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Social scientist and startup mentor running in contested Atherton City Council race

Original post made on Sep 2, 2020

27-year Atherton resident Diana Hawkins-Manuelian is among four candidates vying for two open seats on the City Council in the Nov. 3 election.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, August 31, 2020, 2:52 PM

Comments (7)

Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 2, 2020 at 7:38 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Finally the voters in Atherton will have a choice.

None of the current Town Council members have been elected to their current terms. And only DeGolia has any commitment to transparency and accountability.

Adding Hawkins and David to the Council would give DeGolia a working majority that could return the Town Council to being an effective and respected entity.

Posted by RanchGal
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Sep 2, 2020 at 10:04 am

RanchGal is a registered user.

Electric leaf blowers YES ! I’ll vote for her on that issue alone. Agree with Peter C.

Posted by CyberVoter
a resident of Atherton: other
on Sep 3, 2020 at 12:32 pm

CyberVoter is a registered user.

Please do not turn Atherton into Palo Alto or Menlo Park. I did not move here to create a Social Advocacy movement or a new EPA. What is the role/mission of the Atherton Town Council? It should be to serve the needs of the local community. Security & lifestyle are the paramount concerns in the area. Affordability is another issue.We have a large number of residents that a=are retired &n now on a fixed income. Please pay attention to their financial limitations.

Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 3, 2020 at 12:43 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

CyberVoter - The Town Council could save millions by the simply act of contracting for police services with the Sheriff as does Woodside, Portola Valley and San Carlos.

The current council is fixated on having its own toys and even wants to add its own fire department so it could have more toys. Lewis and Wiest are key movers in trying to get a separate fire department for Atherton - they need to go.

Neither police or fire services can be provided economically to a very small town like Atherton except as part of a much larger entity.

We need the fresh perspectives that Hawkins and David would bring to the council.

Posted by rdegolia
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Sep 3, 2020 at 2:46 pm

rdegolia is a registered user.

Two inaccuracies in Peter Carpenter's posts that I think are worth addressing: First, it is true that Atherton hasn't had an election for each of the last two elections (because no one ran against the incumbents), but this entire 5 person council is the ONLY city council in Atherton's history where all five members were originally elected by the voters (other than the very first council where the electorate voted to incorporate Atherton AND elect 5 council members). It is astonishing that most council members who knew that they weren't going to run for re-election simply resigned early to allow the existing members to appoint their replacements and then the appointees would be incumbents and easily be re-elected. ALL FIVE of the current council members were originally elected. Until the Fire Services issue split this Council apart, it has been extremely collaborative and representative of Atherton residents.
Second, Elizabeth Lewis is opposed to detachment from the Fire District. I have been very outspoken that the idea of detachment is a serious mistake that is a waste of time and money, and an unnecessary threat to the Fire District. The inaccuracy is to say that Lewis has been a key mover to separate from the Fire District. Elizabeth has opposed the effort of the Council majority to consider detachment.
Finally, and appropriate to this Almanac article, I am thrilled to see three women running for two open seats. We have needed this for a long time and Diana Hawkins Manuelian is strongly opposed to detachment from the Fire District and is an excellent candidate. I hope that readers will go to her website and look at her excellent video where she addresses important policy issues.

Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 3, 2020 at 2:50 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Elizabeth Lewis is opposed to detachment from the Fire District."

I stand corrected. My comment was based on her vehement personal attacks on me when I spoke on the issue before the Town Council on behalf of the Fire Board. I am pleased to hear that she has changed her position.

Posted by Thoughtful
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Sep 3, 2020 at 7:24 pm

Thoughtful is a registered user.

Being on the Atherton council takes a lot of time, patience and work. I don't agree with everything (or most) of what some of the council members have decided, but I have to admit, it's a thankless job and an unpaid job that requires a lot in return.

Therefore, we should be grateful to Elizabeth Lewis and Cary Wiest for their years of service.

All things being said, would this community benefit from having fresh perspectives and people on the council? Of course, without a doubt, this would lead to sharper and better governance.

That takes nothing away from the many hours that Elizabeth and Cary have donated to the community, but it's time for some new blood.

I watched the video from Diane Hawkins. Primary takeaway: she "supports the police". To be fair, that's pablum. We do need some council members who can take the budgetary/detachment issues head on. A lot of this mom and apple pie stuff may play well, but when California is enacting wealth taxes to pay for public safety pensions that keep driving up the deficit, residents will think differently and wish some sharp decisions had been made right now and years ago (and, yes, a wealth tax bill is already in the legislature; I don't think it will pass this time, but it's a canary in the coal mine of what is to come).

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