Atherton council: No interest in outsourcing cops | May 28, 2014 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


News - May 28, 2014

Atherton council: No interest in outsourcing cops

by Barbara Wood

Atherton City Council members began their review of the town's 2014-15 budget at their May 21 meeting by making it clear there is one project in the budget report they have absolutely no interest in — a study of outsourcing the town's police services.

While the council didn't vote on a study of outsourcing, they did discuss it as part of preliminary budget considerations.

In his budget report, City Manager George Rodericks wrote that while there seems to be strong support of the town's current independent police department, "if the Council were interested in evaluating the possibility of a turn-key alternative service delivery model," such as hiring the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office to do Atherton's policing, the town might hire "an independent 3rd party consultant to evaluate the pros and cons of such a model."

No thanks, council members said. "There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the residents in this town will not support an outsourcing option," said Councilman Rick DeGolia. With the town in good financial shape, "I see absolutely no reason to waste our economic and time resources" on researching outsourcing, he said.

The three other council members agreed.

For the second consecutive year, Atherton has a positive financial outlook, with a small budget surplus. The surplus exists even though City Manager Rodericks has pulled two sources of revenue out of the general fund and wants them available only for capital improvements or paying down long-term liabilities.

One of those resources is the town's parcel tax, which produces $1.8 million a year. In the past, 60 percent of that money has gone into the general fund to support police services; but this year Mr. Rodericks is suggesting that only 20 percent, $350,000, go specifically to pay for police services, to hire two additional officers.

The other pulled resource is state funding from the Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund (ERAF), which Mr. Rodericks says could be reduced or eliminated at any time by state lawmakers. Last year Atherton received nearly $1 million from this fund, and this year has budgeted $700,000.

The budget discussions will continue at a study session on Wednesday, June 4, from 4 to 6 p.m., in the Council Chambers at94 Ashfield Road, in the Town Center.

Go to to see the budget report.


There are no comments yet for this post

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields


One more week to vote!

Don't forget to cast your Readers' Choice ballot online. Voting ends May 29th. Stay tuned for the results in the July 19th issue of The Almanac.