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RE: Unincorporated Menlo Park / Program Registrations

From: domainremoved <Jon>
Date: Tue, 21 Jan 2014 16:01:30 +0000

Peter - Thanks for your reply. I'm surprised having grown up in unincorporated Menlo Park that you aren't more sympathetic to this discussion ... although perhaps back then this was not as much of an issue given the size of the town. Your comment of "perhaps there may be services or classes that the County may offer" is interesting. Perhaps there are "county" supermarkets, "county" gas stations and "county" small businesses that my family and our neighbors should frequent as well, rather than those in the city of Menlo Park? Is this your desired outcome? Surely not, given the potential for lost revenue.

We are all residents of the Menlo Park community and share a zip code, schools (where are property tax revenue is most certainly utilized) and places of business and we should be treated equally as such. Neighboring towns charge a fraction of the incremental costs that Menlo Park does for similar programs for non-town residents.

I was told by people familiar with the city council that my issue would likely fall on deaf ears. I will continue to seek out those individuals that may be more interested in engaging around this discussion with us country bumpkins.

Thanks for your time.

Jon Kossow


-----Original Message-----
From: Ohtaki, Peter I [mailto:PIOhtaki_at_(domainremoved)
Sent: Monday, January 20, 2014 11:00 PM
To: Jon Kossow
Subject: Re: Unincorporated Menlo Park / Program Registrations

Hi Jon,
Unfortunately, none of your property taxes go to the City of Menlo Park, but instead go to the County of San Mateo. None of your property taxes help subsidize Menlo Park programs or gym classes, and therefore you don't get the city resident discount or preference. In California, counties provide services to unincorporated areas so you are served by the Sheriff and County building dept. for example, so perhaps there may be services or classes that the County may offer.

I grew up in unincorporated Menlo Park, so I understand your frustration. I heard that in the 1960s, the unincorporated areas voted against annexation by the City of Menlo Park, but retain a Menlo Park zip code. I'm sorry that there might not be an easy solution.
Sincerely,
Peter Ohtaki
Council Member

Sent from my iPad

On Jan 20, 2014, at 7:27 PM, "Jon Kossow" <jkossow_at_(domainremoved)

> I am resending this note which was first sent 8 days ago. I appreciate a reply - I think a week is more than enough time to respond. Thank you for your prompt attention to this inquiry.
> Regards,
> Jon Kossow
>
>
>> On Jan 12, 2014, at 12:12 PM, "Jon Kossow" <jkossow_at_(domainremoved)
>>
>> I don't know if this is the right audience for this issue; I appreciate forwarding to the appropriate parties as needed. Thanks.
>>
>> I have been a Menlo Park resident for 15+ years ... the last 10+ years as a property owner and property tax payer. We lived in West Menlo on Olive Street before moving to Berkeley Ave in Menlo Oaks in 2007.
>>
>> Upon moving to unincorporated Menlo Park, my wife suddenly found us paying extra for town children's programs and having to wait extra time to register for such classes. As I believe we pay equal property taxes to town of Menlo Park residents, I fail to see how this is an equitable arrangement. We now have 3 children, so this has been a problem that has become increasingly worse. For example, my wife had to wait a week to register my daughter for gymnastics at Burgess (1st week is for townies only). By 830am on the first day of non-townie registration, all slots for all sessions were already gone.
>>
>> I have heard the same complaints from neighbors around swim programs, basketball and having to pay more to swim at Burgess - I recently polled other residents of Menlo Oaks to hear their tales of woe as well. As we all have Menlo Park addresses and pay the same property taxes, we fail to see the rationale behind such discrimination.
>>
>> We all love living in Menlo Park and are very appreciative of the great programs the town has to offer. However, such limitations will ultimately drive us all to neighboring towns for such ancillary programs, thus limiting incremental revenue for the town altogether.
>>
>> I would appreciate feedback on the appropriate forum in which to address this problem further.
>>
>> Thank you.
>>
>> Jon Kossow
>> 600 Berkeley Ave
>> Menlo Park, CA 94025
>> 650-328-3727
Received on Tue Jan 21 2014 - 08:01:38 PST

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