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Atherton council nixes phone survey on library

Original post made on Jun 21, 2012

After the vote was over, some in the audience wondered whether they were hallucinating. "Odd," one woman murmured while staring at the dais.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, June 21, 2012, 11:46 AM

Comments (8)

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Posted by Seeing Clearly
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jun 21, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Why is anyone surprised that Ms McKeithen doesn't want a phone survey regarding the "Library in the Park" issue? She doesn't want ANY kind of survey. Proponents of the big, new building in the park know very well that a majority of Atherton residents don't want the proposed library/community center in H-P Park. However, a survey of all the residents is a necessity to put the issue to rest at last. It doesn't matter if a substantial number don't even vote . . . that happens regularly in America. Those who are concerned enough to follow the issue and then vote are the only citizens we should be concerned about anyway.

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Jun 21, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Clearly, the town "leaders" couldn't find their hind ends w/both hands & a flashlight. Just another reason to have a good chuckle at their expense! It's just a bummer that other solid citizens once again get short shrift.

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Posted by Right to Vote & Freedom of Speech
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jun 22, 2012 at 7:21 am

Recently the Almanac wrote an editorial regarding Widmer, McKeithen, and Dobbie's desire to "shut down" an Atherton email group that was allowing residents to comment on the library in the park and informing them of upcoming votes.

This week Widmer, McKeithen, and Dobbie voted not to allow the residents a vote on the issue.

In Atherton home to executives of Google and Facebook, companies who are bringing Freedom to the World, the council blocks freedom of speech and freedom to vote.

The agenda item was carefully worded by Widmer. Hiring a company to do a phone survey with the questions approved by a majority vote of the council. Lewis presented that the only solution was a "town wide vote" Widmer would not let her speak on the issue, claiming the Brown Act only allowed items on the agenda.

Carlson found a solution, he called for a town wide "Survey", the word on the agenda, by mail to all registered voters. Lewis supported that way to obtain the opinion of all of Atherton.

Widmer, McKeithen, and Dobbie voted "no" to a written townwide survey.

The same three that want to "Shut Down" an email group will not let the residents vote.

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Posted by Commissario
a resident of another community
on Jun 22, 2012 at 1:19 pm

It's surprising that no mention has ever been made of Dobbie's conflict of interest - his wife is on the Board of the Friends of the Atherton Library. Shouldn't Dobbie recuse himself from all matters pertaining to the Library issue? Not in Atherton, I guess.

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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 22, 2012 at 1:40 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

There will be a Special Meeting on the library issue called by a petition signed by more than 100 adult residents of Atherton. As one item on that agenda the council will be required to vote YES or No on letting the citizens vote on this issue.

If the council votes not to let the citizens vote on this issue then a citizens' initiative will place this matter before the voters.

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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 22, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Very interesting. There are 100 Atherton citizens willing to put their names on a petition regarding this issue. Atherton city council are you listening? You have a town full of apathetic citizens yet 100 of them will sign this petition. Are you stupid? Time to wise up and put this before your constituents for a vote. I know you already know how that vote's going to go, so why don't you give up on this stupid fantasy of a library in the park and save the town a bunch of money you can ill afford to spend? And I thought Lewis is ethically challenged? She's been on the smart side of this whole debate since the begining. Makes me wonder if there's an honest politician alive in Atherton. One has to wonder what the supporters of this nonsense have to gain. There really isn't any other logical explanation than some type of self interest. You have an existing library. The park is quite nice without a new library building. The town was making money from the existing park buildings. Yet, we need to build a new building there? Hmmmm.

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Posted by Legacy
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jun 23, 2012 at 8:31 am

The WMD Team (Widmer, McKeithen, and Dobbie) simply want to leave their legacy in Atherton. This legacy will probably be a White Elephant building the residents of Atherton do not use and turning over Atherton's Park to San Mateo County to host events.

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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The Citizens' Petition is available for download from this site:

Web Link

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