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Consolidating Menlo Park and Atherton

Original post made by Peter Carpenter on Aug 28, 2010

Both Menlo Park and Atherton are facing severe financial difficulties and both suffer from a lack of strong political leadership willing to address these challenges. I propose that NOW is the time for dramatic change.

1) consolidate Menlo Park and Atherton

2) add in the adjacent unincorporated areas of San Mateo County

3) 1 City Council elected on the basis of fiscal responsibility

4) 1 police department or outsource to the Sheriff

5) add in ALL the schools which all located within the new city boundaries and have the City Council also serve as the Consolidated School Board with a Schools Committee

The result - Huge savings and clear accountability and responsibility.

Comments (60)

Posted by Why Not?, a resident of another community
on Aug 28, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Peter,

If you're going to go down that path, why not change the Atherton Town charter to allow for retail businesses and collect sales taxes? Why not annex some of the contiguous unincorporated areas?

With that kind of change, Atherton could survive as an independent political entity and still enjoy much of the character which actually drives up the property values.

Seems premature to throw the baby out with the bath water and merge cities together when such obvious alternatives exist.

Consolidating with Menlo and sucking in some unincorporated areas *might* make for better, more efficient government.

For Athertonians, there is a great deal of risk with little upside. Particularly when there is a higher probability of success with simply allowing for limited retail and annexation.

I know, you're willing to forsake YOUR property value for the civic good. Good for you for having such noble principles. I think you'll find yourself in a minority.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 28, 2010 at 7:16 pm

Why Not asks:"If you're going to go down that path, why not change the Atherton Town charter to allow for retail businesses and collect sales taxes? Why not annex some of the contiguous unincorporated areas?"

When faced with a crisis half measures are simply insufficient. Atherton simply does not have the skills to manage retail businesses.


Posted by Why Not?, a resident of another community
on Aug 28, 2010 at 7:43 pm

"Atherton simply does not have the skills to manage retail businesses." - Aug 28, 2010, President of the Atherton Civic Interest League.

I guess we know the agenda of this organization. I will bear that in mind as they solicit funding and participation.

Frankly, the civic interest mean betterment. It calls for vision. It recognizes opportunity in the face of chaos.

Just as with any business, the skills necessary to manage retail are available the moment you need them. And, given the state of the government sector economy, they would come cheap.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 28, 2010 at 7:47 pm

I do not speak on behalf of ANY organization but rather simply for myself.


Posted by Why Not?, a resident of another community
on Aug 28, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Horse pucky.

Peter, you are the leader of the ACIL. You set the vision for that organization. Your priorities dictate the agenda. You decide what's important and what's not. And, you are the voice of the organization. That's what leaders (are supposed to) do.

It's as if the US President said he wanted to merge the USA with Canada and Mexico, creating a single political entity. And, when challenged, claimed he was only speaking for himself. No.

You don't get to have it both ways. Like it or not, when you assert that Atherton's Government is incompetent, unfix-able, and should be shut down, your sentiments are those of the organizations you lead and represent.

The ACIL, if they are concerned about their identity, should disavow your statement and part ways with you. Shameful.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 28, 2010 at 8:03 pm

Why Not states:" Like it or not, when you assert that Atherton's Government is incompetent, unfix-able, and should be shut down, your sentiments are those of the organizations you lead and represent."

You simply cannot comprehend the fact that I am speaking as an individual and NOT on behalf of an organization - nothing that you assert can change that fact.

I suggest that you retire from this discussion and let others express their views.


Posted by Why Not?, a resident of another community
on Aug 28, 2010 at 8:10 pm

"I suggest that you retire from this discussion and let others express their views." - ACIL President Carpenter

The forum moderator has spoken.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Atherton: other
on Aug 28, 2010 at 9:14 pm

"3) 1 City Council elected on the basis of fiscal responsibility"

I thought we elected City/Town Council based on preference of the voter.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 28, 2010 at 9:16 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"City Council elected on the basis of fiscal responsibility" means exactly that - ELECTED by the voters


Posted by Just Wondering, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 28, 2010 at 9:36 pm

On behalf of Menlo Park: Go pound sand, Peter.


Posted by Jon Buckheit, a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Aug 28, 2010 at 10:11 pm

>>> The ACIL, if they are concerned about their identity, should disavow your statement and part ways with you. Shameful.

