News

Atherton awaits reimbursement for Obama visit

Dear Town of Atherton: The check is not in the mail.

That letter could have been written by the White House, or by the Democratic National Committee, or by one of several residents, delivering a clear message: Don't expect reimbursement anytime soon for Atherton's cost -- about $7,600 -- for police and public works services provided for the April 4 presidential visit to your fair town.

But the town hasn't abandoned all hope, City Manager George Rodericks says.

Mr. Rodericks announced shortly after President Obama's April visit for two fundraising events that the town would be "contacting all parties involved" to seek repayment for providing extra services. He sent invoices to the White House, the Secret Service, the DNC, and residents who hosted the two events: Marcia and John Goldman, and Liz Simons and Mark Heising.

The town received a response from one of the residents "requesting additional clarification on the rationale for the invoice and history," Mr. Rodericks said in a report to the City Council. The DNC also wrote back, saying it won't pay the bill, and suggesting that the town might have more luck getting reimbursed by the Secret Service, he said.

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At this point, Mr. Rodericks told the Almanac, the town's only recourse is to continue to pursue reimbursement from the homeowners who hosted the events. "Or, we could sue the White House -- but we're not going to do that."

He said town staff is prepared to "go through a lot of hoops and hurdles" to entreat the homeowners for repayment "in a more formal way than just a letter." If all else fails, he said, the town could attach a lien on the properties and collect the money through the property tax rolls.

The events included a brunch, where tickets went for $32,400 per person; and a luncheon, where tickets started at $1,000 per person. Lunch and a photo with the president cost $5,000, or $7,500 for two people.

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Atherton awaits reimbursement for Obama visit

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Fri, Jun 7, 2013, 11:53 am

Dear Town of Atherton: The check is not in the mail.

That letter could have been written by the White House, or by the Democratic National Committee, or by one of several residents, delivering a clear message: Don't expect reimbursement anytime soon for Atherton's cost -- about $7,600 -- for police and public works services provided for the April 4 presidential visit to your fair town.

But the town hasn't abandoned all hope, City Manager George Rodericks says.

Mr. Rodericks announced shortly after President Obama's April visit for two fundraising events that the town would be "contacting all parties involved" to seek repayment for providing extra services. He sent invoices to the White House, the Secret Service, the DNC, and residents who hosted the two events: Marcia and John Goldman, and Liz Simons and Mark Heising.

The town received a response from one of the residents "requesting additional clarification on the rationale for the invoice and history," Mr. Rodericks said in a report to the City Council. The DNC also wrote back, saying it won't pay the bill, and suggesting that the town might have more luck getting reimbursed by the Secret Service, he said.

At this point, Mr. Rodericks told the Almanac, the town's only recourse is to continue to pursue reimbursement from the homeowners who hosted the events. "Or, we could sue the White House -- but we're not going to do that."

He said town staff is prepared to "go through a lot of hoops and hurdles" to entreat the homeowners for repayment "in a more formal way than just a letter." If all else fails, he said, the town could attach a lien on the properties and collect the money through the property tax rolls.

The events included a brunch, where tickets went for $32,400 per person; and a luncheon, where tickets started at $1,000 per person. Lunch and a photo with the president cost $5,000, or $7,500 for two people.

Comments

Mrs. B.
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 7, 2013 at 1:09 pm
Mrs. B., Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 7, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Go get 'em, Atherton! It is high time that the cost of these political junkets get put back to the politicians/political parties/political patrons who benefit from them. Why should the general citizenry pay for this political fundraising?


SteveC
Registered user
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 7, 2013 at 1:30 pm
SteveC, Menlo Park: Downtown
Registered user
on Jun 7, 2013 at 1:30 pm

hold you breath, check is in the mail.


SteveC
Registered user
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 7, 2013 at 1:31 pm
SteveC, Menlo Park: Downtown
Registered user
on Jun 7, 2013 at 1:31 pm
Mac Barne
Atherton: other
on Jun 7, 2013 at 1:46 pm
Mac Barne, Atherton: other
on Jun 7, 2013 at 1:46 pm

"Why should the general citizenry pay for this political fundraising?"

Actually, I would rather the American citizenry pay for all political advertising and costs.

The way it currently stands, obscene amounts of money are raised without the approval of the citizenry. The money comes from the Atherton residents listed above, also from George Soros and indirectly from large corporations. In the last election, one man - Sheldon Adelson, spent $100 million. What favors does one owe a man who spent $100 million to get you eleccted?

