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Op-Ed: Where Do You Want Your Tax Dollars To Go?

Obama did a fundraiser for the Democratic Party in Atherton a few weeks ago at Atherton's expense. Meanwhile, the Atherton Dames are looking at doing an event to raise money for our park and they are told they'll have to pay for it...

Obama did a fundraiser for the Democratic Party in Atherton a few weeks ago, which is currently at Atherton's expenseMeanwhile, the Atherton Dames are looking at doing an event to raise money for our park and they are being quoted a price tag. This is not right.

It is apparently a privilege to have Obama come to your city according to a San Francisco official.

Atherton needs to take a stand on making the fundraisers pay for what your normal tax payers dollars are now going to. This would set a huge precedence for future fundraising events.

Fundraisers should pay for their events, not taxpayers. 

Last time Atherton submitted a bill when Obama came to town they were told to go pound sand. More politely put, our government officials said: "It's great to have a dignitary like that coming through your community; you should be welcoming their visit as opposed to requesting reimbursement; and I'm sorry, but no, we're not going to reimburse you for the expense."

Now compare Atherton to San Francisco and San Jose. Neither city charges for beefed-up security for dignitaries. San Francisco police spent $62,000 on the president's visit earlier this month.

"We do not seek reimbursement for the service provided; he comes with a large security detail anyway," San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr said.

"With all the safety precautions that we're cognizant of these days, we want to provide that," San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said. "And the public wants to see it. If the pope came in, I'm not so sure we'd be charging everybody. We welcome a lot of our international leaders, as well as our president," Lee said.

I personally called the Atherton Police Department on where, and when he was landing. I was told I could not be advised because of security reasons. The difference is these events are not open to the public, and with our country in a major financial crisis, why should we have to pay for fundraising for political parties?

I don’t care what party you represent. I care about America, and our tax dollars. Do you feel our tax dollars where best spent on raising money for one political party?

Shouldn’t The President of the United States unify us as a people?!  Where does “We the People” register with "I am spending your money/ raising it for one political party/ Don’t care about who died for our country to make this happen?"

How do you think the mother whose son died for our country feels if they belong to a political party that is spending our tax dollars on travel for the other political party? 

Freedom isn’t free. All presidents of the United States of America should remember they represent more than just us. They represent those that have died for this country for our freedom. Our freedom represents all of us. Not one party.

I would hope in the future no president would spend my tax dollars on something as shallow as making an appearance in my city, or anyone's city for that matter, and spend tax payer dollars on teachers, children, people that have fought for my country, animals... not travel, and the Secret Service.

The Secret Service in my understanding was put in place to protect who “We the People“ voted for to keep him safe so he/she could continue to aid in keeping us safe from financial ruin, and make this country a better place.

This is about more than just Obama. This is about what we want to spend our tax payers dollars on, and who do we want our taxpayers to represent.

I want any president to represent “The United States of America."

Damiana April 25, 2013 at 11:48 PM
Hey Atherton - please get some real problems worth reading about - it's pretty ironic, given how much wealth you all have! Or just think of it this way - your police dept., aka, the armed butlers, actually did some real police work - it's good practice for them.
Colleen April 26, 2013 at 04:56 AM
Damiana, Everyone should be so lucky to have the current service we are provided. Yes, we have had problems and are working on changing that with new people in place. How many people are lucky enough to have the top notch service like vacation checks, keys on file if you lock yourself out, etc. If every town had the same level of service we are currently are receiving there would be less crime. Do you live in Atherton, and have experienced our level of service. Some of us are working joe's that our dollars matter. Judge all you want, but the low crime speaks for itself. I am proud that Atherton is taking a stand about setting a precedence submitting the bill to the event, and not the American tax payers dollars. Please do not refer to our police department as butlers. It is attitudes like your I am guessing makes an officer that loves this town feel like there caring for us doesn't matter. It does to me for the officers I have worked with that I know care. Now that certain officers are no longer with department I feel much safer. You have your opinion, but I feel safer knowing they are working with me not for me. I only wish you could work with Atherton's Department, and see they that on a very high average they truly cares about us and our families safety. I feel sorry for anyone that works with you. Do you belittle them. I try to be more diplomatic, but go pound sand. That is my police department that I love.
bignews April 26, 2013 at 05:12 PM
Wow, I can't believe the volunteer Dames, who raise funds for the benefit of ALL Athertonians, are being asked to pay for police. That's just wrong! Are the armed butlers in their classic Mustangs too busy to police a community-wide public event? Perhaps they're still investigating the scene of last month's "$100,000+ of quietly stolen handbags from some rich lady's closet" crime. Did she get charged for a police visit as well? Police should be eager and willing take care of community-wide public events. Their duty is to police the community. I hope the Dames fight this one as they should not be stuck with an outrageous police bill for hosting a public event for the benefit of the entire community. God bless the friendly armed butlers of 94027!
Damiana April 26, 2013 at 09:19 PM
I'm fine with my tax dollars supporting the security of politicians who are in town for events.
Damiana April 26, 2013 at 09:23 PM
I've had many an experience with your police dept. - I HAVE worked with them. Most of my interactions that are memorable have been laughable, some of it unprofessional and some of it even illegal. I'm always surprised when I have a highly competent interaction with them, actually. For decades locals and local law enforcement have laughed at APD, for good reasons - hence calling them butlers. I feel sorry for you for wasting your time worrying and writing about this sort of thing and then not able to deal with the resulting criticism, which is standard in journalism. If you can't take the heat, stop writing public pronouncements!
Linda Umbach April 26, 2013 at 11:13 PM
I agree that Athertonians should not foot the bill for political fundraisers, but instead should support the charities and non-profits that support the greater Atherton Community. Let the politician pay for the added police protection!
Colleen April 27, 2013 at 07:29 PM
Constructive criticism is one thing, but to belittle anyone hiding behind a fake name is another. Referring to Atherton PD as butlers I find to be out of line, and off subject. One person brought to light a very good point. Work with, and inform political fundraisers ahead of time instead of summiting the bill after the fact. If it is a fundraiser for the Dames that support our park we need to consider supporting them. They work hard.
Tricia Young April 27, 2013 at 10:23 PM
Damniana, Obviously you no nothing about Atherton residents. Only a few are very wealthy. There are plenty of us living on small standard lots here, work two jobs, and many who are widows still living in their original homes from the 1950's, barely hanging on! We Care where our tax dollars go! Why should I have to pay for a Democrat or Republican fundraiser? Our police force is responsive within a minute compared to larger towns and cities where it may take up to a half an hour. Sounds like ignorant jealousy to me.
Damiana April 27, 2013 at 10:54 PM
Since they perform butler duties, many refer to them as such - they just happen to be armed. I'm not sure if you aimed your "fake name" comment at me, but it is my given name. You're opinions are pretty silly.
Damiana April 27, 2013 at 11:07 PM
Tricia - I don't think you get it - I've lived in Atherton - you can keep it. How many widows & people working 2 jobs are there, really, who are residents? Bring out the stats, please. I'm not ignorant, nor am I jealous. I am cynical though, based on my experiences. Atherton residents DO have money, and it chose to incorporate as a city and suddenly it wants to cry poor and nitpick bills. Pathetic. People laugh at Atherton with its silly police dept and residents who either don't care enough to get involved, get involved and have questionable ethics or get involved and make things worse. There are currently too few Atherton residents who get involved in Town affairs and make improvements without an onslaught of controversy. It is laughable.

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