Atherton set to hire firm to outsource services

Council will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17

By Renee Batti

==I Almanac News Editor

The town of Atherton is poised to hire Interwest Consulting Group to provide services now performed by its building department staff, a move Interim City Manager John Danielson says will save the town more than $350,000 in the current fiscal year.

The Atherton City Council will be asked to approve a contract with Interwest at the council's meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 17. The meeting starts at 7 p.m.

The town currently employs one of the firm's partners, Michael Kashiwagi, as its interim public works director.

Current building department staff members, along with a finance department assistant and a public works supervisor, are being laid off, effective Aug. 19. Three other public works employees will be laid off Sept. 16.

Under a plan designed by the interim town manager, building and public works services are being outsourced. The Teamsters union representing the employees are fighting the layoffs and outsourcing of services.

The contract before the council this week would set payment to Interwest for building services at an amount not to exceed 58 percent of building revenues collected through fees.

In a staff report, Mr. Danielson said that the town will "incur additional cost for Interwest to take over building projects that are incomplete. (That cost) will either be paid out of current building revenues or from the building department operating reserve."

The building department reserve was estimated to have about $960,000 in fiscal year 2010-11, according to Finance Director Louise Ho.

The council meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the council chambers, 94 Ashfield Road in the Town Center.

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Like this comment
Posted by Ron Shepherd
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 16, 2011 at 12:31 pm

I wonder how much Menlo Park could save by outsourcing its building department functions? I further wonder if Menlo Park will investigate the potential savings?

Like this comment
Posted by apples and oranges
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Aug 17, 2011 at 11:29 am

Menlo Park and Atherton are night and day in size and demand. Atherton is so very small with no businesses within the town borders the outsource makes sense. Menlo Park, on the other hand, has commercial, private businesses, large businesses and a whole lot more residential properties to contend with. Outsizing for a small little town makes sense. Menlo Park would end up paying more and are smart to keep it under their roof.

Like this comment
Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Aug 17, 2011 at 1:31 pm

apples -

I suspect you are right. But there is one way to find out and it doesn't take much effort.

Just ask...

Like this comment
Posted by DumbBell Calif 94027
a resident of Atherton: other
on Aug 17, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Even before Danialson's first day on the job in Atherton, questions were being raised on this very forum about his ties to Interwest Consulting Group and his long history of coming on board as a new manager in towns like Elk Grove, immediately outsourcing all the services to Interwest and or CSG and then eventually getting fired for the results.
and yet......Here he goes again.................
I realize that the Council have all completely lost their minds by now..but doesn't the Almanac remember any of this?
Scroll through page 5 of the Almanac archive under Atherton

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