San Carlos Real Estate Agent, San Carlos Realtor Back in Business… | The White Oaks Blog
San Carlos Real Estate April 29, 2010

Back in Business…

by Chuck Gillooley

The White Oaks Blog is Back!

Less than a week after being hijacked by a malicious virus, the White Oaks Blog is back up and running 100%.   Huge thanks to the folks at Agent Evolution for rescuing the site from imploding on itself, and surgically removing the virus from the site (over 700 files were infected!)   I cannot recommend their service highly enough.   Once they scrubbed the entire database, we took the opportunity to move the site to a higher performing and more secure hosting environment.  That means the site should load much more quickly now, and will be less susceptible to this type of hacking (knock on wood..)

Thanks for your patience during this time.  I know the appearance of the site has been very erratic this past week, but it’s full steam ahead now.
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Back in Business..., 5.0 out of 5 based on 3 ratings
Comments 13
  • Welcome back!

    There’s still plenty to be concerned about in SC, so I hope people will come back.

    We’ve lost an outstanding Police Commander, Jon Read, who started in Colma today. He surely won’t be the last experienced officer we lose. Who wants to work for a city that wants to auction off its Police and Fire services to the lowest bidder?

    One of Mark Weiss’s stated reasons for contracting the PD out to the Sheriff within 60-90 days was that it was the only way that all our officers would be absorbed by the Sheriff’s Office. He didn’t mention that the Sheriff will have to make drastic cuts to his budget soon and might lay off our officers anyway. I don’t think that will be a problem because I think the attrition in the department will accelerate.

    We will surely lose firefighters as well. More than half the firefighters are actively looking for jobs, and our guys are experienced and very well trained, so they won’t have trouble finding departments that want them. They will be able to choose the ones they want to work for.

    The first time the department was under threat of dissolution the firefighters stuck with us, but twice in 5 years is too much, especially with the attitude of some San Carlos Councilmen. Last time everyone respected the firefighters.

    Andy and Omar thought they could start negotiations with an ultimatum and play hard ball from there. While San Carlos is being rude to Belmont, our Fire Chief, and our Fire Department, the rest of the County, including Belmont, is talking about regionalization. Not us, we’re playing hard ball.

    We may get to the point where we don’t have enough firefighters to staff our stations, even with overtime, but Andy Klein refuses to give a penny, even for the wind-down budget that covers July 1, 2010 – October 2011. The dissolution is still going to cost San Carlos a ton of money, way more than it would have cost to stay with the Belmont San Carlos Fire Department and work with Belmont to find other cities to join us.

    Andy and Omar, with the support of Randy Royce, wanted no part of anything so civilized. They were sure their way was the only way and insisted on sending a letter to Belmont announcing our intention to leave the JPA.

    Since then, all the fire chiefs in the county got together to discuss regionalization . Our fire chief was invited, as were the Belmont representatives, but the San Carlos representatives were disinvited. Andy was very unhappy that our chief attended. It makes perfect sense to me to invite everyone who is interested in working together and disinvite those who aren’t.

    Of course this plays right into Andy’s plan to dump local fire service and hire CalFire.

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  • As a fan of regionalization, this is really discouraging news from Pat B. The fact that our representatives were disinvited is an embarrassment. Even if the representatives are determined to go with CalFire, it would have been reasonable to at least attend this discussion and check out all the possible solutions.

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    • LH,
      While I do not want to get involved in a discussion on this blog, I think you should know the actual facts. Pat rarely has all the facts and tends to slant them to her agenda. The fact is the Belmont-San Carlos Fire Department was disinvited. The meeting was changed to only Fire Districts, it did not inculed the enitre county. It only included special districts who pay for their fire with a special tax. Those who were invited were Woodside Fire District, Colma Fire District, Menlo Fire District, Coastside Fire District (Cal-Fire), and the Belmont Fire District. Cities who pay for their Fire Department through the General Fund were not invited. Those include, San Mateo, Redwood City, Burlingame, Hillsborough, San Bruno, South San Francisco, Foster City, etc. To imply this was a county meeting and San Carlos was disinvited because of our behavior is just a lie. We don’t have a special fire district, that is why we were not invited.
      Also, Pat mentions that last time all the firefighters stuck with us. The Chief reported at our last meeting that the last dissolution caused us to lose 8-10 firefighters which is about 1/3 of our force. Whether you are for or against what the Council is pursuing I thought you should have the actual facts, which is rarely what Pat portrays.
      Thank you,
      Andy Klein

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    • LH,

      I won’t stoop to Andy’s level, but I will respond to a few of his statements. When Andy angrily described being disinvited he said nothing about the scope of the meeting being changed. Neither did he clarify that at last week’s Fire Commission meeting. In fact, though I have heard this discussed several times and read about it, this is the first I’ve heard of a change in scope.