I totally disagree. Peter is not Barack Obama. He doesn't have the glory, fame, or post-presidential income. He's served his community quite admirably over an extended period of time in various ways, and is entitled to have his own individual views. I cannot discern any motivation on his part other than to make this community better.

What this all boils down to is a group of entrenched individuals who try to subject anyone who concludes there are problems in Atherton to mortification as a means of intimidation. This is what is shameful.


Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 28, 2010 at 10:16 pm

Peter:

your suggestion is worthy of thought and I have given it some. To be somewhat hyperbolic, I think the merger of the two towns would be like bringing matter and anti-matter together.


Posted by Joseph E. Davis, a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Aug 28, 2010 at 11:35 pm

It will never happen, because people in Atherton think they are better than people in Menlo Park.


Posted by Why Not?, a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2010 at 7:58 am

Jon, you miss the point. Some additional examples: The leader of the ACLU publicly suggests that the Government be allowed to search without cause. The head of the NRA says he believes that guns should be banned. The head of the Republican party proposes a merge with the Democratic party.

I disagree with you on another point. Each of us has a right to hold and express an opinion by virtue of our US Citizenship and the US Constitution. Peter's is no greater than yours or mine, though you suggest his public service and civic contributions somehow endow a greater right upon him.

The issue here, however, is one's fitness to lead an organization which has a mission which directly conflicts with the personally held view of its leader.

I suggest that if Peter Carpenter, the President of the ACIL, holds a personal view that there is no alternative to fix Atherton's problems than to shut it down, then by extension one can reasonably deduce that the ACIL has (or will have) a similar goal.

I can't support an organization whose President advocates such a draconian solution, particularly when there are reasonable untried alternatives: retail business revenue, utility tax replacement of parcel tax, strategic outsourcing, council leadership with vision, qualified Town staff, etc.


Posted by Why Not?, a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2010 at 8:10 am

What Peter proposes has political boundaries similar to those of the Menlo Park Fire District: Atherton, Menlo Park, Unincorporated County Areas, and East Palo Alto.

Ooops ..... wait. No EPA in Peter's consolidation proposal. Lots of challenges in that community. Political up hill fight to do what's logical.

I wonder what the property values in Atherton would look if it the Town were renamed "East Menlo Atherton"?

Would the Town get sidewalks? Street lights? Visible sign posts? Could they park their motor homes on the streets? Could construction be performed on the weekends??


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 29, 2010 at 8:31 am

Why Not states:"then by extension one can reasonably deduce"

This is what is called a logical falacy -Post hoc ergo propter hoc


Posted by Jon Buckheit, a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Aug 29, 2010 at 9:00 am

Here is what the ACIL website says about its mission: "The ACIL is a community-based, non-profit organization, that strives to improve the quality of life in Atherton." "Membership in the ACIL signifies community involvement and support for an organization of volunteers who seek to add value to the community in that the Town Council or other organizations may be constrained."

I think the second sentence purports to mean: "…add value to the community in ways the Town Council or other organizations cannot because of constraints."

The definition of "Atherton" means different things to different people, as I have previously written on these boards. Clearly, to the City Attorney and City Manager, it means the people who work in Atherton and the government itself. To others, it means the people who live here. I think to most residents, it simply is where they live along with a connotation that the expensive property they bought will appreciate in or at least maintain its value.

I don't think exploring consolidation of the municipal entity itself with Menlo Park conflicts with the ACIL's goals unless you adopt the City Attorney/City Manager definition of "Atherton". I would argue that the colloquial definition of maintaining property values may be better served by these types of explorations than cheerleading for the status quo.

Of course, there are a significant number of residents who would say that bringing businesses into Atherton would result in it no longer being "Atherton", and feel strongly about that.

I see what Peter is doing, personally, as no conflict with the mission of the ACIL, which seems to suggest improving the community in ways that "status quo" organizations cannot.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 29, 2010 at 9:16 am

Why Not states:"No EPA in Peter's consolidation proposal. Lots of challenges in that community. Political up hill fight to do what's logical."

Correct - politics is the art of the possible and knowing how far the voters are prepared to move. Including EPA would be a 'bridge too far'.


