Last night I attended the Atherton Now fundraising meeting at 1 Tallwood Court. Event was well attended. House was spectacular. The handout I circulated to you earlier this week was distributed to those in attendance (project website). Overall the presentation and numbers were well received. Q&A on public spaces available for rental, connectivity to Holbrook-Palmer, venue space, landscaping, recruitment/retention of staff, quality of facilities (both new and existing), and emergency response operations.
2. Neighborhood Traffic Management Plan
I reviewed the final draft of the Neighborhood Traffic Management Plan with staff yesterday. There will be a few final edits to the Plan which will then make its way to the Community Meeting on December 8.
Following the community meeting, the Plan will then move to the Transportation Committee in January and ultimately to the City Council in February for approval.
3. Vandalism of Town Message Board/Radar Trailer
The braking handle of the Town’s Message Board/Radar Trailer was recently vandalized. Staff is working to get it repaired.
4. Town’s Hazard Mitigation Plan
As you may know, the San Mateo County Operational Area is required by FEMA to update the Hazard Mitigation Plan every 5 years. It is that time again. The Police Department participates in the planning process for the Multi-Jurisdictional Plan. On Thursday, Sergeant Mills attended the Multi-Jurisdictional Hazardous Mitigation Plan meeting. The annex will make its way into the Town’s Emergency Operations Plan and become a part of the Town’s General Plan.
5. Naming Rights as part of the Civic Center Process
I am putting together a brief staff report for the December 7 Civic Center Committee meeting to allow the Committee to provide a recommendation to the City Council on naming options for the Civic Center Project.
6. Per Capita Budget Costs
A question was posed by a resident about the per capita costs in Woodside and Portola Valley as compared to Atherton. The questions were posed in response to my recent Manager’s Reports discussing the various budgets of municipal service agencies providing services to Atherton, specifically the Fire District.
The questions posed were:
1 - Why do Atherton residents on average pay 3X what Portola Valley residents pay for Town services
2 - Why do Atherton residents on average pay 1.5X what Woodside residents pay for Town services
3 - Why do some Atherton residents pay more than 20X what other Atherton residents pay for the same Town services
4 - Why do residents of the Woodside Fire District on average pay over 2X what the residents of the MPFPD pay for fire services.
The assertions in the questions are incorrect. The per capita cost for Town services vary by agency but not by the amounts quoted by the resident. To address the questions (#1 & #2), I took the budgeted expenditures (non-capital improvement program expenses) for all three agencies and their populations for a straight per capita comparison with and without Police Services.
Atherton is less expensive than both without Police Services. With Police Services, Atherton is more expensive, but our service level and demands are much higher. The answer to question #3 is essentially property value based. I did not delve into question #4 as it did not directly relate to the Town for comparative purposes.
Atherton’s Population: 7,159
Woodside’s Population: 5,481
Portola Valley Population: 4,518
Atherton’s General Fund Budget: $11,798,069
Per Capita: $1,647
Atherton’s General Fund Budget w/o Police: $5,449,412
Per Capita: $761.20
Woodside’s General Fund Budget: $6,038,147
Per Capita: $1,203
Woodside’s General Fund Budget w/o Sheriff: $4,598,471
Per Capita: $838
Portola Valley General Fund Budget: $5,139,637
Per Capita: $1,137
Portola Valley General Fund Budget w/o Sheriff: $4,194,594
Per Capita: $928