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Atherton residents create their own library survey

Original post made on Oct 31, 2011

Atherton residents, whose request to the City Council to survey the town about the location of a new library was not approved, have taken matters into their own hands and created their own survey.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, October 30, 2011, 5:42 PM

Comments (12)

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Posted by Concernedcitizen
a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 31, 2011 at 3:05 pm

I agree that a survey makes sense in this case. The town is struggling with major budget deficits, and has recently laid off many long time employees. While I understand that the funding for the library project will come from private donations and tax money that was earmarked for the library long ago, it seems heartless to propose a multi million dollar project on the heels of these layoffs. My question is: how was the email list for this survey selected? We have lived in Atherton for over 20 years and no one has emailed us with survey details. In order to be meaningful, the survey must be available to all Atherton residents, not a select group of people.


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Posted by Louise
a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 31, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Has anybody actually checked to make sure the library money is still really there?..............

I am wondering why Atherton just fired another honest finance director--Was it to keep some nasty secrets under wraps?


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Posted by Another Concerned Citizen
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 31, 2011 at 3:14 pm

I agree with the comment by Concerned Citizen in all respects. And, perhaps even more fundamentally, I'd like to know why the Town of Atherton needs a new, multi-million dollar library when we have easy access to perfectly good libraries in Menlo Park and Redwood City?


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Posted by Yet Another Concerned Citizen
a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 31, 2011 at 8:07 pm

This is a regional library. More than half of the users come from Menlo Park and San Mateo County Unincorporated areas. Atherton alone could not support it. There are no donations paying for the library. Atherton will donate the land in the Park and the revenue from Atherton property taxes will pay for the construction.

As it turns out about 3% of property tax revenue must be spent on the library. The library has been running a surplus of $700,000 a year for several years and now has $5,000,000 in the bank. We should be allowed to vote on how to best use the funds.

Once the green space in the Park is converted to a library, it is gone forever.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of Atherton: other
on Nov 1, 2011 at 9:59 am

Could it be that the Fisher group is so determined to get the library money to be part of the town center because there is no more library money?

Has anyone determined the money is still actually there, in the accounts?

Was the finance director going to blow the whistle on this before she retired?


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Posted by Judith
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Nov 2, 2011 at 11:54 am

As noted by others above, we also did not receive the survey although we are 35 year Atherton residents. So, I will use this forum to weigh in. We are opposed to the proposal to build a large library and other use facility in the park. If the money is truly there, there are ample funds to take care of retrofitting and enlarging the present structure. If the current structure is too small, how about a swap of the current administrative offices into that space and build a new library on the site of the current offices? The whole park library space proposal smacks of a "find a green space and fill it" mentality.


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Posted by Survey
a resident of Atherton: other
on Nov 2, 2011 at 5:22 pm

If you want to be on the survey list, give your information to the city manager. I am sure he could pass it to the survey people.


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Posted by Survey
a resident of Atherton: other
on Nov 3, 2011 at 10:54 am

Here are some results from the survey. Highlights are that 70-75% want the town to vote on the issue and 20-30% disagree with statements that Atherton wants a bigger library in the park. On several question 15% or more had no opinion. With 70% of the survey opposed to the vote of the council to move the library and double its size, hopefully the council will listen to the Park and Recreation Committe and those that were surveyed and put this to a vote.

I like the Atherton Library small and
quaint the way it is 25% disagreed

I think the library needs to be
substantially larger 25% agreed

I like Holbrook-Palmer Park the way
it is 25% disagreed


Replacing the Main House with a
library is not the right thing for the
park 21% disagreed


Do you believe that a public library
qualifies as a ''recreation'' use for a
park? 29% agreed


The decision to move the library
should be made by a vote of town
residents 25% disagree

The decision to move the library
should be made by the Town
Council 29% agree

[It would be helpful to other readers if the poster included the number or persons surveyed and the number or respondents to arrive at the percentages above. Otherwise they are meaningless. The Editor.]


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Posted by Survey
a resident of Atherton: other
on Nov 3, 2011 at 11:59 am

That should be 20-30% agreeing with statements that support a bigger library in the park.


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Posted by survey
a resident of Atherton: other
on Nov 3, 2011 at 3:15 pm

Here are some results from the survey. Responses 155. Highlights are that 70-75% want the town to vote on the issue and 20-30% agree with statements that Atherton wants a bigger library in the park. On several questions 15% or more had no opinion. With 70% of the survey opposed to the vote of the council to move the library and double its size, hopefully the council will listen to the Park and Recreation Committee and those that were surveyed and put this to a vote. To make it easier to read I am combining Strongly Disagree with Disagree and just calling it "Disagree". Also Strongly agree is combined with Agree and called "Agree".
Question:
I believe the library should remain
within the Town Center area
Disagree 20% (31) No Opinion 25% (39) Agree 55% (85)


I like the Atherton Library small and
quaint the way it is
Disagree 28.5% (45) No Opinion 20% (31) Agree 50% (77)

I think the library needs to be
substantially larger
Disagree 58% (88) No Opinion 18% (28) Agree 25% (37)


I like Holbrook-Palmer Park the way it is
Disagree
23% (36) No Opinion 19% (30) Agree 57% (87)


Replacing the Main House with a
library is not the right thing for the
park
Disagree 21% (32) No Opinion 18% (27) Agree 61% (94

Do you believe that a public library
qualifies as a ''recreation'' use for a
park? Yes 29% (44) No Opinion 16% (25) no 55% (84)

The decision to move the library
should be made by a vote of town
residents Disagree 25% (38) No Opinion 5% (7) Agree 71% (110)


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Posted by Family with children
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Nov 4, 2011 at 9:59 am

For families with children, to be able to go to one location - be it by foot, bike or car, to play in the park, enjoy fresh air and lovely surroundings, and utilize a library and all the terrific programs a library can offer, is the optimal situation. It encourages a healthy approach to life, nourishing the development of our minds, our bodies and an appreciation for nature. Also, for those residents who drive to use the park and the library, housing them in one location is a greener solution, reducing trips, traffic and the associated pollution. Slowing down the building of a new library, potentially for years, while the town wrangles with issues surrounding all the other buildings, when there are categorical funds available that can only be used for the building of a library, doesn't make sense.


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Posted by 3 to 1
a resident of Atherton: other
on Nov 5, 2011 at 5:46 am

The results of this questions in the survey, do not relect a town that is evenly divided, but rather a town that opposes putting the library in the park by a 3 to 1 margin and opposes doubling the size of the library. Twenty percent of the town has "No Opinion" on most of the questions asked.

Statement:

Replacing the Main House with a library is not the right thing for the park.
Disagree 21% (32) No Opinion 18% (27) Agree 61% (94)


I think the library needs to be substantially larger
Disagree 58% (88) No Opinion 18% (28) Agree 25% (37)




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