News

Incumbent joins Menlo Park council race

Kelly Fergusson confirms run for third term

And then there were two: Councilwoman Kelly Fergusson has joined the 2012 race for Menlo Park City Council.

Seeking a third term, for the moment Ms. Fergusson is only running against Transportation Commissioner Ray Mueller. Early endorsers include Planning Commission chair Katie Ferrick, who also supports Mr. Mueller. San Mateo and Santa Clara county supervisors Dave Pine and Liz Kniss are backing Ms. Fergusson, along with former Menlo Park mayor Chuck Kinney; and Paul Fong and Sally Lieber from the state Legislature.

Ms. Fergusson pointed to new community facilities, such as the Arrillaga Family Gymnasium, along with the city's financial reserves and credit rating, as signs that life is good in Menlo Park.

"My emphasis on retention in our police force has led to two major gang take-downs in the past four years, with 75 arrested and hundreds of thousands of dollars in drugs and cash seized, along with another very recent prescription drug and anabolic steroids operation bust," she said. "These successes translate directly to safer schools, neighborhoods, and reduced violent and property crime. Residents can count on me to continue to protect essential services."

Facebook's arrival and the downtown/El Camino Real specific plan present challenges for the city's planning process, according to Ms. Fergusson, but overall bring the sort of economic benefits that she'd like to continue to develop.

Asked about the Brown Act violation that led to her resignation as mayor in 2010, the council woman said she was very happy the incident was behind her so she can focus on serving her constituents.

"Of course it was never my intention whatsoever to violate the Brown Act, which exists to ensure the public has the transparency it needs in all local government decision-making. I am grateful the district attorney agreed there was no wrongful intent," Ms. Fergusson said. "Do I regret the incident happened? Of course, as it was certainly never my intention to do so."

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Frugal
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 18, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Kelly, it's time to move on.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by old timer
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 18, 2012 at 12:59 pm

We have had to endure 2 terms of Fergusson. I previously supported her, but no more; now is the time to end her self-promoting, Brown Act violating, union support at all costs, tenure.

Let us just hope, that she not only fails in this third term effort, but that she finishes last in the voting.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by anon
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Jun 18, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Kelly is an embarrassment to Menlo Park. It wasn't just that she got caught rigging the mayor selection, it's how she's such a sell-out to the unions at every turn. How she thought our trash rate increases were just fine. Her bickering about every little thing. How she doesn't seem to understand basic concepts.

I wonder if she's worried that if she leaves council she'll be dumped by her employer, Siemens. Apparently she's some sort of government relations person with them, where she goes around to various cities to sell them on whatever systems Siemens is selling. I guess by being on the Menlo Park council, she gets a free ticket into the California League of Cities convention, where she can put on her Siemen's hat and lobby other cities.

Her job at Siemens might be the reason why she hasn't been a critic of high-speed rail.

Anyway, I'm sure the voters will speak loudly this November about whether they want her back.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by intent
a resident of another community
on Jun 18, 2012 at 5:16 pm

The Almanac may choose to publish Ms. Fergusson's statements, which are docx attachement to CCIN and the report from the DA's office. These are all very difficult to find and view. We don't recall the DA ever stating, "there was no wrongful intent". There may be plenty of wrongful intent, but no crime. The DA only deals with crime.

The Almanac should also explain the purpose of the cure-and-correct. A simple Brown Act violation is not a felony, or a misdemenor or even an infraction. The bar is so low that any discussion can potentially amount to a Brown Act Violation. When the possibility of a violation is uncovered, the cure-and-correct is used to shed light on the discussion that occurred, and the issue is resolved.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 18, 2012 at 7:05 pm

... a tenure full of shame and embarrassment.

