News

Today: Atherton examines privacy issues with drones

Also on agenda: sharing library funds, business license tax increase

The idea of video-equipped drones flying over homes and backyards has some local residents worried about their privacy. Atherton's City Council will explore how it can regulate drones when it meets in a study session on Wednesday, July 6, starting at 3 p.m. in the town's council chambers at 94 Ashfield Road.

A report from Atherton City Attorney Bill Conners says the Federal Aviation Administration has the primary authority to regulate small unmanned aircraft systems, or drones, but does allow local governments to develop regulations that address privacy concerns.

Sharing library funds

The council will also discuss a proposal by the San Mateo County Library System to keep some of the library tax dollars that now go to Atherton.

The library system has an agreement with its member towns and cities about how the libraries are funded and operated. The library system's governing board has proposed changing that agreement to give half the funds from cities that generate more library tax revenues than they spend to other county libraries.

That money now goes into a special fund for the city or town that generated it, and can be used only for library-related expenses. Atherton plans to uses its fund to build a new library, as Portola Valley did. Woodside remodeled its library with its funds. No other cities in the system generate more library tax money than they spend.

Business license tax

A third item on the agenda is discussion of a substantial increase in the town's business license tax that could raise an additional $700,000 a year. The tax increase would require voter approval, and the council is scheduled to vote on whether to put a measure on the November ballot at its July 20 meeting.

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