      If our government officials only give us part of the story, that’s all we get. I made the mistake of taking Andy at his word. Shame on me.

      It is possible that the scope was changed in order to exclude certain people, I don’t know.

      While we did lose employees the last time the Fire Department was threatened, many firefighters were actively involved in trying to save the department and some of them worked very long hours while they were off duty to try to facilitate the process. They worked with and were welcomed by both cities. We did not have more than 50% of the firefighters out looking for other jobs. It remains to be seen how many we will lose this time, unless we “outsource” to CalFire. If we do that we will lose many, many of our best firefighters, the ones who cannot be absorbed into Belmont’s fire service, whatever that turns out to be.

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      • These are direct quotes from my statement at the City Council meeting. “As a JPA we were no longer invited”, and “Belmont was invited to go since they are a Fire District, and the meeting became about just fire districts”. Please feel free to watch the video. http://www.epackets.net/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=1058&doctype=AGENDA I don’t feel that I gave only part of the story, but I invite you to watch the video and listen yourself.

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  • LH,

    I agree, it is embarrassing. I am embarrassed every time I hear the childish, foot-stamping comments about our Fire Department and our Fire Chief. I think that rudeness is the reason the San Carlos representatives were disinvited.

    To be fair, Omar Ahmad missed some Fire Board meetings, so this was all Andy Klein.

    San Carlos is supposedly still interested in regionalization, but I think this is an indication of how receptive other agencies will be to the idea of partnering with us. Why would anyone want to work with us?

    It also says something about CalFire, which evidently isn’t concerned about who it works for or how the relationship works out.

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  • At one of the budget study sessions, Bob Friday said the elephant in the room was disincorporation. Well, I’ve been thinking about that elephant.

    If we disincorporate we won’t have a City Council; we’ll be governed by the Board of Supervisors. That doesn’t seem so bad. Our representative on that Board would probably be Don Horsely; that doesn’t seem so bad either. Our public safety would be provided by the County Sheriff and CalFire. That’s really bad, but it’s the same as what our city government wants to give us.

    We wouldn’t need any of the upper level administrators because the County already has all those services. The people who actually do the work of running the city, cutting the grass, cleaning the buildings, etc., could probably be hired by the County, just as Mark Weiss promises our police officers will be by the Sheriff. Just as he says our firefighters will be by CalFire.

    We wouldn’t have much local control, but that’s no different from what the City is selling us. The citizens of SC have talked and talked and talked, with no effect whatsoever on the plans of the administration and the majority of the Council. So what kind of control is that? As long as they’re in power, we have no control over what happens to our town.

    Who knows, maybe we’d get lucky and be annexed by one of our neighbors. If we were part of Redwood City or Belmont, we wouldn’t have to fight so hard for green initiatives.

    Or maybe we’d like being unincorporated. The Supervisors are certainly more thoughtful and adult than some of our Council members. I’ve been attending their meetings and haven’t seen a single tantrum, not even any childish sniping among the members.

    The County Manager and Assistant County Manager are very impressive. Their idea of public input is to hold meetings to hear from citizens BEFORE the manager puts together a budget proposal for the Board.

    The remaining meetings are as follows:

    May 4
    6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Burlingame Library Lane Community Room 480 Primrose Road Burlingame
    May 5
    6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Fair Oaks Community Center 2600 Middlefield Road Redwood City
    May 11
    6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Board Chambers 400 County Center Redwood City

    I think San Carlos citizens should attend, to see how a budget is put together and have a chance to ask questions that are actually answered. Maybe we’ll get some ideas about how to solve our budget problems. Not that that would do us any good.

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    • That might have some upside but you left out the best part: People who are meanspirited, fundamentally nasty, spout half truths, pretend to know what they are talking about, never have anything nice to say, have an overinflated level of self importance, like to talk bad behind peoples back, and appear to be a fundamentally miserable person will now be the counties problem -not San Carlos’.

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      • Are you referring to our Councilmen?

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        • Ummm…yeah…that’s right, Pat…I’m referring to our councilmen. I mean, who else could I possibly be talking about, right???

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          • Arn, is that you? Andy? I have trouble telling the two of you apart when you post anonymously.

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  • No, I’m afraid I’m not either one of those folks. Believe it or not, there are a lot more than two people who think that most everything you put forward as fact is wrong. I think people should express themselves but it would be nice if you’d do a little open minded fact checking before you just start talking as if you actually know what you’re talking about.

    Your post about the fire meeting was a great example of what you do all the time. Take a sliver of a fact, blow it up, mold it to fit your preconceived ideas and agenda, that just start talking like an authority on the subject. It’s vintage Pat. You’re so busted!!!

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    • Anon,

      Do you attend all these meetings or do you just take Andy’s word for what happened? I speak from my own experience and from talking directly with the people involved.

      BTW, the County Board of Supervisors likes to have citizens involved and asking informed questions.

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