Posted by Why Not?, a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2010 at 9:27 am

ACIL PRESIDENT SAYS: "politics is the art of the possible and knowing how far the voters are prepared to move"

The Atherton voters aren't prepared for: parking meters, sidewalks, street lights, motor homes, construction noise, retail, etc.

The Menlo Park voters aren't prepared for: no parking zones everywhere, streets without double lines and reflectors, highly restrictive noise ordinances.

It's more than consolidating, its adopting a uniform municipal code which addresses the interests of the existing political jurisdictions.

I think you'll find, even without EPA, you have over reached what is within the "art of the possible".


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 29, 2010 at 9:43 am

The voters will decide, not me and not Why Not.

Now perhaps we can hear from others on the pros and cons of consolidation.


Posted by Why Not?, a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2010 at 9:45 am

ACIL PRESIDENT STATES: "Now perhaps we can hear from others on the pros and cons of consolidation."

Don't like what I have to say? I have made legit points on the cons. I think the "others" deserve to read them. Sorry, not going away.


Posted by Interested, a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2010 at 10:10 am

Peter are you suggesting that in this proposed merger Atherton would continue to not allow retail, but presumably would benefit from the retail allowed in Menlo?

Also the argument that because Peter is President of ACIL he should not be allowed a personal opinion is silly. I am sure the organization has other officers and members, are they not allowed a differing opinion from its stated goals.?

But really not the point of this forum. I cannot imagine Atherton and Menlo overcoming the massive problems of merging. The cultures are entirely different.


Posted by Interested, a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2010 at 10:13 am

Also Peter how would you solve the problem of the election of Council Members. Ultimately Atherton would "controlled" a a Menlo dominated Council.


Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 29, 2010 at 10:47 am

"Ultimately Atherton would "controlled" a a Menlo dominated Council."

Interested: you say that like it's a bad thing. Menlo Park's city council isn't filled with a majority of ethically challenged individuals as is Atherton's. It also has competent town staff unlike Atherton. No, I think a "Menlo dominated Council" would be a good thing for Atherton.


Posted by Interested, a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2010 at 10:56 am

Menlo Voter. My comments were not necessarily related to the wisdom of such a consolidation, rather that ultimately I believe a voluntary consolidation would have to be put to the voters and these are a couple of issues that I think voters would be very concerned about, revenue sharing and representation.


Posted by my two cents, a resident of Atherton: other
on Aug 29, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Peter: While I feel that this "consolidation concept" may be a useful exercise for sobering up the dialog that both towns are having about their respective issues, I am left with the many nagging doubts accumulated over the last three of four years, that there have been development interest actually conspiring to create and hoping for, such an eventuality.
I have looked at the P.A.developer's lawsuit that may well end the very existence of Half Moon Bay.
I have looked at the endless building and development lawsuits threatened, served, settled, and pending in Atherton.
I have watched the rather odd convoluted rewritting of Atherton's Zoning Ordinance, Historic Artifact Ordinance Building Code, the Town Charter......
and especially THE HOUSING ELEMENT.
I have looked at the suggestion that guest houses should be 1200 square feet against the fence line.
I have noticed that multiple gas meters per property are being heavily promoted as making some kind of sense.
And I have wondered about who might be hoping to annex Atherton so that they might make money subdividing all of the acre properties into smaller lots.
The only answer I can think of are the usual suspects, the construction industry who make the immediate money, and then also the county which would have more numerous properties to form a tax base.
The future is coming and I don't claim to know what might be practical or inevitable.
I just don't like so much of history being written by a few well connected developers with control up at the county, trying to make a short term buck for themselves and dressing it up as progress for the rest of us.
Everything is worth very careful consideration right now.


Posted by Bob, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 29, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Peter C said in regards to not including EPA - "Correct - politics is the art of the possible and knowing how far the voters are prepared to move. Including EPA would be a 'bridge too far'."
So, Peter is the Bell Haven area of Menlo Park part of your new nation? How about unicorporated SM County between Atherton and Redwood City?
By your statement above are you labeling those living in Atherton and West Menlo as racists?


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 29, 2010 at 5:16 pm

Bob asks:"is the Bell Haven area of Menlo Park part of your new nation?
How about unincorporated SM County between Atherton and Redwood City?"

Yes

Bob asks:"are you labeling those living in Atherton and West Menlo as racists?"

