Top stories of 2012 Atherton, posted by Editor, The Almanac Online, on Dec 29, 2012 at 6:18 am
The Almanac covers Menlo Park, Atherton, Woodside and Portola Valley -- where residents like to think of their hometowns as places that remain true to "village" ideals such as community spirit, safety, and smart growth. The year tested their commitment to those ideals.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, December 27, 2012, 6:49 PM
Posted by Atherton Issues , a resident of the Atherton: other neighborhood, on Dec 29, 2012 at 6:18 am
A major change in Atherton is the use of the internet by residnets to discuss issues, petition the council, and influence elections.
In 2011 when the council majority of Widmer, McKeithen, and Dobbie (WMD) refused to allow a town vote on the library, a resident run Yahoo Users Group called the "Athertonians" emailed a survey on the library to 1,800 residents in the town. The result was @ 70% opposed the library in the park idea. Almost the same as the ballot vote in 2012.
WMD tried to discredit the Athertonians by writing letters to the Almanac editor and Dobbie telling the City Attorney to "Shut them down!"
After much debate on First Admendment Rigthts, the council majority stopped legal efforts against the Athertonians.
Posted by winds, a resident of the Atherton: other neighborhood, on Dec 29, 2012 at 8:16 am
While this article under "winds of change" in Atherton is a pretty good rendering of the library issue, APOA involvement and the change in political majority it fails to connect all three events when in fact they are connected. The library in the park issue as led by Denise Kupperman and the council majority of Widmer, MeKeithen, and Dobbie (WMD). They were of one mind in the attempt to ram this through with honestly listening to the residents. The same group were allied in their dislike of the Atherton Police Department and if not outwardly supporting outsourcing were out to seriously ravage the police force by under funding it. Denise Kupperman attempted in her campaign attempted to hide or minimize her library involvement and the APOA rightly figured out she was joined at the hip with WMD as well and her active endorsement of Kupperman.
So that is how the dots are and were connected in Atherton.
Posted by Atherton Issues, a resident of the Atherton: other neighborhood, on Dec 29, 2012 at 9:14 am
Yes the APOA was right.
WMD called the APOA endorsement "deceptive" and claimed no negoitations had happened and talks would start next year. However the next meeting after the council election, WMD stated contract talks had been going on in closed session for months regarding the Police Chief and Lt.'s salaries:
From the Almanac, Nov 2011.
"David Metzger, president of the Atherton Police Officers' Association (APOA), urged the council to reject the resolution, calling it bad policy....
Some observers, including Councilwoman McKeithen, see the APOA's involvement in the issue as a preemptive move to protect its members' benefits when contract talks open next year for police officers. Calling the future police negotiations the "elephant in the room" no one wants to talk about, ...
Ms. McKeithen, Mayor Bill Widmer and Councilman Jim Dobbie pushed for acting on the resolution that night, saying that the council had been discussing the proposal in closed session for more than six months before unanimously accepting it."
Posted by See it all, a resident of the Menlo Park: The Willows neighborhood, on Dec 29, 2012 at 9:59 am
Mr Arrillaga is not the developer. Stanford University is the developer. Mr. Arrillaga is the checkbook as he has been so generously in the community for several years now. Stanford is moving its high traffic uses to Menlo Park as it has does so when it moved some of its medical offices to Redwood City. In order to comply with the use permit issued by Santa Clara County, the university needs to keep car trips at a specific number.
Forget Mr. Arrillaga; think Stanford; think traffic. Don't get distracted as the council did when it got schmoozed by Stanford during the specific plan process. If you see Stanford coming your way, drop the pom poms and put up the barricades.