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Today: Tax, school board elections in Atherton, Portola Valley

Original post made on Nov 7, 2017

Tuesday, Nov. 7, is Election Day. A parcel tax measure is on the ballot in Atherton and there's a school board election in the Portola Valley School District.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, November 6, 2017, 9:44 AM

Comments (9)

Posted by Mike
a resident of Atherton: other
on Nov 7, 2017 at 2:04 pm

We have lived in Atherton since 1988, and as noted above have paid a parcel tax every year. Atherton of course has essentially no sales tax. It seems to me the parcel tax is a small price to pay for excellent municipal service and roads, which is why I'm voting YES.


Posted by Gary Lauder
a resident of Atherton: other
on Nov 7, 2017 at 3:54 pm

The Atherton parcel tax is — quite literally — a small price to pay.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 7, 2017 at 9:34 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Measure F has lost by a considerable margin - only 51% yes when 67% was needed.

Why should citizens support a measure on which a majority of the Council stood virtually silent?

We have been here before when a previous parcel tax vote lost and then a citizen led effort resulted in a win the second time around.

Is there CITIZEN support for another try?


Posted by Telling it like it is
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Nov 7, 2017 at 10:00 pm

Peter, before trying to lead a brigade to "try, try again", how about actually listening to what Atherton's voters have said and doing something about it? You seem to be implying the voters are dumb, and just voted the way they did based on poor cheerleading instead of a fundamental disagreement with the core issues, and this doesn't show much respect for the very smart and hardworking people of Atherton.


Posted by Telling it like it is
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Nov 7, 2017 at 10:03 pm

Also…Peter…you are wrong about the council staying silent. DeGolia wrote various opinion pieces, sent mailers out, and he and Lewis were frantically working the phones. This did not fail because the council members didn't advocate it. It failed because it was a bad idea.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 7, 2017 at 10:05 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" You seem to be implying the voters are dumb, "

Read what i posted:

"Is there CITIZEN support for another try?"

I asked a question - I did not post an answer.


Posted by Telling it like it is
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Nov 7, 2017 at 10:20 pm

Peter, the answer you seek is contained in the voting results from today.

In the past, the council took a parcel tax defeat – and none was even close to as resounding as this one is – and went back to the voters with real changes/reforms in hand, with really active listening to the message the voters sent, and asked again.

First, I don't see this council as capable of doing that. The time to have done that was when the town center vote was obviously insufficient to garner support to pay for it.

Second, the past defeats were based on fiscal imprudence. This defeat was based on the town not needing the parcel tax any longer based on increased property tax revenue. It seems like a very definitive decision from the voters that this tax is over. They bought the opposition argument that the town can't simply figure out new ways to continue spending taxpayer money when other revenues are sufficient.

Atherton residents got to where they are in life by smart fiscal management of their resources. I am not at all surprised by this vote.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 7, 2017 at 10:41 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"the answer you seek is contained in the voting results from today."

I agree.

Citizens respond to leadership and Mike, Bill and Cary provided NO leadership on Measure f.

If I were Mayor with this result I would feel compelled to resign.


Posted by Telling it like it is
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Nov 8, 2017 at 7:46 am

Let's just put some of these numbers into perspective now that the vote was 50/50, 783 yes, 768 no.

Atherton has 4,777 registered voters. 1,551 voted in this election, leaving 3,226 who did not. These numbers show this vote did not fail because of lack of cheerleading/getting out the vote.

I say this because even if Lewis – and I fully agree with you that she should show the good grace of resigning today – had been able to get HALF of the 3,226 people who didn't vote to vote, MORE THAN 80% of them would have had to vote yes for Measure F to pass. That's never happened.

Even if Lewis had been able to get every single one of Atherton's voters to vote in this election, assuming she couldn't change the minds of people who already voted NO in this election, AT LEAST 75% of the remaining voters would have had to vote yes for Measure F to pass given this opposition. That's never happened.

Because of these clear numbers, it's important that the council stop WASTING TAXPAYER MONEY (because isn't that the strong message that was sent with this election?) on pursuing this issue any further. Put a fork in it. It's DONE.

The much better use of time and effort would be to internalize the message that was sent here and figure out what budget cuts are going to be made, etc., to honor the voter's command that the Town simply has to treat taxpayer money with a lot more respect.


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