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Construction resumes on Atherton civic center

Original post made on Apr 10, 2020

Construction began again on Atherton’s long-awaited $31.6 million civic center project after a three-week shutdown.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, April 10, 2020, 4:19 PM

Comments (25)

Posted by whatever
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 10, 2020 at 5:53 pm

Hey were Athertonians. None of these construction folk live in our town, so we got nothing to worry about if they get sick. They'll just take it back to their towns and families.


Posted by Sad
a resident of Atherton: other
on Apr 10, 2020 at 7:15 pm

Very bad decision. "Extreme safety measures" won't prevent the virus from spreading as a result of this. It could have waited another two months. Net result is people will die because of this decision. It sounds melodramatic, but it's the truth.


Posted by Observer Ii
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 10, 2020 at 8:58 pm

This decision seems hypocritical, that is, do as I say, but not as I do. Some how you justify moving forward with your construction project, but nobody else can. This looks very, very bad. It’s elitist, unfair and irresponsible. Being in power allows you to exempt yourselves while denying shutting the door on everyone else. No matter how you justify this, it is overwhelmingly wrong.


Posted by Resident
a resident of Atherton: other
on Apr 11, 2020 at 5:56 am

@Observer

Atherton resident projects can continue at this time if they relate to health and safety improvements. The staff report has a list of those approved projects. The police station building is being allowed to continue on the same basis.


Posted by What??
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 11, 2020 at 8:31 am

Hey Resident,

If there are safety problems in the current police building, fixing them will be a lot quicker than building a whole new building which will take 18 more months to finish. With your logic, someone building a new house in town should be allowed to get going as well because their old house had a safety issues as well.


Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 11, 2020 at 9:56 am

Typical Atherton entitlement mentality.


Posted by Resident
a resident of Atherton: other
on Apr 11, 2020 at 10:36 am

@What

I don't believe some of the safety issues in the existing building are fixable at a reasonable cost, which is why the new police building is being built in the first place.

Someone in an old house can move to another house. There is no equivalent police capable building in Atherton.


Posted by whatever
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 11, 2020 at 10:44 am

To Resident
Sure there is , Holbrook Palmer. The parks closed isn't it? If not it should be.


Posted by Regina R
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Apr 11, 2020 at 11:03 am

This is so disappointing and shows the true motivations of the TOA administration which is entirely corrupt. They are all in the pockets of these contractors.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Apr 11, 2020 at 11:47 am

There is a logical fallacy here - if construction on the town center can be done safely why can't the same activities be done safely on any other construction project?


Posted by Resident
a resident of Atherton: other
on Apr 11, 2020 at 5:12 pm

@Whatever

The park isn't closed, but has restrictions in public use.

Holbrook Palmer doesn't have any buildings that meet police station requirements in any case. All the Atherton staff moved to buildings at the park during construction, except the police for that reason.

@Peter

I agree the county's rules are not logical. Why are buildings with 10% affordable housing or more safe to continue construction, but not 100% market rate buildings or private home construction? Atherton has to comply with the county's orders.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Apr 11, 2020 at 7:54 pm

"I agree the county's rules are not logical."

It is a huge mistake to be mixing social policy (low income housing) will public health policy.

The county should decide under what PUBLIC HEALTH constraints construction should be allowed and then apply those rules to ALL construction.

People will not tolerate or obey rules that they feel are unjustified and I fear that the compromising of public health objectives with low income housing objectives will reduce people's respect for the County Health Officer's guidance - to all of our detriment.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Apr 15, 2020 at 10:12 am

Just walked by Holbrook Palmer Park and the Town has exempted itself to use landscapers in the Park - where there are still quite a few people.

This double standard is deeply troubling.

People will NOT continue to open the rules IF they feel that the authorities themselves are ignoring the basic public health principles.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Apr 15, 2020 at 10:30 am

Typo:

People will NOT continue to OBEY the rules IF they feel that the authorities themselves are ignoring the basic public health principles.


Posted by Luckydog
a resident of Atherton: other
on Apr 15, 2020 at 12:13 pm

Atherton has made a huge mistake about restarting the construction in the civic center. This goes against public health policy designed to prevent the spread of the virus. Workers travel from all different areas and come in contact with people all the time. They are capable of spreading the virus and no one will know who are the contacts. Such a bad public image for the town. The police department has been there for many years and will be there for the near future. The town has unilaterally declared this construction as essential and ignored the public health consequences BAD Atherton...


Posted by Athertonian
a resident of Atherton: other
on Apr 15, 2020 at 2:31 pm

What a bunch of cry babies! As long as they are out in fresh air keeping distance- let them be! Same goes for gardeners.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Apr 15, 2020 at 2:57 pm

"As long as they are out in fresh air keeping distance- let them be! Same goes for gardeners."

Then change the rules for everybody - not just those in charge.

Atherton could easily apply a higher standard - if it wants to set an example.

If this exemption was granted by the Health Officer it weakens his standing in the eyes of the citizens because it has no public health rationale.

As The Deputy Executive Director of the US Price Commission I once helped control every price in the US. That could not have been done without massive compliance and that compliance depended on public understanding and support.

Compliance with these current rules will erode if the public sees the rulers exempting themselves.


Posted by Park
a resident of Atherton: other
on Apr 15, 2020 at 3:06 pm

Peter,

Residents are allowed to bring in maintenance workers for health and safety repairs to their property. As the park remains open to the public, I would imagine maintenence for health and safety purposes is still needed.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Apr 15, 2020 at 3:10 pm

" I would imagine maintenence for health and safety purposes is still needed."

I believe in published regulations not imagination.

And it is hard to understand that cutting the grass in the park is any more important to health and safety than is cutting the grass on private land which is used by people.


Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 15, 2020 at 4:29 pm

The state regulations regarding construction are stupid. If workers can work safely on a public works or low income housing site, why can't they do the same on any other job site? I would argue it is easier to work with more social distancing on a residential project, especially in Atherton, than on a low income housing site. Low income housing sites tend to be apartments or apartment like with corridors that don't allow the passage of two people and the maintenance of proper social distancing. Either construction can be done safely or it can't. If it can, then ALL construction can be done safely. If it can't, then NONE can be done.


Posted by Park
a resident of Atherton: other
on Apr 15, 2020 at 4:48 pm

One big difference is that the park is open for public use. Private property is not. You can ask the town for their reasons. If it were up to me, I would worry about letting the grass get too long and become a tripping hazard for the elderly. The six foot distance recommendation means a lot more people are walking on the grass.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Apr 15, 2020 at 6:22 pm

"he six foot distance recommendation means a lot more people are walking on the grass."

Why doesn't the Town simply ask people to all walk in the same direction?


Posted by Jenson
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Apr 16, 2020 at 8:40 pm

What a bunch of hypocrites, absolute stupidity by who ever gave the green light to proceed with construction. I hope those that live in Atherton complain to their city hall about this reckless decision and can force a shut down of the project. Failure to comply to what all other cities are doing is a threat to all of us and shows a complete lack of respect to all of us


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Apr 17, 2020 at 11:25 am

Just issued:

"Police Department
Posted on: April 17, 2020
Hired Landscaping Prohibited!
The Atherton Police Department would like to remind all residents that in order to maintain compliance with the Shelter in Place Order, all hired landscaping or yard services are prohibited.

The only allowable form of landscaping will be that work performed by the homeowner or resident."

So why does the Town have hired landscapers working on Town property?

They claim that they are exempt - but they are not exempt from public opinion.

Leadership means leading by example not hiding behind some alleged footnote in the rules.


Posted by Petre Carpentre
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 18, 2020 at 7:59 am

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


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