San Carlos Real Estate Agent, San Carlos Realtor Local TV News Features San Carlos Budget Problems. | The White Oaks Blog
Living in San Carlos December 17, 2009

Local TV News Features San Carlos Budget Problems.

by Chuck Gillooley

This week KTVU, one of the predominant bay area news channels, picked up on the story about the ongoing budget battle in San Carlos.  They did a nice job touching on the main issues.  But I find it a little surprising that the local merchant featured in this article doesn’t mind if there were a few less police officers patrolling the streets!   If you’re one of the growing number of residents who has had their car or home broken into, I’m sure you’ll agree that we do have a growing crime problem here in San Carlos that’s not going to be fixed with cutbacks to the police department.

Click here —> KTVU News Feature On San Carlos

(Thanks to Ken Castle and the White Oaks Neighborhood Organization for the tip on this article!)

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Comments 14
  • Quit the doom and gloom scare tactics. The police and fire depts need heavy layoffs or drastically restructured union contracts. Employer paid health insurance and retirement benefits is a socialist FDR/Obama philosophy. The only crime in San Carlos is petty crimes. The best answer is for people to keep a handgun and blow away the burglars. I don’t live in fancy shmancy White Oaks and drive a fancy car. So quit parking on the street and park in the garage. Isn’t that what garages were built for?
    The sooner the layoffs happen, the better the taxpayers of San Carlos will be. The voters of San Carlos have spoken!

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    • Scare tactics? Call it what you will. I’m the messenger, not the message. But I will tell you that I do like living close to the fire station that is on the hit list, and I’d hate to see it closed down. In 20 years of living on this street, we’ve needed them a few times (as have our neighbors) and they have always been right there.

      I don’t know where (or if) you live in San Carlos, but I don’t think most people view the budget issues the same way you do.

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  • I’m retired and it saddens me to see the kinds of mean comments on this blog topic and the previous one too. I’ve always loved living in San Carlos and I love seeing all the young families that have moved here. This indirect effect has allowed my property to escalate to values that I could only dream of. The quality of life in San Carlos is determined partly by the quality of services provided. That’s really what keeps our property values so high, even in this recession. For all of those who didn’t vote, this is what you allowed to happen. My understanding is that this election had a very low turnout. I’m just tired of demagogues preaching anti-socialism, high taxes, Obama and FDR and relating that to our fiscal crisis. For heavens sake, what’s Medicare? Capitalist?

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    • Paul,

      Thanks for your comments. I agree with you wholeheartedly — much of what gives this town the character (and security) that makes it a great place to live comes from the services that are provided. Is the world going to stop spinning because the Youth Center closes, or we have a few less parks to use? Of course not, but it will certainly take something away from what makes this town so special. And from Econ 101, if you take a way the demand…the value drop.

      Chuck

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  • Chuck,
    I wanted to give you some info I received today. In the TV clip it is stated that nothing happens in San Carlos. Here is the list of calls to our Police Department just for the month of November.
    74 arrests
    787 alarm/open door calls
    51 accidents/hit and run calls
    667 traffic stops/directed enforcemet
    67 medical calls
    15 outside agency assists
    16 solicitor calls
    96 suspicious person/vehicle calls
    47 disturbance calls
    30 burglary calls
    46 city ordinance violation calls
    23 fire assist calls
    12 fraud calls
    14 hazard calls
    11 vandalism calls
    52 theft calls
    33 parking complaints
    133 911 hang-up response calls
    35 welfare checks
    45 abandoned vehicle calls
    19 vehicle breakdown calls
    3 robbery calls
    18 reckless vehicle calls
    6 drunk driver calls
    7 assault calls
    1 rape call
    2 stolen vehicle calls/4 recovered stolen vehicle calls
    9 missing person calls/2 returned person calls
    331 other calls of various types

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    • Andy,

      Thanks for providing that data. That is amazing, and it actually brings up a very relevant point — every day or so, the PD publishes an activity report that people can subscribe to on the City of San Carlos Website – here’s the activity log so far for December: http://www.cityofsancarlos.org/pd/daily_activity_log/2009/december_2009/default.asp

      You’ll notice that only a very small fraction of the incidents that the SCPD responds to ever make this activity log. Why??? Staffing..or lack thereof. There’s nobody on staff who can dedicate any quality time to keeping the activity log even reasonably accurate. Consequently, we’re lulled into believing that there’s not much crime in San Carlos. This is yet another negative effect of running on a razor thin budget.

