News

Pool of Menlo council candidates grows by one

Firefighter Dave Bragg intends to run

Three candidates for the two seats open on the Menlo Park City Council means it's starting to look like a race after all. Menlo Park firefighter Dave Bragg, a former Marine who also runs a construction company in his off-duty hours, declared his intent to run when he filed the required paperwork with the city clerk's office last week.

He joins incumbent Kelly Fergusson and Transportation Commissioner Ray Mueller at the starting line. Mr. Bragg was not immediately available for comment on his campaign.

The candidate filing period runs from July 16 to Aug. 10, and may be extended by five days if the incumbents -- Ms. Fergusson and colleague Andy Cohen -- end up deciding not to run, according to the city clerk's office.

So far Mr. Mueller has gathered the largest number of endorsements, counting Mayor Kirsten Keith, the transportation commission, and six planning commissioners among them; he shares the support of Planning Commissioner Katie Ferrick with Ms. Fergusson.

For her part, Ms. Fergusson has lined up endorsements from San Mateo and Santa Clara county supervisors Dave Pine and Liz Kniss, former Menlo Park mayor Chuck Kinney, and Paul Fong and Sally Lieber from the state Legislature.

The race may get crowded; City Clerk Margaret Roberts said she's received numerous other calls from potential candidates.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stop Special Interests
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Jun 27, 2012 at 12:28 pm

A firefighter on the city council? Bad bad bad idea.

We need politicians who will stand up the the public unions and work to undo their outrageous, high-paying, low-accountability, six figure pensioned privileges.

The last thing we need is another special interest insider voting to take more from the taxpayers for himself and his cronies.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 27, 2012 at 3:54 pm

City Council commitments take a fair amount of time. If Mr. Bragg is a firefighter, part-time construction company man, I presume a husband and father, when will he have time to fulfill his city obligations?

I'm sure he is also a member of IAFF, the fire union. The local fire chapter spent more than $50,000 in the last fire district election to support Mr. Silano. One can only guess how much they will be involved in this election.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 27, 2012 at 7:33 pm

We need someone who will STAND UP to unions. This is the same as Fergusson.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Free Advice
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jun 27, 2012 at 7:43 pm

Let's hope Mr. Bragg begins attending every city council meeting so he can get a taste of the long, boring hours of listening to staff and the public. It's not all about making easy decisions. Maybe he'll be enthralled with the topics and the whining from the public. Who knows. Let's hope he has some connections in town who can give him a reality check on the responsibilities of the job. It's no picnic. Since he moved to Menlo Park in 1998, has he been active in the community? Has he served on any commissions? Has he rolled up his sleeves and helped out with any of the controversial issues facing Menlo Park?

He seems to have a full life and one wonders how he will also find time to be on the council.

It's better to elect people who understand the challenges, the most recent vision, the players, and the values of the community.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 27, 2012 at 7:45 pm

"We need someone who will STAND UP to unions. This is the same as Fergusson."

Why do you think he's running Joanna? The unions are afraid they're gong to lose Kelly on the council as her ethics, or lack thereof, have ticked off a lot of voters. You can bet they'll be supplying him with a lot of money.

Interesting thing is his business is no longer located in Menlo Park. Where does he live?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by old timer
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 28, 2012 at 4:33 am

Boy this is just what the MP council needs. Another voice from the construction / dense development crowd, pushing for more project on which he can bid.

He probably will have the endorsement of Ohtaki, who will tell us all, that he knows him well and that he will make a great councilperson.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 28, 2012 at 7:33 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"He probably will have the endorsement of Ohtaki, who will tell us all, that he knows him well and that he will make a great councilperson."

That will never happen.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 28, 2012 at 8:03 am

Knowing that fire fighters work a different type of schedule, what will Mr. Bragg do when a council meeting or other obligation conflicts with his work schedule? As I understand it, city council members have several obligations outside of regular meetings.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jun 28, 2012 at 10:48 am

Mr. Bragg is a hard right Republican. Not a union monkey.

All of the old retired Repubs in this forum should be thrilled.

Do your homework. Chief Justice Roberts did.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 28, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Please enlighten us truth. How is it you conclude Bragg is a "hard right republican?"


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hard Right
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jun 28, 2012 at 8:23 pm

Bragg had a Yes on Prop 8 (ban gay marriage) sign in his yard.
However put his name in the Almanac search engine, and you find instances where he fought with Peter Carpenter defending the firefighter union in the forum as well.

Not sure what that makes him.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 28, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" instances where he fought with Peter Carpenter defending the firefighter union in the forum as well."

Bragg is a man of principles - which I respect. He uses his own name and speaks his own mind.

