Posted by Observer, a resident of another community, on Oct 8, 2012 at 10:01 am
You're right. Lewis "gets it":
Put an end to Nepotism and Cronyism — Pass a policy that Council Members are not allowed to vote for their spouses or close relatives for Committee or Commission positions. Selection committees for key memberships should be composed of “bi-partisan” teams and selection done openly with true transparency.
Posted by 20/20, a resident of the Atherton: other neighborhood, on Oct 8, 2012 at 10:04 am
"What salary are they willing to pay to keep police?"
EXCELLENT question. Lewis has not answered this on her website (nor the survey, in which she cleverly dodges it). I'd love to hear Wiest's answer as well (and not "whath we can afford" or other some such pablum).
Posted by 20/20, a resident of the Atherton: other neighborhood, on Oct 8, 2012 at 12:36 pm
"Without the Parcel Tax is the Police Dept finished?"
No, but its days of outlandish salaries and benefits would be. We can still have our own police department without paying much higher rates than any other community. In the debate Mitt Romney referred to "the economy tax." I guess this one is the "Atherton tax."
Posted by 30/30, a resident of the Atherton: other neighborhood, on Oct 8, 2012 at 2:18 pm
How do you know just on salary and benefit cuts?
It was two years ago Dobbie and Widmer requested a report on San Carlos Outsourcing and said they would want to put it on the ballot to outsource the police. Each has been mayor since then, there was more than enough time to have a council agenda item so all members of the council and residents could comment.
Maybe outsourcing is the best thing, but you should announce it as part of your position during your campaign.
Where do the four candidates stand on the Parcel Tax?
Posted by 20/20, a resident of the Atherton: other neighborhood, on Oct 8, 2012 at 3:49 pm
Any competent and non-tainted candidate for city council would have the following position on the parcel tax and police department:
My fellow residents, our police department's costs are far in excess of what this town can afford to spend without substantial additional taxes on its residents, and far in excess of what we need to pay for quality officers in Atherton. Just look at Palo Alto, which recently eliminated city contributions for the employer's part of their defined pension program, and decreased police salary and benefits. Many other neighboring communities have adopted two-tier pension programs to acknowledge the reality that this community, county, state, and country, cannot afford to pay police officers $130,000 or more (and adjusted upwards for cost of living each year) for the rest of their lives when they reach age 50. In Atherton, police officers and their families also receive free health care for the rest of their lives. These benefits far exceed those in the private sector, and their salaries are not less than comparable private sector jobs. The plain fact is, as you know from turning on the TV or reading the paper, this is unsustainable.
Atherton has enjoyed having its own police department because of the personalized service some residents receive from the department. We would like to continue having our own police department, but will not negotiate with the Teamster's police union on the basis of this council has no leverage and cannot opt to decline unreasonable packages demanded by the police. If the police refuse to negotiate reasonably, this council must have the option to outsource the police to the sheriff's office. It would be irresponsible for any council member to state that because the general population of Atherton residents may have a general preference to maintain Atherton's own police department, it is willing to do so no matter what the cost is. It is also unrealistic to expect that the average Atherton resident can define the financial cutoff with a ballot measure. You are electing us to be responsible financial stewards of your taxpayer money. I shall do so. I will keep your preferences in mind while negotiating, but I will negotiate firmly and fairly to get a fair and reasonable deal for the residents of Atherton. There is simply no reason Atherton must pay well in excess of neighboring communities for police services, especially when officers in Atherton have a much less dangerous job than other communities around the peninsula area.
Will Cary Wiest and Elizabeth Lewis agree with this statement?
Posted by 20/20, a resident of the Atherton: other neighborhood, on Oct 8, 2012 at 5:38 pm
No, I'd like to ask Denise and Greg to agree also. I have no idea whether the Palo Alto package was proposed, or if Widmer and Dobbie have already decided to switch. I doubt it. It seems to me they want to have a negotiation, but not one in which Atherton concedes to the cops before it even starts.