Original post made
on Oct 25, 2012
About 15 people are working hard to pass Measure F to build a new county library in Atherton. Three members of the Council endorse the library concept, Widmer, McKeithen, and Dobbie.
Denise Kupperman, a candidate for city council, has chaired the committee to place a 10-13,000 square foot county library in the middle of Atherton's only park.
There is strong opposition to this plan. Those opposed have sighted many reasons. A new reason just re-opened last week- Kepler's.
Kepler's is a great book store and walking distance to the Atherton Library. In the new Athertonb library location, the Menlo Park Library will be walking distance as well.
Will an author want to speak at all three? Probably not. Is there a need to have a children's story told at all three probably not.
Kepler's has struggled over the last few years and the Menlo Park Library always has 30-50% empty chairs. Why does the Yes on F group believe the Supersized Atherton Library of will not be empty?
Ten years from now the energy of those that fought to build the library and create events to justify it will be gone.
Will the library become a White Elephant?
Over the years numerous other groups have lobbied to place their project in the park. In time the town's interest has dropped.
1. The 6 tennis courts were donated, however now numerous other courts are in town, and so usage has dropped from the peak in the 1970s.
2. The Art Committee placed two modulars in the park years ago, which are now rentals for a pre-school.
3. After many years Day in the Park, the Town Bar-B-Que, and the Summer Jazz Concert programs have ended.
The Yes on F Campaign's web site states that the county library can be built with no additional taxpayer dollars. And they claim that the millions in reserves can only be spent on library needs.
But they do not know for certain if putting in traffic lights and turn lanes for the extra traffic the Library will bring to town can be paid for by the Library fund.
Once the park land is turned over to the library, there is a strong possibility that state law and the County JPA Agreement will not let Atherton convert the land back to park land and reduce the size of the library.
So what happens if the building usage does not materialize?
What happens if the County does not approve the use of Library funds for the Traffic Light and turn lane?
Council members have often stated that Atherton needs to be run like a business. Would they invest $8M in a bookstore in the Atherton Park?
Editor to write:
"The council dissension over the library, which will be financed by Atherton contributions to a county library fund that will reach $8 million in a few years"
Is questionable-- There has been no ruling by the JPA that the The Traffic light and turn lane will be covered.
Will the extra traffic from the new office buildings- coupled with the Library add to the accidents at Watkins?
"Another issue was added to this already volatile mix when the Atherton Police Officers Association sent out a robocall endorsing Ms. Lewis and Mr. Weist, implying that the other candidates might favor outsourcing police services to the county sheriff. Some residents, including council member McKeithen, considered the actions threatening, and have denounced the association's intrusion into the council race."
This is an oxy-moron. Residents are writing letters to the editor of the paper and speaking at council meetings on the topic -- yet these resisents are afraid to state they endorse Kupperman and Conlon for fear the police will be less professional when servicing them-- and these residents had waited more than two months to give those endorsements. The campaign started in August and the APOA announcement was late September.
The police are concerned because Widmer, McKeithen, and Dobbie have stated they do not favor renewing the Parcel Tax, which funds Police Services. WMD are supporting Kupperman and Conlon- the police feel that Kupperman and Conlon will have to support the policies of Widmer and Dobbie.
I'd like to congratulate Denise Kupperman for earning the Almanac's endorsement in the wake of threats to pull advertising that were published in these very blogs some weeks ago when the first robocalls came out.'
Denise will make a great council member.
Anyone who is confused on the police/APOA/robocall/flyer issue, check John Ruggeiro's letter to the editor in the same paper. As a former police lieutenant in San Francisco who managed ten times the police force that Atherton has ever had, and with a son who's a cop, he's certainly pro-police. But he's very much against the aggressive, crude, and offensive strategies employed by the APOA to snatch every benefit they can from Atherton residents.
Let's also recall another esteemed law enforcement chief, Richard Moore. When Dick ran for council four years ago, the APOA/Teamsters sat him down and said here's what you need to commit to in order to get our endorsement. Since Dick has impeccable integrity, he told them to pound sand and walked out. Just ask him about this. That's why the APOA didn't endorse Dick Moore. By the way, it's because of Dick Moore that the Atherton P.D. enjoys a high approval rating from residents. His tenure as chief, and Leroy Hubbard's, built the reputation of the Atherton P.D. to such an extent that even with the numerous scandals over the past several years, just some of which John Ruggeiro outlines in his letter, it was able to endure.
Peter Carpenter, shame on you for flipping on this issue so quickly, and in the wrong direction. This is as blatant as it possibly can get in terms of union misbehavior and candidates accepting endorsements with strings attached.
To the last poster, "No Need for County Library in Atherton," if Widmer and Dobbie support Kupperman and Conlon, and the cops feel that Kupperman and Conlon will have to support their policies in return, doesn't that hold even more for Wiest and Lewis, who are taking money from the cops now? You're also just ranting and raving, and make no sense.
Good luck to all of Atherton residents. It is important to know that the APOA is the teamsters and not all of your police department are members or support their behavior.
Thanks for being voice of reason.
The point is: Widmer and
Dobbie want to keep their voting block and are working to do that.
Regarding Chief Moore. Which Officer told him that? Do Kuperman and Conlon have similiar stories? Put the officer's name out there.
What concessions do you want from the Police?
How can you know what Kupperman and Conlon will do?
Four years ago, the Daily Post and the Palo Alto Daily also declined to endorse Richard Moore and McKeithen. Were those two papers expecting favors from Henig and Lewis? No.
What is it that the Police want that Moore refused to give? What do they want now, besides a contract and a council that will work to renew the Parcel Tax?
If the Parcel Tax fails, can the council cancel the contract and outsource? Dobbie and Widmer have stated they do not like the Parcel Tax, one more vote on the council and the Parcel Tax could be finished.
" one more vote on the council and the Parcel Tax could be finished"
Actually a parcel tax is a vote by the citizens, not by the council. However, no parcel tax will pass unless we have a council that provides leadership and eschews personal bickering.
Peter, you are absolutely right but if it is not put on the ballot then the citizens will not have the opportunity. As the history of WMD indicate they seem to think they can make these calls themselves. In addition if they do not start explaining exactly what the parcel tax is for and why they need it right now there will not be the support for passage. Currently Dobbie and Widmer are against the tax and presumably would not even bring it to a vote.
No Need for county Library in Atherton says:
"To: Congrat, The point is: Widmer and Dobbie want to keep their voting block and are working to do that."
To No Need for county Library in Atherton:
The point is: the cops want to keep their voting block and are working to do that too.
If accepting support involves inevitable quid pro quos, I'd much rather have Conlon and Kupperman feel indebted to elected council members than Wiest and Lewis be indebted to the cops who are bankrupting this town.
Why are the cops taking such a big gamble. Four year ago they did not endorse McKeithen and now they have two less officers.