Viewpoint - May 27, 2009

Letter: Lack of transparency at Atherton council meeting

Transparency is a popular word in the political arena all across the country. I cannot speak for the entire U.S.A., but I know it was absent from the May 20 Town Council meeting on Item 30.

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.

Jean Schaaf

Stockbridge Avenue, Atherton


Posted by lois, a resident of another community
on May 28, 2009 at 10:45 pm

Now I know what Charles was talking about when he referred to "getting the schaaf"

Posted by fed up, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 29, 2009 at 8:47 am

The lack of transparency at Atherton Town hall has led to an anything goes attitude amongst both the City Council and the staff.

The attempt by Marsala to steal money from the Library District to feed a bloated beauracracy, pensions that our residents can neither afford nor do the town employees deserve and to pay lawers at $300 per hour to fend off lawsuits resulting from reckless behavior on the part of Town employees are cases in point.

It is time to throw the bums out and get a fresh start.

Posted by Mason, a resident of Atherton: Lloyden Park
on May 30, 2009 at 8:01 am

The only time Charles Marsala faced an opponent in an election he lost.

Councilman Marsala is on the City Council because, during his initial run at Council and at the time his seat was up for re election, nobody else was interested in serving.

In my opinion Mr.Marsala is the product of voter apathy, mediocracy at best, incompetence at worst.

With all due respect, it isn\'t a lack of transparency it is a lack of interest amongst the electorate that Atherton suffers from.

Posted by Thelma, a resident of Atherton: other
on May 30, 2009 at 12:56 pm

[Post removed due to continual violations of the Terms of Use by the poster]

If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields