Editorial: Atherton shows how <I>not</I></B> to be a good neighbor | Town Square | Almanac Online |

Town Square

Post a New Topic

Editorial: Atherton shows how not to be a good neighbor

Original post made on Mar 24, 2020

When Atherton leaders first began making noises about how the town was paying far more than "its share" in taxes to the fire district that serves it, and the possibility of detaching from the district as a result, it was almost inconceivable that the idea of such a separation would survive. Hard to believe that it wouldn't die a quick, well-deserved death after town officials considered the consequences of such a detachment to the town and to the surrounding communities that are also served by the first-rate Menlo Park Fire Protection District.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, March 25, 2020, 12:00 AM

Comments (48)

35 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Mar 24, 2020 at 3:36 pm

What a breath of free air - finally an independent observer calls out Widmer, Wiest and Lempres on "pursuing this folly".

Widmer, Wiest and Lempres should be ashamed to embrace "the premise that the wealthiest citizens of a wider community shouldn't bear more of the financial burden to keep that community safe and healthy is one that should be soundly rejected by members of a commonwealth whose stability depends on strong institutions that support everyone."

Bill, Cary and Mike - read this carefully - "The notion that Atherton taxpayers, who own some of the highest-valued property in the entire country, are somehow being abused by having to bear a higher proportion of the cost for emergency services in the wider community is absurd."


29 people like this
Posted by Jim Lewis
a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Weekend Acres
on Mar 24, 2020 at 3:44 pm

I applaud the Almanac for taking a stand based on reason, fairness and equity. This strong position has needed to be said for a long time and especially amongst the hue and cry on so many issues of the day. It's refreshing and encouraging to see this topic being addressed in such a positive and professional way. I suspect the Almanac's position is shared by many citizens within the Town of Atherton, along with citizens from Menlo Park, East Palo Alto and the unincorporated area of San Mateo County served by the Fire District.


33 people like this
Posted by Ken Friedman
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Mar 24, 2020 at 4:08 pm

I cannot help but imagine how embarrassed the residents of Atherton would be if they knew what their Town Council was proposing. At a time when so many of us should count or blessings the Town Councils avarice is hard to comprehend.


34 people like this
Posted by Woody Shackleton
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Mar 24, 2020 at 6:03 pm

Atherton citizens would not only be embarrassed by what our city council has been doing (not including Rick DeGolia) to pull funds from our Fire District, they’d be furious to know our tax payer funds are being wasted on consultant fees to pursue this folly!


15 people like this
Posted by R
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Mar 24, 2020 at 10:35 pm

Poignant and accurate post by Ken above, and might I add that, in the eyes of many of the people of other Bay Area communities, Atherton is already viewed pretty negatively as a result of the ongoing Caltrain debacle. This is nothing new from the Council, unfortunately.

I might not be a Marxist, but I've always believed (though not dogmatically) in the principle of "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need." It's not like anyone in Atherton is short for money because of the *otherworldly strain* of "subsidizing" other Menlo Park FD-served communities, but eh.


12 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Mar 25, 2020 at 8:12 am

Moved from duplicate thread:

Posted by Walsh Road Reporter
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
13 hours ago
I am delighted to find this thoughtful editorial in our local paper.

I'm home,quarantined, so my thoughts about what community I belong to has a number of answers. Right now, our community is the entire world as we depend on our neighbors world-wide to control as much as possible the coronavirus. I'm sure that our splendid fire district is ready to act when they are called to action--not an Atherton decision, but at least regional one to make.

This raises the question of the common good. Several years ago during discussion of a new Atherton Library, I saw a comment to the effect that the library as planned was too large, that it would draw in people who should go to other libraries closer to their own homes because this library should be for people of Atherton who had paid into a tax fund for building an eventual replacement. However, this was a misunderstanding of who comprise the group of people served. The libraries of San Mateo County operate as a single library, allowing a single catalog and checking out materials from any collection in the county and delivery of materials to one's home library or other library of choice. This common understanding of our community encompasses our entire county.

