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Voter's Guide: Atherton candidates offer ideas for fixing town

Original post made on Oct 14, 2010

Four residents vying for three seats on the Atherton City Council address issues ranging from eliminating the town budget's structural deficit and reducing employee costs to rebuilding the Town Center.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, October 14, 2010, 7:41 AM

Comments (24)

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Posted by David Henig
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Oct 14, 2010 at 12:37 pm

Thank you Almanac for posting this information. And Thank you to the candidates for your willingness to serve our community. My hat is off to all of you.


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Posted by Chris
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Oct 14, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Thanks for presenting such a clear picture of the candidates.

One comment struck me as odd, "Asked if he would accept campaign donations from employee unions or people doing business with the town, Mr. Wiest said he would refuse a donation if he were aware the donor represented a special interest."

I thought that Carey only received one donation and that was $500 from the Realtors who are a special interest group. Is this true and if so, is Carey going to return his one donation?


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Posted by Bill Widmer
a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 14, 2010 at 2:00 pm

I have previously seen a post regarding my endorsement by Mr Janz. I am pleased to have his endorsement. He has served our community selflessly in the past and has been volunteering his time to support the best interest of our community since. We need nore hands on contributors.


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Posted by smart voter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 14, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Bill Widmer just lost my vote. He should be more selective in whom he receives endorsesments from.

Rembember Bill we are all judged by the company we keep.


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Posted by Bill Widmer
a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 14, 2010 at 3:31 pm

I believe we are judged on what we do and the value we bring.


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Posted by Ed
a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 14, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Mr. Widmer There are people like myself who will be voting for you that may have gotten a little nervous to see you rush to Janz's defense. I appreciate the the sprit in which your own very civil remarks were made, but must admit to an involontary tingle down my own spine.
Mr. Janz once told me with conviction, that he "would rather die first--than ever admit that McKiethen had ever been right about anything". Over long years of council meetings, I have witnessed this vendetta born out with every vote he ever made on the council, and I shudder to think how such closed minded thinking might continue to influence Atherton's future. This is only my one small opinion, based on both "actions made, and value" lost to this town. It is both right and important for you to remain above these old frays, but it is understandable to me that some people might rightly fear that they could carry forward from old councilmen.... Janz, Didi, Allen, Marsala.....all of them need to just move on. This is the micro management that has been the most damaging of all to the town. You still have my vote but I did get goose bumps.


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Posted by Homeowner
a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 14, 2010 at 5:45 pm

I have a different perspective and stand with smart voter. Mr. Widmer did defend Mr. Janz. And beleives "He has served our community selflessly in the past and has been volunteering his time to support the best interest of our community since." Which means to me Mr. Widmer believes in Mr. Janz's actions, perpsectives and contributions. Therefore, he will just be a continuation of the past problems...




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Posted by skywriter
a resident of Atherton: Lloyden Park
on Oct 14, 2010 at 6:42 pm

[Post removed; personal attack.]


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Posted by Ed
a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 14, 2010 at 7:47 pm

There is also a thing called the lesser of multiple evils--Widmer and Dobbie are as good as you are going to get from this menu. Don't make life impossible for them by seating Wiest.
Jerry Carlson will have to do for a third and last choice.
THE TOWN COUNCIL HAS TO ACHIEVE A FUNCTIONAL MAJORITY OR NOTHING WILL IMPROVE!


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Posted by Homeowner
a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 14, 2010 at 8:38 pm

In the interest of disclosure, I note that Mr. Carlson includes Jim Janz and Didi Fisher among his endorsers.


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Posted by Ed
a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 14, 2010 at 8:53 pm

About Janz an Fisher:
Jerry Carlson has long burned the candle at both ends to retain his swing vote leverage--log jamming any reform and paralyzing the town.
Its not going to work for him any more. There will be a new majority and his vote won't be worth as much--still it is FAR better to vote for him rather than Wiest. If Wiest gets on the council then Carlson would still be the swinger and Atherton's problems would continue.


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Posted by sandy salerno
a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 14, 2010 at 9:03 pm

[Post removed; personal attack.]


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Posted by Long time resident
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 15, 2010 at 7:01 am

Mr. Widmer, we need to figure out what you actually stand for.

On the one hand, you are endorsed by respected members of this community such as Jim Janz and Elizabeth Lewis. On the other hand, you are endorsed by Kathy McKeithen and Jon Buckheit (and yes, I know that Mr. Buckheit is not listed on your website, but you were seen palling around with him at a recent council meeting).

That's like putting matter and anti-matter together. At the end of the day, it means (at best) you stand for nothing.

I also noticed you favor a police review board. This is obviously coming from Buckheit and McKeithen. That dog just won't hunt. As you know, aside from Buckheit, McKeithen, and a handful of other highly disgruntled and vindictive individuals, everyone in Atherton supports our police department 100%. Buckheit and McKeithen tried to put such a board in place just a few months ago, wasting time and resources, and no one, not even Jim Dobbie, would support it.

