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Facing unprecedented budget shortfalls, Menlo Park council favors keeping child care centers, police dispatchers

City's labor groups to keep raises; council to resume discussion Friday afternoon

Facing COVID-19 related budget shortfalls, the Menlo Park City Council weighs major cuts, including services at the Menlo Park library. File photo by Michelle Le.

With an estimated $12 million shortfall expected in Menlo Park in the upcoming fiscal year, the City Council took its first stab Tuesday at figuring out how to slash about a quarter of the city's budget.

Council members are set to resume their virtual discussions of what budget cuts to make at 1 p.m. on Friday, May 22. The public can access the meeting agenda here.

The council members are tasked with approving a balanced budget by the start of the new fiscal year on July 1.

While the city's unrepresented management employees have agreed to cut 25% from their costs through salary freezes and not filling vacant positions, the city's organized labor groups are requiring the city to honor its contracts mandating employee raises.

The raises were agreed to more than a year ago, when times were good, following a comparative study of how much other cities were paying similar employees, said Councilwoman Catherine Carlton. "We have done the research and we try very hard to make sure we're in the median," she said.

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Those raises are expected to cost the city about $799,000, with a number of departmental cuts factored in.

Among the two most controversial programs up for consideration to be cut or frozen until regular activities can resume are the city's Gymnastics Center and two child care facilities, the Menlo Children's Center at the city's Civic Center campus and the Belle Haven Child Development Center on Ivy Drive.

A majority of council members favored keeping the child care programs. Yet, doing so creates new logistical challenges. Child care in the time of COVID-19 will require adapting to new state regulations that would cut capacity at the Belle Haven center by 50% and at the Menlo Children's Center by 40%.

Councilwoman Betsy Nash said she favored stopping subsidizing the Menlo Children's Center, but continuing to subsidize the Belle Haven Children's Development Center. Doing so would raise costs for families participating in the Menlo Children's Center program. She suggested perhaps setting costs on a sliding scale based on a family's income.

Carlton wasn't ready to cut subsidies to the Menlo Children's Center program, noting that the facility provides some of the only affordable child care for the entire community. "Belle Haven doesn't have a patent on people struggling," she said.

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The child care centers are now authorized to reopen, and staff are finalizing a reactivation plan, according to Community Services Director Derek Schweigart.

What's not clear is whether families will feel comfortable taking their kids back to the child care programs.

According to a survey by the city, 73% of the parents whose children attend the Belle Haven center are essential frontline workers who need child care to return to work, while only 23% of the parents whose children attend the Menlo Children's Center fall into this category.

In other places where child care has been reopened, many families haven't sent their kids to child care programs unless they absolutely needed to, said Councilman Ray Mueller.

He added that he supported keeping the centers because he feared that if the child care jobs were cut, then they would be lost from the community. Child care workers are already in very short supply in the area because many move away because of the high cost of living, he said.

The council said it wanted to keep enhancements to open data and crime analysis, set to cost $144,000. The council also rejected a cost-saving proposal to roll back dispatcher staffing for the police department's 911 and non-emergency lines, increasing wait times for 911, which would have saved $450,000.

In addition, the council discussed the following changes to reduce costs:

Eliminate the police department's traffic unit. The step would save the city about $1 million, according to a staff report. Traffic rises and falls in accordance with the city's economic activity, argued councilman Ray Mueller, so with the economy in its current depressed state, the need for traffic enforcement has also decreased. Historically, he said, the city has cut traffic enforcement when the economy turned downward.

The city's police needs also depend somewhat on when and how Facebook's workforce returns to its campus in Menlo Park. The city hired a new police unit to help patrol the ballooning daytime population of workers, along with the expected growth in residents as the city's Bayside develops under the ConnectMenlo plan. But if the bulk of Facebook's workers – as well as other workers in the office and industrial areas there – stay home through the rest of the year, those patrol needs are diminished. With the proposed cuts, the most junior police officers – including those in training, who are already considered part of the city's Police Officers Association, would be the first to be laid off.