It is my hope that the narrow view of community be widened, recognizing we are fortunate to have our extraordinary fire district serving our local area, but also serving the nation (and perhaps beyond). Local specially trained fire personnel went to Kansas and took charge of rebuilding a town completely destroyed by hurricanes. After the terrible Challenger disaster, a team from here retrieved the crews' remains from the ocean. I'm sure there are many more instances of the greater geography cared for by this district such as the firestorms in the last two years.

We live in the wider community. Let's be grateful that our taxes make the special possible and that we in a way beyond the physical boundary of the Town of Atherton come together for the greater good of all.


7 people like this
Posted by Renee Batti, editor
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 25, 2020 at 8:55 am

Thanks Peter. I've locked comments on the duplicate thread and linked to this one.


21 people like this
Posted by RNI
a resident of Atherton: other
on Mar 25, 2020 at 12:46 pm

I disagree with the article's point of view and I think it is the town council's responsibility to manage the town's resources/funds in a responsible and efficient way. If the town's management and citizens think we are not getting a good service or if the costs are too high we should be able to want improvement regardless of the service. Services and costs should be evaluated on a regular basis. The MP's fire district is the most expensive in California and this should be looked into. So I support 100% Atherton's decision to evaluate the options and costs of any service.


26 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Mar 25, 2020 at 1:00 pm

"I think it is the town council's responsibility to manage the town's resources/funds in a responsible and efficient way"

And they should do that with THIER resources/funds.

The Town Council has NO responsibility or authority over what any other public agency with its own ELECTED body does with their resources/funds.

The Town Council should do what they were elected to do - run the TOWN government.- and quit wasting taxpayers' money trying to steal funds from some other agency.


34 people like this
Posted by You people are ignorant
a resident of Menlo-Atherton High School
on Mar 25, 2020 at 2:54 pm

While I don't support detachment, the investigation into MPFPD has absolutely been beneficial to the community: it has exposed the rampant waste and largess of the fire district.

MPFPD is egregiously overfunded. Anyone even remotely familiar with the numbers cannot escape that fact. To be clear and reiterate, I don't support detachment, but those of you who support the status quo are willingly letting this government agency misappropriate your hard-earned tax dollars.

IMHO the biggest mistake Atherton is making is not eliciting involvement of other agencies in this fiasco. Even a fraction of MPFPD largess being reallocated to EPA, MPCSD, Ravenswood SD, etc...would be a much better use of taxpayer dollars than BUYING HOMES FOR BATTALION CHIEFS!

[Portion removed; be respectful of other posters.]


55 people like this
Posted by Mike
a resident of Atherton: other
on Mar 25, 2020 at 4:26 pm

I believe that the Town Council has been doing exactly what it should do in examining whether the money various governmental agencies take from its citizens is spent wisely. Having said that, given the current environment, it would seem prudent to enter into mediation, as suggested, and see if some common ground can be reached.


28 people like this
Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Mar 25, 2020 at 4:55 pm

"The Town Council should do what they were elected to do - run the TOWN government.- and quit wasting taxpayers' money trying to steal funds from some other agency."

Let's face it Atherton could take lessons from the MPFPD on how to waste money, right? I mean they pay egregious over time, have been at the top of the state for Average pay for many years, they are buying property that they don't need and probably won't need for a decade or more.

The MPFPD knows how to spend/waste our money better than any other organization we pay taxes to. May Atherton has the right idea, look at them and see if there is a better alternative. Peter just doesn't like anyone else messing around with his former sandbox.


8 people like this
Posted by Allen
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Hills
on Mar 25, 2020 at 6:27 pm

@Peter Carpenter

Are you certain that the Town of Atherton doesn't have a fiduciary responsibility regarding the MPFPD? They contract for those services Yes/No?

If the contract for the services, then it is their responsibility to manage the funds that pay for said services.

If I'm wrong about the contract, apologies extended.


