Update: Election assured for Menlo Park council

Kirsten Keith, a planning commissioner since 2004, filed her candidate papers today (Aug. 11) to make a run for a seat on the Menlo Park City Council. Just hours before the filing period ends, there are now five contenders for the three open seats.

Peter Ohtaki, board president of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District, filed papers yesterday (Aug. 10). The other three candidates are Mayor Rich Cline, Councilman Heyward Robinson, and community activist Chuck Bernstein.

To become a candidate, a resident must file papers with the city clerk by the deadline: 5 p.m. today (Aug. 11).

Local businessman Russell Peterson, who took out papers earlier, was still weighing his interest in running for office against his opposition to high-speed rail, as he would likely be unable to vote on the project as a council member due to a conflict of interest.

Mike Brady also took out papers, but said later that he had decided not to run.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 11, 2010 at 7:07 am

As posted and discussed on other threads here are my recommendations as to the criteria for voters to use in deciding to vote for which of these candidates:
1 - committed to open and transparent government and pledged not to use closed sessions except when absolutely necessary (as opposed to using closed sessions whenever permitted).

2 - independent as demonstrated by neither seeking nor accepting support from anyone who is not a registered voter in their jurisdiction, which means accepting neither money or endorsements from unions, developers, business organization or civic groups.

3 - committed to acting in the best interest of the citizens of their jurisdiction rather than to further their own agenda or the agenda of some outside group.

4 - committed to working with their fellow council members to find the best solution for their jurisdiction without personal attacks or animosity.

5 - committed to having a balanced budget without recourse to reserves or accounting tricks.

6 - open to considering any opportunity for significant costs savings such as outsourcing of specific services.

7 - Superior critical thinking skills.

Posted by interesting, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 11, 2010 at 10:46 am

Old, no birds of the Morris Brown brigade unite against the evils of progress. No to Derry, no to Gateway, no to downtown plans, no to Rosewood, no to 1300 in every way shape and to the gym and hide under fiscal responsibility when you have no job that equates to actually managing money or finances.

Do not be fooled by the no birds. There is one on council, and it is laughable.

Posted by Gotcha, a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Aug 11, 2010 at 1:31 pm

Kirsten Keith is another Slocumite. No fiscal restraint here. Move along, Kirsten. Don't bother turning in your papers.

Posted by truth, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Aug 11, 2010 at 5:23 pm

"fiscal restraint"...uh huh.

I can't wait to see these no birds try to act like finance experts.

Posted by a concerned taxpayer, a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Aug 11, 2010 at 8:33 pm

Wow, I don't even know who Gail Slocum is being fairly new to Menlo Park but she must be powerful for all of you to mention her ad nauseum. She isn't on the council so I think whoever she is, shouldn't taint someone like Kristen Keith just because someone says that she is connected to her. I will wait to make my decision of whom to vote for after hearing from her directly. The politics of fear and and negative tactics has got to stop or no one will want to run for political office.

Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 11, 2010 at 8:34 pm

Concerned taxpayer states:"The politics of fear and and negative tactics has got to stop or no one will want to run for political office."

How true and thank you for speaking out.

Posted by JustAsking, a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 11, 2010 at 11:26 pm

Why is Peter Carpenter, a resident of ATHERTON, so interested in the politicl goings-on in Menlo Park? Shouldn't he meddle into the elections in his own town? Or, perhaps, he should comment on the Cargill development planned in neighboring Redwood City. Maybe he could move to Menlo where is opinion would count with his vote??? Just asking ...

Posted by Ed, a resident of Atherton: other
on Aug 11, 2010 at 11:41 pm

Just asking:
Some people are big enough to consider the plight of their neighbors.
I'm with Peter on this one.
Besides, like us, you people need all the help you can get

Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 12, 2010 at 5:17 am

Just asking asks:"Why is Peter Carpenter, a resident of ATHERTON, so interested in the politicl goings-on in Menlo Park?"

Be thankful that someone cares enough to offer constructive non-partisan advice - there isn't much of that coming from your fellow MP posters. And I certainly share Concerned Taxpayers concern that much of the commentary by MP posters could well serve to discourage qualified people from seeking public office.

Posted by Dharma, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 12, 2010 at 1:04 pm

The Menlo Park fiscal issues have been well informed by at least one of our neighbors. The reason that the Menlo Park Fire District is NOT in the news for pension crisis is that Peter Carpenter (Atherton) and Peter Ohtaki (Menlo Park) stayed up late many nights about 2007 pulling together enough info to persuade the other fire board members not to bet on the Bubble dollars - unlike the Menlo staff and council. Mr Carpenter has been looking after Menlo Park for about a decade, and remains one of the best neighbors we could have. (And, he signs his own name on TownSquare.)

Posted by let the candidates speak, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 12, 2010 at 8:19 pm

Dear Election Watcher,

I have talked with each of these people who are running and they are all running their own independent campaigns. I look forward to hearing from each of them about their positions and philosophy. It does not reflect well on you to obsess about who supports them, be it Gail Slocum, Lee DuBoc, or Rasputin.

C'mon... Give the voters of Menlo Park a little credit! We are smart enough to evaluate each candidate, and we can pick a combination. There are no slates here - from what I can tell Ohtaki does not have too much in common fundamentally with Bernstein and Peterson, and may be more like Cline and Robinson than you' imagine...

Let's all stay tuned and stay out of the politics of personal attack and labels without basis.

Let these folks who were brave enough to throw their hats into the ring define themselves, and let's show them all respect.

Posted by city insider, a resident of another community
on Aug 13, 2010 at 8:11 am

You people should vote for whoever you want to, but just know that the city staff and unions have been livid with Cline and Robinson since the one-sided imposition (2% @ 60 and a lot else), and they weren't even that jazzed before. The notion that they are union pawns is ridiculous.

Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 13, 2010 at 8:23 am

City Insider states:"The notion that they are union pawns is ridiculous."

Simple test - if they accept the union's money or endorsements then realize that the union fully expects to get something in return.

Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Aug 13, 2010 at 9:50 am

I'd be a little more impressed if it didn't take an initiative to get those city officials to impose a new pension formula.

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