Reduce library hours. Hours at both the Menlo Park and Belle Haven branch libraries would be cut by about 25%, triggering layoffs of up to 31 full, part-time and temporary workers, according to Library Services Director Sean Reinhart. But it's also not clear when libraries will be allowed to reopen, especially the Belle Haven branch library, because it's located on a school campus that's under the control of the Ravenswood City School District and might face different restrictions. Reopening might require additional equipment, like plexiglass barriers, personal protective equipment and sanitizing materials, said Mueller. The library department is having discussions about starting a curbside book pickup program, said Reinhart. All of those steps, plus cutting the library's budget for purchasing materials by 75%, could save the city about $625,000.

Another debate is what to do with the facilities at the Belle Haven Community Center Complex, including the pool and senior center. Facebook has proposed to rebuild the complex, and city officials were already planning to close down the facilities in October in anticipation of the development project. But does it make sense to plan to reopen them before the planned October closure? There wasn't a clear consensus on the council as of Tuesday night.

Halt participation in the Peninsula Library System to save about $270,000. A large portion of those funds – about $100,000, goes toward administrative overhead costs, according to Reinhart. Menlo Park loans out about 14,000 more items than it borrows from other libraries in the system, according to Reinhart. It's a difficult cut to make, but is believed to have a relatively low impact on the community, he said.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story reported the council continued its discussion to Thursday, May 21. It was rescheduled to Friday, May 22.

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Facing unprecedented budget shortfalls, Menlo Park council favors keeping child care centers, police dispatchers

City's labor groups to keep raises; council to resume discussion Friday afternoon

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Thu, May 21, 2020, 11:54 am

With an estimated $12 million shortfall expected in Menlo Park in the upcoming fiscal year, the City Council took its first stab Tuesday at figuring out how to slash about a quarter of the city's budget.

Council members are set to resume their virtual discussions of what budget cuts to make at 1 p.m. on Friday, May 22. The public can access the meeting agenda here.

The council members are tasked with approving a balanced budget by the start of the new fiscal year on July 1.

While the city's unrepresented management employees have agreed to cut 25% from their costs through salary freezes and not filling vacant positions, the city's organized labor groups are requiring the city to honor its contracts mandating employee raises.

The raises were agreed to more than a year ago, when times were good, following a comparative study of how much other cities were paying similar employees, said Councilwoman Catherine Carlton. "We have done the research and we try very hard to make sure we're in the median," she said.

Those raises are expected to cost the city about $799,000, with a number of departmental cuts factored in.

Among the two most controversial programs up for consideration to be cut or frozen until regular activities can resume are the city's Gymnastics Center and two child care facilities, the Menlo Children's Center at the city's Civic Center campus and the Belle Haven Child Development Center on Ivy Drive.

A majority of council members favored keeping the child care programs. Yet, doing so creates new logistical challenges. Child care in the time of COVID-19 will require adapting to new state regulations that would cut capacity at the Belle Haven center by 50% and at the Menlo Children's Center by 40%.

Councilwoman Betsy Nash said she favored stopping subsidizing the Menlo Children's Center, but continuing to subsidize the Belle Haven Children's Development Center. Doing so would raise costs for families participating in the Menlo Children's Center program. She suggested perhaps setting costs on a sliding scale based on a family's income.

Carlton wasn't ready to cut subsidies to the Menlo Children's Center program, noting that the facility provides some of the only affordable child care for the entire community. "Belle Haven doesn't have a patent on people struggling," she said.

The child care centers are now authorized to reopen, and staff are finalizing a reactivation plan, according to Community Services Director Derek Schweigart.

What's not clear is whether families will feel comfortable taking their kids back to the child care programs.

According to a survey by the city, 73% of the parents whose children attend the Belle Haven center are essential frontline workers who need child care to return to work, while only 23% of the parents whose children attend the Menlo Children's Center fall into this category.

In other places where child care has been reopened, many families haven't sent their kids to child care programs unless they absolutely needed to, said Councilman Ray Mueller.

He added that he supported keeping the centers because he feared that if the child care jobs were cut, then they would be lost from the community. Child care workers are already in very short supply in the area because many move away because of the high cost of living, he said.

The council said it wanted to keep enhancements to open data and crime analysis, set to cost $144,000. The council also rejected a cost-saving proposal to roll back dispatcher staffing for the police department's 911 and non-emergency lines, increasing wait times for 911, which would have saved $450,000.

