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Atherton council says no to ethics oversight board

Original post made on May 24, 2011

Atherton City Councilwoman Kathy McKeithen said she is "horribly disappointed with this council" after a request she and Councilman Bill Widmer put before their colleagues to consider forming an ethics oversight board for the town was rejected by the council majority.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, May 25, 2011, 12:00 AM

Comments (7)

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Posted by Torquemada had nothing on these guys
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on May 24, 2011 at 4:30 pm

"Are you now, or have you ever been..."

It looks like Kathy and John want to bring their own brand of inquisition to Atherton, and will never stop trying. I cannot think of two more destructive individuals in my years of living here except maybe John Johns.

I don't know whether John is following Kathy's lead or vice versa, but even Jim Dobbie has now washed his hands of her witch hunts.

I wish they would just both go away.

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Posted by Ed
a resident of Atherton: other
on May 24, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Once a month ONLY, A resident of Atherton has three minutes of public comment time at the scheduled Council Meeting in which to voice a concern. The council is not obligated, and regularly does Not respond to the concern expressed. There are even rules that restrict subsequent discussion of such a grievance amongst an always divided Council.
After this venue has been exhausted, the resident has only two options that remain--to die of frustration while threatening to sue, or to actually initiate litigation. I expect to see more residents efficiently skip to step three unless step one suddenly improves.
Mayor Dobbie's notion that the serial selection of discardable managers that the Council can blame for unresolved problems is shocking and does nothing to serve the need for the Council's actualized accountability to the residents. I might be more hopeful about the future if the Mayor had apologized at all for the recent past.
For the Council to deny both the residents and any City Manager "du jour", the benefits of a conduit body for conflict resolution precisely explains Atherton's extant dysfunction and exhausted resources today.
I extend my condolences in advance to both Mr Conner and Mr Danialson for the inevitable murky waters that they will be expected to navigate, entirely alone, with only whatever compass they brought with them and the law, against all of Atherton's and San Mateo County's substantial gravitational pull. I hope they will ask for the support of a citizen's committee if or when they have realized that they need it.

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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 24, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Not surprised at Elizabeth Louis and Carlson's vote on this. [Portion removed. Disagree with positions but avoid accusations of illegal behavior.] Why only one of the new council members didn't vote for it is beyond me since they both ran promising no more business as usual.

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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 24, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Excuse me editor, but I accused Elizabeth Lewis of doing what an auditor said was true. Her house is too big for the lot. She claimed it wasn't. It happened under questionable circumstances. She also assaulted a citizen in front of witnesses and then tried to claim she didn't. I'm sorry, but if that doesn't make her "ethically challenged" I don't know what yoUr definition is. I HAve to ask, why do you keep trying to protect her?

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Posted by Ethics
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 24, 2011 at 10:56 pm

I don't think this issue is about personalities of the individual council members, and while I normally respect Menlo Voter's comments greatly, attention is best focused on the concepts involved here. I like citizen oversight of government. Others like government oversight of citizens. By my preferences, the wins of this citizen oversight far outweigh any of the problems at least as explained by Dobbie. You folks are paying for this stuff through your taxes, and you deserve to have a direct voice. No surprise that the staff members don't want to be subject to a review board. Who would, if they had a choice?

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Posted by Stu Slessinger
a resident of another community
on May 25, 2011 at 10:15 pm

Whomever "Torquemada" from West Atherton is knows that his or her post plays fast and loose with the facts.

The strongest indication that something is wrong with Atherton was when the Town was forced to reinstate a whistleblower with back pay after spending over $400,000 to defend itself.

The audits the former Finance Director conducted weren't witch hunts. The proof is in the recent plea the former building department employee entered into on charges of embezzlement.

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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 26, 2011 at 8:01 am

I don't know why Atherton's Town Council would want to institute changes.

Everything seems to be working pretty well for them.

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

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