Not clear if he would properly represent the citizens of Menlo Park.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by 11/9/11
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 28, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Web Link


"Come on Peter...I always wonder if you believe the stuff you write. If people who support you actually knew the truth I am pretty sure they would be done with you too...

Like Mike said..To Bart and Peter...you are the enemy and the firefighters just won this battle. Turn in your badges and go away for a long long time...

just because Peter is the self appointed s#@t disturber doesn't mean you are getting the full story. I you are really interested in what is going on with the firefighters please contact our Association President or VP."

Dave Bragg 11/10/11
Forum
Updated: Menlo fire board gains two newcomers






 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 29, 2012 at 8:39 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I am actually quite proud that the firefighters' union leaders consider "Peter is the self appointed s#@t disturber" simply because I was the one that stopped their gravy train.

While I have great respect for the individual firefighters and their professionalism the individuals who led the union during my tenure were irresponsible and greedy - and I understand that it really upsets them when I tell it like it is.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by free advice
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jun 29, 2012 at 5:29 pm

At least 34yr. old David Bragg didn't contribute to Yes on Prop 8. I checked. His support of the ballot does seem out of sync with the values of Menlo Park. The number of people and the amounts contributed to No on 8 out number the supporters by a huge percentage.

Does anyone think that Mr. Bragg has been encouraged to run by the Tea Party movement? I does seem odd that someone with no political experience in Menlo Park would pop up in a presidential election year.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 29, 2012 at 6:39 pm

I don't think the Tea Party is pushing Bragg. I think the public employees unions are.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 2, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I was wrong!!

I spent over an hour this morning with Dave Bragg discussing his candidacy for the Menlo Park City Council. Dave is a local businessman, community volunteer, combat veteran, Menlo Park resident and a MPFPD firefighter. I was pleasantly surprised by Dave's views and background - not at all what I expected.

I believe that Dave could well be an excellent council member and I have encouraged him to make his positions on key issues facing Menlo Park known to others.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 2, 2012 at 2:10 pm

So who or what is behind his run for council?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 2, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"So who or what is behind his run for council?"

I believe that it is a sincere desire to serve the community.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by community
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 3, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Peter, we believe you also have a sincere desire to serve the community, as does Mr. Bragg. You are both clearly very interested in Menlo Park politics, but we've never seen you speak at a council meeting. We appreciate that you register and login before making criticism, but this is not the same as coming to council chambers, standing a few feet from the dais, and looking these volunteer council members in the eyes.

Serving as a commissioner provides an opportunity for residents to learn about Robert's Rules of Order, the Brown Act, as well as the give-and-take of open government. Unlike the excitement of a political campaign, the process of serving on a commission or council can be quite tedious. We appreciate Mr. Bragg's desire to servie, and hope he will apply for a commission, or speak up at a council meeting on an agent item of interest.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 3, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Community???
I have spoken at MP council on numerous occasions.
I served as 9 years as one of your elected Directors of the Fire District.
I served 4 1/2 years as a Palo Alto Planning Commissioner.
I am generally considered to be the local citizen expert on the Brown Act.

Seems like you just are paying attention.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 3, 2012 at 8:14 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Community- perhaps you will enlighten us regarding your public service.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by volunteer
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jul 4, 2012 at 11:05 am

Community isn't running for council. But as far as I can tell, Bragg has never served on a commission, hasn't spoken at a council meeting (has he ever attended one?), and hasn't written a letter to the council. He's a firefighter and he runs a business and has a family. Is he really going to have the time and energy to devote to being on the council? If he's got so many great ideas for the city, how come he's been so quiet until now?

You do have to wonder what's behind this candidacy.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 4, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

In my experience individuals with strong ties to the community and without political aspirations can bring both a breath of fresh air and much needed new perspective to councils dominated by career politicians.

Dave Bragg has long time business ties to MP, a history of community (not political) volunteering, is a decade long first responder in the community and a combat veteran - all perspectives that would be a welcome addition to the MP council.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 4, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Except for public unions...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by volunteer
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jul 4, 2012 at 10:11 pm

Seriously, Peter? Career politicians? As far as I know, there are no politicians on any Menlo Park commissions. Rather, there are people with a variety of backgrounds who are volunteering their time and energy on behalf of the community. They are trying to represent the collective interests of all residents, not pander to special interests.

If it's important that a council member be a "breath of fresh air," and ignorance of council processes is no barrier to serving, why not just choose members at random from among Menlo Park voters? Now, that would be fair, and we'd certainly get a range of perspectives.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Measure L
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 5, 2012 at 1:25 am

It's interesting Peter Carpenter is supporting an anti-pension reform candidate.

