Almanac

News - July 27, 2011

Atherton council pauses on layoffs, outsourcing plan

The Atherton City Council met July 20 as planned, but the mayor pulled the main agenda item: a legal step to implement a plan to outsource work now being handled by City Hall employees, some of whom were to be laid off on Friday, July 15.

While Mayor Jim Dobbie did not elaborate, City Hall's hands are tied by a temporary restraining order issued by a San Mateo County court that forbids layoffs until a court hearing is held. The town's employees' union had sued to prevent the layoffs.

The council did give signing authority to Interim City Manager John Danielson to implement pending contracts to outsource public works maintenance and arrange for emergency staffing of the building department.

Getting that authority was important, Mr. Danielson said, because the council meets just monthly and the judge who issued the restraining order has notable discretion on when to take further action. The next scheduled court date on this matter is Aug. 11.

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