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Kepler's new opening is more competition for the Atherton Library

Original post made by No need for a county library in Atherton, Atherton: other, on Oct 25, 2012

About 15 people are working hard to pass Measure F to build a new county library in Atherton. Three members of the Council endorse the library concept, Widmer, McKeithen, and Dobbie.

Denise Kupperman, a candidate for city council, has lead the campaign to place a 10-13,000 square foot county library in the middle of Atherton's only park.

There is strong opposition to this plan. Those opposed have sighted many reasons. A new reason just re-opened last week- Kepler's.

Kepler's is a great book store and walking distance to the Atherton Library. In the new location, the Menlo Park Library will be walking distance as well.

Will an author want to speak at all three? Probably not. Is there a need to have a children's story told at all three probably not.

Kepler's has struggled over the last few years and the Menlo Park Library always has 30-50% empty chairs. Why does the Yes on F group believe the Supersized Atherton Library of will not be empty?

Ten years from now the energy of those that fought to build the library and create events to justify it will be gone.

Over the years numerous other groups have lobbied to place their project in the park. In time the town's interest has dropped.

1. The 6 tennis courts were donated, however now numerous other courts are in town, and so usage has dropped from the peak in the 1970s.

2. The Art Committee placed two modulars in the park years ago, which are now rentals for a pre-school.

3. After many years Day in the Park, the Town Bar-B-Que, and the Summer Jazz Concert programs have ended.

The Yes on F Campaign's web site states that the county library can be built with no additional taxpayer dollars. And they claim that the millions in reserves can only be spent on library needs.

But they do not know for certain if putting in traffic lights and turn lanes for the extra traffic the Library will bring to town can be paid for by the Library fund.

Once the park land is turned over to the library, there is a strong possibility that state law and the County JPA Agreement will not let Atherton convert the land back to park land and reduce the size of the library.

So what happens if the building usage does not materialize?

What happens if the County does not approve the use of Library funds for the Traffic Light and turn lane?

Council members have often states that Atherton needs to be run like a business. Would they invest $8M in a bookstore in the Atherton Park?


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