Atherton council picks Kathy McKeithen as mayor Atherton, posted by Editor, The Almanac Online, on Jan 4, 2010 at 9:17 pm
Kathy McKeithen will handle the gavel at Atherton City Council meetings in 2010. Ms. McKeithen, the vice mayor for 2009, was unanimously selected by her colleagues for the position of mayor at the council's Dec. 16 meeting.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, January 4, 2010, 6:54 PM
Posted by Hooray, a resident of the Atherton: West Atherton neighborhood, on Jan 4, 2010 at 9:17 pm
Kathy will do a great job as mayor (again). She's got a great background, many years of service to the town, and is not afraid to call it like she sees it. We need a strong mayor in Atherton since in my view Jerry Gruber has assumed he can operate with a much higher degree of autonomy than is appropriate (e.g., the Guerra appointment without a public or competitive process). I'm hoping Kathy can reign him in....he just has to be willing to listen to her directions as let's not forget the council members are the ones we're electing, not the town manager. The extremist view of the city manager form of government (i.e., the council can only hire and fire the city manager) has not served Atherton well, and has no doubt been promulgated by Gruber himself.
Posted by Resident since 1954, a resident of the Atherton: Lindenwood neighborhood, on Jan 5, 2010 at 2:55 pm
I have seen many many city managers come and go since my coming to Atherton as a child in 1954. Jerry Gruber is one of the BEST yet. He has "transparency" in his job, is very fair minded and extremely capable. A few disgruntled whiners get all the publicity but in speaking to many of our citizens, (sadly they do not attend meetings or provide input: too busy, apathetic, or out of town) they as well as myself are extremely satisfied with Mr. Gruber's performance to date. He is very refreshing!
Posted by Ed, a resident of the Atherton: other neighborhood, on Jan 5, 2010 at 3:43 pm
I am no longer interested what a "nice guy" Mr. Gruber is--I tnink he likely is a "nice guy" but so what does that have to do with a clear inability to manage a town effectively or more specifically in the case of Atherton to manage REFORM with the leadership skills required to clean up several years of embarrassment. The council hired a man who had never even done this job before and then gave him the mixed signals of a divided council and expected him to make their decision in selecting him look to be a wise choice for the town. I think the guy finally decided correctly that they were all nuts and just threw in his lot with the only cohesive body the the town had to offer which was the police dept.---the one rock no one has even looked under for far too long and the most in need of a fresh directive. A very rookie mistake and one that both he and the residents will come to regret.
Posted by Hooray, a resident of the Atherton: West Atherton neighborhood, on Jan 5, 2010 at 4:13 pm
Resident since 1954: I think you might have a different definition of "transparency" than I do. Normally when a major position such as police chief, etc. is filled, citizen interview committees are constituted, multiple candidates are considered, the city council is heavily consulted, etc. Gruber did precisely the opposite in a highly autocratic, unilateral way. I do admit, he has a friendly greeting and clammy handshake for anyone he approaches, but peel away the onion and you'll see what's really going on is not pretty.
Posted by Ed, a resident of the Atherton: West Atherton neighborhood, on Jan 5, 2010 at 6:07 pm
Dear 1954 resident--- Why would you expect your fellow "supporters" who "don't attend meetings"--"are apathetic",--"don't have an opinion to express",-- and are "out of town a lot", to do anything other than agree with whatever you posit--they are likely either humoring you, or worse--counting on your opinion for guidance since you at least claim to be paying attention to town affairs--if you really were keyed in at all you would not likely have "refreshing" at the top of your priority list for local governance. What will it ever cost in blood or treasure for you to expect more than an insincere handshake from both your leadership and your neighbors. This town has such a very rare and very precious potential to actually be admired for how it sets the bar--instead we are becoming one big joke---it is not the disgruntled who are dropping the ball here--or looking the other way.
So Gruber might be a nice guy---so what--but can he manage, set an example for his staff, garner anyones respect or lead this town forward--this is what the big pay check is for.
Posted by Godfather, a resident of the Atherton: West Atherton neighborhood, on Jan 6, 2010 at 1:41 pm
Most of the complainers are those who never attend any Town meetings, or prefer "not to get involved". Outside of their own personal views, they do not know what is going on.
As Far as the Mayor and the Council go, I think they act too much on their own alleged abilities secretly, and make stupid decisions that come back to haunt the Town. It happens year after year. With all the experienced people that live here, the council should encourage input from those in various professions before making decisions.