A member of Atherton's General Plan Committee said she has resigned her post after moving out of town earlier this month. Atherton Councilman Charles Marsala raised questions about Carol Smith's eligibility to serve on the advisory body.
According to Ms. Smith, she sold her home in Atherton's Lindenwood neighborhood in December, but rented it back for a time, and then stayed with neighbors while some work was being done on her new home in Los Altos Hills. During that time, she still served on the General Plan Committee and attended its Feb. 3 meeting.
Ms. Smith said someone she thought was from The Almanac showed up at her new house on Sunday, March 21, and asked where she was living and whether she was still on the town's General Plan Committee. It turned out to be a reporter from another newspaper, and not a member of The Almanac's staff.
"I said, 'Get out!'" Ms. Smith told The Almanac. "I was so furious. He's been calling here day after day -- it's not unusual for me to get three calls a day -- and then he has the audacity to show up."
Ms. Smith blamed Councilman Charles Marsala for the interest in her living arrangements. "I'm sending an e-mail to the city. I need him to cease and desist slandering, harassing and stalking me," she said.
Mr. Marsala said he has never harassed Ms. Smith, and that he merely passed along to City Manager Jerry Gruber a constituent's concern about Ms. Smith serving on a town committee when she was no longer a resident of Atherton.
Mr. Marsala said he had a great deal of communication with Ms. Smith in 2006, when he served as the town's mayor. He said he was trying to find a compromise between neighbors of Menlo-Atherton High School and the local Pop Warner youth football representatives, as well as end the town's lawsuit over the environmental review of the school's Performing Arts Center. He exchanged a number of e-mails with her as he sought to understand neighborhood concerns, Mr. Marsala said.
The General Plan Committee is an appointed body that reviews zoning issues and advises the Planning Commission and City Council.