Atherton mayor delays action on outsourcing

Judge blocks layoffs pending court hearing

The Atherton City Council met Wednesday night (July 20) but pulled from the agenda a legal step to implement a plan to outsource work now being handled by City Hall employees, some of whom were to be laid off last Friday, July 15.

As the council meeting got under way, Mayor Jim Dobbie announced that he had pulled that agenda item. Mr. Dobbie did not elaborate, but City Hall's hands are tied by a temporary restraining order issued by a San Mateo County Superior Court that forbids the layoffs until a court hearing is held. The town's employees' union had sued to prevent the layoffs.

The council did authorize Interim City Manager John Danielson to sign contracts that would outsource public works maintenance and arrange for emergency staffing of the building department. Mr. Danielson said in an interview that he now has the authority to sign the contracts, but that he would not be doing that pending resolution of the lawsuit.

Getting the signing authority was important, he said, because the council meets just once a month and Judge George A. Miram, who issued the restraining order, has considerable discretion as to when he might take further action. The next scheduled court date on this matter is Aug. 11.

In other action, the council voted 3 to 2 after a vigorous debate to implement an ordinance that gives the town authority to fine residents who don't have their recycling bins moved away from the side of the street after they've been emptied.

The council also authorized the hiring of a temporary police chief at a cost of $14,500 per month. Former Santa Rosa police chief Ed Flint is serving as interim police chief.

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Like this comment
Posted by ??
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 21, 2011 at 6:29 pm

How long will Renee be out?

Like this comment
Posted by A big thank you to the courageous
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 21, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Thank you Jon Buckheit and Melinda Tevis for having the courage to stand up to police corruption and inefficiency.

Thank you for drawing attention to the fallacy behind outsourcing public works and building.

You two have, figuratively speaking, stood in front of a firing squad and spoke your mind.

If Atherton had more people who were willing to stand up to those bullies in blue, the Town's sacrifices that need to be made to solve the Town's financial problems would be borne evenly and equitably.

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