      Chuck

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  • I think the symptom you are pointing out indicates something else – organizations that rely heavily on personnel staffing to handle every issue will never have enough people. There is a lot that technology can do, such as updating a simple thing like a log. The new SF police chief has the right priority in emphasizing the use of technology.

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  • For those who bought their houses 30+ years ago, I can understand why you may be disappointed in those who did not want Measure U.

    Property values on the Peninsula have always been high, going back the last 50+ years. Most who have purchased their houses in the past few years are paying property taxes of over $1,000 a month. What are yours?

    The snarky remarks to stop buying lattes or driving anything other than a beater aren’t helpful.

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  • Reducing safety services to a bare bones level inevitably leads to higher insurance rates. Indirectly or directly, San Carlos residents will paying more somehow.

    Perhaps a middle ground can be sought on this basis: A special parcel tax, coupled with personnel cuts and complete transparency as to where this money is being spent. There’s nothing we can do about retiree’s CALPERS pensions. We have a duty to honor our agreement.

    Chuck, maybe this option can be added to your poll question.

    One thing for sure, drastic cutbacks will come back to haunt us. The same can be said for fiscal irresponsibility. The level headed people need to stand up and be counted. The gadflys and the demagogues need to stand aside.

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    • Saul,

      Good point. As I mentioned to Andy Klein, I thought about putting an “all of the above” choice in the poll because it was the obvious answer. But I purposely left it out of the poll to better understand how people felt about the wage/benefit issue. From the results so far, it’s pretty obvious…

      In reality, it’s going to take contributions from all three to pull us out of this mess.

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  • I agree with you Kimberly.

    Even though the most recent parcel tax that was passed excluded seniors from having to pay, it still allowed them to vote for it. It was “researched” that this wasa the best way to ensure it’s passage.

    Well, those of you not paying your fair share of property taxes and getting a say in making those of paying excessively more property taxes, to pay yet EVEN MORE property taxes, leaves a bad taste in our mouths.

    It’s too bad you can’t voluntarily add a discretionary amount to your tiny property tax bill to help supplement us “rich” San Carlos property owners.

    If it sounds like many of us are frustrated, we are. With the thousands more many of us spend on our property taxes each year, we should not have to put up with this type of mismanagement, budget problems and reduction of services as we are now. Until we are ALL paying our fair share and the problems at city hall are worked out, these issue will sadly not go away.

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    • Wanted to clarify a couple points.
      First, the recent parcel tax benefited the school district, not the city. People often presume they are the same, but they are not. No parcel tax money goes to the City.
      Second, seniors have to actively pursue a waiver for the parcel tax in order to receive it. It is not automatic based on the age of the property owner. So, many seniors in our community ARE paying the tax to support the schools.

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  • Yes I know this was a school parcel tax and I understand that seniors had to apply for exemption, but this was a tax nonetheless and is coming out of non-senior’s pockets whether we want them to or not. A tax is a tax is a tax, no matter where it is going; it’s still coming from the same place, our wallets.

    Secondly, do you have any firm statistics on how many seniors are actually paying the tax? If proposals such as parcel taxes are in such dire need, we all should WANT to pay them; not have the option not to (unless you are unable to pay it).

    If there were a city parcel tax and the schools then came knocking on our doors, I would still feel the same way unless ALL are expected to pay it; especially (as I have pointed out numerous times) the people paying FAR less in property taxes than the rest of us. You are not poor by virtue of being a senior yet it appears that is the assumption whenever taxes come up. I just don’t see it here in San Carlos.

    Many seniors are driving expensive cars, living in large homes, lunching at Town, shopping, etc (and yes, I thank those seniors for their downtown support), but they should also be paying more to support infrastructure than the token amounts they do pay, JUST LIKE THE REST OF US.

    When I am a senior, I will be paying in excess of $1000 a month in property taxes and living on the same amount of Social security (maybe) and money I have put away for retirement.

    Do you think the rest of us can sustain what we are currently paying in our retirement? My only solace is that many current seniors will be dead and gone and their homes resold and taxes paid on the actual market value of those properties.

    Based on current property values, I am pretty sure we will not see 10-30 fold property appreciation in our lifetimes and the playing field will eventuallly be more level.

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  • Word must be getting out about fewer police patrolling our streets. I just saw it cross over that we had an armed robbery at Best Buy AND an armed robbery at Taqueria Mi Ranchito on December 29th. So let me repeat my message: Police, Fire, Schools, Libary (only because we built a new one) = Mandatory. Everything else = Discretionary/Optional.

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