8 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Mar 25, 2020 at 6:43 pm

"Are you certain that the Town of Atherton doesn't have a fiduciary responsibility regarding the MPFPD? They contract for those services Yes/No?"

No they do not.

The fire service is provided by a Special District which serves the geographical area consisting of Menlo Park, East Palo Alto, Atherton and adjacent unincorporated area of San Mateo County. The Fire District was established before the jurisdictions of Menlo Park, Atherton and East Palo Alto and has its own elected Board that has full and sole responsibility for the affairs of the Fire District.

The Fire District serves over 95,000 residents plus an additional day time population of about 40,000 people.

The cost per resident served is among the lowest of any fire agency in California. The only agencies having a lower cost per resident served are larger agencies like Sac Metro and Orange County Fire Authority.

MPFPD has long advocated county wide consolidation of all fire agencies which would further lower the cost per resident served AND improve the quality and breadth of services provided.


16 people like this
Posted by RNI
a resident of Atherton: other
on Mar 25, 2020 at 7:39 pm

Hi Peter please post the data and source showing that MPFPD has the lowest cost per resident in California. We are hearing the opposite so please show us the data. thanks


6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Mar 25, 2020 at 7:45 pm

RNI stated "The MP's fire district is the most expensive in California and this should be looked into"

So prove your statement.


37 people like this
Posted by RNI
a resident of Atherton: other
on Mar 25, 2020 at 8:03 pm

Peter your answer says it all.

Web Link

Web Link


8 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Mar 25, 2020 at 8:07 pm

RNI - The sources you point to do not support your statement "The MP's fire district is the most expensive in California "


20 people like this
Posted by MC
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Mar 25, 2020 at 8:14 pm


As an Atherton resident I pay the same price for food at Safeway, the same property tax percentage, the same price per gallon of gas, and the same price for an airplane ticket.
Why should I pay a stupid price for fire protection?
Menlo Park Fire does a great job, but they charge Atherton way too much and they are not efficient spending our dollars.
Atherton City Council, please provide us with cost efficient fire protection.


8 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Mar 25, 2020 at 8:21 pm

Why should I pay a stupid price for fire protection, public schools, county government, stae government, national defense etc??

Because that is the way that a civilized society operate - unless you are the Grand Duchy of Atherton.


19 people like this
Posted by MC
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Mar 25, 2020 at 8:57 pm

The allocation methodology is wrong and needs to be changed. Unfortunately the only way to do that is to withdraw.
This should have been done long ago. If it had been, Menlo Park Fire would not have ended up with such ridiculously high expenses. Atherton residents or any taxpayer should not be asked to subsidize wasteful spending in any government agency.


6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Mar 25, 2020 at 9:01 pm

"The allocation methodology is wrong and needs to be changed. Unfortunately the only way to do that is to withdraw."

You really don't understand do you? Detachment would not lower your property taxes by a single penny.

The only way to change the property tax allocation is to repeal Prop 13 and AB 8 - good luck!!


20 people like this
Posted by MC
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Mar 25, 2020 at 9:09 pm

I do understand, and I am not motivated by lowering my taxes. I understand my taxes will not go down, but they will be reallocated and not wasted by MPFD n spurious expenses such as buying residential properties for $4,000,000 because they have too much money. You are unwilling to address the issue that MPFD is overfunded and is forced to spend taxpayer dollars in a wasteful manner.
I want my taxes spent effectively, not wasted because of a locked in allocation method.


6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Mar 25, 2020 at 9:14 pm

MPFPD provides superior fire and emergency response services for a cost of $605 per resident.

Show us another highly rated fire agency that provides such service for less.

Atherton's own Matrix reports says that it would cost almost twice that to have their own fire service.

Not only stupid but, as noted, "absurd".


9 people like this
Posted by MC
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Mar 25, 2020 at 9:16 pm

Almanac article summarizing where MPFD spent taxpayer money.
Web Link


6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Mar 25, 2020 at 9:20 pm

Yes, do see the Almanac article on how the Fire District spends our money:

Web Link

We can all be thankful for such wise expenditures.