Bragg says he voted against Measure L, but then just lists all the same excuses put forward by the Fergusson, Slocum, Tooley, Clarke, and Wanberg in the Anti-Measure L ballot statement. Web Link

"Measure L is misleading and does not achieve promised savings:
Measure L does nothing to reduce current expenditures sinced it would only apply to future hires. Savings would not begin to accrue for fourteen years; the full benefit would take thirty of more. "

Bragg in Almanac on July 4, 2012
Web Link

"His main argument against Measure L, which applies to new hires, is that it won't change the city's budget for about 15 years. "If we have to make a budget change, I want to make decisions that change the budget today, not 15 years from now," he said"

Anyone can read the smart voter and compare it to Bragg's "reasons". He obviously has tried to memorize the smart voter guide opposition statement, and is mixing up 14 years and 15 years. Someone has been tutoring the guy on what to say, it seems.

Surprised Peter was duped so easily.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 5, 2012 at 6:56 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Volunteer could certainly choose council members by random selection from the population but then you would not get any combat veterans (sadly less han 1% of MP population), few business people, and no one with extensive emergency response experience. As for 'ignorance of council procedures' (like illegal lobbying for election as Mayor?) it would be refreshing to see someone with a sense of military discipline on the dias.

As for Bragg and Measure L - read the whole article -" He voted against Measure L, but said he was "100 percent on board" with some type of reform to public pay and benefits".

His main opposition is that "Measure L does nothing to reduce current expenditures sinced it would only apply to future hires. Savings would not begin to accrue for fourteen years; the full benefit would take thirty of more" AND that it did not apply to ALL MP employees. I agree on both counts.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Measure L
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 5, 2012 at 8:30 am

Peter read the anti-measure L ballot statement. It also 100% was on board with pension reform as well. You just backed the union position on the ballot statement. Every union opposing pension reform measures on ballots all over the country claim what Bragg has said. "We support reform but it needs to come through negotiation. Savings can be achieve now as opposed to later." Did you ask Bragg what type of pension reform he supports right now?

Presumptively Bragg was encouraged to run by the fire fighter union (public employee) union whom he counts as one of his only supporters besides you and the Pop Warner president and the Little League president, BECAUSE he is a veteran and Firefighter who will wrap the anti-measure L ballot statement in those attributes. It worked with you. It will probably work with others.

After all, it only took an hour for him to convince you to the extent you actually have now gone on record as supporting the mantra of public employee unions everywhere who argue against pension reform ballot initiatives.


















 +   Like this comment
Posted by Measure L
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 5, 2012 at 8:39 am

Actually, the rest of Mr. Bragg's arguments against Measure L are identical those contained the anti-meaure L ballot statement signed by Fergusson, one of the other candidate for Menlo Park City Council:

"Educated Californians know "ballot box budgeting" harms civic finances."

"Measure L does not address rapidly escalating police salaries and benefits."

"Measure L does nothing to reduce current expenditures sinced it would only apply to future hires. Savings would not begin to accrue for fourteen years; the full benefit would take thirty of more. (tiny.cc/190cs). In contrast, City Council's solution created immediate savings: it requires all non-safety employees to share health care costs and, if contribution levels rise, pension costs increase."






 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dave Bragg- Business Owner/City Council Candidate
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Jul 5, 2012 at 9:20 am

Just to clarify a few of my positions, and briefly why I am running......
This is a fantastic community on the verge of many positive improvements. Our family is deeply involved here in many activities from sports, to parks, to dining, to shopping, to business and I am very interested in getting involved in Shaping Menlo Park's Future.
I am in support of the new downtown plan. This will improve our community on a number of levels.
One of my biggest areas of focus will be on attracting more small business to our downtown. Our City has already brought in Facebook. Hopefully this will entice others to start small businesses in our community. My biggest backers surprisingly are business people in the community not the unions. The tough part about that is most business owners do not want to identify themselves for fear of repercussions. During my campaign I will be focusing on reaching out to the businesses in our community to figure how best I can serve them if elected.
And for the record the Firefighter Association had no idea I was running until they saw it in the paper. There is a good chance they will be endorsing me at their next meeting, because I work with these guys. But I have told them that I do not want any financial support of my campaign. Also for clarification Menlo Park Fire Protection District has its own Governing Body and its own budget separate from The City of Menlo Park.
The question about Measure L. There is no question with a 75% approval our citizens want pension reform. I voted no because I didn't think it went far enough.
There are many issues that I feel strongly about and can't wait to share them. Soon I will put together a website that reveals all of that. But for now if you have any questions you can email me and we can set up a face to face. My calendar is filling up rapidly for meetings but I will make time for you. Or if you prefer the anonymous postings here then please consider posting answerable questions and do it respectfully, and I will attempt to respond.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Measure L
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 5, 2012 at 9:38 am

Mr. Bragg,

How far should Measure L have gone?

