News

City manager gets more time to repay loan

 

Terms of the bridge loan from the city that was part of Menlo Park City Manager Glen Rojas' employment agreement have been changed to give him more time to pay it off.

The City Council unanimously approved the change on June 22 to give Mr. Rojas until Feb. 1, 2011, to repay the $127,000 bridge loan, which originally was to be repaid in full when he sold his former residence in Riverside.

So far, he has paid $95,000, but because he hasn't been able to sell the house -- Riverside was recently named by Forbes Magazine the third-worst post-bust real estate market in the country -- he has been unable to repay the loan in full, he said.

The balance due on the loan, with interest, is about $41,500, according to a staff report.

Mr. Rojas, who was hired in 2007, bought a home in Menlo Park in October 2008 with a $1.27 million loan from the city. His employment agreement provided for a bridge loan of 10 percent of the purchase price, secured by the new home and the Riverside house. The terms of the loan required him to pay it off in full when he sold the Riverside house.

Mr. Rojas asked earlier this year that his employment agreement be changed to allow him to sell the Riverside house without paying off the bridge loan in full at the time of the sale if the sales proceeds are not enough to fully pay off the loan, the staff report said.

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 23, 2010 at 5:55 pm

Rojas should be forced to sell his home at market rate to pay back the loan NOW.

The City Council should have not changed the loan contract.

House not worth what he thinks it is worth? Too bad. This is PUBLIC money, City Council. Know who you are working for and whose money you are spending.


Like this comment
Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Jun 23, 2010 at 9:16 pm

Another agreement made in favor of our public "service" elites at the expense of the taxpayer? What a stunning surprise.


Like this comment
Posted by TJ
a resident of another community
on Jun 24, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Explain how you're losing money please. He's still paying interest it seems, so if anything the city is making more money by him delaying payment the bridge loan. The risk is if he didn't pay it, which he seems to be doing, having committed $95k to it already.


Like this comment
Posted by new guy
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 24, 2010 at 1:26 pm

TJ:

So by your argument, the city should become a mortgage company? I and most likely the rest of MP would gladly pay the city interest in exchange for a lower interest rates and the ability to renegotiate terms if things don't work out as planned.

A special interest rate loan is a gift to Rojas, one in which he should pay taxes on (the difference between gift rate and market rate). This is what we MP taxpayers are paying for. We are NOT getting anything in return.




Like this comment
Posted by DG
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 24, 2010 at 4:12 pm

The city gets about 1%interest in the county pool right now – the city is making more money on interest on the loan than if they made him cash in his loan an put it in the county pool. (The same pool that loss 155 million because of how good it is managed – be glad it wasn’t there)

Also – good employee are hard to find (you can have your own option on how good he is). Just because he works for the city – he is still a valued employee – at least to the city council – who are elected to represent the public. If you do like the job the city council is doing – then quit crying like babies and run for office.



Like this comment
Posted by Mrs. Rojas
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jun 24, 2010 at 8:13 pm

To all of you

I find it interesting that you all react to what you read in the Post or to what others post online without checking a reliable source who knows all the details. What a reporter might think is an interesting “sound bite” certainly doesn’t always tell the entire story.

We have a contract to make monthly payments on the Menlo Park house and the bridge loan. According to the contract, at a point when our other house sells, any proceeds from that sale will be applied to the bridge loan. Concerned that proceeds from the Riverside property won’t be sufficient to fully repay the bridge loan, it was our desire to make lump sum payments toward the bridge loan as we continue MAKING PAYMENTS ACCORDING TO OUR CONTRACT. It was this reason Glen went to the council and a committee was appointed to discuss a strategy. Meanwhile, two lump sum payments have already been paid and a third will be paid in about 7 months.

Comments posted here that we should honor our contract are moot. We are honoring our contract, and have made payments from the close of escrow and continue with payments today.

The purpose of the loan is an incentive to attract city managers to work and live in Menlo Park. It is not unique to Glen Rojas. It has been offered to City Managers in the past and will probably be offered in the future. It’s unfortunate that a responsible and proactive approach is deemed negative in your esteemed eyes.


Like this comment
Posted by Sallie
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jun 24, 2010 at 8:28 pm

We understand that you have a bias, Ms Rojas. However, the fact is that you are not living up to your contract or your husband wouldn't have renegotiated it.

As long as you try to evade your obligations, you will draw public ire, and nothing you say here will change that. You have apparently owned the house for a long time; why not just lower the asking price and sell it? I realize your house was "worth" a lot more in 2005, but 2005 aint coming back for any of us.

It's way past time to show some integrity and do the right thing. Or is that too much to expect of our highly paid city manager?


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 24, 2010 at 11:49 pm

At a time when the city is having to cut services, it's bad form for the City Manager to renegotiate terms of his loan. This is about the message as much as it is about the money. Lead by example, Glen.


Like this comment
Posted by Joan
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 25, 2010 at 7:52 am

Mrs. Rojas, I for one (I'm sure I'm not alone) appreciate your comments. Forums like these seem to attract more attack dogs than people who are interested in facts and analysing those facts reasonably and empathetically. I think the attacks are fueled by the terrible economy, which is affecting most of us harshly and bringing out the worst in us, alas.


Like this comment
Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 25, 2010 at 9:09 am

Like Joan, I also appreciate Mrs. Rojas comments and commend her for wading into this public mess.

But I take issue with Mrs. Rojas implication that the terms of the loan are not changing. If true, then why did Mr. Rojas request a private session to discuss renegotiation of the loan?

I think the objections raised by the public are a desire to see our city officials - elected and appointed - abide by the rules and agreements that they so easily demand of us.


Like this comment
Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 25, 2010 at 10:20 am

The terms of the loan HAVE changed.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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