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Saturday: Meeting on planned Atherton library

Original post made on Feb 24, 2012

Atherton residents who want to learn more about and comment on a plan to build a new library in Holbrook-Palmer Park will have an opportunity Saturday morning (Feb. 25) at a community meeting in the Council Chambers. The meeting is from 10 a.m. to noon.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, February 24, 2012, 11:28 AM

Comments (11)

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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 24, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I note that there is no formal public notice of this meeting on the Town's web site nor is it included on the Town calendar. I hope that a majority of the Library Committee will NOT be in attendance as that would constitute an illegal meeting.

Public participation is greatly enhanced by proper notice.

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Posted by Alan Miller
a resident of Atherton: other
on Feb 24, 2012 at 12:15 pm

I live in Atherton and received a letter in the mail giving notice of four library meetings.

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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 24, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Unfortunately letters do not satisfy the requirements of the law:
1. Regular Meetings
Each legislative body, except for advisory bodies and standing committees, shall provide for
the time and place for regular meetings by ordinance, resolution, or by-laws. (§ 54954(a).) If
a body calls a meeting at a time or place other than the time or place specified for regular
meetings, it is either a special or emergency meeting. Accordingly, the body must satisfy the
appropriate notice requirement, and should indicate the type of meeting on the notice. Even
where it is not required, the body may wish to provide additional notice in the form of the type
of notice and agenda provided for a regular meeting.
Meetings of advisory bodies and standing committees for which 72-hour notice is provided,
pursuant to section 54954.2, are considered regular meetings. (§ 54954(a).)
A. Agenda Requirement
At least 72 hours prior to a regular meeting, the body must post an agenda containing
a brief general description of each item to be discussed or transacted at the meeting,
including items to be discussed in closed session. (§ 54954.2(a).) The Act makes it
clear that discussion items must be placed on the agenda, as well as items which may
be the subject of action by the body.
The purpose of the brief general description is to inform interested members of the
public about the subject matter under consideration so that they can determine whether
to monitor or participate in the meeting of the body.

Sadly this particular committee continues to ignore its obligations under the Brown Act.

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Posted by Tom Croft
a resident of Atherton: other
on Feb 24, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Many of us do not want our only library moved into our only park. The town council voted 3-to-2 to put it in the park, supporting the library committee and the Almanac editor. If a vote could be taken, my contacts with many Athertonians indicate that most of us do not want the library moved to the park, but the committee and the council avoid even any mention of that. Of course a vote might ruin plans by the council & committee so the absence of a vote is in their best interests. Isn't this a democracy ?

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Posted by Michael McPherson
a resident of Atherton: other
on Feb 24, 2012 at 2:48 pm

I also received the undated letter referred to above. I sent an email with a few questions to the "Feedback" email address listed on that letter 7 days ago; no response as of this writing.

One thing I was asking about is the result of the scoping of the EIR we were all asked to submit comments on by an end date earlier this year. I have heard nothing back on the scope of the EIR, though I did provide some comments. Its not clear to me how meetings which will "focus on the design and size of the interior and exterior of the building" will be productive coming ahead of an EIR which, as I understood it, was supposed to compare a number of alternatives regarding size, location, need, etc., as well as any number of other pertinent issues.

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Posted by BrownClown
a resident of another community
on Feb 24, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Isn't the council getting together tonite for a meeting at Atherton's park? Off the books, if so. The Brown Act doesnt even slow 'em down.

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Posted by put up or shut up
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Feb 24, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Brown Clown, What's your proof? It's so easy to make these kinds of accusations with no evidence this forum.

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Posted by amazing
a resident of Atherton: other
on Feb 24, 2012 at 4:34 pm

This marketing effort is being sanctioned by the Town Council, and existing library funds (our tax money) are being spent in the effort to ram it down our throats. This is out of control when they know there is a pending EIR on the site which needs to be approved and yet the library committee is acting like it is a done deal. Come and choose the color for the walls they plead giving the impression it is over.
It is not a done deal as there will be an initiative on the ballot and Atherton residents will be allowed to vote if they want the library in the park. If the majority wants it then fine...then let all the teachers, students, and non-residents come and pick the colors. Until then they are only pretending.

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Posted by Learn More What??
a resident of Atherton: other
on Feb 24, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Numerous questions have been asked at previous council meetings and not answered by the Library Steering Committee. Here is a solution: Call a special meeting of the council and Library Steering Committee and the staff doing the EIR. Allow the audience to ask them questions and have them answer the questions on the record. Otherwise those of who do not see the need for a county library in the park, believe all this is being done to claim "outreach."
1. Is there even a need for this? Between Starbucks, Cafe Barone, the Menlo Library, and the existing library why can not the existing space work or expand it?
2. The Menlo library is so close and always has numerous empty seats, what population of library users needs a another library in the Atherton Park which is so close?
3. Where are the existing offices in the main house going to be relocated? Will more open space in the park will be taken?
4. The Park closes at dark and the library is open past dark, will the park now be open past dark? Will it need to be patroled?
5. Do we really need to give up the open space? If the main house is not needed just remove it and leave the library where it is.
6. More than half the people that use the Atherton library come from outside of Atherton, why not have the county donate land in the county (Flood Park) for this project?
7. Menlo College is expanding its library. Other cities have partnered with universities for their library. Is that an option being considered?
8. Interestingly The reasons given by the three members of the council to refuse to let the residents vote on this matter are that the A.The issue is too complicated for residents to understand and B. they were elected to make decisions for the town. Is there anything more to discuss?

From the Almanac September 13, 2011:
"Councilwoman Kathy McKeithen, who served on the library task force, forcefully debated several residents who challenged her defense of the park as the optimal library site. As Ms. McKeithen urged the residents to better inform themselves about the proposed project, former mayor Dudley, just a few feet away, spoke passionately with several residents about the need to preserve the Main House.”

From the Almanac November 22, 2011
“Councilwoman Kathy McKiethen, who is on the committee that came up with the recommendation to put the library in the park, had a two-page summary of the reasons she is against a survey. Among the reasons was that, due to complexity of the issue, "it would be impossible for a resident to make a knowledgeable response to the supposedly simple question 'do you favor a library in Holbrook-Palmer Park?'"

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Posted by BrownClown
a resident of another community
on Feb 24, 2012 at 6:51 pm

The proof would be the meeting post. They didnt publish anything. The proof is at the park ... going down right now. See for your self.

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Posted by BrownClown
a resident of another community
on Mar 17, 2012 at 7:19 am

put up or shut up

Council Report – Mayor Bill Widmer
March 21, 2012 City Council Meeting
I attended two significant meetings over the last month. The first one, attended by ** FOUR OF THE FIVE COUNCIL MEMBERS ** and 3 staff members was the Council of Cities meeting in HP Park. It was well attended and many of the other City representatives have and continue to make comments on the meeting and the venue. Staff did a great job in preparing the grounds and planning the dinner. Atherton had its opportunity to speak about our recent outsourcing and Joe Nation provided great insight into the pension issues we are all sharing here in California. Joe’ s presentation highlighted the problems many cities and towns are facing both today and in the near future, and discussed what the end result may lead to.

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

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