No, are you?



Posted by Interested, a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2010 at 5:16 pm

Bob....I think you may be confusing pragmatism with racism


Posted by Interested, a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Peter since you are here...What about responding to my questions


Posted by Bob, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 29, 2010 at 5:53 pm

Peter - ok so the following unincorporated areas of southern SM County are included in our new - North Fair Oaks, Sequoia Tract, West Menlo Park and Menlo Oaks. EPA is not unincorporated SM County - though it was until 1983/1987. But it is closely tied economically and demographically to your new city. Thus please explain why EPA is a bridge to far.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 29, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Bob asks:"please explain why EPA is a bridge to far."

In my personal opinion including EPA in the proposed consolidation would simply not garner the votes necessary for the consolidation. Each person who votes would have their own reasons for saying yes or no to the proposed consolidation but I doubt that a majority of the voters in the areas which I include in my proposal plus EPA would vote in the affirmative. I leave to you to suggest whatever motives you think that each of those voters might have in making their individual decision.


Posted by Just Wondering, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 29, 2010 at 9:17 pm

Peter:

While Atherton is totally you-know-what-up at this point, MP is doing relatively fine, thank you. There are no "severe financial difficulties" here as you claim. All this seems to be is trying to dump your town's problems on us.

And so again, on behalf of Menlo Park: Take a hike!


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 29, 2010 at 9:21 pm

Just wandering - Sorry, you just get one vote - IF you are of voting age and registered to vote. I did not find Just Wandering on the list of registered voters.


Posted by Why Not?, a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2010 at 6:05 am

Wouldn't it politically more pragmatic to redraw the boundaries for President Carpenter's new city-state? Cede East Menlo to East Palo Alto.

That way, he could shorten the name from East-Menlo-Atherton to just Menlo-Atherton. And, nobody would have to cross the pesky freeway to get to the other side of the City.

Sure, there are some undesirable areas on the west side of 101 (east of the railroad tracks), but from a political standpoint, wouldn't it be less of a reach for the voter's to approve??


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 30, 2010 at 7:43 am

Why Nut has a different agenda than I do. My agenda is simply, as states in the original posting, to consolidate Menlo Park and Atherton and add in the adjacent unincorporated areas of San Mateo County.

Why Nut seems to want to engage in racial gerrymandering - sorry, that is not to my taste.


Posted by GOOD SHOW, a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2010 at 12:28 pm

I rather like the idea in most every way.
Carpenter is besides other positive attributes, the ONLY person who is thinking about alternatives.
When he gets too futzy over not bending or altering the laws which are outdated, I find him a bit of a prig, or getting on in years.
He is otherwise, Jeffersonian at times, but this is the most modern thing I have ever heard him suggest.
This has a taste of Franklin the younger.


Posted by Ram Duriseti, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 30, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Peter,

You're hilarious.

"Just Wondering" --> "Just Wandering"
"Why Not" --> "Why Nut"

I love the wit.

And yes, your proposal is interesting. I just wonder if merged bureaucracies expand at ratios greater than the sum of their constituent parts.

And to Joseph Davis, Atherton people likely do feel they are better than the lowly peasants like me in Menlo Park, but that's not a crime as these sentiments already exist within Menlo Park. While it's a wonderful school, families with children who attend Hillview can tell you all about this. I know this only because I was a former resident of the Willows who moved to West Menlo.


Posted by A Skepetic, a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 30, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Peter

This is an unworkable and poorly thought out proposal, Peter. Get real! Your long list of suggestions would certainly COST money (and time) in the transition that you are not factoring in -- let alone the political kerfuffle it would cause that would distract from the essential work needed.

For example you suggest bringing into this "new" mulitipality the unincorporated County areas" and other items on you multi-point "proposal" would take many many years and lots of transaction costs to even consider achieving. Menlo Park has looked into annexing areas like Menlo Oaks in the past. The infrastructure costs to bring them up to rquired levels of streelighting for safety as well as other major changes to conform to Menlo Park ordinances.

I for one wou'd be very wary of using the County Sheriff to provide police service for Menlo Park, lest our levels of service drop. I pay too much to live here to be willing to see that happen! Just ask anyone who lives in inincorporated county what the response times are. And they really dont' get "community policing" that knows their neighborhood like we currently have in Menlo Park. I remember well the many valid complaints EPA had when the Sheriff did EPA's policing... That was one of the major reasons for EPA's decision to incoporate as a City, as I recall.