11 people like this
Posted by MC
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Mar 25, 2020 at 9:24 pm

Overcharging Atherton residents to overpay for Atherton properties that are not necessary for MPFD.
What’s wrong here.
Please fix it Atherton City Council.


6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Mar 25, 2020 at 9:27 pm

"Please fix it Atherton City Council."

You really don't understand - they can't fix it because it is not within their legal authority.

And yet they have caused well over $100k of taxpayers money to be spent on this "folly".


9 people like this
Posted by MC
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Mar 25, 2020 at 9:42 pm

The Atherton City Council will fix it by arranging alternate fire protection for its taxpayers.
And MPFD will be off the gravy train provided by Atherton tax payers and spent by you irresponsibly for many years.
I can understand that,
Can you?


8 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Mar 25, 2020 at 9:50 pm

"The Atherton City Council will fix it by arranging alternate fire protection for its taxpayers."

By whom?

No other fire agency would touch Atherton.

There is not a firefighter in the entire County that would work for Atherton.


13 people like this
Posted by MC
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Mar 25, 2020 at 9:57 pm

Peter
We can finally agree.
If no other alternative is available at a competitive price, then Atherton will stick with MPFD, and by definition Atherton taxpayers will be getting a fair deal. But if Atherton can find an alternative at a lower price, Atherton City Council should pursue this. It is a matter of getting a fair deal for the taxpayers of Atherton-not an issue of social justice.
Look forward to see what happens, but I do not think Atherton City Council should be criticized for trying to do what’s right for their citizens and making sure their tax dollars are spent efficiently.


14 people like this
Posted by Bad deal
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 25, 2020 at 10:30 pm

The fire district is grossly overfunded. Start by sending less of every town’s tax dollars to the district then decide if it’s a good deal.


27 people like this
Posted by Both sides right
a resident of Atherton: other
on Mar 26, 2020 at 1:20 am

This is a bad editorial because it comes to the right conclusion for the wrong reasons.

People who say the fire district is overfunded and spends too much, including the Atherton council members, are (of course) correct. What's going on with the fire district is a travesty.

People who say the Atherton council is not supposed to be trying to snatch money from the fire district, are also correct. This is not the solution.

The solution to overfunding the fire district is to get reform at the county and state level to tax properties less and fund the fire district less lavishly. That's a way better solution than trying to give the money to the Atherton council, who will just spend it if they're successful in their coup (and will also wind up screw up firefighting and emergency medical for their residents while they're at it). Instead, return these overfunded amounts to the taxpayers.

While we're at it, initiatives in Atherton should get the town council to stop squandering money also. It's an overfunded, overspending entity just like the fire district. It's ridiculous tiny Atherton should have its own police department that costs so much. That is no less a travesty than the fire district's spending. Perhaps more so.

Because of this, all these protagonists are taking completely hypocritical positions compared with past stances they've made. Peter has rightfully criticized Atherton for having its own police department, and the out of control costs, but doesn't want to look at the fire district's expenditures with the same jaundiced eye. The Atherton council members, who have taken the view that no one can possibly question police expenditures or consider outsourcing because residents are "satisfied" with the service, are taking in inconsistent view with the fire district. Residents are also satisfied with the service. It's just that the same service should be provided for a lot less money (just like Atherton's police department).


8 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Mar 26, 2020 at 9:30 am

"People who say the fire district is overfunded and spends too much, including the Atherton council members, are (of course) correct. What's going on with the fire district is a travesty."


Sounds good but what are the facts.

Experts consider MPFPD to be one of the best in the Nation.

It provides fire and emergency services for $605/resident/year - less than most Atherton residents spend at Starbucks.

It is a continuing innovator - look at its response to the Covid 19 pandemic Web Link

So just exactly where is this alleged "travesty"?


8 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Mar 26, 2020 at 10:05 am

"Start by sending less of every town’s tax dollars to the district then decide if it’s a good deal."