In addition, the council discussed the following changes to reduce costs:

Eliminate the police department's traffic unit. The step would save the city about $1 million, according to a staff report. Traffic rises and falls in accordance with the city's economic activity, argued councilman Ray Mueller, so with the economy in its current depressed state, the need for traffic enforcement has also decreased. Historically, he said, the city has cut traffic enforcement when the economy turned downward.

The city's police needs also depend somewhat on when and how Facebook's workforce returns to its campus in Menlo Park. The city hired a new police unit to help patrol the ballooning daytime population of workers, along with the expected growth in residents as the city's Bayside develops under the ConnectMenlo plan. But if the bulk of Facebook's workers – as well as other workers in the office and industrial areas there – stay home through the rest of the year, those patrol needs are diminished. With the proposed cuts, the most junior police officers – including those in training, who are already considered part of the city's Police Officers Association, would be the first to be laid off.

Reduce library hours. Hours at both the Menlo Park and Belle Haven branch libraries would be cut by about 25%, triggering layoffs of up to 31 full, part-time and temporary workers, according to Library Services Director Sean Reinhart. But it's also not clear when libraries will be allowed to reopen, especially the Belle Haven branch library, because it's located on a school campus that's under the control of the Ravenswood City School District and might face different restrictions. Reopening might require additional equipment, like plexiglass barriers, personal protective equipment and sanitizing materials, said Mueller. The library department is having discussions about starting a curbside book pickup program, said Reinhart. All of those steps, plus cutting the library's budget for purchasing materials by 75%, could save the city about $625,000.

Another debate is what to do with the facilities at the Belle Haven Community Center Complex, including the pool and senior center. Facebook has proposed to rebuild the complex, and city officials were already planning to close down the facilities in October in anticipation of the development project. But does it make sense to plan to reopen them before the planned October closure? There wasn't a clear consensus on the council as of Tuesday night.

Halt participation in the Peninsula Library System to save about $270,000. A large portion of those funds – about $100,000, goes toward administrative overhead costs, according to Reinhart. Menlo Park loans out about 14,000 more items than it borrows from other libraries in the system, according to Reinhart. It's a difficult cut to make, but is believed to have a relatively low impact on the community, he said.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story reported the council continued its discussion to Thursday, May 21. It was rescheduled to Friday, May 22.

Comments

Brian
Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 21, 2020 at 12:14 pm
Brian, Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 21, 2020 at 12:14 pm
18 people like this

I know that the city was planning on upgrading the play areas at Burgess and Willow Parks. While I love the idea of doing that, and my children would be very happy with equipment like like that at Nealon Park, these plans should be put on hold until after the economic downturn is over.

I am disappointed by the position of the unions, they seem to not realize that the situation has changed. If they are not willing to work with the city it might be time to look at reducing unionized staff. I would expect that will also help down the road with pension costs.


Jen Wolosin
Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on May 21, 2020 at 12:55 pm
Jen Wolosin, Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on May 21, 2020 at 12:55 pm
Like this comment

The meeting date has been changed to Friday the 22nd at 1pm.
Web Link


Heather Hopkins
La Entrada School
on May 21, 2020 at 1:24 pm
Heather Hopkins, La Entrada School
on May 21, 2020 at 1:24 pm
4 people like this

This is an excellent summary. Thank you, Kate!


DelanoJ
Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on May 21, 2020 at 1:37 pm
DelanoJ, Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on May 21, 2020 at 1:37 pm
23 people like this

Public service unions are doing the public a real service by refusing to help with the city’s budget problems. The result as documented in this article will be reduction in services to MP residents. Ultimately it will result in loss of union jobs too. Public sector unions and public employee pension costs are second only to COVID-19 in destroying financial viability at the local and state levels of government. Unions were created to counter exploitation of workers. Is anyone really concerned that government employees in CA bear any risk of being exploited?


M. Meredith
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 21, 2020 at 3:26 pm
M. Meredith, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 21, 2020 at 3:26 pm
21 people like this

The unions should forgo their pay raises this year. Their contract was negotiated pre-Covid. It is a necessary sacrifice during the Pandemic. They can re-negotiate when this crisis is over.


