Atherton environmental committee in doghouse Atherton, posted by Editor, The Almanac Online, on Dec 29, 2011 at 7:21 am
With accusations of misconduct and misuse of funds flying, Atherton's City Council has suspended one of its own committees, the Environmental Programs Committee, until its activities and finances can be investigated.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, December 29, 2011, 12:09 AM
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of the Atherton: Lindenwood neighborhood, on Dec 29, 2011 at 7:21 am Peter Carpenter is a member (registered user) of Almanac Online
Perhaps there was a clue that something was wrong when this committee has not met (or at least has not published the required agenda for a meeting) since July 13 and has not published its minutes since the January 19th meeting.
Is not membership on such committees by council members supposed to provide oversight? Where were the council members who sit on this committee during this time?
Posted by Don't cross Kathy, a resident of the Atherton: West of Alameda neighborhood, on Dec 29, 2011 at 1:27 pm
Heaven forbid anyone should have an opinion against our town savior. If Kathy wants the library in the park, who are we to ask for the citizen's to have a voice, much less an opinion? The EPC has to express the opinions of the slightest majority on the council? Where does it say that when you volunteer to help our town? No wonder they. Can't fill seats on committees!
Posted by Susanne, a resident of the Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks neighborhood, on Dec 29, 2011 at 11:00 pm
Isn't the environmental committee there to offer advice and opinions to the council? Of course, once the council makes a decision (hopefully using the committee's input) the committee shouldn't be trying to undermine that decision. Why does the committee need a web site anyway, and why did it solicit sponsors for the web site? Such a web site, I would think, should be under the umbrella of the city's official web site, not a completely independent one.
Posted by Louise, a resident of the Atherton: West of Alameda neighborhood, on Dec 30, 2011 at 12:15 am
Just a reminder from a very long time resident with a good memory. The actual Palmer estate house was burned to the ground (containing countless antiques and an excellent library of books accumulated from several of the old estates that had also been famous for their own collections) -- this was around 1960 maybe a little earlier. The structure now referred to as the "main house" was never inhabited by anyone, but was almost immediately, simply slapped up as a very shabby replacement, only to complete the park gift as had been originally planned. Please believe me, the only resemblance to the wonderful original home is that they were both painted white. Perhaps the Towns Historian can come up with photo for the Almanac's History Corner shot. It was wonderful.
So for whatever perspective it might add to all this: Loosing the "main house" would be no tragedy if it can't be moved over, and there is actually, an historic precedent for having a great library on the Park grounds.
Posted by Ed, a resident of the Atherton: Lloyden Park neighborhood, on Dec 30, 2011 at 6:56 am
The Main House serves as the Park Office it provides office space for the Park Foundation and Administrative needs, a maintenance shop, space for the arts committee, storage space, a meeting room for community meetings, and a lunch room. Those needs will still exist after the main house is torn down for the library. Will a new Park Office building need to be built? How much land will that consume?
The Park and Recreation Commission, (like members of the EPC) disagreed with the council on the library in the park issue as well. They suggested the council survey the residents of the town before deciding to add a library to the park. The Council declined.
The EPC's web site was designed to provide information on a number of Environmental issues: Landscape, Irrigation, and Water, Clean Air, Green Construction, Solar Drive, Waste Reduction, Home Energy Audits, Etc.
For years the EPC organized several events during Earth Week involving Atherton's nine schools. The schools were given cash prizes as awards for the Earth Week Projects. The funds for the cash prizes resulted from donations from sponsors. The web site promoted the events and thanked the sponsors.
Posted by Tsk tsk, a resident of the Atherton: other neighborhood, on Dec 30, 2011 at 11:57 am
Jerry Carlson and Elizabeth Lewis just can't seem to work well with others. When they don't get their way, their crony Valerie Gardner needs to break rules and laws to run the EPC according to their political agenda. We need to shut down Jerry Carlson and Elizabeth Lewis also.