The Fire District doesn't get a penny from the city governments whose residents it serves and the Fire District provides fire, emergency services, training and technical advice to those same city governments for free.

The Fire District is funded by property tax paid by commercial and residential property taxes. The city governments' school districts and churches properties are exempt from property taxes so they get the services from the Fire District for free


11 people like this
Posted by Both sides right
a resident of Atherton: other
on Mar 26, 2020 at 10:05 am

> Experts consider MPFPD to be one of the best in the Nation.

That's not a fact. Similar "experts" in Atherton would say APD is one of the best around.

> It provides fire and emergency services for $605/resident/year - less than most Atherton residents spend at Starbucks.

But not $605 per ATHERTON resident per year, right? Isn't this whole squabble about Atherton residents paying a whole lot more? This is also irrelevant compared to what it could or is supposed to cost.

> It is a continuing innovator - look at its response to the Covid 19 pandemic

Similar response to the Atherton council saying don't question police costs/outsourcing because the department does some good stuff. (Though I would agree, at least there haven't been a lot of newspaper headlines about various fire department imbroglios).

> So just exactly where is this alleged "travesty"?

When a public service entity is so lavishly funded that it is buying and remodeling peninsula homes for assistant chiefs, most people think it's gone way too far. The "travesty" is that some people (for example, you) are maintaining a stone wall about questioning these costs.




7 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Mar 26, 2020 at 10:13 am

"When a public service entity is so lavishly funded that it is buying and remodeling peninsula homes for assistant chiefs, most people think it's gone way too far"

That is factually wrong. When homes that are ADJACENT to exiting fire stations, that WILL needed to be expanded in the future, are acquired they are either rented to third parties or converted to essential operational uses. Battalion Chiefs all have full time residences but when a Battalion Chief is on 48 hour shift that have to live and sleep somewhere .


11 people like this
Posted by Joe
a resident of another community
on Mar 26, 2020 at 8:53 pm

A fire service run by a fire protection district no longer makes sense now that the region served is highly urbanized. The fire service needs to be run by municipal and county governments.

The Town's relief strategy should follow two steps. First, pursue detachment from MPFPD via LAFCo. Second, when detachment is denied, sue LAFCo under the equal protection clause. The goal of the suit would be the dissolution of the MPFPD and reconstituting the fire service as a Joint Powers Authority (JPA). Each municipality and the county could join the new JPA in exchange for a seat on the JPA. Price would be negotiated up front, subject to parameters of prescribed fire service (i.e. coverage and response time).

This is the model used in Orange County. A JPA solves both the problem of establishing a coherent mission for the fire service and resolving the decades old funding conundrum.


8 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Mar 26, 2020 at 9:03 pm

"A fire service run by a fire protection district no longer makes sense now that the region served is highly urbanized. "

Agreed. I and the Fire Board have long supported a consolidated county wide fire agency.

The Atherton Town Council (but NOT the citizens of Atherton) in contrast wants a tiny, self serving, inefficient fire department to boost its own ego.

Such consolidation would require the approval of all the cities and town governments - Atherton is a significant obstacle.

Hopefully reason will prevail.


11 people like this
Posted by Martin Engel
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Mar 27, 2020 at 12:34 pm

I just can't resist.

[Web Link]

"Home to tech billionaires such as Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg and Google's Eric Schmidt and just a short drive from Palo Alto and San Francisco, Atherton is the richest place in America for the fourth year in a row.Mar 6, 2020"

Here's the point:

“Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft where we are hard, and cynical where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is very difficult to understand." F.S.Fitzgerald


11 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Mar 27, 2020 at 1:04 pm

Please do not confuse the absurd and selfish behavior of three members of the Town Council, the Town Manager and the Chair(?) of the Town Finance Committee with the wonderful residents of Atherton. Other than the five just mentioned individuals I have NEVER encountered a single Atherton residents which supports this selfish behavior. Everyone thought that this craziness would die of its own intellectual and ethical faults - sadly it has not.


