Over the past several years, Atherton’s City Council has managed its finances in a fiscally conservative manner. Rick is committed to continuing this practice. The Council has reduced its long term pension and healthcare liabilities through a combination of smart negotiations with Town staff and a series of payments to reduce the overhang of the Town’s unpaid, long term liabilities. This, in combination with a steady improvement in housing values and a resulting increase in property tax revenue, has enabled the Town to generate an operating surplus in each of the past three years. As the unpaid portion of the long term liabilities is paid down and the surplus is put into reserves, the Town is in a position to make a level of infrastructure investments that haven’t been made since Proposition 13 was passed in 1978. Rick Supports this conservative fiscal management and focus on capital improvement investments, so long as the priorities for such investments are driven by resident input.
I am pleased to report that in the past year, the council has worked hard to mange expenses and revenue in a responsible manner. It is essential that the council continue to adhere to principals of prudent fiscal management. In 2009 and 2010, Atherton was forced to return Road Impact and Business License fees that had been inappropriately collected. We still have to address issues of outstanding unfunded liabilities and there are important long-term contracts to be renewed, which will have a big impact on our liabilities of the future. We need council members who can continue to repair and remedy the legacy problems created in the past, while continuing to manage current costs obligations prudently into the future.