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Atherton council favors using Watkins House as police crash pad

Original post made on May 22, 2014

Atherton police officers who need to catch some shut-eye between 12-hour shifts will soon have a pretty nice place to do just that -- Holbrook-Palmer Park's Watkins House, empty since the city manager declined the traditional offer of free housing.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, May 22, 2014, 10:40 AM

Comments (5)

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Posted by The Old Sage
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 22, 2014 at 2:11 pm

Wouldn't the offset of overtime costs provide a benefit to the town's bottom line- there would of course have to be measures in place schedule wise - but what a great deterrent to issues in the park if it is known that a police officer may or may not be staying there...

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Posted by Huh?
a resident of Atherton: other
on May 22, 2014 at 3:50 pm

I'm not following how this measure would offset overtime costs. Although the article states the agreement is immediately revocable if a new town manager wants to move into the house, I believe in practice it won't work out that way since whenever any benefit is extended in government, it never gets rolled back. This was not a smart move. What might have made sense is to offer to RENT rooms on a per diem basis to the police officers who wanted to remain close to work for their next shift so the property continued to garner income. I don't understand why this wasn't put on the table.

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Posted by Question
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on May 27, 2014 at 1:10 pm

Why is renting space for weddings in the park an acceptable commercial purpose under the law, but renting the house is not?

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Posted by Answer
a resident of Atherton: other
on May 27, 2014 at 6:04 pm

You're not going to get an answer to that question, since it clearly shows the blatant double standard at work here. Of course the city manager's house could be rented out. If commercial weddings don't violate a will, that certainly wouldn't.

Of course the cops should pay for their room if they want to take advantage of it. They're paid enough.

Where are Lewis and Wiest on this issue?

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Posted by Huh?
a resident of Atherton: other
on May 28, 2014 at 9:03 am

Hopefully the Almanac can do some investigative journalism on that question. Commercial purposes are deemed okay for things the troika wants, but not for what they don't. But we all know it's a yes/no as to whether commercial purposes are permitted or not. Anyway, I understand that since Stanford didn't exercise its rights under the will, the town can do anything it wants with the park at this point. I'd like this question clarified as well.

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