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Week in Review: Teeth Chattering Weather, City Offering Big Bucks to Leave and a Call to Help Needy Families

Didn’t have time to catch all the stories this week?

Don’t fret.

Here’s a rundown of the top stories on Novato Patch.

This week, the council approved an incentive program that would pay $25,000 to any city staffer who voluntarily left. The program is the latest effort by the city to reduce the $300,000 budget deficit. Salaries make up the vast majority of Novato’s spending.

We also wrote about a neighborhood that struggled for years to shutter a drug home on its street. Police responded to the property nearly 100 times over the course of three years and made arrests, but could not run the owner out of town. And even when the owner stopped making payments, it took the bank six years to foreclose on the property!

This week, we wrote about the $460,000 refund Novato will receive from the county, part of an agreement to return what Marin charged Novato for collecting property taxes. A 2012 California Supreme Court decision ruled that counties could not charge cities for processing property taxes. 

Also this week, the drop in temperatures had many people pulling out their gloves, hats and long coats. Temperatures dropped to as low as 19 degrees on Wednesday and snow on Mt. Tam was anticipated. Now things are warming up with temperatures expected to climb over the next week to a high of 57 degrees on Wednesday and ever warmer on Thursday and Friday.

The holidays are a time of giving, but not only to family and friends but those in need. Novato Human Needs Center, which offers emergency rental assistance, employment and educational services, is asking the community to chip in to donate new clothing, accessories and especially items for teens.

Have a question or tip about a story? Drop Local Editor Karina Ioffee a line at karina@patch.com or reach her at 415-404-0946
JAN December 08, 2013 at 11:42 AM
Good luck with this come-on. $25,000.00 after taxes will net you a first class ticket to the Poor House. This might tip a few retirees to punch out earlier but not many others. Novato is a good employer with decent managers. Who would want to leave a good job with benefits and a decent retirement for the great unknown of unemployment?
Roger December 08, 2013 at 01:18 PM
In the private sector, they just reorganize a department...existing employees have to apply for their current jobs and ...surprise, the old employees don't get picked ...employer then goes outside and seeks younger workers to fill the newly opened position. Mass firings without the need to show just cause. I have seen it happen first hand. Ugly practice.
Dave Robertson December 08, 2013 at 03:09 PM
Marin charged Novato $460K to process property taxesand distrbute Novato's share to them. That's a bit severe. A 1% fee on $46M would be $460K - and in no way did Novato get $46M, nor is 1% even reasonable a "cut" for county collections. Well, I guess Novato doesn't have a budget deficit any more - at least for this year. And when it comes to the $25K incentive "bonus" for people to retire early - does Novato let these people know how much they will be sacrificing by leaving early? Probably not. Either way, this practice tends to take advantage to the poorer employees who are likely in a cash flow jam - about to lose a house - etc. In the end, you are not helping them.
Dave Robertson December 08, 2013 at 03:13 PM
BTW, if Novato is willing to shell out $25K in cash to retiring employees, they must stand to gain a lot back in lost benefits from those who leave. That says to me that the benefits are too high in the first place. It also seems hypocritical to build a $15M+ office building (with new, matching , furniture!) and then try to get rid of some of the employees they build this office building for. This would never happen in the private sector - then again, no one in the private sector would think of doing the things that Novato thinks of doing.

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