ATHERTON (KPIX 5) – After being on the hook for security costs during President Barack Obama’s last fundraiser, the town of Atherton won’t pick up the costs for his next visit.
The town could be considered the Bay Area’s Beverly Hills, but Mayor Elizabeth Lewis said the town’s pockets aren’t quite as deep.
“The residents are very wealthy, but our budget is very small comparatively speaking,” Lewis told KPIX 5.
When Mr. Obama swings into town to fundraise on Thursday, the mayor and police chief said Atherton, with its $12 million budget, can’t afford to keep footing the bill for extra security.
“We have a finite number of overtime dollars to spend. And they should be spent on emergency situations, not pre-planned fundraising events,” said Chief Ed Flint of the Atherton Police Department.
The last time President Obama did a fundraiser in Atherton, the town was on the hook for nearly $10,000.
“We take our residents’ property taxes and fees very seriously,” Lewis said.
Last summer, the city council tightened up its special permit ordinance. Now, residents who host the president, or any other large-scale event that eats up public resources must pay for it.
The new ordinance was recently put to test last week, during a Super Bowl 50 event with Joe Montana at an Atherton estate.
Atherton has 19 sworn officers. According to the police chief, 150 law enforcement officers, along with the Secret Service were brought in to make the last fundraising visit by the president a safe one.