Menlo Park OKs Facebook's offer to fund police officer
Original post made on Mar 5, 2014
Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, March 5, 2014, 9:40 AM
on Mar 5, 2014 at 11:18 am
Just like I have concerns about privatized prisons, I have concerns about private funds being paid for public services. Is this not a slippery slope towards a situation similar to Blackwater in the Middle East?
on Mar 5, 2014 at 12:22 pm
RW - I don't think this is anything like a privatized prison, which is a contracted (private) facility paid for with public funds. In this case, think of it as directed, voluntary taxes. Private funds are flowing to the Menlo Park government, which in turn is using those funds to hire a public employee, who will be working for the police department, not for the organization who contributed the funds. There are many cases where public goods are paid for with private funds (e.g. developers who build/repave roads or build sidewalks and then turn them over to the government). It is very different than the government outsourcing functions that are deemed to be inherently governmental in nature.
on Mar 5, 2014 at 1:24 pm
Well, I guess there is such a thing as a free lunch.
What happens at the end of 3-years, if for whatever reason, Facebook no longer funds the police officer? Do you eliminate the position... or is it then supported by the General Fund? How hypocritical for the City to accept gifts on the one hand, and to make cuts at a whim when it suits them.