Town Square

Post a New Topic

Letter: Size of library should not be a factor

Original post made on Jul 6, 2012

Given the importance of determining the Atherton Library location it is not surprising that there is much controversy and debate. As a ballot measure, it's important that the discussion be a positive engagement centered on facts.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, July 4, 2012, 12:00 AM

Comments (4)

Posted by Park Use, a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 6, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Getting accurate information for both positions will be important. Some believe with Menlo Park and Redwood City libraries so close it might not be the best use for Atherton to provide the same service to people who already have two other libraries to go to.

Why not provide a beautiful place for the broader community to have weddings? Those council members (Widmer, Dobbie, McKeithen) that favor a larger library oppose allowing the broader community to use the park for weddings.






Posted by Noise, a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 6, 2012 at 9:55 pm

This letter conflicts with Atherton's attitude on other community issues.

Atherton opposes expanding traffic capacity to discourage vehicles from entering Town. It erects no right turn signs at Holbrook Lane to discourage non-local from its residential streets.

On the one hand, don't question the size of a 10,000+ sq ft library, welcoming everyone on the Peninsula. There's a moral obligation to provide knowledge resources because the Town has immense financial wealth.

On the other hand, don't drive on our local streets, please pay road impact fees, don't take up our parking spaces, and stay out of it after dark. No weddings because they are non-residents displacing residents.

What am I missing??


Posted by just logic?, a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 7, 2012 at 5:30 am

Noise asks , "what am I missing?" Perhaps this will help? or there again it probably won't. From an Guest Editorial by council member Jim Dobbie, who is telling us to use logic and not emotion or bias.

"The controversy over the Atherton library is between those residents who use logic in their decision-making processes and those who are governed by personal emotions or bias.

The logic is simple. Atherton has money, set aside for the library, based on distributions from Proposition 13. By the time the library is built that amount will be about $8 million, enough for the building.

This money can be spent only on library projects. Approximately $720,000 in library funds accumulate each year and if the library is in Holbrook-Palmer Park, some of this money can help pay for much needed maintenance

Whether the library is in the park or in the site of the present library, the draft environmental report concludes the traffic problem, if any, will be the same.

Considering that Menlo Park and Redwood City have excellent libraries, it is highly unlikely that everyone will decide to use our new library. The park will provide a beautiful serene setting highly desirable for this building

Even at the present, train noise at the library and Council Chambers is overwhelming to say the least. If high-speed rail goes ahead there will be years of construction, pollution, shoefly tracks, visual blight, catenaries and 20- to 30-foot berms, increased vibration and then a huge increase in train traffic. Not the site for a library.

It is illogical that the same City Council members, who are against the library in the park, want to continue weddings there, which caused serious parking problems, especially on weekends when many residents would want to be there. Those weddings were almost always for non-Atherton residents and despite statements to the contrary, lost money.

Where is the logic?

Those who are concerned about the loss of green should know that the library at 10,000 square feet replaces the main house and no green space is lost. It is noteworthy that the tennis courts serve only 29 Atherton residents yet take up more than four times the space of the library.

Council members are elected to represent the best interests of the residents and they will not always agree, but the democratic system works when members support council decisions even if not unanimous.

Calls for referendums are misplaced in this instance, where more than 50 public meetings have been held and over a dozen community meetings.

The issues have been intensely studied by volunteer committees for over two years. In addition, in a referendum large amounts of money can be spent to influence the outcome by only a very few.

If a small number of residents focused on decisions made by other than logic stop the library construction it will be golden opportunity lost for the town.

Jim Dobbie is a member of the Atherton City Council.


Posted by Petition, a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 11, 2012 at 8:34 am


250 petitions were turned in the the City Manager this week, signed by residents who disagree with Mr Dobbie;s logic.


"Council members are elected to represent the best interests of the residents and they will not always agree, but the democratic system works when members support council decisions even if not unanimous.

Calls for referendums are misplaced in this instance, where more than 50 public meetings have been held and over a dozen community meetings.

The issues have been intensely studied by volunteer committees for over two years. In addition, in a referendum large amounts of money can be spent to influence the outcome by only a very few.

If a small number of residents focused on decisions made by other than logic stop the library construction it will be golden opportunity lost for the town."




Jim Dobbie is a member of the Atherton City Council.


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

Gourmet hot dogs, sausage food truck coming to the Peninsula
By Elena Kadvany | 9 comments | 2,897 views

Allowing Unauthorized Immigrants to Learn and Earn Legally Will Help the Economy
By Steve Levy | 33 comments | 2,321 views

Finding mentors in would-be bosses
By Jessica T | 0 comments | 1,432 views

Menlo Park's Youthful Future
By Paul Bendix | 6 comments | 1,401 views

All This Arguing . . .
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,326 views