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Why isn't Menlo Park cutting salaries?

Original post made by wondering, Menlo Park: Downtown, on Apr 26, 2010

In an article that article that appeared today in the SF Chronicle.

Web Link

We see Mayor Newsom taking this action:
Faced with a $483 million deficit heading into the new fiscal year that starts July 1, Newsom is looking to reduce labor costs to help plug the gap.

The mayor last week struck a tentative deal with union negotiators that includes 12 furlough days, equivalent to a 4.6 percent pay cut, for about 90 percent of city workers. The mayor also has asked city department heads and their top managers to take a 10 percent pay cut. The mayor and his chief of staff plan to give up 15 percent of their salary.

With Menlo Park facing a 1.3 million dollar deficit, our City Manager avoided any pay cuts. The city continues to face structural deficits and obviously our City manager is not going to cut salaries unless the Council makes that a priority.

Forwarding looking budgets all are in the million dollar deficit range. Yet City staff and council refuse to take the leadership to eliminate them. Oh, yes, they will raise the TOT tax and maybe the utility tax, but talk of cutting salaries NO NO.

I'm looking forward to a big change in council this fall...

Comments (2)

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Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 26, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Simple. Our city council is made up of union puppets. Our city council voted to give a bonus to the city manager, Glen Rojas, who already makes $250k in salary and bonuses. Sick.

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Posted by new guy
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 28, 2010 at 1:37 pm

So let me tell you what I would do if Rojas reported to me. I will do this in the form of a play:

Setting = office

ME (in the form of a council member): "So Rojas, can you tell me based on your far reaching experience managing town budgets through economic cycles how the town is doing?"

Rojas: "I hope to have an answer for you this time next year."

ME: "Uh, is this not the reason we pay you $250K plus bonus plus a sweetheart home loan?"

Rojas: "We were trying to get a handle on the areas we could cut that would have the least amount of impact on the general community. Next year, whether it's the same situation or whether it's worse, we may be in a different position."

ME: "So you are not able to answer the question???"

Rojas: "Those are the ideas we came up with this year because of what's going on in the organization."

ME: "What?"

Rojas: "My goal is for the city to reach long-term financial sustainability within five years. Though Menlo Park often ran surpluses before the recession, the city has long maintained that it has a structural budget deficit."

ME: "OK, so what you are saying is that when times are good, MP has a surplus, and when times are bad we have deficit?"

Rojas: "I hope to have an answer for you, this time next year."

ME: "You HOPE or you will. What is it we pay you for again?"

Rojas: "I have to stress that the city's still in decent shape, all things considered."

ME: "So you are saying that things aren't so bad?"

Rojas: "I hope to have an answer for you, this time next year. I mean We agonized over these recommendations."

ME: "Agonized over what again? Perhaps considering cutting your own salary?

Rojas: "No no no, don't be silly, I have to stress that the library and the child care program won't necessarily be the FIRST city programs to fall under the budget ax, if it falls."

ME: (thinking to myself: I wish I could fire you) "Thank you Glen for all your hard work, clearly you are the best and most experienced leader we can get for 250K a year, please expect to receive additional bonuses for your leadership."

Rojas: (smiling) "I must stress that I hope to have an answer for you, this time next year, but if I don't remember, I am working on a five year plan. Seriously, did I use the word 'structural' enough to confuse you."

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