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Atherton: An appeal for preservation

Original post made on Jun 26, 2014

A volunteer nonprofit group has embarked on a ambitious plan to raise $2.5 million to restore and renovate the Carriage House in Holbrook-Palmer Park -- "an icon of a bygone era that represents the rural town that Atherton once was," according to the great-grandson of the couple that built the 118-year-old structure.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 4:02 PM

Comments (11)

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Posted by what's with Lizzy
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Jun 26, 2014 at 9:06 pm

It is befuddling why the Atherton Council cannot support a fundrasing effort to raise money to fix a Town building. There wasn't any concern with the building of a 200 seat baseball stadium addition to the park by the Council Majority. What is the issue here? if it that, as mentioned above, Lewis voted (along) against the Dames moving ahead and is abusing her position to punish the Dames? The Park Master Plan has nothing to do with the Carriage House as the current plan still shows it.

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Posted by it's a puzzle
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jun 27, 2014 at 10:08 am

i have been at a few town council meetings lately and this is what i know. mr. degolia and mr. widmer are thoughtful and intelligent gentlemen. ms. lewis never makes an actual decision and the mayor? go to a meeting and make up your own mind. his first reason not to endorse the carriage house project was that the building smelled of horse manure. there hasn't been a horse in the building for over 50 years and, since he hasn't actually toured the building, i think he must have a wicked keen imagination. seriously, go and watch these people some's a real education.

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Posted by Right decision
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 27, 2014 at 10:40 am

This town is losing police officers due to uncompetitive wages and abominable working conditions. The existing town hall is in shambles and must be rebuilt. We cannot do this with two competing fundraising campaigns going on. The carriage house can be dealt with as part of the Master Plan. Lewis and Weist are correct. The first priority, as measured time and time again by 97% satisfaction and parcel tax renewals, is maintaining competitive wages and working conditions for our officers. They were used as pinatas all the time during the McKeithen years and now it's going to take time to rebuild the morale and working conditions they deserve.

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Posted by Enough is enough!
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jun 27, 2014 at 12:07 pm

First Lewis and Wiest make sure that the cops get a huge raise, making them (by far) the highest paid cops in the bay area.

Next, they renege on their promise to rebate the parcel tax so cops can get the surplus.

Now "Right decision" is claiming cops are still underpaid, and supports the Lewis/Wiest decision to block Carriage House renovations since it might divert even more money going to the police.

Oh, is it any coincidence that the police paid for the Lewis and Wiest campaigns?

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Posted by it is our decision
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jun 28, 2014 at 11:02 am

[Post removed for using multiple names on the same thread.]

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Posted by Right decision
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 28, 2014 at 12:23 pm

It is our decision: the citizens of Atherton did vote on this, several times. Despite the best efforts of WMD to put the library in the park, they overwhelmingly voted against this and want the park to be decided according to the Master Plan. Despite the best efforts of WMD to outsource the Atherton Police Department, they renewed the parcel tax overwhelmingly which is supposed to be supporting the Police Department. The residents voted for Cary Weist and Elizabeth Lewis, not the McKeithen hand-picked candidate Denise Kupperman because of the direction they want this town to go.

There will always be some who don't agree with the majority decisions in a democracy. Apparently you are one of them. But these decisions were far more than mere majorities.

Enough is enough: You saying it doesn't make it true. Atherton Police Officers are not paid more than their peers in neighboring communities. The overall picture is they are still underwater. That's the market voting, with officers defecting to neighboring departments. This costs Atherton money.

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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 28, 2014 at 2:19 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

One easy way that the council members could show their support for this project would be for each of them to make a small personal contribution to the restoration. That would not cost the Town a penny and would be a great endorsement for this effort.

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Posted by The facts please
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jun 28, 2014 at 2:26 pm

[Post removed for using multiple names on the same thread.]

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Posted by Dame Support Needed for Town Center
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jun 29, 2014 at 4:44 am

75% of the Town voted in favor of a new town center. It is a project that has been needed for 16 years; it would be helpful to the efforts of the council if the Dames supported it.

Back in the 1990s the council sought to raise the funds and was opposed by a group of citizens. Those council members were not able to finish the project during their terms and it died.

Credit to Lewis, Carlson, and others for picking it up and pushing it forward. However if the town does not focus on the Town Center project in the next few years, the project could face larger problems.

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Posted by Enough is enough!
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jun 29, 2014 at 11:00 pm

The Almanac deleted several comments by posters critical of the Lewis decision. Sometimes posters using multiple names are trying to create the illusion of a wider base of support than there actually is. Other times, and perhaps most often, they simply are using the name in the same manner as the subject line of an e-mail.

"Dame Support Needed for Town Center" notes that the Dames should support the town center. I'm not sure why the town center support and the Carriage House support must be mutually exclusive.

We've been hearing about this town center for years. Lewis constituted a committee of her friends and supporters such as Didi Fisher and Steve Dostart, and the town has been spending money on various plans. Everyone agrees that the funds are supposed to come strictly from private donations.

Perhaps Elizabeth Lewis and "Right decision" would have more credibility in insisting that no fundraising activities can take place other than those for town center if some actual money had already been raised.

I am surprised that the committee members themselves have not pledged initial donations. It is typical for the committee/board members of an initiative to lead the fundraising effort by example.

If they are unwilling or unable to do so, then no one has any business telling the Dames they cannot raise their own funds.

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Posted by Dame Support Needed for Town Center
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jun 30, 2014 at 6:17 am

To Enough is Enough: My comment: "Dame support needed for Town Center" means just that. The Town Center needs the Dame support to reach its funding goal. The Dames/ Foundation have the ability to influence many residents of the town and determine the success of the Town Center project.

You raise a new point: "Should the Dames support the Town Center?" I hope they would. Obviously they can do both.

The Dames have been considering a Carriage House renovation for more than 15 years. However before both fundraising campaigns run at the same time, the two groups should work out potential fundraising conflicts.

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