Viewpoint - January 28, 2009

Letter: Hollow claims of openness by council majority

The wisdom of granting the Menlo Park police sergeants a 30 percent raise in the current horrible economic environment is debatable. What is more disturbing is how the city's four council members (Kelly Fergusson, Mayor Heyward Robinson, Rich Cline and Andy Cohen) who voted for this contract did everything possible to minimize any meaningful public input on this decision.

The details of this 28-page contract were made available to the public only a few days before the vote at the Jan. 13 council meeting. Some of these council members justify their fast-tracking of this vote by saying that they were merely following through on a commitment made to the sergeants in April of last year, when a similarly generous contract was approved for the police department's line officers.

Really? When was the public informed of that previous commitment to the sergeants? There is certainly no record of it in council minutes from last April, and in fact, the public first heard of it only after the vote two weeks ago. These four council members all campaigned on platforms of "transparent decision making", and yet, when it comes time for a controversial vote desired by groups that supported their campaigns, they conceal decisions made months ago, and allow only the barest minimum of public review.

Their claimed embrace of transparent governance is selective and insincere.

Frank Tucker

Politzer Drive, Menlo Park


Posted by Hank Lawrence, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jan 27, 2009 at 2:25 pm

Heyward Robinson, Richard Cline, Kelly Ferguson and Andy Cohen represent the interests of the employees not the interests of the residents. Employees are supposed to provide services for the good of the residents. Instead we have residents who are seconded to the interests of the employees. We have created a Government employee plutocracy that enjoys pay, benefits and retirement benefits far in excess of what is offered in the private sector. And this is being done on the backs of residents who have their own financial worries without having to bankroll egregious contracts with the unions. These four council members should be recalled.

Posted by I Second That, a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jan 27, 2009 at 9:01 pm

I fell off my chair hearing about the 30% pay hike. I don't care what the reason is, it makes NO sense, whatsoever, in this economy. Is there anyone on this council that knows how to add and/or subtract? Why is it that only Boyle knows numbers??? Please get some people that know how to balance a budget and understand expenditures, and realized revenue!!

Posted by get it right, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 3, 2009 at 7:54 pm

The comment that only Boyle knows numbers is baseless. He voted to raise the line officers pay last year and he knew that this contract with the sergeants would be heard later. He's just playing politics, which is his usual manner. He has less then 2 years left on his term. Hopefully he will never become Mayor, which would be a complete disaster, rivaling only what happened when Jellins held that position. Boyle was only elected by a very slim margin (110 votes?). It won't happen again,even if he can get $50,000 in developer money for his campaign.

If he had any leadership, why didn't he fight the original pay raise, which was not warranted. Why did he push so hard for a City Manager from a high growth city?

get it right

If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields