualified applicants for advertised job openings.

Principle No. 2 – Fairness: The Board may strive to ensure its compensation
program is fair and equitable from all legitimate perspectives, including the perspectives of the community, labor and management. The District may choose to survey public and private employers to evaluate the appropriateness and fairness of its compensation program. The Board is directly accountable to the District's constituents, and the Board accordingly retains the discretion to determine the fairness of all compensation programs.

Principle No. 3 – Transparency: Compensation for all District employees should be
100% transparent – i.e., the public should be able to see all pay elements, including the cost of all health, pension and welfare benefits, applicable to each employee. District pay packages should be simple and easily understood. Safeguards must be in place to prevent abuses such as pension spiking and maximizing overtime through manipulation.

Principle No. 4 – Fiscal Sustainability: All compensation commitments must be
made consistent with principles of fiscal sustainability and to ensure the District's long term success in achieving its mission. Compensation adjustments must not compromise the District's ability to successfully meet its ongoing and future financial commitments. The Board may observe its Labor Relations Policy and Plan.

Principle No. 5 – Accountability: All compensation commitments must be expressly delineated and are subject to formal approval by the Board of Directors. The Board will not abide "implied" or unwritten contracts, or unspecified "past practices," that purport to require employee compensation.

Principle No. 6 – Performance Based Pay: Whenever reasonably possible,
compensation may be tied to merit and performance. The District may not permit pay increases based merely on the length of employment.

Principle No. 7 – Economic Climate: The District may consider the overall economic climate and condition affecting the District and its constituents when setting compensation levels, including regional economic indicators such as the rate of unemployment, inflation, current and projected revenues, and the District's anticipated ability to pay in the long term.

Principle No. 8 – Legal Compliance: The District will ensure that its pay practices
comport with the Fair Labor Standards Act and, to the extent legally applicable, State law. The District renews its commitment to negotiate in good faith with labor pursuant to the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act ("MMBA"), and to abide by all requirements of the MMBA.

Principle No. 9 – Flexibility: The District may strive to remain flexible and
innovative in light of changing conditions and improving technologies, and may
continually re-evaluate its pay practices to ensure they are consistent with best practices.
*****

Ignore the above if you are not interested in facts.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 16, 2013 at 7:24 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Ballot order for November election:

Carpenter
Clarke
Nelson
Bernstein
Ianson


Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 16, 2013 at 7:28 pm

Personally, when we are negotiating with the union, I prefer to have someone sitting on my side of the table. Public workers' unions have managed, in many cases, to buy the politicians that are supposed to be representing US, resulting in NO ONE representing us. I'm sick of it. It has resulted in a system that is unsustainable.

Years ago I met with the president of the fire fighters' union to discuss their position (they were asking for an 11% raise and yes they've refused to negotiate for years). It basically boiled down to "xyz departments are getting this much money and so should we. The district has plenty of money and they should give it to us." It was self serving nonsense then and it is now. We have some of the best compensated fire fighters in the bay area and they want more? They're tone deaf to the fact we've all come through a terrible recession in which many took major pay cuts or lost their jobs. None of these fire fighters took cuts or lost their jobs. They should be damn happy they have such a well paying job. Not to mention that many of them have second jobs or side businesses given they only work ten days a month. I think I can safely say many of them are making in excess of $200,000 a year. "poor" fire fighters.

The math is simple. When a hundred or more QUALIFIED candidates apply for every job opening, you're paying too much. These folks would work for a lot less. I happen to appreciate the fact Peter is willing to hold the line against ridiculous demands by the fire fighters' union.


Posted by Anne, a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Aug 16, 2013 at 11:23 pm

The Coastside Fire Protection District successfully got rid of Union 2400 on 4/9/13, by recalling the CFPD's board majority on a 2 -1 vote.

The unions are damaging civil service jobs. The public needs to stop driving their communities into bankruptcy with Cal Pers, retired health benefits $$$$$, and exaggerated financial retirements, $$$$$. I will vote for Peter Carpenter.


Posted by Not a fan, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 17, 2013 at 12:42 pm

"I would like to see the firefighter who may be digging me out of my wrecked car on 101 or giving me oxygen in my home as a happy dedicated individual satisfied that he is doing a great job and being fairly compensated for his risk,training and experience. Most certainly I do not want to go to war with him over a few bucks."

Ditto.

Judging from Peter's (frequently strident and ... ) posts over the years, I'll pass.

But please, have the fan club continue their joyous praise.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 17, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

""I would like to see the firefighter who may be digging me out of my wrecked car on 101 or giving me oxygen in my home as a happy dedicated individual satisfied that he is doing a great job and being fairly compensated for his risk,training and experience. "

What evidence do you have that they are not being fairly compensated? Their average pay is $135k PLUS benefits and a very expensive pension plan - all far in excess of that received by the citizens of the Fire District. None of the firefighters have left to go to other agencies and there are a 100 applicants anytime an opening is posted.

Which of these Fire Board compensation policies would you change? Or do you want to just deal in platitudes?

5.11 Fire Board Employee Compensation Policy

The Fire Board values its represented and unrepresented employees and seeks to provide equitable compensation for each group and classification. The District's Board of Directors may observe this policy when adopting compensation plans and contracts covering District employees.