So while it's a great idea to explore ways to save money, let's not throw around ideas as panaceas without taking into account all the costs for each option (including tranisitional and transactions costs), as well as comparing the levels of service afforded by each.

While we can squeeze and gaing additional efficiencies, in general, I think we'll find "you get what you pay for." Forgive the skepticism, but I have repeatedly been through enough corporate "restructuring" excercizes that cost millions but ended up not yielding much if any real savings... I don't want that to happen with my tapayer dollars too and with services for our kids, seniors as well as our public safety hanging in the balance.

Even if we picked one or two of your items, it would take lots of time and money to pull it off. That needs to be factored in - and we need to choose carefully what things to focus on that might have tne most bang for the buck in any effort to outsource or consolidate with shared services -- something that SHOULD be looked into, but in a targeted not a shotgun way as in your list above.


Posted by halle, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Aug 30, 2010 at 1:36 pm

We need mor parking, not less. For the council, city manager, etc. they will make more money for sure on tickets, but perhaps less people will shop in Menlo.

As a Menlo homeowner and resident, I'll shop less if I have ashorter parking time. It will also be harder for older peopole that can't walk so far or so fast!

We don't have enough for the police to patrol more so that drivers will stop for pedestrians crossing sidewalks, but you have money to spend on this.

I will vote accordingly for the next council.

Thanks to Andy Cohen for really caring about us!


Posted by Maria, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Aug 30, 2010 at 1:38 pm

[Portion removed; attacking other posters violates terms of use.]

I live in Menlo by choice and want local government to be from Menlo.

[Portion removed]


Posted by Bob, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 30, 2010 at 2:20 pm

These threads frequently seem to wander into "attacking" people who voice other opinions. Mr. Carpenter proposed the idea of consolidating two municipalities. While you may not agree with his ideas or thoughts, it seems counter productive to the on-line discussion to take jabs at him or others. I guess we have lost our civility toward one another.

My point is that these discussions, as with most political discussions, should stay on the topic.


Posted by Funny but Sensible, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 30, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Peter's idea is funny, partly because it is very sensible but will only happen if he is made king. Which is probably not in the cards. Keep telling it like you see it Peter!


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 30, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Maria states:"I live in Menlo by choice and want local government to be from Menlo."

How do you think the people is Belle Haven feel about being governed by people who live elsewhere?


Posted by WhoRUpeople, a resident of another community
on Aug 30, 2010 at 2:41 pm

While I applaud out of the box thinking, I see some things about this idea that are just not practically feasible, nor mutually beneficial to all constituents (which I think would be necessary to garner the necessary support). Here are a few of the things that concern me.
• What is in this for Menlo Park? Menlo Park leadership may not be
perfect, but compared to Atherton, it should be on the Forbes list.
• Either City could, if it chose to do so, pursue taking a look at
potential savings/efficiencies that might accrue from outsourcing
certain functions.
• Contrary to what someone might conclude from looking at median
income levels, while both cities are relatively affluent, their
"culture" and "values", I believe, are quite different.
• While both cities might benefit in terms of reducing overall costs,
I think most voters think more in terms of "quality of life" issues
in better economic times. By the time an idea like this could get
enough traction as to become a credible possibility, the economy
will likely improve and people will revert to their former
priorities-especially in an affluent area.
• Finally, Menlo Park and Atherton have never had a reputation of
being able to play well together; with perhaps the single exception
of HSR.


Posted by amazed, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 30, 2010 at 3:56 pm

So now Peter can start his own discussions?

I guess we can all do that.

WHO IS HE? WHAT IS THE ACIL? Yes, I know Peter, you are using your real name, and you keep saying to are only representing yourself, but if you are involved with another organization that people know about, your good natured comments will be scrutinized accordingly.

Why is the Almanac giving it's website over to someone to start a political forum? If Atherton is about to sink, it's their problem. Fix your own boat. Same goes for Menlo Park. Putting all these folks into the same leaky boat isn't going to help. Fix the voters who you apparently don't trust. The Founding Fathers had the same doubts about our ability to make decisions. Prove them all wrong.

