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February 26, 2009



How about cutting the street sweeper service? Still not sure why it's necessary or needed.

holy roller

Has anyone looked into the middle and upper management of the entire City of Burlingame?
The Public Works Dept has 7 managers. Who knows what is happening at the Park and Recreation Dept. Randy Schwartz has left, the Parks Super. has been unable to commit (to the full time position) for almost a year, and the Rec. Super. got a promotion, just before Randy Schartz quit.
I liked Elderperson Nagels first quote about the expensive cost to the City for all these managers.
I hope she will continue to look into this Pork Barrel.
What do those Street Sweepers do 365 days a year?


Don't worry everyone. Burlingame is quite "wealthy", and with the new federal and state tax increases, we are surely going to get our money money back from the feds and pumped into the city. No doubt Jackie Spear will provide for us using stimulus and tax increase money.


Did the resolution to increase the 2009 salaries of the City Manager and City Attorney pass? This item was on the 1/5/09 City Council Minutes. If it did pass, anyone know how much the increase is? Seems odd to be handing out pay raises in this environment.


Here are a few suggestions for solving the budget crisis:

1. Coin operated crosswalks...want to stroll across the street? Put a quarter in the machine and push the button!

2. City Hall/City Department telephones with 900 phone numbers...need to call? Dial 1-900-NANTELL! ($6 for the first 2 minutes and $2 a minute after that.)

3. PAY PER VIEW City Council Meetings! $9.95 per meeting or sign up for the entire year for $80.

4. $10 Pet Tax. Got a dog that you walk on city streets? Have a cat that gets stuck in a tree? Pay up, pal.

5. $50 Kid Tax. If you have "curtain climbers," "rug rats" or little "door slammers," send in some cash.

6. $10 Stroller Tax. Wheeling that new-born or one year old around the 94010 zip code? Be sure you've got an official Burlingame license plate for that four-wheeler.

7. Doughnut Tax. $1 per doughnut, 50-cents for a bagel. Uniformed Burlingame police are exempt.

8. Pedestrian Overpass Tax: $2 a day. We don't sock it to out-of-towners enough, do we? Let's have a toll gate on each end of that new, golden pedestrian over-crossing with BART-like entry and exit machines! This should really generate some funds once the Trolley stops operating.

9. Athletic Wristband Tax: $5 for kids, $10 for adults...Be sure you've got your official B'game wristband, allowing you to jog on city sidewalks or streets or for your kid to play soccer or softball in town.

10. Commemorative City Memorabilia: Haven't you seen those ads for Obama plates and coins? Why don't we have our own? Get your O'Mahoney Silver dollar! Order your Nagel coffee cup and Keighran Saucer! How about a re-usable Baylock shopping bag? Deal brooms, perhaps.

11. Burlingame City Employee Trading Cards! 10 for a buck...collect all (fill in the blank for the number) _____!
Official city cards, featuring Parking Enforcement Personnel, Street Sweeper drivers and those friendly folks who have desks in City Hall. A real money maker!

12. Kid's Backpack Tax: $10 for a calendar year.

13. Ice Cream/Gelato/Sorbet/Yogurt Tax: Buying a cone or a cup? Add 50-cents a scoop for The City (which has to fund trash collection for the napkins and debris left-over from these...)

14. Sell "advertising space" on City Stop signs! With pricing ranging from $50 to $300 annually, depending upon the traffic flow...
Stop signs on Burlingame Ave and Trousdale, for example, would cost more than your ad on a stop sign at, say, Carmelita and Bernal. "STOP here and don't forget to STOP by the Copenhagen Bakery!"

15. Get Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle, Google or some financially solvent company to "buy" the Broadway Arch. $5000 annually for a "Google" sign atop the arch! Yahoo!

16. Parking meters at Peninsula Hospital! Why not have parking meters installed there? These will take credit cards and we can sell space for $10/hour. Hell, if people pay $20 at Peninsula Hospital for an aspirin tablet, they ought to be able to pony up some cash for a parking space.

