Much has been made of the Atherton police officer union's endorsement of Cary Wiest and Elizabeth Lewis. The union obviously feels these are the two best candidates for the police officers in the upcoming negotiation regarding the police contract.
The police contract is the biggest part of Atherton's expenses. It's a huge issue.
But what about Atherton's revenues?
Since Atherton doesn't have businesses in town generating sales tax, it is severely hampered in terms of generating revenues to offset its expenses.
Atherton tried using a road impact fee. Real estate development is Atherton's largest industry, and a multi-billion dollar one. The developer on the finance committee makes millions on each house he develops (and continued doing so while on the finance committee).
But Elizabeth Lewis, who is in the commercial real estate business, and has been endorsed and received campaign contributions from real estate developers in addition to cops, made sure that road impact fee was rescinded.
She claimed it was illegal. She had help. At the time, Charles Marsala, also a darling of the Atherton developer community (and his garage cabinet company undoubtedly the recipient of work orders from them), was instrumental in defeating the road impact fee as well.
But if that's the case, that it's illegal, why does Los Altos Hills have it?
Guess what. Cary Wiest is also in the real estate industry.
These two candidates want to make sure Atherton taxpayers foot the largest possible bill they can, both in terms of giving the most to the cops (the largest expense), and favoring their real estate colleagues in terms of taking the least from them to offset these huge expenses.