McKeithen has gone so far as to start openly criticizing the police department in the newspapers along with Jon Buckheit. No council member should ever air dirty laundry outside in the press and this act alone justifies her recall.

If you don't support the police department, come out and say so before the election, not after.

Now is your chance to disclaim any allegiance to Buckheit and McKeithen. Will you? If not, Cary Wiest has publicly supported the police department.

I've lived in this community for over 40 years. And I am worried about you.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 15, 2010 at 7:37 am

Long time resident states:"Mr. Widmer, you are endorsed by respected members of this community such as Jim Janz and Elizabeth Lewis. On the other hand, you are endorsed by Kathy McKeithen and Jon Buckheit"

Nice to see that Mr. Widmer has the essential ability to bring people together.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 15, 2010 at 8:15 am

There is no indication that Mr. Widmer has brought the two sides together. Remember this is election time, and he is looking for votes. As Long time resident said, it means he stands for nothing and he is not being transparent -- we don't need more of that.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 15, 2010 at 8:27 am

Resident states:"As Long time resident said, it means he stands for nothing and he is not being transparent -"

Talking to a broad range of people means that someone stands for nothing - how petty and sad.


Why do you want to put everyone in a tiny box?
Can't we put all this divisiveness behind us.


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Posted by Ed
a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 15, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Cary Wiest stated at the candidates forum that he believes firmly that Atherton has no right to an opinion on the Cargill Development of 30,000 new homes because it is in Redwood City.
I believe that I do have the right to an opinion on Cary Wiest's candidacy.
I believe that as a real estate appraiser he has come to Atherton to represent the interests of development and to keep Atherton on a very short leash for his friends up at the county to protect the advancement of this project and others.
I think he is here to replace Charles Marsala for this mission.
That will a no vote from me.


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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Oct 15, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Cary Wiest stated at the candidates forum that he believes firmly that Atherton has no right to an opinion on the Cargill Development of 30,000 new homes because it is in Redwood City.

Don Horsley has stated the Cargill Development of 30,000 new homes is a Redwood City issue only.

I think it is more of a Regional Issue.


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Posted by Ed
a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 15, 2010 at 1:24 pm

If HSR is implemented on the Peninsula, then we are all going to hear about why high density housing needs to fill in the bay so that people are living proximate to mass transit. This will become an excuse for multiple Foster Cities and Cargilvilles. The same people who want to make money building them will get a chance to build them again after they sink in the big earthquake.
Wiest is more than a Dark Horse--this a Trojan Horse delivered C.O.D. from the county.


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Posted by Long Term Resident
a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 15, 2010 at 2:21 pm

It seems there is wordsmithing going on here. At the forum I heard Mr. Wiest say he was concerend about the CEQA and EIR requirements and that it was being handled and addressed by Redwood City and its residents. He explained he believed Atherton needed to first focus on internal Atherton issues. He never said Atherton had "no right to an opinon"

Because I wondered, I talked to him briefly as well as someone who knows him. He has never worked for the County. I would suggest you talk to him before you provide misinformation.


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Posted by Ed
a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 15, 2010 at 2:30 pm

The recording is available on the LWV web
His statement was that was a Redwood City issue and that he felt that Atherton should stay out of it.
I stand by all of my assertions.


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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Oct 15, 2010 at 2:57 pm

L.T.R.

Talk about wordsmithing!

Ed didn't say Wiest ever worked for the County.

Ed said, "Wiest is more than a Dark Horse--this a Trojan Horse delivered C.O.D. from the county."


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Posted by Jon Buckheit
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Oct 15, 2010 at 5:33 pm

To Long time resident:

You are correct. I have not endorsed Mr. Widmer or any candidate because of the possibility that the controversy regarding my situation would unfairly impact such candidate. If Mr. Widmer and I had civil conduct at a council meeting (greeting each other, shaking hands), so what?

You seem to distill the requirements for an Atherton council member into just one issue: blind support of the police department, no matter what.

I respond by saying that if Atherton will ultimately retain an independent police department, looking into ways to achieve that service for the lowest possible cost to residents is not "meddling" or "lack of support". If a member of the police department behaves badly, particularly against one of the residents who are paying for the independent police department, holding that officer accountable is not "meddling" or "lack of support". Both are simply prudent, responsible, and necessary functions of any proper oversight body.

Finally, the constituency of an Atherton council member is the Atherton residents, not the Atherton police officers. Keep in mind, the police Teamsters union certainly does not view their job as representing Atherton residents (and I know that from first-hand experience).


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Posted by curious
a resident of another community
on Oct 17, 2010 at 10:13 am

When I lived in Atherton, I remember most of us had video security cameras on our homes, gates and dogs. What are the Atherton police needed for? When people fall in their homes the parametics are called.


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