Please spell out the specifics of the pension reform plan you will propose as a member of the Council, that go farther than those set forth by Measure L.

Do you support voter approval of future increases in pension benefits?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 5, 2012 at 9:38 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Measure L - You are not paying attention - I stated:

"Measure L does nothing to reduce current expenditures sinced it would only apply to future hires. Savings would not begin to accrue for fourteen years; the full benefit would take thirty of more" AND that it did not apply to ALL MP employees. I agree on both counts.

That was NOT the unions' position by any means.

And how in the world do you appropriate for yourself the name Measure L? A bit presumptuous.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Measure L
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 5, 2012 at 9:42 am

Mr. Bragg,

Will firefighters be dropping literature for you?

Are any firefighters or members of the union helping you run your campaign? Will you be applying for the public employee union endorsement? Or the Labor Council's endorsement?

How do you feel about the unions spending money on mailers they send out in support of your campaign, as opposed to giving you money directly?



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dave Bragg- Business Owner/City Council Candidate
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Jul 5, 2012 at 10:20 am

Mr. L,
You seem to have a lot of questions. I would love to sit down with you to discuss davebragg@gmail.com.
I feel you would be pleasantly surprised about my positions on all of the above matters.
Here are a couple answers to above....
Q about will firefighters send mailers?: At this point they will not be sending mailers for me that I am aware of. Why would they? City Council has no say over FD issues in Menlo Park?
Q any firefighters running my campaign?: At this point the only people involved in my campaign are family.
Q How do I feel about others creating mailers?: If the unions spend money on mailers for me that is completely out of my control. I plan to have enough financial support from others to get my message out.
I do have a couple questions for you.....
1. What is you involvement with Measure L?
and
2. Assuming you are a voter in Menlo Park, and you are intimately involved in pension reform. How best can I represent your beliefs on City Council? and are there any other issues that are near and dear to you?



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Measure L
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 5, 2012 at 10:33 am

Mr. Bragg,

Asking to make me promises privately, but failing to answer the questions about pension reform I have asked you publicly, is not appropriate.

You skipped some questions.

Will you apply for the Labor Council and Public Employees unions endorsement?

Will firefighters be walking for you?

Do you support voter approval of future pension increases for public employees?



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Measure L
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 5, 2012 at 10:59 am

Also Mr. Bragg, two of three questions you did answer were qualified answers using the phrase, "at this time."

When you answer the three questions below please don't qualify your answers:

Will you apply for the Labor Council and Public Employees unions endorsement?

Will firefighters be walking for you?

Do you support voter approval of future pension increases for public employees?



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 5, 2012 at 11:17 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Measure L?? - As you have pointed out the Forum is a place where posters can ask other posters questions and get answers. However, it is a two-way street. You haven't answered my question:

And how in the world do you appropriate for yourself the name Measure L?


And also what other names have you posted under so that other readers can get some sense of your philosophy, experience and consistency?

Or do you only ask questions of others?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by volunteer
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jul 5, 2012 at 11:21 am

"Q How do I feel about others creating mailers?: If the unions spend money on mailers for me that is completely out of my control."

That response is either naive or disingenuous. All candidates are invited to union interviews. If they give the responses the union prefers, the union supports them. It is 100% within an individual candidate's control.

Thank you for posting on here.

P.S. to Peter: the fact that so few combat veterans live in Menlo Park is actually an argument against electing one to our council. If we want to focus on representation of minority groups, there are more interesting ones we could include. Novelists, dancers, artists, for example.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 5, 2012 at 11:33 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Volunteer - how fitting that you post that comment on the day after the 4th of July - sit back and enjoy the freedoms that a very few others have fought to protect for you - and you and your elected representatives chose their battles, they didn't.


And it was you, not I, that wanted random selection. My interest is not in the representation of minority groups because those groups are minorities but rather on people with special skills and values which are essential to good government and, sadly, all too rare in a random sample.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiņa
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 5, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Roy Thiele-Sardiņa is a registered user.

Measure L,

I am not sure who you are (anonymous posting really are cowqardly), but PLEASE stop using that alias. If you are not Henry Riggs(Co-Chairman), Ned Moritz (Treasurer), or me(Co-Chairman) please refrain from insinuating you speak for Measure L (Citizens for Responsible Pension Reform).

We will be asking ALL the candidates their thoughts on pension reform and will be publishing their responses. In the meantime please pick another alais to "hide" behind.

Regards
Roy Thiele-Sardina
Co-Chairman of Citizens for Responsible Pension Reform (Measure L)


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