Atherton civic center design unveiling | Town Square | Almanac Online |

Town Square

Post a New Topic

Atherton civic center design unveiling

Original post made on Mar 23, 2016

More than a 100 people gathered to see the recommended design for a new Atherton civic center, Monday night, March 21 in Holbrook-Palmer Park's Jennings Pavilion.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, March 23, 2016, 11:24 AM

Comments (5)

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Atherton: other
on Mar 23, 2016 at 2:03 pm

Stop refining and just build it! You have been refining for years, enough already. More will like it than hate it. The only people benefiting from all the delays are the architects. Its fine, get rid of the permit center eyesore, the sheds around the police department and build it.


Like this comment
Posted by JU
a resident of Atherton: other
on Mar 23, 2016 at 2:17 pm

Here's the most important part: where's the money. Looks like they have $5 million pledged (need $30 million total).

According to the atherton FAQ:
Web Link

What happens if the Town does not get sufficient donations or grant funding?

That's a policy call for the City Council. Funding must be found somewhere to address the need.

Once the Town completes its design phase, the Town must have all of the funding available to pay for the project in order to publicly bid the project and award the construction contract. The Town needs new facilities.

The Building and Planning Departments are working out of old trailers originally designed as "temporary" that have mold, infestations, and roof/structure leaks that cannot adequately be controlled. One of the trailers has been boarded off to prevent further issues.

The Police Department's briefing room, break room, changing room, locker room, assembly room, and training room are one and the same. The Police Officers also work out of temporary trailers for which the Town still pays rent. Over the years, the Police Department has created temporary, ad hoc solutions to holding areas, dispatch, restrooms (one shower - 30 personnel), technology solutions, equipment storage, and security that are woefully inadequate for a modern police facility. The facility itself has become a recruitment and retention issue for new, quality personnel and a security risk for the Town.

If there is insufficient funding to construct a new facility, the Town must still make substantial improvements and renovations to its existing facilities to bring them up to current standards. Either way, there is a need for significant capital outlay to address the declining facility conditions. The Town can choose to do short-term solutions or can, as the Civic Center Project proposes, design and build a long-term solution.

How the City Council chooses to address the funding need is a policy call. If faced with this decision, options will inevitably involve a return to the voters to overturn the restriction on the use of General Funds; or to allow a one-time reallocation of the Parcel Tax; or to use existing Town reserves (unallocated General Fund or Capital Reserves); or the potential to issue bonds secured by a revenue source (General Fund, Parcel Tax, etc.).

Until that point arrives however, the Town follows the requirements of the existing ballot measure.


Like this comment
Posted by What News!
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Mar 23, 2016 at 3:43 pm

What News! is a registered user.

I curious about the fundraising. In a very successful campaign to raise money for a public library, the start was to get big donors in place before asking the general, small donation folks to help out.

These days naming opportunities are common. Will Atherton sell naming rights for our library, community meeting rooms, Chsmbers and such to the highest donors?


1 person likes this
Posted by Big hint
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Mar 23, 2016 at 4:47 pm

Resident: "Stop refining and just build it!"

JU: "Once the Town completes its design phase, the Town must have all of the funding available to pay for the project in order to publicly bid the project and award the construction contract."

JU: "Here's the most important part: where's the money. Looks like they have $5 million pledged (need $30 million total)."

See why they don't want to ever declare it done?


2 people like this
Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of Atherton: other
on Mar 24, 2016 at 4:20 pm

If there were 100 people at the meeting, about 75% were either Town Staff, Committee members, or the highly paid Consultants making their slick presentations. The few residents that were interested in the facts were given a rushed pitch on how the design matched the unbiased survey done by the advocacy committee and were given few facts on the true economics and design alternatives. We heard "trust us"! We have enough "soft money" (i.e. we can pay all the consultants & fees for along time), and will certainly raise the ~ $25M required to actually build the current design.

The question is: How much of the ~ $25M will have to be committed (NOT just pledged) before the Town starts construction? If Town funds will eventually be required it will be in violation of the earlier vote of the residents & may well be a dereliction of duty by the elected officials.

Let's resolve where the money is coming from before Atherton buids its own version of the "High Speed Rail"


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

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

Get fact-based reporting on the COVID-19 crisis sent to your inbox daily.

Palo Alto's Mayfield Bakery & Cafe permanently closes after 11-year run
By Elena Kadvany | 18 comments | 15,036 views

City staff is running Palo Alto
By Diana Diamond | 24 comments | 3,166 views

Couples: Are you Committed to your Vows or Dysfunction?
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,480 views

Kids and sugar: A cautionary tale
By Sherry Listgarten | 9 comments | 1,393 views

Preparing for School
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 530 views