17. How does McKeithen maintain such a tight hold on town politics?

Kathy McKeithen’s terrorizing grip on the town seems intractable and getting stronger.  How does she do it?  There seems to be to a combination of factors.  For one, she probably holds more positions in town than anyone else.  Then, to increase her artillery, she gets her close associates (especially those in Lindenwood, whose “dirty work” she does) to come out for town assignments.

Here are the roles I believe that Kathy holds in town (are these correct and complete?):

  • 1.  Council member
  • 2.  Member of the Atherton Library Building Steering Committee (ALBSC)
  • 3.  Member of the Finance Committe
  • 4.  Member of the Audit Committee
  • 5.  Member of the Transportation Committee
  • 6.  Member of the EPC Committee
  • 7.  Member of the Library JPA Governing Board
  • 8.  One of two members of the Hiring subcommittee
  • 9.  Member of the Friends of the Atherton Library
  • 10. Member of the Heritage Association

Further questions that these myriad strangleholds raise is, how does she get away with all of the clear conflicts of interest?  For example, if she refuses as a council member to hold her own steering committee accountable to the public—to post clear process information or to do a survey, even though doing surveys were specifically required by the steering committee’s charter—and no one (not even our highly responsive City Attorney) raises the problem of her also having that vote to cover up the possible malfeasance of the ALBSC being a conflict of interest? Are there no rules on when council members must recuse themselves?

To broaden her reach, Kathy recruits lieutenants.  Presently, there are two more jumping to her support: her husband, Smith McKeithen and Patrice Dobbie, wife of McKeithen’s chief bully enabler, are applying for appointments to the Park & Rec committee.  Their appointments can only be very bad news for those interested in seeing committees having integrity, since the Park & Rec is supposed to be concerned with maintaining the Park (this is the same committee that refused to support the ALBSC’s recommendation to put the Library there and instead asked McKeithen’s ALBSC to conduct a survey, which they refused to do and the council majority refused to force them to do). And now, because Kathy’s peops are joining Park & Rec, we can expect that in the future, Park & Rec could even have a hard time resisting the urge to change its name to Rec & Lib—let alone ask for accountability to the public from McKeithen.

Where else are there Kathy lieutenants?

Update:  Kathy’s commanding general on the ALBSC, Denise Kupperman, has worked rather tirelessly as an advocate for moving the library to the park.  Now Kupperman is considering a run for the council and appears to want to succeed Kathy, presumably to carry on the fight on her behalf.


1 thought on “17. How does McKeithen maintain such a tight hold on town politics?

  1. Herman Christiansen is head of the Planning Commission, which just took over the duties of the General Plan. The General Plan dissolved. McKeithen’s opponent from 2008 David Henig was on General Plan. Coming soon to General Plan (oops Planning Commission)- switching Atherton to a Charter City for higher taxes needing less approval, and allowing the library in the park.

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