Posted by Hidden Agenda, a resident of the Atherton: other neighborhood, on Dec 19, 2012 at 5:14 am
So, the Town Council laid-off the Public Works, Building, and Parks employees under the premise that they were in the hole by $856,000. But, the number was actually $456,000. The Council discovered the error before they pulled the trigger, but let everyone go anyway.
The Mayor speaks often of a Moody's study he says places Atherton's "unfunded liability" in the area of $30 million. But, the number is actually somewhere well south of $2.5 million.
Without the parcel tax, the Town spends $600,000 more than it takes in. But, the parcel tax brings in $1.8 million, so the Town really operates about $1.2 million in the black.
In addition, the San Mateo County Assessor says Atherton can expect a 9% increase in their tax rolls. The Town assumed only 5% in their budget forecast, resulting in a $318,000 windfall.
It would appear the driver for the extreme actions against the unrepresented employees is something other than dire fiscal conditions. The Mayor wants to eliminate the parcel tax, but has not provided an explanation for how he plans to replace the $1.8 million. Given the property tax windfall, he has only a $300,000 gap he needs to close to achieve his goal.
The Mayor's goal is easily obtainable through compensation reductions, additional outsourcing, and service cuts.