Menlo Park is smarter than that. No to Fergusson.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 18, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Kelly is clearly ethically challenged. She knew the requirements of the Brown Act, yet chose to violate them. When caught, her response was "oops, I didn't know." BULLSH*T! If she didn't know she's incredibly incompetent. If she did know, which she likley did, she figured it better to "ask forgiveness rather than permission." In either event she shows herself as unfit to serve. If the Menlo Park electorate is STUPID enough to reelect her, they deserve what they get - an incompetent/dishonest representative that is a union lacky. Yeah, that's just what Menlo Park needs more of.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by JD
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Jun 18, 2012 at 9:14 pm

Kelly's crazy if she thinks she'll be reelected.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 18, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Never underestimate the power of union money and the laziness of the non-voting citizens.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by reform
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 18, 2012 at 9:43 pm

With the recent court victory for Measure L, we can't imagine why the Labor Council, AFSCME or SEIU would spend a dime on the Menlo Park Council race.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 18, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"we can't imagine why the Labor Council, AFSCME or SEIU would spend a dime on the Menlo Park Council race."

Then you do not understand the union mentality - they have no intention of giving up. Their objective is to show that they can continue to get union endorsed candidates elected - and they will deliver their Due Bill later.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by reform
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 18, 2012 at 9:56 pm

JD, you are mistaken. Mueller and Fergusson are the only viable candidates on the horizon. Unless another strong candidate emerges, Fergusson will be easily reelected.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by reform
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 18, 2012 at 10:16 pm

Peter, you underestimate how difficult it is for those special interests to find a person that is willing to be in their pocket, but can also be propped up to that status of a viable candidate. Just look at Masur, she came in 3rd place for the school board less than a year ago, and no newspaper has endorsed her (except the Almanac, which endorsed four). Those same special interests are leaning on their friends all around the county to send her contributions, but she still doesn't have a chance against Slocum.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by henry fox
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jun 19, 2012 at 8:08 pm

Kelly is soooo vulnerable. There are two spots open. One goes to Ray Mueller AND, if a credible candidate steps forward, that candidate will WIN spot number two.

Do you know someone from the business community who should run?
How about a school activist?

Speak up and watch the love and support!!! pour in. Guaranteed.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by reality
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 19, 2012 at 8:36 pm

Those who discount Fergusson aren't dealing in reality. 95% of Menlo Park residents don't pay attention to Menlo Park politics, and that is probably 70% of the public who will vote in Menlo Park for either Romney or Obama in November. Fergusson is going to take credit for Facebook and everything else under the sun in her ballot statement. Plus she will have the word incumbent by her name. Plus she will have union money in a year when political donors give most of their campaign contributions to national candidates. She will be very very tough to beat.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by henry fox
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jun 19, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Potential City Council Candidates, Hello
Do not be spooked by Reality above.

Menlo park is the land where incumbents don't necessarily win. Look no further back than to the last election in which Keith and Ohtaki left incumbent Robinson a distant 3rd.

Kelly Fergusson's sins are delectable. Don't let her win by default :-(


 +   Like this comment
Posted by reporting
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 20, 2012 at 3:02 am

Sorry to ruin your ideal of the union candidate, but there is very little "union money" in the Menlo Park Council race. Fergusson received a grand total of $1,400 from unions in 2008. She had only 24 contributors that gave over $100, here they are:

Plumbers & Steamfitters, $1,000 : Maryann Moise Derwin, $760 : Julie Lance, $600 : Shirley Zeien, $500 : Valerie Fredrickson, $340 : International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, $250 : Bob Ekedahl, $250 : Mark Flegel, $250 : Patti Fry, $250 : Richard Holober, $250 : Daniel Mendez, $250 : Otto Lee, $250 : Sophie Lo, $250 : Jim Madison, $250 : Jane Ratchye, $250 : Frances Scholes, $250 : Nick Sharma, $250 : Gail Slocum $250 : Irene Searles, $200 : Operating Engineers AFLCIO, $150 : Heyward Robinson, $150 : Edward Johnson, $150 : Charles Brandon, $150 : Steven Eisner, $125


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 20, 2012 at 8:58 am

Reporting:

the union money isn't in direct contributions. It's in mailers made up and distributed by them. It's in paid precinct walkers out stumping for the condidate. It's in buying and placing signs. Not direct donations and worth a hell of a lot more than $1400.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stu Soffer
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jun 20, 2012 at 10:22 am

While Menlo Park does not have term limits, there is little history of council members building long-term enamor. Usually council members tire of the job and its effect on their professional and personal lives, and self control implements a de-facto term limit of 2 -terms.

It seems a third term is more vanity than fulfilling a public need.