17. Tax on Caltrain for noise and nuisance. We can install a crossing gate at Broadway which Caltrain engineers can "open" by inserting a Visa or MasterCard, permitting the train to roll through town. This will allow commuters to hop on the train, while the engineer fumbles for the credit card or $50 worth of coins, at Broadway, finally.

18. Restaurant Bathroom Tax: With city "parking meter-like" devices, patrons requiring a visit to the restroom can insert 4 quarters and access the facility. Includes 10 seconds' worth of running water at the sink to wash hands.

19. Street Light Tax...want the street light illuminated on your block? Go insert your credit card and program in the hours you'd like the lamp lit...$2 per hour.

20. Council Meeting Public Comments Fee: Want to have your 3 minute "say" before the city council? Buy a license (valid only at that evening's meeting) for $10. Reduced rates if you can sing your message while accompanying yourself on the guitar, kazoo or nose harp.

21. Commercials during Council Meetings! We can probably get Mr. Hamilton and Boss Ruce to do their old-fashioned, radio-like performances in between agenda items at council meetings. "This next council item brought to you by Round Table Pizza, where you can get a large King Arthur's Supreme or a Queen Ann Keighran Combo..."

22. Crosswalk Advertising...Why not have the city crew, as long as they're painting the crosswalks annually, with some sort of advertising?

I can probably come up with some other revenue generating ideas, but at least, this is a start.


Looking at the budget, I see the city has 259 employees which cost the city $40,000,000 per year...that's an average cost of $154,000 per employee. I the city can deal with budget issues very quickly by merging high level positions and eliminating some of the staff. At around $150k per staff, eliminating just 19.5 staff members will take care of the $3 million needed to balance the budget without eliminating service to residence. Time to trim some fat of the pig.

holy roller

Very good point Mike.
However, I think the biggest cost incurred is from the Police and Fire salary/retirement benefits.
After 9/11 those groups could get whatever they ask for.. and they got it.
If you look into the reason Vallejo went into bankruptcy it was due to those wages and benefits for PD/Fire.
It was @80% of the total City of Vallejo budget.

Ron Fulderon

Is there any way to see the budget and learn, line by line, item by item, how they are spending our money?


Holy roller, I see your point but emergency services should be last place we would want to see cuts, not to mention that the average for Fire and Police is around $170k per year.

I actually want to amend my statement and just ask every city employee to take a 10% cut in wage and benefits to save the City $4 million dollars in the coming year. I don't think that's too much to ask to solve our budget issues, especially considering all the job losses non-city employees have to deal with. What I am amazed at is how every single department seems to want more money in 08-09 than they had in 07-08.

As much as I am against cutting Library services, I do think they can find a way to do something about the $113K average compensation for the 23 employees...I value a good Librarian, but I can't imagine a single one costing the city over $75k per year. Sorry, the work they do is just not that critical.

The "Community Development Departments" is the odd one of the bunch. The Planning group staff includes a Community Development Director, Planning Manager, Senior Planner, Associate Planner, and an Assistant Planer...seems like everyone in that department has someone below them in the ranks. When you add the Inspection group, you have a total of 12 employees and that's a bit much for this department and what they do, considering we have 46 cops to provide safety for the entire city 24/7.

Overall, there is just too much fuss by the city council about budget problems, yet they fail to see the solution is right in their own house and they need to do some house cleaning.

Message to any city council member that might come across this posting: Cut compensation for all city employees by 10% for the next year or two and none will lose their jobs and budget discussion would be over. Do your job...at least pretend like you know how to do it.

Google Cash

Might be a bit off topic, but maybe its time to try a google punch.. Take a bit of your time, spend it working on a self starting kit to earn $ from home
I know its all been said before, but check it before you dismiss it.. Google cash stuff works

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