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A sweetheart deal

Original post made by eagle eye, Atherton: West Atherton, on Oct 22, 2009

A $15,000 rase, a $400,000 low interest loan, a car allowance, indemnification against tax liabilities, a rent free residence. These are the perks that Dobbie and Lewis doled out to Gruber.

If this is how we reward what can best be described as mediocre performance, then it truly is time to vote a resounding no on the parcel tax.

Comments (8)

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Posted by Andrea Gemmet
Almanac staff writer
on Oct 22, 2009 at 11:52 am

Andrea Gemmet is a registered user.

Eagle Eye: I think your reference to the $400,000 loan needs some clarification.

The contract states that City Manager Jerry Gruber is eligible for a low-interest, $400,000 loan in the event that his duties change and he is no longer required to occupy the town-owned house in Holbrook-Palmer Park. In that case, he's eligible for a loan in order to buy a home within a one-hour drive of Atherton.

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Posted by Andrea Gemmet
Almanac staff writer
on Oct 22, 2009 at 11:54 am

Andrea Gemmet is a registered user.

The full text of the contract approved by the council can be found here, Web Link by scrolling down to item 20.

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Posted by grahm galuzy
a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 22, 2009 at 12:08 pm

Wonders never cease. How that guy has been able to hang onto his job with the scandal, confusion and corruption going on in that town is beyond my ability to comprehend.

I'll be voting no on the parcel tax.

Bot Dobbie and Lewis seem to subscribe to the George W Bush management philosophy. Stand up for whomever is in charge so as to avoid looking like an idiot for choosing the person in the first place.

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Posted by Mr. S.
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 22, 2009 at 1:16 pm

The real irony is that on the same day the federal government cuts top salaries in half for any company receiving taxpayer assistance, the Atherton council votes a huge raise for Gruber with the parcel tax vote two weeks away.

This is the height of arrogance.

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Posted by taxpayer
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Oct 22, 2009 at 1:49 pm

Apparently Mr. Gruber's suggested "Proclamation of Family Dinner Night In Atherton" was a big hit with the council --I can't think of any other major initiatives--just alot of pleasent glad handling--maybe he's really good at keeping council secrets from the residents

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Posted by Fiscally responsible
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Oct 22, 2009 at 3:31 pm

What apparently Eagle Eye and Andrea Gemmet did not catch is the SEVENTH MONTH SEVERANCE agreement (six months plus one month minimum "suspension" with pay) if the Council decides to terminate Mr. Gruber's services. What a travesty. This is much more like a compensation agreement for a major city like Palo Alto or San Jose than a small town such as Atherton. This really is unprecedented.

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Posted by Andrea Gemmet
Almanac staff writer
on Oct 22, 2009 at 4:43 pm

Andrea Gemmet is a registered user.

There's no change in the contract Atherton has with Jerry Gruber in the terms of "separation without cause."

Basically, if the city council fires him without cause (for cause being gross misconduct, conviction of a felony, etc.) Mr. Gruber is entitled to 30 days notice, during which time he may be placed on paid leave. He's also entitled to up to six months of salary, health and welfare benefits (but not housing or car allowance) in exchange for signing a release of liability agreement with the town.

If he is fired for cause, resigns or becomes unable to perform his duties, he is not entitled to the six-month severance payment.

The wording is substantially the same in this newest agreement, approved by the council on Oct. 21, as it is in his original agreement with the town from January 2008.

Since there's no change, it wasn't included in the brief online story about the raise.

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Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 23, 2009 at 3:08 pm

I grew up thinking that working for the government wouldn't make you rich.

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