A newly created Web site states that a recall effort is in the works against Menlo Park City Council members Kelly Fergusson, Richard Cline and Heyward Robinson -- the three council members who voted in favor of a controversial plan to use taxpayer dollars to buy the Park Theatre in a plan that will benefit a private business.
A link to the Web site RecallFergie.com was posted on the Almanac's Web site on Wednesday night; the site reads, "These three Menlo Park City Council members are unfit for office as they blur the line between public duty and private enterprise."
So far, the Almanac has not been able to determine who posted the notice and link, which includes a form for people to respond to in order to participate in the effort.
The site calls for volunteers to help oust the three council members from office.
Murmurs of a recall effort started several weeks ago, after the council voted 3-2 to move forward with a proposal by Menlo Park resident Andy Duncan for the city to buy the El Camino Real movie house from Howard Crittenden of Atherton for $2.2 million. Under the proposal, the city would lease the theater to Mr. Duncan's development entity for 55 years, and he would restore the exterior of the theater and renovate the interior into a dance studio for the Menlo Park Academy of Dance, co-owned by Mr. Duncan's mother, Sylvia Duncan.
The three council members have argued that the restoration of the deteriorating theater, and the potential for the city to buy out Mr. Duncan and convert the building into a community theater -- possibly as soon as 10 years -- provide enough incentive to move forward with the deal.
But the decision sparked an outburst of criticism aimed at the three council members, as many residents, including councilmen John Boyle and Andy Cohen, say the city should not be using taxpayer dollars to benefit a private business.
City staff, Mr. Duncan, and a subcommittee of councilmen Cline and Robinson are expected to meet several times over the next few weeks to discuss the terms of a potential agreement between the city and Mr. Duncan's development entity.
For updated information on the recall effort, continue to check AlmanacNews.com.