News

Today: Atherton meets on town management

Assistant City Manager Eileen Wilkerson announces resignation

In the wake of Atherton City Manager Jerry Gruber's resignation, Assistant City Manager Eileen Wilkerson has announced her resignation, effective next Thursday, Oct. 21, the day before Mr. Gruber steps down.

The City Council has called a special meeting for Saturday, Oct. 16, at 3 p.m. to address town management issues, including the search for a short-term town manager who would oversee Town Hall operations until an interim city manager is appointed in November. The meeting will be in the council chambers in the Town Center at 94 Ashfield Road.

Ms. Wilkerson, who was hired by Mr. Gruber in 2008, could not be reached for comment. A two-sentence announcement was sent out this morning (Oct. 15) by the deputy city clerk.

The situation has left Mayor Kathy McKeithen, Councilman Jim Dobbie and Mr. Gruber shifting into high gear to find a temporary manager for Town Hall after next Friday, Mr. Gruber's last day. The mayor and Mr. Dobbie have been working as an ad-hoc committee to find an interim city manager, but that appointment is likely to be weeks away.

"We have some good possibilities (for an immediate replacement) in mind," Ms. McKeithen said this morning. Mr. Gruber will be contacting those people identified as "good fits" to oversee Town Hall before the next temporary manager is found, she said.

But even though the person will be appointed for only a few weeks, she added, "We don't want a bad fit. ... (The appointment) won't be so extremely rushed that we make a bad decision."

Ms. McKeithen said that after candidates have been identified and have indicated a willingness to take on the short-term position, the council will meet in closed session to make a decision. "It will be the council's choice, not just the (ad-hoc) committee's," she said.

Meanwhile, Atherton continues its search for an interim city manager who will oversee the town's business until a recruitment process finds a permanent manager. The town has set a 5 p.m. Oct. 29 deadline for applications for the interim post, and officials hope to have someone in place in that position by Nov. 8 or soon after.

After Mr. Gruber announced his resignation late last month, the council decided to appoint an interim manager to allow the town to take its time in finding a permanent city manager in a process that will include appointing a citizens committee to help interview the council-chosen finalists among candidates.

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Ed
a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 15, 2010 at 11:33 am

Yikes--Good news but....
Now we can't even pretend anyone is minding the store


Like this comment
Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 15, 2010 at 11:47 am

If this isn't a wake up call for the Atherton Town Council and Atherton's voters, then I don't what is.

Suggestion to the Council: Hire a recruiter immediately. This is way out of control.


Like this comment
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Oct 15, 2010 at 11:59 am

You had to know this day was coming sooner or later.

Wake Up Atherton


Like this comment
Posted by citizen
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Oct 15, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Maybe this will be a start of something good ! Suppose we had a city
with no one to run it, a city without drama, what a concept !


Like this comment
Posted by dorothy
a resident of another community
on Oct 15, 2010 at 1:19 pm

[Post removed; personal attacks violate terms of use.]


Like this comment
Posted by Fedup
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Oct 15, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Until the town gets rid of Kathy McKeithen, nobody will be happy working there. Micromanaging every aspect of the town, working behind the back of the (now several) town managers and undermining the police department have all been the hallmark of Kathy's watch as a council member and mayor. It is time for the residents of the town to wake up and realize that things won't change as long as the council let's Kathy run amok.


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 15, 2010 at 2:25 pm

I agree Fedup. The Daily Post also gave an example of Mr. Dobbie's micromanaging style. How many more employees and lawsuits do we have to lose and before we make a change.


Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 15, 2010 at 2:46 pm

time to smell the coffee is right!! Mirco managers never work well. Who knows how many law suits will come before the mayor and assistant mayor get the point. But then Jim doesn't have to be re elected.


