Atherton has focused for the past few years on repaving and maintaining our roads. This is a priority, as is management of our storm water run-off systems. Atherton’s buildings, in its civic center, are seriously deteriorating and need replacement and the town hall needs repair. This is being addressed in a series of four Master Plans that have been in process for more than a year. These include a Bike and Pedestrian Path Master Plan, a Drainage Systems Master Plan, the Hobrook-Palmer Park Master Plan and the Civic Center Master Plan.
There is no more beautiful public spot in Atherton than Holbrook-Palmer Park. The council needs to work with the Park and Recreation Committee and the Park Foundation to find creative ways to enable the Park to maintain its open space and wonderful spot of serenity for our residents. Rick is the current Council liaison to the Park and Recreation Committee, which is deeply involved with the preparation of the Holbrook-Palmer Park Master Plan. This plan will set forth policy for Atherton with respect to how best to use the current facilities in the Park (including the buildings, outdoor recreational facilities and open space) and how to best preserve the rural, open atmosphere that we all love so much. In November 2013, more than 75% of Atherton voters chose to support a ballot initiative to use private funds to improve the baseball field and surrounding areas at Holbrook-Palmer Park, including covered seating for spectators, an improved playing area for children, and new restrooms for all park users. This improvement will finally break ground in October 2014 and should be completed by early 2015. In addition to improving the playing field, the Menlo-Atherton Little League will be contributing $27,500 to improvement of the tennis courts and additional funds to support the overall Park maintenance.
In the Summer of 2014, the Park Foundation and the Dames asked the Council to endorse a restoration project for the historic Carriage House in the Park. While the Council requested more information prior to making an endorsement decision, Rick strongly supported a general endorsement of the project and recommended that the project be included in the Park Master Plan, so that the use of the restored Carriage House could be understood in the context of what each of the Park facilities would best be used for. The Dames and the Park Foundation have also endorsed an Event Garden between the Pavilion and the Main House, which would be paid for with privately donated funds. These are both important projects for the Park, which along with the improved baseball field area and a recently approved new tennis program, will significantly upgrade the recreational facilities in the Park. There are also various proposals for improvement and care to the plantings and trees in the Park. Rick strongly supports investing in the maintenance of the planting material in the Park. He would like to see a comprehensive planting plan that will preserve the open space and develop specific planting zones, but only if there is a commitment to maintain any new planting with dedicated resources.