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FoPAL board member unfairly attacks Palo Alto Public Library

Original post made by Sanford Forte, Evergreen Park, on Jul 10, 2006

Good day!

It should be clear from posts placed on another thread what level of operational interference has been visited on the Palo Alto Public Library by some FoPAL board members.

I am starting a new thread because Bob Moss, a FoPAL board member, and initiator of the other library thread on this forum cleverly - and disingenuously - entitled his post as follows: "city fails to spend donated money for libraries".

The title of that post is midleading on its face, and leads all who go to Palo Alto Online's forum to immediately see a thread that places the Palo Alto Public Library in a defensive position with insinuations, falsehoods and imagined failings of our public library.

In fact, Mr. Moss - again, a board member of FoPAL - continues - as he has in past months - to attempt a verbal assault on our Public Library that is unconscionable.

What I find even more surprising is that many of Mr. Moss fellow board memnbers remain silent in this foorum as he continues to imply that Palo Alto's library staff is incompetent; that it doesn't know what it's doing; that it misuses or inefficiently spends donated funds, and so on.

It's time that FoPAL members and donors put a stop to this outrage, and demand that a new board be put in place at FoPAL, Clearly, the current board has not managed to keep its own house in order, or control one of its own members who continues unabated - here, at LAC meetings, and in City Council meetings, to level egregious attacks on an institution and staff that his organization is supposed to be helping.

Thus, this thread is created to make an attempt at thorwing some sunshine on the macinations of FoPAL's current dominant positions, and how those positions and/or the people responsible for them can be changed.

Comments (2)

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Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 11, 2006 at 12:23 pm

If you read the thread that preceded this, you will see Bob Moss responding to Mr. Forte's charges with concrete counterexamples. If these counterexamples were atypical, Mr. Forte should have been able to respond with multiple examples that back his claim, but he didn't (which implies that he couldn't). Instead, he continued to repeat his claim and add new charges.

It is unsettling that Mr. Forte would attack FOPAL based upon a misleading statement in a newspaper article (about FOPAL's financial reserves being $1.3M instead of roughly $0.3M - see Mr. Moss' explanation in the original thread). I would expect Mr. Forte - as a member of the City's Library Advisory Commission - to be doubly skeptical of such information, to have the contacts to check it, and to have the judgement to do so before making inflamatory public charges.

Mr. Forte's behavior has the hallmarks of the destructive and disingenuous negative campaigning that has come to dominate politics (such as the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" campaign in the last presidential election). The lesson from the effectiveness of these negative campaigns is that even when the target of the smear can decisively refute all the specific claims, many people continue to believe the underlying smear on the theory "Where there's smoke, there's fire." I hope that Palo Altans won't fall into this trap.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sanford Forte
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jul 11, 2006 at 6:58 pm

Perhaps Mr. Moran should check HIS facts before making claims like the one he makes, above. I only hope that he doesn't threaten me physically as he was accused of doing by a local contractor who didn't see things Mr. Moran's way.

Question: why are you fighting your pal, Bob Moss battles for him, Mr. Moran? Is the kitchen getting to warm for Mr. Moss? Are too many truths surfacing? That's the risk one takes when going public in a forum like this, as Mr. Moss did, with his unconscionable attack on our library.

Bob Moss is expert at quoting chapter and verse about NUMBERS; that's what he's famous for as a wannabe library director. What he usually leaves out is the BIG PICTURE.

Mr. Moss statements - even the way he titled his post on this forum - are disingenuous, and meant to attack in a way ythat proves him mright, by default. Why should I or any other Palo Altan suffer that kind of distortion. Bob Moss got called on his behavior. Maybe he'll learn a thing or two about distorting the big picture to serve his small ends.

As a member of the Library Advisory Commission, having had to sit quietly in private subsommittee sessions and watch abuse after abuse visited on Paula Simpson, the library staff, and the public - it's time to get this out in the open. I thank Mr. Moss for helping tomake that possible. (because,after all, the delays caused by the small cabal of rogue FoPAL board members is having a direct NEGATIVE effect on our library, and its staff.

About the Weekly's error - I freely retracted statements made that were based on that error, after yet ANOTHER Bob Moss fabrication about how I knew information to the contrar. Has Mr. Moss admitted his MANY errors and disingenuous charges about our library, and its staff? No.

In fact, I clearly said that quoting - and basing part of a more general argument on the Weekly's error did NOT change my opinion - or the general truth, corroborated by others, about the nature and demeanor of the regrettable and insulting tactics that FoPAL administrators - including those adminisrators at the very top - have leveled on our library, our library process, our former library director, and our citizens.

Further, Mr. Moran has some cheek in talking about public smear campaigns - especially in this context. First, he's engaging in one right now by calling my behavior into question. He has done so in another post on this forum, as he fights FoPAL board member's battles for them.

Were you at the downtown library meeting some months ago, Mr. Moran, where some few downtown community members and some few FoPAL members directly attacked Paula Simpson personally, in a way I have never witnessed before in many years of public service?

I and one other person had to stand up and insist that the personal attacks stop. I was watching the self-satisfied smirks on the faces of the small core group I'm speaking of as they leveled - or stood by and vicariously enjoyed - seeing Ms. Simpson placed on the defensive. It was an embarrassing display of poor behavior.

If that's the kind of behavior you're defending, Mr. Moran, perhaps you might rethink some of what - and who you support in Palo Alto.

All that said, it's high time that Palo Alto get some sunlight shining on this problem. I've been close to it through two years, and have myself come under disingenuous attack by this group in efforts to control what I say on the LAC, or what positions I take on the LAC.

It's high time that we had a change atthe top on the FoPAL board. Perhaps enough FoPAL members will begin to look into the abusive bahavior and tactics that their administrators are taking, and do something about it. Those loyal and contributing FoPAL members and volunteers deserve better than they're currently getting, and so does our community.


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