16 people like this
Posted by MC
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Mar 30, 2020 at 11:11 am

Thank you to the members of the Atherton City Council for doing your duty to your constituents.
I, for one, will be voting for you in the next election.
Do not fear being criticized for doing the right thing.


9 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Mar 30, 2020 at 1:39 pm

MC - I presume that you are eagerly looking forward to the Town Council "Fiscal Review" of the Defense Department, Social Security, school districts and, of course, the County Health Department.


2 people like this
Posted by West Menlo
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Mar 31, 2020 at 2:55 pm

@ Peter C:
"There is not a firefighter in the entire County that would work for Atherton."

And you know this how? Have you talked to every firefighter in the entire county? We don't need even more gross generalizations or unfounded opinions. Maybe I believe that EVERY firefighter would love to work for Atherton. So what!


4 people like this
Posted by Fair
a resident of Atherton: other
on Mar 31, 2020 at 5:13 pm

The Fire District is funded from a percentage of the property tax from housing and commercial. So is our percentage somehow more sacred than EPA or Menlos? We pay the same PERCENTAGE as everyone else. Are our houses more expensive and larger than EPA? Of course. How is this going to look when the wealthiest town in America pulls out of the district and leaves one of the poorest communities in the county with less protection? Are we really going to leave the people that do all of our service work that we so greatly enjoy without adequate protection because we don't want to pay the same PERCENTAGE as them?

Careful that this doesn't turn into a PR nightmare for Atherton.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Mar 31, 2020 at 5:16 pm

"There is not a firefighter in the entire County that would work for Atherton."


"And you know this how?"

IAFF represents the firefighters in San Mateo County.

This is what they have to say about the Atherton Town Council's effort:

"Atherton's taxpayer-funded "Matrix Report" would end your first-class emergency response , while taxes stay the same."

Web Link


4 people like this
Posted by Observer II
a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Weekend Acres
on Mar 31, 2020 at 5:27 pm

BEFORE AND AFTER

Atherton is currently being served by FIVE fire stations by the Fire District. INSTEAD, Atherton is currently considering REDUCING this to one or two stations.

Atherton is currently paying 1.0% of their assessed property value. This will NOT change by one penny under the new plan. Everyone will continue to pay exactly the same if Detachment occurs.

The County Dept. that approves detachments has clearly stated that a CONDITION of detachment is receiving a letter of interest (LOI), or a memorandum of understanding (MOU) from another Fire Agency. Thus far, NO ONE has expressed interest in doing so.

Perhaps a VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT, like we had in the old days, will result if no one else can be found.

Bottom line, this is an ill advised, poorly researched proposal that is going nowhere, despite nearly $50,000 in hard earned tax payers funds already spent by the Town of Atherton on this subject and nealry $50,000 more by the Fire District defending itself.

The proposal is wasting limited dollars needed for more important projects and taking valuable staff time away from more pressing issues. It needs to STOP, officially so we can get back to more important, productive and pressing matters.


4 people like this
Posted by Fair
a resident of Atherton: other
on Mar 31, 2020 at 6:40 pm

As far as the houses. I understand that each of them are next to a firehouse? If that's true then I can't imagine the house next to the firehouse would come available all the time? Also with rising costs of housing is it not smart to buy the property now when it's available so that in 5yrs when you need it it will be seen as a good purchase. Utilizing the house just makes sense since you already have it.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


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?

Comment: *

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

*Required Fields


Get fact-based reporting on the COVID-19 crisis sent to your inbox daily.

John Shelsta's popular pastry pop-up finds a new home at Zola in Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 6 comments | 7,160 views

Why I am suspicious about PA’s budget cuts
By Diana Diamond | 37 comments | 4,140 views

We are testing geoengineering, and that is a good thing
By Sherry Listgarten | 32 comments | 3,280 views

The Silver Linings Of Social Distancing In Menlo Park
By Dana Hendrickson | 2 comments | 1,635 views

Premarital and Couples: Are you Kinder to Strangers than to Your Partner?
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,187 views