West Menlo
Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on May 21, 2020 at 3:47 pm
West Menlo, Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on May 21, 2020 at 3:47 pm
23 people like this

Time to rethink public unions and all the costs associated with them. We need to go to a defined contribution retirement plan, and lay off enough union workers to make up for the deficit. Going forward, hire non-union employees. If the unions strike, pull a Reagan and fire them all. Bring in new employees or hire those who are willing to go non-union. We have to solve the cost and pension problem. Now seems to be a good time. Remember the Obama/Emmanuel quote “a crisis is a terrible thing to waste.” Let’s take advantage of this crisis to fix things.


new guy
Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 21, 2020 at 4:19 pm
new guy, Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 21, 2020 at 4:19 pm
20 people like this

Ten of thousands dead and millions now unemployed = tragic

Lifetime liberal democrats learning that public sector unions are only in it for themselves = PRICELESS





I cannot wait to watch this, would love to learn what the argument is for keeping a "scheduled" raise in the face of what has happened and is going on. Do they not see that no money is coming in? I know they think the city reserves (ar any available money) should be THEIRS. Probably this is what they are going to say, "You have money, and should use it to save THEIR jobs." You the council are causing unemployment - how dare you!!! Funny. Council will probably ask them for sacrifices and the union will simply say = pound sand.


Peter Carpenter
Menlo Park: Park Forest
on May 21, 2020 at 8:28 pm
Peter Carpenter, Menlo Park: Park Forest
on May 21, 2020 at 8:28 pm
19 people like this

The Council needs to take a crash course on the economics of outsourcing and then ask themselves which city functions cannot be outsourced.

Outsourcing of many functions will save both current dollars and future pension costs. And the city will have lots of extra office space to repurpose.


MP Resident
Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on May 22, 2020 at 9:49 am
MP Resident , Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on May 22, 2020 at 9:49 am
7 people like this

Ray Mueller makes it seems like it was the union that is causing these potential lay-offs when in fact the proposal to unions included layoffs. Pay increases were NOT the reason unions did not agree to said terms but rather the lack of assurance of avoiding layoffs. The unions want to work with council to avoid layoffs! Conveniently still overlooked before making major cuts were revenue options (selling of Willow Rd property, childcare revenue since they are set to open very soon ) and the almost 43 million in unrestricted and unassigned funds that could save most service and staff cuts. Also overlooked, the council’s stipend and fluffed CMO- do they need a city manager, assistant city manager AND deputy city manager?


Unreal
Menlo Park: other
on May 22, 2020 at 10:24 am
Unreal, Menlo Park: other
on May 22, 2020 at 10:24 am
16 people like this

Millions of dollars of shortfall, and the police union won't agree not to get huge raises. Carpenter got it right. The council is more or less functioning like the queen, and giving ceremonial assent to what the staff decides. A good council would just say OBVIOUSLY there are no big raises this year. Duh. We are in the hole $12MM. A better council would on top of that say, "work out your raise issue with the Sheriff, cause you're now part of them as outsourced police services."

MP Resident, you're obviously part of the union holding this city hostage. It seems (though you're not saying it) your requirement is that Menlo Park not do what any body with a P&L needs to do in tough times: reduce headcount. Otherwise, there have to be big raises. Do I have that right? Are you even willing to forego the raises if MP doesn't lay cops off? I doubt it. They'll be other demands, like the raises ratchet back up in a short period of time.

Enough with these shysters! A union came about to protect coal workers being forced into unsafe mines more than 100 years ago. The concept is ridiculous now. The sad fact is where's the union for the public taxpayer, cause it sure isn't this city council!


Coming and going
Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 22, 2020 at 11:31 am
Coming and going, Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 22, 2020 at 11:31 am
5 people like this

Reading the last two posts illustrates how much fun the City Council is having right now. @resident attacks Councilmember Mueller for challenging the union position. Then @unreal bashes City Council somehow, for the union position the Council has already challenged. The budget isn’t even adopted yet.


Iris
Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on May 22, 2020 at 4:46 pm
Iris, Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on May 22, 2020 at 4:46 pm
4 people like this

It makes little sense to pay all staff at the median. Some may have less experience or may be less proficient than others. A wide band for pay for each position allows pay for performance and pay for skills and experience.
Hang tight, Council, on negotiations. No is a complete sentence.

