Menlo Park's child care centers to stay, but with rate hike | Town Square | Almanac Online |

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Menlo Park's child care centers to stay, but with rate hike

Original post made on Jun 10, 2020

Local parents whose children attend the two city-subsidized child care programs in Menlo Park can breathe a little easier now knowing that the affordable care centers won't be shut down. But will they still be affordable?

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, June 10, 2020, 11:54 AM

Comments (19)

13 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Jun 10, 2020 at 12:12 pm

"Taylor said she'd like to see the police budget reduced by 20%."

That is VERY easy - just contract with the Sheriff for police services and the City will save at least 20% AND service levels will IMPROVE.


9 people like this
Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jun 10, 2020 at 12:26 pm

Mueller simply plays the game at a different level than anyone else; his move here was utterly genius. It’s just fun to watch this guy; we should enjoy it while he’s still in our leadership orbit. He’s always two steps ahead and outside the box.


Like this comment
Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jun 10, 2020 at 12:28 pm

Mueller simply plays the game at a different level than anyone else; his move here was utterly genius. It’s just fun to watch this guy. We should enjoy it while he’s still in our leadership orbit. He’s always two steps ahead and outside the box.


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Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jun 10, 2020 at 1:07 pm

[Post removed at poster's request]


5 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Jun 10, 2020 at 2:05 pm

". We certainly do NOT need to contract with the Sherrif deparement to take over police services."

Why not Brian? We would get better service at a lower cost.

" We should ensure our officers are properly trained in deescalation procedures, how to safely restrain people and how to build relations in the community."

The Sheriff has 800 employees and a team of people doing training while MPPD has 76 employees and ONE person doing analysis, records AND training - which organization do you think does a better job of training?


15 people like this
Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiña
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 10, 2020 at 3:01 pm

contracting with the Sheriff's department is the right thing to do. the overhead of operating our own "system" would be mitigated. San Carlos did it and is VERY happy with the performance and reliability.

this is a fiduciary "no brainer" that Ray Mueller understands, and the rest of the council needs to pull their head out of the sand......

Roy Thiele-Sardina


1 person likes this
Posted by Similarly
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 10, 2020 at 3:56 pm

Similarly…and unfortunately…Menlo Park's police department to stay, but with rate hike...

is true also! Their huge raises are going to be forced on to the city, and the council members will not do their jobs to turn it over to the county.


2 people like this
Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jun 10, 2020 at 4:24 pm

The San Mateo County Sheriff's department has their fari share of issues, just google them and you find cases of smuggling phones into the jail, staging fights in the jail, officers falsifying police reports, etc. I think we need a smaller police force that can build relationships within the community and who knows the people and the problems. We have police that can deal with the homelsee better because they know them and interact with them regularly. Having an 800 person force that covers a huge area means they will not know Menlo Park or anyone living here. If Menlo Park needs help they can get it through Mutual Aid and they get additional training with other departments.

Where we really need to look at cutting costs in the Fire Department. People talk about large salaries with the Police, they are miniscule compated to what the fire department makes (Highest Average pay in the state of California). If we could find a way to shift some of the money from the bloated FD to Menlo Police we would solve a lot of problems.


8 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Jun 10, 2020 at 4:50 pm

"Having an 800 person force that covers a huge area means they will not know Menlo Park or anyone living here."

Brian - you do not understand how the Sheriff's Office works.

Communities like Woodside, Portola Valley and San Carlos each have the same deputies assigned to them every shift - those officers know the neighborhoods they serve as well as does any local police force.

And when the Sheriff's Office takes responsibility for a new community they offer positions to the best of the current department's police force. This is what the San Carlos Mayor said at the time of the transfer:"We do have a lot of local cops, and those local cops will continue to work," Royce said Tuesday. "If you look at any organization, it's good to have some change. We'll have the best of both worlds. Having the mix of existing local cops and new officers, they'll be able to provide as good, if not better, level of service."

From the Grand Jury Report:

"When asked by the Grand Jury for the reasoning behind choosing to contract with the
Sheriff’s Office, a knowledgeable San Carlos official stated in response to a Grand Jury
survey:
As a result of more than a decade of unsustainable public safety cost increases
combined with lower public safety levels for the community, San Carlos chose to
implement a regional consolidation approach for providing police services to the
community. By contracting with the SO, San Carlos was able to maintain
minimum staffing levels for patrols, provide the same quick response times, and
has been able to restore many of the key community programs that the San Carlos
Police Department had provided in better economic times."

"The contracts utilized by all three cities are basically the same. They have a common theme of
saving each city thousands of dollars by having the SO perform virtually all policing duties.
These savings are gained by having the SO assume responsibility for office expenses, including
accounting and personnel, along with pension and medical obligations. The contracts provide for
police services at staffing levels determined by the individual city councils, which are
commensurate with the cities previous staffing levels. Additional services not set forth in the
base contract can be added by the cities to fit their needs by amending the contract. "

"FINDINGS
F1. The SO is providing the police services for which the cities of Half Moon Bay, Millbrae,
and San Carlos contracted within the cost perimeters of the contracts.
F2. Public response to the transition from individual police departments to the SO is positive.
F3. No increase in the number of police involved incidences has been reported by the cities
due to the transition of policing services to the SO and one city, Millbrae, reports a
decrease of 17 per cent in crime.
F4. The transition from individual police departments to the SO was incident free with
former city personnel generally pleased with the change.
F5. The police service contracts between the SO and each of the cities of Half Moon Bay,
Millbrae, and San Carlos serve as good models to other cities in the County which
operate their own police departments and which are facing budgetary restraints.
F6. The trust funds for each city comprised of unallocated funds should be disclosed in
financial reports and described in the policing service contracts.

