Atherton: Library question heads for ballot after heated debate over language Atherton, posted by Editor, The Almanac Online, on Jul 26, 2012 at 11:07 pm
This is an expanded version of an earlier article. After four and a half hours of at times sniping comments and polarized debate during a special Atherton City Council meeting on July 25, it appeared that the desire by the council to end the divisiveness in the community by allowing a vote on the plan to build a library in the park may have been mere wishful thinking.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, July 26, 2012, 11:46 AM
Posted by Fair Ballot, a resident of the Atherton: West Atherton neighborhood, on Jul 27, 2012 at 7:52 am
A concern of many is that the town will lose the Main House, valuable land, and additional open space to build a 10-12,000 square foot library facility that will often be occupied below 50% capacity due to the Redwood City Library, Menlo Park Library, E-Books, expanded school libraries, and the Internet providing the needed resources.
With only 10-15 people pushing the expanded size library, why not just spend the $400,000 needed to do the seismic upgrades to the current library?
Praise to Lewis for pointing this out and voting against the misleading Ballot Statement. In the council campaign four years ago, Lewis pointed out that increases in the Business Liscense Tax and Road Impact Fees were illegal and would have to be refunded. McKeithen campaigned the town's finances were fine.
Right after the election the town admitted Lewis was right and started steps to make the refunds.
There is a good chance, Widmer, McKeithen, and Dobbie have pushed through building a large facility which is not needed, will have many empty chairs, and changed the nature of the park.
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of the Atherton: Lindenwood neighborhood, on Jul 27, 2012 at 10:41 am Peter Carpenter is a member (registered user) of Almanac Online
The ballot will read:
Library: should the town construct a new library in the park using funds dedicated for library purposes only, by replacing the main house and some surrounding patios and walkways.
This will be accompanied by Pro and Con statements not to exceed 300 words and rebuttals to the Pro and Con statements not exceeding 200 words.
And this is the result of the pressure created by a citizens' petition, a council decision to put this issue to the voters and an open meeting on the ballot wording which a scores of citizens attended and at which a dozen citizens made comments.
A perfect example of democracy at work - not perfect, but much better than any of the other alternatives.
Posted by James "Skip" Law, a resident of the Atherton: West Atherton neighborhood, on Jul 28, 2012 at 4:59 pm
I am reminded of our offer to Atherton to lease the still vacant parking lot across from the train station for some senior housing above a new town office building that we would have donated to the town. At that time Kathy McKeithen organized her supporters to oppose the offer at a public meeting and the proposal was voted down without any further review. In short, this would have given Atherton annual income from the land lease of the parking lot, a new town hall at no cost, room to remodel/expand the library in its present location, and would have allowed for the removal of the non conforming "temporary trailer" presently used to house the building office.