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on Apr 17, 2012
Logic would mean that the council would be willing to do what a mojority of the residents want and what the Park anc Recreation Commission has advised the council to do: Take a vote of the Residents of Atherton.
Mr. Dobbie's Opinion leaves several questions, which have not been answered in the two years of meetings. Yet the council refuses to to this on the agenda for residents to comment and ask questions.
1. Since the Library funds have to be used for Library services, how can they be spent on park maintenance?
2. Traffic will not be the same. The EIR report says traffic will increase. This is a regional library the council wants to build.
3. If Menlo Park and Redwood City have great libraries, why is one needed in Atherton.
4. Train noise: How do the hundreds of Atherton residents that live near the train tracks currently exist?
5. Weddings don't lose money. The Park rents for several thousand dollars for a few hours. That makes money.
6. The tennis courts serve more than 29 residents. What about the youth programs on the courts? Do any of these residents bring a guest to play tennis?
7. Open space is needed in the park and where are the curent activities of the Main House going to be relocated. Where will the funds come from to replace those activities.
8. It seems that only a few people seem to want a library in the park and do not want to let a town vote happen.
Jim Dobbie states,"If a small number of residents focused on decisions made by other than logic stop the library construction it will be golden opportunity lost for the town." This arrogant remark highlights the thinking of the three council members who refuse to let the matter be decided by the voters of Atherton.
Logic would tell you that a vote would be the proper thing to do with a divided council and a very important and long lasting decision to be made. Logic would ask the question, "what are they afraid of in holding a vote?" Logic would tell you that logic has nothing to do with it.
If the money can only be spent on "library projects" why not consider building/improving the libraries of schools that reside in Atherton? I agree that with two great libraries so close by, there's really no need for a bigger, more beautiful public library. With $8 million to spend, seismic and aesthetic improvements could be made to the existing library building and the rest divided among improvements to the school libraries in Atherton. That would be a worthy investment with huge dividends. With all the cuts to educational spending, school libraries and staff have been the hardest hit areas.
When the five elected and respected town council members cannot all agree on where to locate the library and how to use limited space in the town's only park then the only alternative is to submit this issue to a binding vote by the citizens. Preferably the town council will take the initiative on this process and thereby formulate the language of the ballot measure. If the council is unable to perform that role then it will be performed by others.
Have a vote, then Do a joint-venture project with Menlo College.
There have been numerous posts on Almanac Blogs with questions for those supporting the Library in the Park. Just like this blog, the questions go unanswered. Logic would be that the answers might cause concern.
McKeithen and Dobbie conveniently publish "Guest Opinions" right before comments are due on the EIR! It is amazing how they coordinate so nicely to start to hold four premature meetings about how to decorate the library, then move seamlessly to foment concerns about the Tennis Courts, about Committees and their rules, about the resident-run email list and insult residents about having no soul (when it is they who would pave over our park to prevent our children and their children from enjoying real open space were they can play games and sports and not have to be in buildings), all within the comment period for the EIR. It couldn't be that they were doing that so that folks might be distracted from submitting complaints about the ALBSC and hard-hitting comments about the nonsense foisted in the EIR, could it?
Folks, if you are reading this, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain and start writing your Comments on the ALBSC's faulty and biased Draft EIR. These are due by May 7th and anyone in the area can respond. Of course, copies are not available through the town. You can only access the EIR online from the town website at: www.ci.atherton.ca.us.
Interesting that although Denise Kupperman insists that the ALBSC has no role in the work of the EIR consultants (I guess other than for having hired them, negotiated their contract and then negotiated the increase to it when ignoring the whole community caused enough controversy to require that they conduct the full EIR process), LSA sites as "Contacts" (on p. 182): Denise Kupperman, Marion Oster, and Carine Risley, all members of the ALBSC. Now if they also used Kathy McKeithen, Jim and Pat Dobbie, Karen Bliss, Sandy Crittenden, Joan Saunders and Ginny Niles, they would have gotten to every single person in the whole town who supports putting the library in the park!
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