Atherton may be the destination of President Donald Trump's Bay Area political fundraising visit on Sept. 17, Politico reported on Tuesday, Sept. 3.
The Almanac contacted town officials on Friday, Aug. 30, to see if any special events permit had been taken out for a presidential visit after Trump posted on his website that he would be in the Bay Area for a fundraiser in September. (The town revised its special events permit process in 2015 so that hosts are billed by the town for the costs of special services that police or other town departments provide.) City Manager George Rodericks responded that no permits for a fundraiser have been taken out, but said a permit for such an event is sometimes taken out only days before.
"We heard the same 'rumor' – we are attempting to confirm with the Secret Service. But, as you know, the PD (police department) cannot release addresses advised to them by the Secret Service," Rodericks said in a Sept. 3 email. "However, all property owners hosting large events are required to obtain a special event permit. This would be no different. Those permits are public record. They do not have to advise who they are hosting."
The permit application stipulates that permit applications, which come with a $75 fee and ask for details, such as if the event hosts will need traffic control help, street barricades or other town services, should be taken out 60 days before an event.
Rodericks said there are no penalties for turning in a permit fewer than 60 days in advance, and it's rare that the town receives notice that far ahead of time. The notice is largely treated as advisory, as the permit may trigger special conditions (fire and building inspections for tents, neighborhood noticing, etc.) that cannot be met within the time frame, he said.
"Repercussions for not taking out a permit are only incurred if the Police have to respond to an event that did not take out a permit and should have," he said. "They could be held liable for the cost of response."
A 2016 visit by Hillary Clinton for a campaign fundraiser attended by about 400 people did not require any more than the usual police services from the Atherton Police Department during the hour-and-a-half-long visit because the Secret Service and California Highway Patrol were on hand, Rodericks said in 2016.
Two other high-profile events in Atherton in 2016 did result in bills to the hosts, Rodericks said. A Super Bowl charity fundraiser at the home of Jillian Manus resulted in a bill of $3,720.25, he said. A fundraising visit by President Barack Obama included $4,563 in police services and about $1,500 in public works services.
Last week, Trump announced that he would host a fundraiser in the Bay Area for his 2020 reelection bid, but didn't provide a specific location for the event.
Tickets cost from $1,000 to $100,000 for a couple to dine with Trump, according to a "save the date" invitation obtained by Politico.