If there ever were a "rainy day", this is it. I hope the Council considers using some of its reserves. Now is the time to do some public works projects that take longer and cost more when there is more traffic. Now is the time to plan and build a downtown parking garage when it would not s disrupt downtown businesses as much.


Peter Carpenter
Menlo Park: Park Forest
on May 23, 2020 at 11:07 am
Peter Carpenter, Menlo Park: Park Forest
on May 23, 2020 at 11:07 am
2 people like this

"Amsterdam is trying to get ahead of the problem with a recovery plan it released in early April titled Amsterdam Circular Strategy 2020-2025. It’s a bit different from what one might expect from a post-pandemic recovery plan: Its main goals aren’t about growing the economy or increasing the gross domestic product. Rather, it’s about making the city better for people and the planet. The city’s plan focuses on ensuring affordable housing and jobs, revamping recycling programs, and cutting food waste. Its overarching goals are to slash the use of raw materials in half by 2030 and phase them out completely by 2050. With this plan, Amsterdam appears to be the first city in the world to turn to something called “doughnut economics,” an economic framework created by British economist Kate Raworth in 2012. PRI (8 minutes)"

Web Link


Ronen Vengosh
Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on May 23, 2020 at 12:05 pm
Ronen Vengosh, Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on May 23, 2020 at 12:05 pm
4 people like this

Thanks for this important overview. This shows the importance of community papers.


Chopping Block
Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on May 23, 2020 at 2:06 pm
Chopping Block, Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on May 23, 2020 at 2:06 pm
10 people like this

@MP Resident "Also overlooked, the council’s stipend and fluffed CMO- do they need a city manager, assistant city manager AND deputy city manager?"

Some good thoughts. While we're at it, how about the cop who was arrested in Sunnyvale for seeing a prostitute while he was on duty and supposed to be protecting Menlo Park citizens on Menlo Park streets? As I recall from what was reported by the Almanac, the union forced MP to keep this creep on the payroll. Can we cut him out of the payroll?


Mel
Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on May 24, 2020 at 5:20 pm
Mel, Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on May 24, 2020 at 5:20 pm
10 people like this

Menlo Park won't be the only city facing budget problems. Now would be the time to push for consolidated fire/police throughout the whole county!! Why do these small towns need their own need their own fire/police.


Peter Carpenter
Menlo Park: Park Forest
on May 24, 2020 at 5:43 pm
Peter Carpenter, Menlo Park: Park Forest
on May 24, 2020 at 5:43 pm
10 people like this

A county wide emergency services agency that combined police, fire and ambulance services would save millions and it would improve the service levels for all of these critical functions.


Peter Carpenter
Menlo Park: Park Forest
on May 26, 2020 at 9:44 am
Peter Carpenter, Menlo Park: Park Forest
on May 26, 2020 at 9:44 am
11 people like this

For those who think our economic recovery will be swift please read this article:

Web Link

The City of Menlo Park should plan on significant sales tax and hotel occupancy tax reductions over the next two and perhaps three years.

This is NOT a short term problem and every day in delaying cost reductions means the worse the budget shortfall will be.


Downtowner
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 26, 2020 at 2:12 pm
Downtowner, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 26, 2020 at 2:12 pm
4 people like this

@ Iris: Why is a parking garage necessary? Serious question. Please rethink.

In the 1960s to early-90s, downtown MP thrived. Streets and stores were busy. There were fewer restaurants but MP had a vibrant daytime scene. It even had a couple of movie theaters, 3 before Su Hong took over the Menlo Theater @ Doyle & Santa Cruz (now Left Bank. That's why the acoustics are so terrible. Cavernous space. The loft used to be the projection booth.) More people were out & about & no one whined about a need for a parking garage. Now, with far fewer attractions downtown, why do we need more parking? Who's going to come anyway? No retail to speak of. No old-school investment/stock brokerage firm next to Ann's Coffee Shop with daily foot traffic. 2 hour parking is enough for shoppers, visits to hair or nail salons, accountants, chiropractors, post office, etc.

Restaurants rely heavily on alcohol sales to boost profits. Is it restaurants, hoping to keep the bar scene busy over long, liquid lunches, happy hours & after-dinner drinking who push for a garage? We used to ride our bikes to town & end up at Baskin Robbins at dusk in the summers. Our fathers drank @ the BBC & parked @ the CalTrain lot. The Golden Acorn was a very busy place, so busy they had to move to El Camino @ the north end of town to get more indoor space.
It isn't offices pushing for parking because there are far fewer downtown office workers now than 30+ years ago.

