Atherton: Council weighs options for filling vacant seat

With a hefty workload facing them and an empty chair at the council dais, the remaining four Atherton City Council members will consider options for filling that empty seat when they meet on Wednesday, March 19. The options include appointing a new member at that meeting.

The vacancy is the result of Jim Dobbie's resignation earlier this month. Mr. Dobbie's term was due to expire in December; if the council appoints a replacement, it would be to serve out the term.

Town staff contacted residents who applied for a vacancy last year resulting from Jerry Carlson's resignation. Seven candidates were considered for appointment to that seat, but the council was unable to choose. Five of the applicants have said they're still interested in a council appointment, according to City Manager George Rodericks. They are: Diane Beymer-Sandhu, Greg Conlon, Michael Lempres, John Ruggeiro, and Jo-Ann Sockolov.

Rick DeGolia, another applicant for Mr. Carlson's seat, ran successfully for the post in November. A seventh candidate, Michael Stogner, is now a permanent resident of San Carlos and is running for county supervisor.

Mr. Roderick said the council has three options: It can appoint someone to the open seat when it meets this week -- including a resident who is not among the five former applicants who have expressed interest; approve a process to invite other candidates to apply and attempt to appoint at a later date; or function with only four members until December.

Also on the agenda: a public hearing on a proposed increase to green waste-collection rates; a report on the master plan for a new Town Center, and possible action allowing staff to begin environmental review and design processes; and appointment of two council members to review with planning staff the proposed design of the Little League's project to improve the ball field in Holbrook-Palmer Park.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Town Council Chambers at 94 Ashfield Road, in the Town Center.

Click here for the agenda and staff reports.


Posted by Michael G. Stogner, a resident of another community
on Mar 18, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Best of luck to Atherton I hope you can fill this position at the meeting. No shortage of good people to choose from.

Posted by Remember, a resident of Atherton: other
on Mar 19, 2014 at 8:34 am

The council must remember one thing, the voters in Atherton voted really clearly that they don't want a council that is hostile to the police department, micro managing it or using a penny wise and pound foolish approach. Kathy Mckeithan was doing all of these things. If they are going to appointment process this person must understand that the residents want to support the police department.

Just recently a sergeant announced he is leaving Atherton PD for Santa Cruz. Like was pointed out during contract negotiations, it costs Atherton a lot of money to hire and train a new officer or sergeant. But the penny wise approach won out once again, compensation is not competitive that is why he is leaving. There's going to need to be a mid contract adjustment if this is going to get addressed.

Also it's time to promote from within instead of taking sergeants and chiefs from outside. This kills morale, and no advancement makes current salary the only concern. I hope the council understands this and will appoint a new member who does also. The current list does not. Ruggerio, Conlon, Sandhu, have all been hostile to the police department and need to be ruled out. This is according to Atherton voters who have voted.

Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Mar 19, 2014 at 9:22 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Remember - You are presuming facts that are not in evidence. Your opinions regarding Ruggerio, Conlon, Sandhu are just that - your opinions.

I will rely on the good judgement of the council members to bring more objectivity to this appointment.

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