In response to the Grand Jury Report San Carlos made this statement:
"The SO has consistently met or exceeded the contracted service levels. Of particular note have been the efforts in Community Policing and community engagement practices which have far exceeded what the city expected"

Case Closed!!


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Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jun 10, 2020 at 6:10 pm

Sorry Peter the case is definately not closed. I don't think I really need to argue here since the council is not supportive of this idea. If I need to discuss this topic I will do it with them instead of you.


5 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Jun 10, 2020 at 6:17 pm

Brian - If you don't think that you need to counter the facts that I have presented then don't bother to continue to post opinions for which there is no factual support


5 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 10, 2020 at 9:53 pm

Brian:

the fire department is not a city department. It's budget has no effect on our city budget. Cutting costs there will do ZERO for MP's bottom line.


7 people like this
Posted by mickie winkler
a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2020 at 9:58 am

San Mateo County has a population of just 720,000.
It has 18 cities.
And 13 police departments including the sheriff (5 cities contract with the sheriff)

Do we really need 13 police deparments, each with its own administration, to serve 720,000 people?


5 people like this
Posted by Henry fox
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jun 11, 2020 at 10:04 am

Like many police departments, Menlo Park police has problems, and loses law suits, never brought to light by prearrangement with powerful police unions.

Occassionally we learn, thanks to the Almanac, of a problem indirectly. Remember the story of the Naked Cop, caught on duty with a prostitute (and more)-- who may still be working for the Menlo Park Police.


5 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Jun 11, 2020 at 12:25 pm

"Do we really need 13 police deparments, each with its own administration, to serve 720,000 people?"

No and we also don't need multiple fire departments.

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.


5 people like this
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2020 at 7:56 pm

With the world protesting the Homicide by Law Enforcement of George Floyd, and San Mateo County protests to support that and BLM very few SMC Residents are aware that Chinedu V. Okoboi was killed by six SMC Sheriff Employees on October 3, 2018 in Millbrae around 1PM. The Coroner Office ruled the manner of his Death to be a Homicide just like the coroner ruled George Floyd's Death was ruled a Homicide.

Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos and PIO Rosemerry Blankswade issued e News Releases within hours of his death with multiple False Statements which the print media repeated over and over. The Sheriff"s Office left those false statement up on the County's website for 5 months even though they knew they were false at the time the published them.

Supervisor Don Horsley commented that he was not concerned about the false statements.

Chinedu Okobi was a 36 year old Black Man walking on the sidewalk when Deputy Wang became interested in him and made a u-turn. It was after this u-turn that Okobi crossed El Camino where there was no cross walk. He was DEAD 9 minutes later.

Chinedu Okobi is San Mateo County's George Floyd.

March 1, 2019 District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe stated in his Press Conference The Coroner of this County ruled the manner of Death was a Homicide. Steve Wagstaffe chose not to charge the Six Employees.


8 people like this
Posted by Local voice
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 14, 2020 at 4:45 pm

How about council members use the $40 million or a portion of it that Facebook plans to spend to rebuild the community centers in Belle Haven? First, this demolition and new building is completely unnecessary, yet the existing programs are essential for the community NOW ! There will be NO programs left with the current cuts to the senior center and rate hike to child care in Belle Haven...perhaps this IS the intent by city managers and council ? How about cutting the Assistant City Manager (and other overpaid, useless positions) which could subsidize child and senior programs! Over 100 seniors signed a letter protesting the demolition of the MP Senior Center in Belle Haven last year, and the building could remain, cutting that $40 million price tag. The solutions exist, yet does leadership that represents what citizens NEED exist ???


Like this comment
Posted by pearl
a resident of another community
on Jun 15, 2020 at 1:51 pm

REGARDING CHILD CARE: Just out of curiosity, what is the monthly cost of child care at a day care facility these days? In 1963, it cost me $85 per month for eight hours' daily care, plus one meal (lunch), for my two-year-old son. One of the Menlo Park day care facilities I used was on Avy, close to Avy and the Alameda; the other day care facility was near Willow and Middlefield, close to Sunset Magazine.


2 people like this
Posted by Kirt
a resident of another community
on Jun 15, 2020 at 4:23 pm

I've been to the MPSC (Menlo Park Senior Center), and was extremely impressed with the physical building, range of resources dedicated to directly contributing to our seniors' well being, seeming dedication of the staff. It seems UNNECESSARY and a WASTE to demolish such a FINE and USEFUL EXISTING CENTER, relocate OUR SENIORS to other interim places, and then finally LOCATE them in an ILL-CONCEIVED, ILL-DESIGNED replacement center that does not EQUAL WHAT THEY HAVE NOW - and all for the POSSIBLY SELF-CENTERED and QUESTIONABLE NEEDS of FACEBOOK, the multi-billion dollar company beneficiary of A DECISION THAT SEVERELY IMPACTS OUR SENIORS' NEEDS NOW AND INTO THE FUTURE! Makes NO SENSE especially in light of the NEW REALITY OF FACEBOOK EMPLOYEES WORKING FROM HOME - THEY DON'T NEED THE SAME AMOUNT OF NEW SPACE. Come on folks....PLEASE RECONSIDER YOUR DECISION and YOUR PRIORITIES! Thank you. Kirt (Palo Alto resident and professional seniors advocate)


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