With the advent of the 503c4 superpacs, obscenely huge donations can be used to buy favors from our politicians, and done so anonymously. Both liberal and conservative c4's raised hundreds of millions of dollars and spent those on advertising that did not list who funded those ads. Who's paying for and running this almost anonymous advertising?

A corporation? George Soros, Adelson or a union? A felon who can't even vote? A foreign country? Who knows? You and I certainly don't know, but we both know that Romney and Obama certainly know who they owe favors to!

So yes, I rather every tax payer pay a couple a bucks for political advertising and have the politicians OWE US THE FAVOR! Not Exxon. Not George Soros. Not Koch Industries. Not public sector unions. A publicly financed campaign would have nothing to hide, and would owe a favor only to the taxpayer.

As for Atherton being reimbursed? Nice try. Pass a law and have future events paid for by those throwing the party. Or tack it on to the special events ordinance.


Bob
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 7, 2013 at 2:21 pm
Bob, Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 7, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Why should fund raising be treated any differently than any other private event. It isn't open to the general public, rather only those who are "invited".

To take a line from Mac Barne -- "As for Atherton being reimbursed? ....Pass a law and have future events paid for by those throwing the party. Or tack it on to the special events ordinance."

Local municipalities should consider this option.


neighbor
another community
on Jun 7, 2013 at 5:37 pm
neighbor, another community
on Jun 7, 2013 at 5:37 pm

Did they charge for Romney's Atherton visit during the campaign? Did Hillsborough or Pebble Beach charge Romney?

Oh yes.. Do Atherton police charge for picking up the mail of wealthy vacationing residents?


Barbara
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 7, 2013 at 7:15 pm
Barbara, Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 7, 2013 at 7:15 pm

The check will never be in the mail.


squidy
Portola Valley: Los Trancos Woods/Vista Verde
on Jun 7, 2013 at 8:25 pm
squidy, Portola Valley: Los Trancos Woods/Vista Verde
on Jun 7, 2013 at 8:25 pm

As usual, Atherton first in line for money and last when it has to dole it out !


Hmmm
another community
on Jun 8, 2013 at 1:23 pm
Hmmm, another community
on Jun 8, 2013 at 1:23 pm

Squidy - too funny & too true! A bunch of wealthy whiners - puhhlease! As Mac says, if folks want to be reimbursed, pass a law. I've no respect for the whining w/hands out instead of real action. As well, I, too, would rather pay for these things that have ALL the monies come from lobbyists, Superpacs & the wealthy. And how come the whiners didn't start whining about this before a black man was elected POTUS??


POGO
Woodside: other
on Jun 8, 2013 at 7:52 pm
POGO, Woodside: other
on Jun 8, 2013 at 7:52 pm

It is a shame that local towns have to devote scarce police time and dollars so some politicians can spend an hour with our local rich so they can refill their campaign bank accounts. When they raise a few million dollars over a cocktail reception, the least they can do is reimburse the local community the few thousand dollars they spend on police to keep the riff-raff at large. As someone noted, it's no different from needing police to help with any other large private event. Pay the bill.

And I don't distinguish by political party or race or the town their hitting up for cash. There aren't a lot of unallocated local tax dollars these days and the benefitting political party should foot that bill.


neighbor
another community
on Jun 8, 2013 at 8:41 pm
neighbor, another community
on Jun 8, 2013 at 8:41 pm

Atherton spends a lot of $$ for nonsense Police call responses -- which many Peninsula residents, and others, read regularly for laughs.

For example, a recent Atherton police call = "Resident notices her normally easygoing dog pacing and barking and asks police to check the property. Holbrook Lane. Police do not find anything suspicious."

Not to mention regular Police reports like "car parked on street" (I guess someone found a spot without large rocks placed to prevent public parking) -- or -- "Person walking down street" (which is a regular call).

PULEEZ: I would think that helping to ensure the safety of the President of the United States would be a good (and rare) professional experience for Atherton officers.

And a reminder: Romney didn't reimburse the cops, and I don't believe Whitman did either.


"Steve"
Woodside: other
on Jun 8, 2013 at 9:25 pm
"Steve", Woodside: other
on Jun 8, 2013 at 9:25 pm

I would think that they would charge the party who requested the services. That's how the rest of the world works.


neighbor
another community
on Jun 9, 2013 at 9:47 am
neighbor, another community
on Jun 9, 2013 at 9:47 am

Police are a public safety agency paid for by the public -- they are ALREADY paid to respond to events in the town that have public safety effects.

Not sure that picking up residents' mail has a public safety component. How about charging for that?


