Town Square

Atherton needs to Dump JPA Library System

Original post made by think outside the box, Atherton: other, on Jun 22, 2012

Kathy Mc Keithen has stated in previous remarks that the chosen new library building destined for Holbrook Palmer Park is an issue "too complex" for Atherton residents to understand. As part of the EIR comment period Council Member Jerry Carlson asked a number of questions apparently to try and understand this "complex" issue. The response from the San Mateo Joint Power (JPA) was made by Anne-Marie Despain, Director of Library Services, published on the Town website, and is linked below. It is no wonder that the issue is complex as her responses are cloaked in language the average non-bureaucrat cannot possibly understand. When asked what part of the overhead of the Park library the JPA is going to assume she could not and did not answer as it is still to be negotiated. This means the Town Council has no idea of the costs of the building and grounds that the Town is going to assume.
Web Link
Throughout California and the United States there is a growing movement to outsource library services for small communities and towns as regional public library consortiums become too costly primarily with administrative and public employee salaries and pensions. Many California communities have contracted with Library Systems & Services (LSSI), and this company would be a perfect solution for Atherton to become independent of a the JPA which is a regional library system that does not have the interests of our town at heart but is intent on establishing a community center in the Park for a population outside Atherton. Basically that is the heart of the matter and residents should be allowed to decide if they want that by a direct vote. A smaller new, remodeled library in its present location or part of a master town center concept is the obvious solution with the library operated by a private company who can provide the efficiencies of operation, purchasing, and service the needs of Atherton alone.
To view the services and list of libraries using LSSI please use this link:
Web Link


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Posted by Atherton Funds
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jun 22, 2012 at 11:52 am

Good comments. The JPA has worked for years for Atherton as things currently exist. The JPA does host many county events at the library and moving the library to the park will make those events bigger.

One issue becomes all the behind closed door tactics. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent already to move the library to the park. The week the council approved to spend another $24,000.00.

In the last two months the JPA voted to keep Atherton's $700,000 annual surplus with Kathy McKeithen voting in favor. Other members of the council were not informed of the JPA vote. McKeithen is on the JPA. By keeping the surplus the JPA can spend it with council approval.

Why is McKeithen fighting so hard to build this library and turn over Atherton's park to the JPA for events?

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Posted by Gimme a break!
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Jun 23, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Why on earth do Atherton residents re-elect McKeithen? Why is she still in office??? Is she up for re-election this November? If so, it's time to vote her out of office!

Atherton residents are among the most educated and successful people in the world! For McKeithen to think that the library is "too complex" for us to understand is extremely insulting. As an elected representative of the people, if she can't explain the issue, then voters should continue to question the issue, the process, the motive, etc. Then, voters should vote her out of office in favor of someone who favors transparency and a say as to how our tax dollars are spent!

No More McKeithen!

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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 23, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Petition for Special Meeting of Town Council on the new library and the library JPA.

The location of the new upgraded Town library has become a very controversial issue. Here is a citizens' petition for a Special Meeting of the Town Council with an agenda that gives the citizens the opportunity to speak out on various aspects of this issue.

If you agree that such a meeting is appropriate then please sign the petition.

Web Link

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Posted by Aquamarine
a resident of another community
on Jun 24, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Gimme a break! - so you consider yourselves some of the most educated people in the country, yet your small town is so continuously embroiled in ridiculous politics, disagreements, fights, scandals and clearly can't deal with issues large and small.

Perhaps too many of the townspeople pay too much attention to how Palo Alto does things - that is to say, doesn't get things done and has screwed up priorities? If you want your issues to be taken seriously by your elected officials and residents, then your residents need to grow up and elect people capable of leading. Good luck getting rid of politicos whose agendas shriek loud and clear beyond your pretentious, er, prestigious borders.