Editorial: Atherton struggles without leaders Atherton, posted by Editor, The Almanac Online, on Jan 31, 2012 at 3:23 pm
In what appears to be a complete meltdown in communications between the City Council and an interim city manager, Atherton has tapped a deputy city clerk to manage the town while it scrambles to initiate a search for a permanent manager.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, February 1, 2012, 12:00 AM
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of the Atherton: Lindenwood neighborhood, on Jan 31, 2012 at 3:30 pm Peter Carpenter is a member (registered user) of Almanac Online
The Editorial is simply wrong.
The Town is in much better shape as a result of Danielson's effort and year on the job. In many ways he has laid the ground work for hiring a permanent manager who can start with a stabilized situation rather than a having to do all of the house cleaning and repair work that Danielson has done. If a new manager had been brought in six months ago she/he would have had to use a lot of their institutional capital to accomplish what Danielson did while serving as interim manager.
The first step in moving forward is to clean up whatever mess there is - Danielson and the Council have done that. In addition, the Town now has a superb Town Attorney and a superb Interim Police Chief and is much closer to having a balanced budget.
Posted by exactly, a resident of the Atherton: other neighborhood, on Jan 31, 2012 at 4:23 pm
The Almanac editorial reflects accurately what is probably the low point in Town governance. The Members of the Town Council should never have allowed conditions to reach this stage even if Danielson is the most brilliant interim there is. The new City Attorney is not looking very good either, and it doubtful that the Council will do anything constructive since they are totally dysfunctional as a group. Dobbie, McKeithen are the main problems and until they are gone do not expect much.
Posted by Priority, a resident of the Atherton: Lloyden Park neighborhood, on Jan 31, 2012 at 4:56 pm
The council knows what it is doing: Keep rotating city managers and city attorneys for fresh blood with no memory of previous town problems. In the last 12 years all city managers (3) or interim city managers (3) or city attorneys (3) or Police Chiefs (3) or Building Officials (3) or Public Works Directors (2) or Finance Directors (3) have left with a cloud over their head.
Meanwhile council keeps dealing with lawsuits, refunds, and special elections. Years ago when one staff member left he remarked the kaos was never going to end.
Posted by exactly, a resident of the Atherton: other neighborhood, on Jan 31, 2012 at 5:42 pm
Peter asks "What exactly is the alleged cloud over Danielson's head?"
I would suggest one big cloud: he was hired to find a permanent town manager as one of his main tasks but instead liked the gig and moved into the Town's house in the park. He then positioned himself to stay on when everyone knew this was unlikely to work (with CalPers) so he could double dip. Of course the cloud was enabled by the Council.
The point is that the citizens of Atherton have not been well served by this gambit, and we have been duped by the Council into believing he was going to do a replacement search and leave after his defined contract.
Posted by Priority, a resident of the Atherton: Lloyden Park neighborhood, on Jan 31, 2012 at 8:18 pm
Actually most of the staff that left were good people. The clouds were brought on by negative comments of council members. Some council members have been very critical of the city attorneys, city managers, police chiefs, etc....
Posted by Haha, a resident of the Atherton: other neighborhood, on Feb 1, 2012 at 7:46 am
The cloud on Jerry Gruber was brought on by a council member? That guy was not too bright, and I'm being very diplomatic.
The cloud on Mike Guerra and Glen Nielson and Bob Brennen was brought on by a council member? No, by the bad behavior in the police department that they either encouraged or ignored.
The cloud on Wynne Furth was brought on by a council member? No, by her own exonerations of three council members who were voting to get her the $700,000 to $800,000 she was milking from the town by encouraging lawsuits to fester.
Posted by Haha, a resident of the Atherton: other neighborhood, on Feb 1, 2012 at 7:48 am
Peter and exactly are both right. Danielson was a good manager (and a superb one when compared to what Atherton has had to suffer with), but unfortunately could never work in Atherton for more than a a year. A search should have started long ago. There's no excuse for this.
Posted by john, a resident of the Atherton: other neighborhood, on Feb 2, 2012 at 8:08 pm
And still there is hide nor hair of the illustrious report that our council commissioned for the better of the town, that incidentally
was used to replace many caring employees with contractors that don't seem to know what they are doing. Still does anybody ask what the connection is with Interwest and Danielson . It does seem a little odd that where Danialson goes Interwest follows.But he is doing a great job right Peter?
Posted by WhoRUpeople, a resident of another community, on Feb 3, 2012 at 9:40 am
I found it impossible to tie the logic used in the editorial together. Atherton is not a city, it is a town. As the article stated, it has no industrial base and collects no sales tax. The "haircut" that has recently taken place was necessary; there are less expensive ways to deliver services than were in place. That isn't a "discount operation", its sound management.
Posted by john, a resident of the Atherton: other neighborhood, on Feb 3, 2012 at 10:14 am
Really,check the cost of what those contractors are costing you in real money not what they tell you. Also ,for a town that is so concerned with what city employees cost. Why is it that all of the contractors are retired city employees that are double dipping on our tax dollars.That seems to be ok with all of you, just as long as it benefits your individual agenda's.
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of the Atherton: Lindenwood neighborhood, on Feb 3, 2012 at 2:52 pm Peter Carpenter is a member (registered user) of Almanac Online
The notion that 'double dipping' is bad is wrong in simply wrong (except for the fact that prohibiting double dipping increases job opportunities for the unemployed). It makes no economic sense or management sense not to employ highly experienced people who do not require pension contributions.