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Original post made by Pseudonyms Are Fun, Menlo Park: Belle Haven, on Feb 27, 2007

Atherton city council rebukes the San Mateo County civil jury report that found its building department overlooked fire safety obligations over an 11-year period. Imagine all those mansions that were put up without having to oblige the letter of the law -- and probably skimp by without paying fees to the county. Menlo Park's Fire District officials agree with the report and they are attacked by Atherton's finest city officials.

What a joke. Let's all sit back and look at this for what it is.

First, massive wealth and a different set of rules for those wealthy citizens. Second, Atherton siphons off services from Menlo Park like a parasite. Menlo Park goes through a city-wide search for fields -- and Atherton thumbs its nose when Menlo Park asks for use of Holbrook Palmer Park and the town complains about regular use at the MA High School field. To make it worse, Atherton sues Menlo Park around the new theatre going up at MA High School -- one which is being subsidized by Menlo Park at the tune of around $2M!!! And finally, guess what little town of richies will be the first to cry for help from Menlo Park's fire district when they need help? You know the answer by now.

Atherton is that poor little rich kid that never learned to care about others. It is a bad neighbor. The town is selfish and mean spirited. The residents are removed from reality and could not care less about the needs of Menlo Park -- or Redwood City.

Let's cut these guys off and make them pony up before we allow them to use our resources.

One more question? Guess who's kids find themselves in Menlo Park programs and using the fields when there are no more fields to use?

You got it.

Pay up Atherton -- pay for the short cut in your building oversight, pay up your neighbors for using their resources and share your parks.

Or don't. And get out. And leave us alone.

Comments (5)

Posted by MP Resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Feb 27, 2007 at 4:16 pm

Hey, Pseudonyms Are Fun, you may be onto something here.

Instead of "sticking it" to your citizens with this ridiculous utility tax, let's take a hard look at our rich friends in Atherton and start making them pay up big-time for using our services, including by imposing a "usage fee" on top of what it actually costs us to provide it to them - they can afford it after all!

Posted by Athertonian
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 28, 2007 at 5:46 am

I thought Atherton residents remitted property taxes to the County of San Mateo, which includes Menlo Park. As noted above, the assessments are not insignificant on multi-million dollar properties. Part of the taxes include the services of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District.

And, last time I checked, the Menlo Park Recreation District charges a reduced fee for Menlo Park residents than it does for "non-residents". So, you already do "stick it" to other communities ... including your neighbors Atherton and EPA.

But, for sake of argument, let's say the Atherton residents take their business elsewhere. Menlo Park does rely on Atherton residents for sales tax revenue. I can think of a few tony merchants in MP which survive on the wealthy members of the community -- not just Atherton's but also Menlo Park's.

Back to the original point of this article. Atherton already pays fees to the MPFPD; we're not "siphoning" services. We already pay our share. If the MPFPD is truly concerned about resident safety, they should review the plans and notify the residents who don't conform. MPFPD claims they don't have the funds. Let the District and the Town sue each other to find out who pays after the review work is done and we have a dollar amount to dispute.

Posted by MP Resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Feb 28, 2007 at 9:09 am

"Let the District and the Town sue each other to find out who pays after the review work is done and we have a dollar amount to dispute."

Sure Athertonian, we'll just go ahead and do the work for you and then spend money suing you to try to get paid! Sounds like a great plan, but first we have to negotiate with NYC to buy the Brooklyn Bridge!

Posted by Pseudonyms Are Fun
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Feb 28, 2007 at 11:49 am

You still have not addressed your aggression around the MA theatre and your attitude toward sharing YOUR resources with our children.

I assume the lack of comment means you don't see it as a priority -- which is my point. You don't live in our reality -- we don't have field space. We need help. Your park is open most of the day with no users.

Step up to the plate.

Posted by Athertonian
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 28, 2007 at 7:57 pm

MP Resident ... your reference to "our" funds shows your ignorance. The MPFPD's funds are as much Atherton's as they are Menlo Park's and East Palo Alto's. Each of these communities pay into the district which happens to bear the Menlo Park name.

Pseudonyms ... the MA theater debacle has more to do with exerting a community's rights over what a school district does with land in its jurisdiction and little to do with the theater itself. The theater will bring additional demands upon the Town, including law enforcement service calls. The school district is exempt from Atherton's ordinances and the Town wants assurances that they will respect them. M-A thumbed its nose at Atherton and left the Town with little choice but to seek legal protection. Many Atherton residents have kids and welcome the theater. The elected representatives, however, have an obligation to make sure the resident's interests are protected.

As for the park ... the land was ceded to the Town by the original owner (I believe by the name of Holbrook or Palmer). The gift laid out conditions for the land's use. It may look like any other park, but the Town does not have free reign over how the land is used.

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