Principle No. 1 – Recruitment and Retention: Compensation should, when

economically feasible, be set at a level sufficient to recruit and retain employees who are qualified and committed to provide high quality services to the community. One critical measure of whether compensation meets this criterion is whether there are a sufficient number of qualified applicants for advertised job openings.

Principle No. 2 – Fairness: The Board may strive to ensure its compensation

program is fair and equitable from all legitimate perspectives, including the perspectives of the community, labor and management. The District may choose to survey public and private employers to evaluate the appropriateness and fairness of its compensation program. The Board is directly accountable to the District's constituents, and the Board accordingly retains the discretion to determine the fairness of all compensation programs.

Principle No. 3 – Transparency: Compensation for all District employees should be

100% transparent – i.e., the public should be able to see all pay elements, including the cost of all health, pension and welfare benefits, applicable to each employee. District pay packages should be simple and easily understood. Safeguards must be in place to prevent abuses such as pension spiking and maximizing overtime through manipulation.

Principle No. 4 – Fiscal Sustainability: All compensation commitments must be

made consistent with principles of fiscal sustainability and to ensure the District's long term success in achieving its mission. Compensation adjustments must not compromise the District's ability to successfully meet its ongoing and future financial commitments. The Board may observe its Labor Relations Policy and Plan.

Principle No. 5 – Accountability: All compensation commitments must be expressly delineated and are subject to formal approval by the Board of Directors. The Board will not abide "implied" or unwritten contracts, or unspecified "past practices," that purport to require employee compensation.

Principle No. 6 – Performance Based Pay: Whenever reasonably possible,

compensation may be tied to merit and performance. The District may not permit pay increases based merely on the length of employment.

Principle No. 7 – Economic Climate: The District may consider the overall economic climate and condition affecting the District and its constituents when setting compensation levels, including regional economic indicators such as the rate of unemployment, inflation, current and projected revenues, and the District's anticipated ability to pay in the long term.

Principle No. 8 – Legal Compliance: The District will ensure that its pay practices

comport with the Fair Labor Standards Act and, to the extent legally applicable, State law. The District renews its commitment to negotiate in good faith with labor pursuant to the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act ("MMBA"), and to abide by all requirements of the MMBA.

Principle No. 9 – Flexibility: The District may strive to remain flexible and

innovative in light of changing conditions and improving technologies, and may

continually re-evaluate its pay practices to ensure they are consistent with best practices.

*****

Ignore the above if you are not interested in facts.


Posted by Bob, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 19, 2013 at 9:43 am

If any of you who wrote comments about the influence of the union, real or perceived, why did they spend more than $85,000 in the last fire district election? Two candidates received union endorsement and one accepted money from them.

If the Almanac wanted to do some investigative reporting, that was a story.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 19, 2013 at 1:35 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

As of 6/30/2013 the MP Firefighters' political arm and their local 2400 PAC have a total of $53,576 in their war chest. The typical non-union candidate for the MPFPD Board spends about $5k in their individual campaigns.


Posted by not bob, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 20, 2013 at 1:16 am

Bob, the 460's for all these candidates are available. It is unlikely that Silano or Kiraly accepted monetary contributions directly from 2400.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 20, 2013 at 10:18 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Union support is rarely in the form of monetary contributions directly to an individual's campaign but usually is in the form of signs, advertising and precinct walking paid for by the union.


Posted by perspective, a resident of another community
on Aug 20, 2013 at 12:05 pm

I hope this paper will did up the records for the last fire district election. It is possible the candidates that won the last election also raised the most money from individuals, and spent the most money.


Posted by Bob, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 20, 2013 at 4:45 pm

To perspective: are you theorizing that the candidates who raise and spend the most money win elections?

I believe that you will find that this theory is not consistently true.

What does that say about a union, which has a vested interested in the outcome of the election, spends $85,000 on a local election?


Posted by windbagged, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 20, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Based on what I know of the candidates, all are smart, hardworking, and dedicated to the cause. So the choice will be between a candidate who is always right and candidates who are willing to accept that they are fallible. Between a candidate who is longwinded and always has to have the last word and candidates who don't take up as much oxygen. When you're trying to accomplish public objectives, it's tough to have a member who likes to play the role of contrarian for the sake of being the center of attention.

The only possible reason to vote for this candidate is to give him a reason to spend less time on this board, since he somehow needs to dominate every thread with his superior wisdom.


Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 20, 2013 at 6:52 pm

windbagged:

I'd sooner have someone "long winded" than one that was bought an paid for by firefighters' union. They've already got two. All they need is one more to proceed to scr*w the taxpayers. Thank you, no. I'll take a "contrarian" every day if it keeps me from paying ridiculous wages and benefits.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 20, 2013 at 7:11 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Windbag - we have elections so that registered voters can choose their representatives.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 20, 2013 at 8:32 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Now that I am back at my computer let me provide a more complete response to windbag.

I believe that elected officials and candidates for elective office should be accessible to the citizens whom they serve, or propose to serve, and that they have an obligation to speak out on issues. You may prefer elected officials with unknown views and who are unwilling to engage in public discussion - that is your right. And if you are a registered voter in the District then you certainly have the right to vote for someone who meets your criteria - I clearly do not. Before you cast such a vote think carefully about the consequences of having elected officials with unknown views and unproven track records.


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