DC
another community
on Jun 10, 2013 at 9:31 am
DC, another community
on Jun 10, 2013 at 9:31 am

Sunnyvale / Mtn View road clousres, 101, 237 and the M Airfield all cost 10x what Atherton paid. Ask for that check too.


brother brother brother whats going on
Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jun 10, 2013 at 1:21 pm
brother brother brother whats going on, Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jun 10, 2013 at 1:21 pm

> all cost 10x what Atherton paid.

Imagine the costs in So Cal, with both Obama and the Chinese president and all the security for those meetings this weekend. The head of communist China must have required a heck of a lot of security.

or are we only interested in whining about the brotha?


POGO
Woodside: other
on Jun 10, 2013 at 8:09 pm
POGO, Woodside: other
on Jun 10, 2013 at 8:09 pm

There is a big difference which is clearly lost on many of you.

The political fundraising events we are describing in Atherton are PRIVATE events. These events are not even OFFICIAL functions and they are not open to the public. It is no different than some very wealthy family having a huge party and closing down a street. Wouldn't you expect the party-givers to pay for their own security?

These are not public events or official events. They are simply a private person holding a party to raise money for a private organization. Nothing more... and there is no obligation for taxpayers to foot that bill.


pay 2 play
Menlo Park: other
on Jun 10, 2013 at 8:54 pm
pay 2 play, Menlo Park: other
on Jun 10, 2013 at 8:54 pm

These events are open to anyone that can pay to attend. The event did not happen on the street, or close down the street. If Atherton police decide not to show up next time, the secret service will certainly have it handled.


Confounding factor
Atherton: West Atherton
on Jun 10, 2013 at 10:10 pm
Confounding factor, Atherton: West Atherton
on Jun 10, 2013 at 10:10 pm

I'm all for Atherton getting repaid for a political fundraiser, but people seem to be missing the notion that the APD was not asked to provide security for this function. It was handled by the CHP, San Mateo Sheriff, and Secret Service. Without trying to demean the APD, it's hard to imagine they are prepared for this type of security situation. Next time, IF ASKED, Atherton should respond that it will provide the security for a price. Hard to charge for something that was never requested.


That excuse is played!
Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Jun 11, 2013 at 10:45 am
That excuse is played!, Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Jun 11, 2013 at 10:45 am

Love the race card being pulled here on some of the comments. Keep making excuses and you never have to be accountable!


neighbor
another community
on Jun 11, 2013 at 11:36 am
neighbor, another community
on Jun 11, 2013 at 11:36 am

Last poster..... Who, besides you, played what race card?
Calm down


get to the CORE
Menlo Park: other
on Jun 11, 2013 at 12:51 pm
get to the CORE, Menlo Park: other
on Jun 11, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Why do our politicians have to go around whoring themselves for money? Endless requests for money. Huge effort spent on money.

Let's cut them all off from the trough. It's not "freedom of speech" it's legalized bribery.

FREE the elections. Use our FREE public airways and make representation of each person and corporation EQUAL. Let's see how fast the ones making extra money in government get out to find jobs they figure are worth their time. Keep the politicians who are there to work and represent us.

Both parties. Stop the endless prostitution and begging!


Confounding corrector
Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 11, 2013 at 12:51 pm
Confounding corrector, Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 11, 2013 at 12:51 pm

"Confounding factor" states:
I'm all for Atherton getting repaid for a political fundraiser, but people seem to be missing the notion that the APD was not asked to provide security for this function. It was handled by the CHP, San Mateo Sheriff, and Secret Service. Without trying to demean the APD, it's hard to imagine they are prepared for this type of security situation. Next time, IF ASKED, Atherton should respond that it will provide the security for a price. Hard to charge for something that was never requested.

I am afraid you are totally in error about this statement that Atherton and it's police department were not asked to provide security for the POTUS visit. They are trained in VIP visits and have done so for many years. The APD along with the Secret Service were the lead agencies planning and directing the details of the visit. The fact is that APD does not have the resources and staff to handle the demands of the visit and at the same time be available to handle service calls from residents. Other agencies supplement security at the request of the Secret Service.

The following is the City manager's detail of the cost as presented to the City Council. It includes APD costs of overtime and additional duty.