I'd like to see how you vote folks into your new "better" order. It had better be by a 2/3 majority that an area is annexed into this. It had better be a 2/3 majority that decided that it is going to take up the responsibility for doing MORE than what has already proved to be too much for them.

That is unless Peter is going to run for uberpresident to take care of all of us. I'm pretty sure if Belle Haven felt the need to LEAVE Menlo-Park, they probably could do that. Please don't speak for them.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 30, 2010 at 4:00 pm

Amazed asks:"So now Peter can start his own discussions?"

Any REGISTERED USER can post a new topic. See the top of this page. Try it. You might like it. It does require that you register and then you have to have something to say.


Posted by A modest proposal, a resident of Atherton: Lloyden Park
on Aug 30, 2010 at 5:12 pm

Instead of consolidation, here is an alternative proposal that may solve all of the problems. Split Atherton into three parts:

1. CARPENTER-TOWN. This will consist of Peter Carpenter's property. It will have a complete democracy form of government, and the highest standards of public scrutiny and accountability. There will be absolutely nothing for Peter Carpenter to complain about.

2. BUCKHEIT-VILLE. This will consist of Jon Buckheit's home in West Atherton, the home in West Atherton he currently reigns over as conservator, an outlying wild area consisting of the hillbilly population West of Alameda, and a small patch of land near the current Atherton Town Hall where John Johns can continue to wreak havoc. It will have an autocratic monarch/dictator form of government (Buckheit) and no police will be allowed. However, Michael Stogner will be permitted to visit. The other two parts of what is now Atherton will need to beef up security to defend against ongoing attacks from the members of Buckheit-ville when they get bored, but the constituents of Buckheit-ville will not have any rights to make public records request in New-Atherton or Carpenter-Town, file lawsuits there, or pass through these other sections of the existing community.

3. NEW-ATHERTON. This will consist of everybody else, who can continue to live happily.

Can this be something Peter Carpenter supports?


Posted by Just Wondering, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 30, 2010 at 8:06 pm

"Can this be something Peter Carpenter supports?"

Don't know about him, but I sure will support (and vote) for it!


Posted by Bob, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 30, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Peter - you do not have to be a REGISTERED User to post a new topic for discussion. Any Tom, Dick, Mary or Peter can do it without being a registered user.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 31, 2010 at 4:59 am

Bob - You are right; I stand corrected.


Posted by tom h, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 31, 2010 at 12:19 pm

looks like you need me as dictator.


Posted by WhoRUpeople, a resident of another community
on Aug 31, 2010 at 2:40 pm

A lesson in modern communication and problem solving skills for about 2/3rds of you. Peter put an idea on the table in a forum--this is called brainstorming (some of you obviously need to take a moment to look up the term "brain") So I'll pause for a moment...tic, tic, tic...ok, in brainstorming there are no bad ideas, there are just ideas. Then intelligent, well meaning, and informed people weigh in on the idea and hopefully improve upon it, develop it and emerge with a really good idea. Or, in some cases, identify the legitimate reasons to reject the idea; not because it was bad, because it is not acceptable. Huge difference. So that I don't offend too many of you, Bob, FBS, A SKEPTIC, RAM D. and Good Show, while your various views are pro and con (not my point), my comments are not directed your way. I probably have insulted many, and may have inadvertently violated the terms of use for this forum--if the latter, my apologies to the Almanac--but the fact is I truly value serious, well informed and well intended debate on important issues, and when people with nothing really important to say/add join in to be cute, I get a bit miffed. Thank you all for listening.


Posted by Just Wondering, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 31, 2010 at 3:56 pm

WhoRUpeople,

The problem with your premise is that the esteemed Peter Carpenter does not put ideas on the table for discussion, he puts them out there with the attitude that we should just rubber-stamp them because he is God's gift to mankind.

Go back and look at his original post: He is not asking for any input, he is demanding action. Typical P.C.

And his response to other posters is never reasoned consideration, but just vigorous defense of his original position or, failing that, put downs of those commentors/comments.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 31, 2010 at 4:07 pm

My original post states:" I propose that NOW is the time for dramatic change."

What about the word propose does Just Wandering not understand?

And my responses to thoughtful posters like Bob, anonymous and Menlo Voter all are polite dialogues.

