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Town Square

Are Winkler/Duboc/Boyle REALLY Kid-Friendly???

Original post made by Take Back Menlo Park!, Menlo Park: Downtown, on Nov 2, 2006

From Take Back Menlo Park! www.TakeBackMenloPark.com

This story contains 1836 words.

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Comments

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Posted by MPworkingMom
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Nov 2, 2006 at 5:36 pm

Another reason why Belle Haven childcare programs escaped the chopping block Besides the fact that beating up on poor kids makes for bad PR?
Many Menlo Children's Center parents are not US citizens, and cannot vote in the upcoming council election.

Working parents, foreign Stanford graduate students and high tech professionals from around the world send their kids to MCC because they believe in the value of high quality child care. They are targeting MCC's wonderful international community because they know it will cost them relatively few votes on election day.


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Posted by MPTaxPayer
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Nov 3, 2006 at 11:59 am

Why do the people of Menlo Park have to pay for foreign Stanford graduate students and high tech professionals from around the world child care in the first place. It would seem more fair to me if they did not drive the 2nd BMW and went ahead and paid for their own childcare.


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Posted by MPworkingMom
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Nov 3, 2006 at 1:11 pm

Actually, MPTaxPayer, they are Menlo Park residents and tax payers just like you and I, regardless of their citizenship.

They are the people of Menlo Park.

Non-residents pay substantially higher childcare fees than Menlo Park residents do -- I have yet to meet any nonresidents who have kids at MCC, if there are any, because priority goes to residents.

So you might want to step off your xenophobic soap box on this one.

If you want to talk about fair, why don't you try to get some numbers out of the city that shows the size of the taxpayer subsidy of for-profit developers using the planning department? I bet it'll dwarf the small amount the city is paying to give its youngest residents safe, healthy child care.

I'll ignore your ridiculously snippy comment about driving a second BMW. Clearly, if you feel the values of a retired millionaire running for council are more in line with your own, you're not going to understand the concerns of working parents struggling to do the best they can for their kids.


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Posted by ChildcareDad
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Nov 3, 2006 at 2:06 pm

MPTaxPayer:

I've REALLY gotten tired of you and your "Mickie Winkler ilk" still trying to spread the BIG LIE that childcare is "heavily subsidized" or - as you imply - totally free. I PAY THE CITY $1100 A MONTH FOR DAYCARE FOR MY KID - DOES THAT SOUND LIKE A SUBSIDIZED FEE TO YOU!

The fact of the matter is that - as reported in The Almanac - our fees pay all but $4500 of the program costs and that means that the city is recovering some 99% of program costs!

And by the way, those rich folks with a BMW (like council candidates Boyle and Duboc) have a NANNY that watches their "gold-spoon-in-the-mouth" kids - they'd NEVER let their kids mingle with mere commoners like my kid in dreaded city daycare.


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Posted by mptaxpayer
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Nov 3, 2006 at 3:57 pm

Blah, blah, blah, it still is in fact subsidized. Where is the mandate that the city needs to be in the childcare business in the 1st place?


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Posted by ChildcareWatcher
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Nov 3, 2006 at 9:34 pm

"Blah, blah, blah, it still is in fact subsidized." That's one HECK of a convincing arguement there against ChildcareDad, MPTaxpayer.

As for your second statement, "Where is the mandate that the city needs to be in the childcare business in the 1st place?":
That mandate came back when Measure T was passed. Childcare was relegated to a couple of piss-poor trailers on the "back 40" when it was determined through citizen polling that Measure T would pass IF a new city childcare facility was added to the list of projects. So Lee Duboc (as head of the Measure T committee) got childcare added to the list and Measure T passed overwhelmingly. There's your mandate.



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Posted by MeasureTWasTheMandate
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Nov 4, 2006 at 12:28 am

Measure T was the mandate for the community to spend public money on the facilities. The facility was advertised openly as part of Measure T, and recieved nearly 70% of the vote.

Was is untrue is that the *SERVICE* is subsidized. Is it not. It is false information spread by Winkler and Duboc that the service is subsidized. To read Almanac articles debunking this read here Web Link and here Web Link

One last nuance:

Since 1996 MCC child care programs and gymnastics were both programs, the only city programs to fully recover their costs.

When new city manager David Boesch came on board, he was hired, in part because he promised to bring a new "service-based" budgeting approach to Menlo Park, which has been implemented recently.

In a traditional "department-based" budgeting approach, there is a community services department, and all costs associated with child card services were within that department. But with a service-base budget approach, some portion of city overhead --management, city hall electricity, the computer department, etc-- is also factored in to the costs of the program.

In other words, recently the entire budgeting system was changed over.

Winkler and Duboc haven't really told anyone about this. Instead they quote the new service-based figures, particularly the unrecovered overhead costs, to prove that MCC is not full cost recovery, but this is dishonest, and they do not apply that same new standard to every other program in the city, including for example gymnastics.

Under the new system, no program recovers its costs.


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Posted by Kid Friendly
a resident of Oak Knoll School
on Nov 6, 2006 at 1:38 pm

I agree with the thoughts of most of these readers, and I want to add another election development that has really made me realize the slate candidates are NOT kid friendly at all:
The endorement highlighted in the Almanac newspaper and on a postcard slick by a Menlo Park Atherton Education Foundation Co President was used to try to influence school families to vote for them. Did they not realize this could do significant damage to the MPAEF? I think they did, but chose to use the title with the name for their own political gain, regardless of the price to the very kids they say they are friendly to. They say they are kid friendly but their actions say otherwise in so many ways.