Council members Charles Marsala and Elizabeth Lewis want a new Town Center. They want the seed money to flow out of the town's Library Fund.
This issue was placed on the agenda for this meeting without notifying other council members, without submitting a draft of this proposition to the council, and without notifying the Blue Ribbon Task Force investigating the issue or the Library Board members who are vitally interested. That is what is called a true lack of transparency.
The council ruled, at the insistence of council members Marsala and Lewis, that this important issue be tossed over to the city manager, the lawyer and staff to investigate ways and means of using the library funds in building a new town center. I think this is a conflict of interest. Some upgrades are always beneficial. New offices and a palatial lobby will not lead to "a lean and mean grilling machine," so expansion must be considered.
Do Atherton residents want or need this expansion? How many Athertonians know that this is even being considered? Portola Valley's new creation went over budget and ended up costing around $18 million. This might not be a prudent time to push this project and approval of the residents is definitely necessary before advancing.
Stockbridge Avenue, Atherton