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Tonight: Atherton council to choose mayor, discuss fire services

Original post made on Dec 18, 2019

The Atherton City Council has a packed schedule for its final meeting of the year when it meets tonight, Dec. 18. The agenda includes a vote on which council members will serve as mayor and vice mayor during 2020.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, December 18, 2019, 11:53 AM

Comments (2)

Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 18, 2019 at 3:17 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" For years, the council has complained about the disparity between the fixed percentage of tax revenues the town's property owners hand over to the Menlo Park Fire Protection District in return for emergency response services, and how much it actually costs the district to provide those services to the town."

And after costing taxpayers over $100k here is where the attempted shake down of the Fire District has ended up ( from Town's own Staff Report):

"Based on the results of the Study and subsequent conversations with the District and LAFCO, it
is unlikely that a tax agreement could be negotiated; unlikely that Special Legislation would be
supported; and a detachment application through LAFCO, although it could be pursued and
would be processed, would not be supported by LAFCO staff. "

All of these outcomes were known to the Council BEFORE they wasted a single penny of the taxpayers' dollars.

Given our well accepted progressive tax system there is not a single public service where wealthy Atherton residents do not pay far more than the cost of those services.

Nevertheless this tone deaf Council wants to steal from the poor to give to the wealthiest Town in the Nation.

And the Council's dirty little secret is that IF they got money from the Fire District that would not reduce the property taxes of Atherton residents by a single penny but it would reduce the level of fire services for everybody in the Fire District.

Stupid and selfish are words too mild for this behavior.

Note that 32% of the property taxes paid by Atherton residents go to elementary and high schools.

How many Atherton residents attend public elementary schools and public high schools?

What is the property tax contribution per Atherton student attending a public elementary or public high school?

Note that 24% (including ERAF) of the property taxes paid by Atherton residents go to San Mateo County.

Just what services does the County provide to Atherton residents?

What does it cost the County to provide those of the services to Atherton residents ?

Has the Town Council ever asked these questions?

Atherton residents pay over $100 million a year in Federal income taxes.

As the self proclaimed overseers of everything that their residents do has the Town Council determined:

- How much the Federal government spends to serve the residents of Atherton vs how much those residents pay the Federal government?


Atherton residents pay tens of millions a year in income taxes to the State of California.

As the self proclaimed overseers of everything that their residents do has the Town Council determined:

- How much the State government spends to serve the residents of Atherton vs how much those residents pay the State government?


Posted by Bob
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 18, 2019 at 9:32 pm

The Town is not part of the Fire District in that the FD was not formed as the result of a merging or consolidations of fire departments; in the same way that neither are Cities Menlo Park or East Palo Alto. Therefore, the Town cannot withdraw from the Fire District. MPFD is a stand-alone agency. In fact the FD pre-dates all the cities and town it serves.

The Town has expended considerable time, energy and money and keeps getting told no -- seems to me this is more of an issue annoying the Town Council than the residents.

Time to move on.


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