 +   Like this comment
Posted by old timer
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 20, 2012 at 11:01 am

Yes indeed, Menlo Voter understands why the union support is so important to Fergusson. "Reporting" just doesn't understand how the system works.

Fergusson spends most of her time attending Democratic party events, seeking endorsements and doing her self promotion. She should have resigned 2 years ago, but didn't and now expects the voters to give her a third term.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by reform
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 20, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Menlo Voter, please dig into your personal archive for one of these independent expenditure mailers promoting Kelly Fergusson, and describe it. Better yet, post a link to a finance report that shows the expenditure. Unless the union can provide bodies to walk precincts and do phone banking (as we've seen with the firefighters), these will be no measurable impact on this election.

The supervisor race is another story. Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 20, 2012 at 7:18 pm

Reform:

you provided your own example, the firefighters. You think they're the only union that does this kind of thing?

The other item unions provide is their "endorsement." Which, for the less diciminating voters, is a reason to vote for the endorsed candidate. Do you think this doesn't come with a price. If you don't think so ask Peter Carpenter what happened after the union endorsed him. They came calling expecting pay back. They didn't get it and from then on the firefighters put a target on his back.

Sorry, Kelly is a union lacky and has already shown herself to be deeply ethically challenged. She deserved to be recalled and she certainly doesn't deserve reelection.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 20, 2012 at 11:23 pm

Menlo Voter is correct. In the last fire district election I understand that the fire fighters union spend more than $50,000 to get their candidates elected, namely Rob Silano. They also endorsed Virginia Kiraly. Both were elected, so don't underestimate their machine.

While Kelly's record and decisions speak for themselves, sometimes the unexpected happens -- she could get re-elected. Hopefully, she will have some good competition.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Through the Looking Glass
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 20, 2012 at 11:27 pm

Henry Fox: Great observation that Kelly is vulnerable... one tiny correction, though. Ohtaki got the most votes, Keith got the second most votes, and Cline got the third most votes. Both newcomers beat an incumbent in terms of the number votes and ousted Angry Heyward, who received the fourth most votes. It is definitely doable to oust Kelly, and I hope any potential candidate realizes this.

While I appreciate that some posters like Mueller, my only problem with him is that he seems to be a johnny-come-lately. He's done some things, but to me, it seems that everything he's done has been calculated to run for city council instead of doing something because he genuinely cares about the community. He may be a smart guy, but I fear he may also be disingenuous. We don't need more disingenuous people on our council.

Anyone, however, is better than Kelly!!! I hope more people step up to run. While I think Mueller would be a mediocre choice, Kelly would be horrible choice!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ray Mueller
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 21, 2012 at 12:00 am

Hello Through the Looking Glass!
My phone number is 650-776-8995. If you would like join me for coffee sometime, I would be happy to speak with you about our community and my sincere desire to serve it. I also am proud to share with you the endorsements I already have received from Kirsten Keith, Rich Cline, John Boyle, 6/7 planning commissioners, and 5/6 of my fellow transportation commissioners as well. I don't share these endorsements to boast, but rather in the hopes that you may find some solace in the fact so many public servants have stepped forward to endorse me so early in this City Council race because they believe after working with me that I do genuinely care greatly about this community, all of this community. That being said, you certainly are entitled to your opinions. I look forward to getting to know you in the future.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardina
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 21, 2012 at 8:20 am

In Kelly's own words (she used it during the Measure L campaign)

"Menlo Park Deserves Better"

Kelly it is time to go.

Roy


 +   Like this comment
Posted by olttimer
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 22, 2012 at 11:05 am

Just make sure when you meet with Ray Mueller, he tells you he wants dense development because we must protect the foothills and the animals there. He supports the higher density in the downtown / El Camino plan.

Don't let him fool you into believing that he is a "residentialist" He is anything but. Quality of life to him, means first, quality of life to animals and residents of Menlo Park come second.

Rich Cline convinced some of us at one time he was a "residentailist", but his votes and actions have shown him to be anything but that. Originally allied with Boyle, DuBoc and Winkler, he convinced many he was not a Bohannon puppet; years later look at his votes.

Don't make the same mistake with Meuller and certainly Kelly must go in any case.


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