I will admit that my responses to those who do not understand the brain in brainstorming tend to be a bit terse but I suggest that in those case even a terse response is more than their postings deserve.


Posted by SameoldSameold, a resident of another community
on Sep 1, 2010 at 1:44 pm

The richest county per capita in the U.S. is tanking.
Why? Simply put, the major banking fraud and overspeculation and complacency permitted the rich to get richer, and the locals who ran the different towns, take their eyes off of the leadership.
Go right to City Hall and Redwood City and to all of the time and useless lawsuits which went into frivolous complaints.
It HAD to come.
Narrow it down to the simple truth. Right now, the "venture capitalists" are working on a way to deal with those who they are pushing to be elected in November"....
It goes all the way to Washington where Bush finally is getting his "war" finally blamed on him....This is simplified, but still unpalatable.


Posted by If wishes were horses, a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Sep 1, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Dear "WhoRYoupeople"

We can only hope that the kind of constructive engagement required to do the kind of REAL brainstorming you speak of ever emerged as the prevailing culture of Town Square.

Occasionally there is a glimmer of brainstorming sprinkled here and there. But too often posts here are characterized by a lot of ranting and way too much name calling by a small group of people who seem to have nothing better to do with their lives.

If the Almanac required everyone to register and use their real names, I think a lot of that would drop away. And perhaps more people would engage, in a constructive way, and potentially come up with a few solutions.

As it is, I have just about given up on Town Square, but only log in to make sure people aren't besmirching others whom I respect, in violation of the terms of use of this forum,which states above "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." I only wish that were so!


Posted by Amused, a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Sep 1, 2010 at 6:10 pm

Just think, 2 half dysfunctional towns now joined together in holy
"what were thinking" leadership ! What a concept ! Gawd people, we all know that this blog is for amusement and entertainment purposes
only, but give the readership a break !! How much comedy and humor
can 1 blog have. ? Any one for popcorn, buttered or plain !!!!


Posted by Observer, a resident of Woodside High School
on Sep 2, 2010 at 1:05 pm

WhoRYoupeople nailed it exactly. Kudos.

My 2 cents is that Peter proposed a fundamentally flawed idea that fails to recognize cultural differences between the 2 towns. A stronger proposal would share back office services, skills and training to improve both locales at lower cost while keeping local representation as was done until recently between Woodside and PV school districts.


Posted by it is what it is, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Sep 2, 2010 at 11:29 pm

Peter, not a bad idea, really. But the merge might actually work with Woodside (as they too share a border with Atherton, and kind of the same kinks). I wonder if those two might consider it?

But Peter, you really should be smart enough to understand that when you volunteer to lead a plitical group of a city, or town, your words "mean more" as their leader. There is no getting around it. Especially when your not having a discussion at the local coffee shop with a couple of close friends...you are venting into a "newspaper publication" and you in effect could be construed as representing that group.

But the way you flap your views on a constant basis to this blog, it was only a matter of time until the tables got turned on you. I think its funny, especially;

I'm still laughing.,

Posted by A modest proposal, a resident of the Atherton: Lloyden Park neighborhood, on Aug 30, 2010 at 5:12 pm

Instead of consolidation, here is an alternative proposal that may solve all of the problems. Split Atherton into three parts:




1. CARPENTER-TOWN. This will consist of Peter Carpenter's property. It will have a complete democracy form of government, and the highest standards of public scrutiny and accountability. There will be absolutely nothing for Peter Carpenter to complain about.




2. BUCKHEIT-VILLE. This will consist of Jon Buckheit's home in West Atherton, the home in West Atherton he currently reigns over as conservator, an outlying wild area consisting of the hillbilly population West of Alameda, and a small patch of land near the current Atherton Town Hall where John Johns can continue to wreak havoc. It will have an autocratic monarch/dictator form of government (Buckheit) and no police will be allowed. However, Michael Stogner will be permitted to visit. The other two parts of what is now Atherton will need to beef up security to defend against ongoing attacks from the members of Buckheit-ville when they get bored, but the constituents of Buckheit-ville will not have any rights to make public records request in New-Atherton or Carpenter-Town, file lawsuits there, or pass through these other sections of the existing community.




3. NEW-ATHERTON. This will consist of everybody else, who can continue to live happily.

THATS FUNNY!


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