If it's restaurants & their patrons driving the garage push, have their landlords contribute heavily to the cost. MP won't have a downtown unless retail comes back & I don't mean a Wags behemoth, which belongs next to Safeway. We did fine with Preuss Pharmacy & now there's Pharmaca. I miss the old hardware store, because the little Ace is good & tries hard but we cannot do one stop shopping to supply all our needs, sending us to big box stores in neighboring towns. Or maybe it's the big construction companies who want to compete for the contract & the inevitable overruns?

Residents who've learned to cook during this SIP & who've suffered lost/lowered incomes may not be rushing back to eat out so often. They'll still want to enter shops to actually see, touch, or try on what they buy. Maybe the parking garage drive is led by those who want to bring in diners from surrounding towns? Because PA, RC, and Los Altos don't have many more good restaurants?


Whatever
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 27, 2020 at 2:25 am
Whatever, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 27, 2020 at 2:25 am
4 people like this

Downtowner. SuHong didn't take over the movie theater bldg, it was another Chinese restaurant.
Btw folks why if the city is so short of money did it go ahead last week and begin redoing the tennis courts at Nealon Park.


Tom Davis
Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 27, 2020 at 9:08 am
Tom Davis, Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 27, 2020 at 9:08 am
19 people like this

First of all, the city should start cleaning Menlo Park Police Department. I am a cop for a small city in the bay area and i am a MP resident. In my department, we are 32 sworn officers and 20 non-sworn. The city has a population of 36 to 38 Thousands citizens. We have a chief, one captain, three sergeants and one supervisor and 26 patrol officers working 4-10 and 3-11 hrs. Like Menlo Park PD, our calls are more relate to non-emergency calls and a good %70 of the calls are towards the parking enforcement officer/CSOs and animal control units. I see MPPD officers just hanging around the corner, few times not only one but five patrol cars just sitting there and wasting city money. Now, I believe MPPD has about 60 to 70 officers. In a conversation with a former watch commander for MPPD he mentioned that there is no needs for 60 to 70 officers in MPPD, in the matter of fact he said not even 50 officers are need in MPPD. Lay off at least ten officers to start the city will be saving about $ 1 million dollars this fiscal year. Lay off one of the two watch commanders, lay off one of the two canine officers, lay off couple detectives. All Menlo Park needs is 30 sworn officers and about 5 community service officers/ parking enforcement officers driving around enforcing parking rules, citing , doing traffic control at schools. I have been a cop for 18 years now and believe that is all Menlo parks needs regarding law enforcement.


Peter Carpenter
Menlo Park: Park Forest
on May 27, 2020 at 9:48 am
Peter Carpenter, Menlo Park: Park Forest
on May 27, 2020 at 9:48 am
12 people like this

"All Menlo Park needs is 30 sworn officers and about 5 community service officers/ parking enforcement officers driving around enforcing parking rules, citing , doing traffic control at schools."

And just like San Carlos, Woodside and Portola Valley that level of service could be provided under contract by the Sheriff at a much lower cost and without any future pension liabilities - a no brainer.


Peter Carpenter
Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Jun 2, 2020 at 12:19 pm
Peter Carpenter, Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Jun 2, 2020 at 12:19 pm
2 people like this

Another projection that makes clear the City of Menlo Park's revenue shortfall will NOT be short term:


"The U.S. economy faces a projected 10-year recovery.


The coronavirus contraction will reduce 2020-30 U.S. economic output by a cumulative $7.9 trillion—3% of GDP over the period—the Congressional Budget Office forecast, relative to its January projections. While growth is expected to resume after this year, the CBO said, the pace likely won’t be fast enough for GDP to catch up with the previously forecast level until the fourth quarter of 2029."

*******
The Council needs to make structural adjustments to the entire city government - not quarter by quarter stripping away of social services. And they should start by giving the outsourcing of the police department to the Sheriff - which will save millions EVERY year and will IMPROVE the level of police services - serious consideration with lots of public input.

I for one will never vote for or support any current council member who does not demand a serious discussion on police outsourcing.


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