President of the United States (POTUS) Visit
On Thursday, April 4, 2013 President Barack Obama was the guest of honor at two local private
fundraisers. Below is a breakdown of what it cost to the Town to cover the POTUS event. The
final cost for the Town (Police and Public Works) including work prior to the event, the event
itself, and clean-up after the event is $7,616.41.
Public Works Costs
4/2 - Prep Work (9 hours) $675.00
4/2 - Equipment Cost $91.00
4/4 – Staff Hours (16 hours) $1,432.00
4/4 – Equipment $121.00
4/5 –Clean-Up (7.5 hours) $56.00
4/5 – Equipment $60.00
Public Safety Costs
3/27 – IAP Prep Work (3 hours) $195.00
3/28 – IAP Prep Work (3 hours) $195.00
4/1 – IAP Prep & Helicopter Land (8 hours) $520.00
4/2 – IAP Prep (8 hours) $520.00
4/3 – IAP Prep & CP Setup (9 hours) $585.00
4/4 – POTUS Detail (14 hours) $1003.25
4/4 – POTUS Detail (10 hours – Officers) $992.00
4/4 – POTUS Detail (SGT Cost) $1171.16
TOTAL $7,616.41


Fat Chance
Atherton: West Atherton
on Jun 11, 2013 at 4:04 pm
Fat Chance, Atherton: West Atherton
on Jun 11, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Atherton has as much chance of getting reimbursed by Obama as the California Republican Party has of getting $1,000 donations from: Tom Gibboney, Heyward Robinson, Kelly Fergusson, Gail Slocum, and Mitch Slomiac. It ain't gonna happen!


SteveC
Registered user
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 11, 2013 at 4:05 pm
SteveC, Menlo Park: Downtown
Registered user
on Jun 11, 2013 at 4:05 pm

So where is the bill for Meg Whitman??? did she pay for the extra police services in Atherton?


Hmmm
another community
on Jun 11, 2013 at 4:32 pm
Hmmm, another community
on Jun 11, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Who cares that Atherton had to pony up minus 10k? Quit whining or change your laws.


wondering
Atherton: other
on Jun 11, 2013 at 4:33 pm
wondering, Atherton: other
on Jun 11, 2013 at 4:33 pm

Why are there 9 and 10 hour "officer details" listed above, separate from prep, when the president was only on the ground for 2 hours?


yowsers
Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jun 11, 2013 at 4:40 pm
yowsers, Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jun 11, 2013 at 4:40 pm

@ Fat Chance: the California Republican Party is bankrupt. They are not paying vendors, laid off people.

The party of small business and the free market is STIFFING the small businesses that helped them!

" SacBee: Brulte: California GOP debt could be as high as $800,000 - February 14, 2013 at 8:13 am

"To rebuild the California Republican Party, Jim Brulte will first have to climb out from under a mountain of debt.

The former GOP Senate leader, who is expected to take helm of the embattled party next month, said Wednesday that the CRP is between $500,000 and $800,000 in the red, a figure he says could vary based on the potential for legal battles with former vendors.

“This is more like a bankruptcy workout,” Brulte said of setting up party infrastructure as chairman. “First of all you have to pay off your debt, hopefully while you’re doing programs simultaneously. We have to increase our income and reduce our expenses, that’s just prudent.”"

wow - “This is more like a bankruptcy workout”

way to go, party of personal responsibility!

fiscal conservatives!!!

“This is more like a bankruptcy workout”


POGO
Woodside: other
on Jun 11, 2013 at 6:45 pm
POGO, Woodside: other
on Jun 11, 2013 at 6:45 pm

People keep forgetting that this is a private event that benefits a private organization. This is not charity or government.

The people hosting these private events, whether its for Meg Whitman or Barack Obama, should foot the bill for security. They raise a few million dollars in a couple of hours and they can easily throw a few thousand to the cities that bear the burden in terms of inconvenience and cost.


joe
another community
on Jun 11, 2013 at 9:38 pm
joe, another community
on Jun 11, 2013 at 9:38 pm

<i>The following is the City manager's detail of the cost as presented to the City Council. It includes APD costs of overtime and additional duty.

"4/5 –Clean-Up (7.5 hours) $56.00"</i>

Did Atherton pay workers less than $7.5 a hour wage and benefits for clean up ?!?

And n March the City donated $10,000 to a HSR lawsuit.
Web Link


Confounding factor
Atherton: West Atherton
on Jun 11, 2013 at 10:06 pm
Confounding factor, Atherton: West Atherton
on Jun 11, 2013 at 10:06 pm

If the APD was asked to lead security, and Atherton wants to submit the bill after the event, rather than get it agreed to up front, shame on Atherton. Not the right way (or the smart way) to do it.

It's a bit incongruous to learn the APD led security for the president of the USA…according to their mailers and web missives, they don't have enough officers (because of lack of moolah) to cover what goes on in Atherton on any given night.


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