Oh dear. Here we go again! Once more, Woodside Atherton’s president and board can’t get their act together enough to tell the Menlo Park community what their plans are for the Allied Arts complex. Probably because they don’t have any that will save themselves from the disaster they’ve created. Even worse, one of the auxiliary members implies that it’s Menlo Park’s fault that Allied Arts has fallen on hard times. Talk about chutzpah!
I am so very tired of being embarrassed by the Woodside Atherton Auxiliary and their mismanagement of Allied Arts. They move from one catastrophe to another without learning anything in the process. They bet their future on conference and meeting business that doesn’t exist. They sought a variance that upset their neighbors and lead to a restrictive use permit for the site. They restored a historic property that has consistently lost money and now can’t be filled with profitable businesses. They got rid of the Palo Alto volunteer-staffed restaurant—the only dependable draw they have had at the site for more than 50 years—and they can’t find a replacement that has any hope of being successful, though they’ll claim it will be the answer to everyone’s dreams. They begged and borrowed money for the Allied Arts restoration, money that will now probably go down the drain when their only fiscal salvation will be to sell the property for condos or townhouses.
The only consistency Woodside Atherton has had is their ineptitude and the steady decline in contributions to Children’s Hospital resulting from their actions. Their combination of an arrogant president and a do-nothing board will be fatal, unless some changes are made, and made very, very quickly. Wake up Woodside Atherton Auxiliary members and try to save Allied Arts while there’s still time. Start with new leadership and look to the community and your sister organizations for help—if they are willing to forget the past and help you now.
I regretted leaving Woodside Atherton after some disagreements with their plans a few years ago, but now I’m glad that I’m on the sidelines for this debacle. My only regret is that the fine ladies who’ve worked so hard and so long for this auxiliary have to endure the embarrassment of seeing so much criticism aimed at their organization, criticism they don’t deserve, but their leadership does. However, when you do speak up ladies, use this forum and a nom de plume, since WAA’s leaders don’t like critics and have very long memories.