Like this comment
Posted by Ed
a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 15, 2010 at 2:58 pm

McKiethen has been right all along about almost everything. It is her determination to stand firm against the efforts of those that wish to suppress the truth that have drug this saga out for so long. if your logic is that it would have been easier for the town to remain corrupted then I suppose you might have a valid argument. I however, am grateful for her enduring stewardship.
On Dobbie--please remember that right now all of Admin has collapsed (no city manager, no assistant city manager, no city attorney). It is admirable that Mr. Dobbie is brave enough to step up to plate in the middle of a campaign, when he is so vulnerable to attack from spinsters from his opposition.


Like this comment
Posted by Josey
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 15, 2010 at 3:06 pm

I need a fat job with little to do -- hire me! I will retire immediately upon taking the job by hiring a couple assistants to do everything. Should fit right in.


Like this comment
Posted by betting line
a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 15, 2010 at 4:57 pm

With the way he handled the Henderson matter, look out for the public works director. Odds are he'll submit his resignation instead of risking an involuntary termination.

One big breath of fresh air and the whole house of cards is falling down.


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 15, 2010 at 4:59 pm

Atherton needs a BAD FIT for a city manager. One that one bend over and let the "gang of three" run over him or her. Come on Atherton stretch your expectations a little and hire a STRONG city manager.


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 15, 2010 at 5:00 pm

that should read NOT one that bends over....


Like this comment
Posted by super mario
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Oct 15, 2010 at 7:26 pm

Anybody who is a department head, with the exception of the Chief is toast.

The Atherton Municipal code has a provision that give a new city manager the authority to fire anyone and everyone the day he or she takes office.

With the lackluster performance of the current management team, cleaning house is just what the doctor ordered.

If I were the Finance Director and the Public Works Director I'd follow Wilkerson's lead and quit while I'm ahead.



Like this comment
Posted by management employee
a resident of another community
on Oct 15, 2010 at 7:28 pm

The bright side of Wilkerson leaving is that none of us have to worry about getting fired for reading this forum or leaving posts, even anonymously.


Like this comment
Posted by wait a minute
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Oct 15, 2010 at 9:33 pm

Super Mario, I have no real knowledge of the public works manager, but the finance director is super competent, and if she leaves, the town will surely be the loser. Let's acknowledge fine performance when it's given, especially from someone who's had to work in such a dysfunctional environment and has still been able to do so well.


Like this comment
Posted by Ed
a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 15, 2010 at 10:17 pm

I don't have any inside scoop on why Louise Ho's name is appearing suddenly on this possible casualty list--but I have been witness to enough dirty pool played in this town to be wondering if she stood her ground and refused to do something naughty and somebody else is hoping to discredit her so they can get control of the till. This is sort of what happened to John Johns but he never quite figured it out in time. With so many getting out of Dodge and all at once, this is not the moment to be loosing any ledgerbook keeper, let alone a good one.
Hang in there Louise--we all know this movie by heart.


Like this comment
Posted by jamal
a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 15, 2010 at 10:28 pm

Post removed. Personal attack.


Like this comment
Posted by Soothsayer
a resident of another community
on Oct 17, 2010 at 8:51 am

You all knew this was coming for more two years, but grabbed as much as you could while not paying attention to the real politics.
People like Peter Carpenter offer nothing but bandages, but never have an opinion for the voters to see.
He is not alone. The entire area of San Mateo County is at a standstill and beyond, Stanford is declining in prestige for those who care about higher education.


Like this comment
Posted by all hat no cattle
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Oct 17, 2010 at 10:03 am

Write in Peter Carpenter for City Council.

We need people like Peter on the City Council.

Those who talk but don't act would be a refreshing change of pace from the medling of the Scotch Irish duo currently running the Town into the ground.


Like this comment
Posted by Mike McPherson
a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 18, 2010 at 11:55 am

I would like to say that in my opinion Louise Ho is extremely competent, honest and hard-working. It would truly be a shame if we were to lose her.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 18, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Soothsayer and all hat no cattle - having served this community for 8 1/2 years as an elected official and having posted thousands of comments on the Town Forum I can comfortable say that you are both full of ... hot air.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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