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Atherton: 2007 Grand Jury Report Findings

Original post made by Grand Jury, Atherton: other, on Dec 1, 2012

Here we go again. The 2007 report appears to be still valid as already the Council is already usurping Town Managers powers (reviewing payments).The sudden and drastic pay and benefit cuts have likely alienated town staff including the new Town Manager and Police Chief. Looking at the November 28 video (available on town web site) council members are already at each other. Some things never change. Atherton residents deserve better.

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Comments (5)

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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 1, 2012 at 5:46 pm

"The Grand Jury’s interviews with staff and Council members revealed considerable rancor, tension, antagonism and lack of collegiality among individuals."

So, basically, nothing has changed?

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Posted by We will see
a resident of Atherton: other
on Dec 1, 2012 at 6:05 pm

McKeithen leaves Atherton council seat fighting
Atherton, posted by Editor, The Almanac Online, on Nov 28, 2012 at 10:12 am

She came in fighting, and she's going out fighting. Kathy McKeithen, whose three-term tenure as an Atherton City Council member ends next month, is challenging the new town manager's decision to put a "confidential" stamp on a weekly report to the council that he has initiated since arriving in Town Hall in October.

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Posted by Thomas Jefferson
a resident of Atherton: other
on Mar 25, 2013 at 7:32 pm

After watching the video of the Atherton Council's March meeting, it's safe to say ... nothing has changed.

The Grand Jury report cited: rancor, tension, and antagonism. All of that was clearly evident ... six years later!

Add to that grandstanding and micromanaging. And, of course ... lack of congeniality.

It's time for at least three residents who can play well with others to step up to the plate. The next election is approaching!

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Posted by stench continues
a resident of Atherton: other
on Mar 26, 2013 at 6:00 am

It is very discouraging watching the behavior of Mr Dobbie and Mr Widmer who set a tone of criticism, disrespect for others on the Council and Staff that interferes with a collaborative process. They continue their micromanaging ways and do not understand their role as council members in a City Manger/Council form of government.
I find Mr Dobbie's particularly offensive question to George Roberts at the last council meeting regarding weddings in the park, "Did you wake up one morning, George, and decide to put this item on the agenda?" It is illustrative of his intentional meanness, lack of respect for staff and poor manners. The comment was meant to mock and accuse. Mr Dobbie missed the last meeting and did not bother to read the minutes where he would have learned the council directed the City Manager to put it on the agenda. No apology seems to be forthcoming.
At the meeting Mr Widmer had to be remanded to stop grandstanding.
Clearly Atherton residents need to do better in their choice of council members and not elect people to tear at the heart of the town government in order to support their need of self aggrandizement.

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Posted by stupidity continues
a resident of Atherton: other
on Mar 27, 2013 at 10:31 am

I watched the video. I suggest you try, as hard as it might be, to separate personal feelings from actual content. I assume you are referring to the interchange between Bill Widmer and the city attorney on the telephone system contract as an example of micromanaging. You obviously don't have much business experience. Although Mr. Conners accused Bill Widmer of trying to usurp his legal function, all the points made by Widmer had to do with business issues in the contract. The most telling was Conners protesting that Widmer was wrong to question viability of the vendor since there is no way a viability requirement can be written into a contract. Conners is correct on that, but totally missed the point: the correct business process identifies weaknesses in the vendor, including viability, before it gets approved. This is an issue that a council member should question and consider. The substance of Widmer's comments were all correct.

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