Viewpoint - June 2, 2010

Letter: Tawdry tactics by labor council

On May 14, I received a flier from the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council in San Jose that slams Yoriko Kishimoto, candidate for the 21st Assembly District seat, based on her alleged obstruction of high-speed rail.

As a former Palo Alto mayor who has worked on regional transit policy, Ms. Kishimoto realized early the complicated issues regarding high-speed rail and its impact on the Midpeninsula. She took the lead to create the Peninsula Cities Consortium that consists of representatives of cities in our area most likely to be affected by the rail project.

Ms. Kishimoto is not an anti-high-speed rail activist, nor a knee jerk proponent. As an experienced elected official, she has become an advocate for greater transparency and more public involvement in the planning process.

It is puzzling why the Labor Council has gotten involved in the Democratic Party primary between two well-known and respected elected officials. The flier is the kind of hostile hyperbole that voters have seen before: photos of cars sitting in traffic, text filled with buzz words such as "gridlock, pollution and fewer jobs."

The candidate who received this union's endorsement, Rich Gordon, claims to have known nothing about this hit piece. While there's no reason not to believe Mr. Gordon, I do wonder why the AFL-CIO prefers Mr. Gordon to Ms. Kishimoto?

There are many issues involving high-speed rail that we are learning more about every week. I am thankful for the time Yoriko Kishimoto has donated to her constant scrutiny of this state-wide project.

Voters should think long and hard about this union's involvement in our regional politics. Yoriko Kishimoto is dedicated to viable regional transit and she is looking out for the interests of all Peninsula residents.

Brielle Johnck, Central Avenue, Menlo Park


Posted by Hank Lawrence, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 2, 2010 at 2:48 pm

These are the same jackals who lied about Lee Duboc and Mickie Winkler because they let a person who offered superior services, Tim Sheeper, operate the Menlo Park pool then hire lesser qualified City Employees at a cost savings of over $400,000/year.

Posted by Same ol, Same ol', a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jun 2, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Oh, there you go again, Hank. I don't care if you want to praise Tim Sheeper's program to the sky. Go right ahead. But can't you just stop making the absurd claim that giving the program to Sheeper saved the city $400,000? There is absolutely no support for this statement. The city NEVER did a proper cost analysis, so unfortunately we'll never know whether switching to Sheeper saved the city money, cost the city money, or balanced out.

One thing for certain, the city COULD have done better by charging Sheeper a fair rent for the facilities, which he said later he had been expecting to pay. So stop with the nonsense already.

Posted by Hank Lawrence, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 3, 2010 at 9:11 am

Some people are just obtuse. Tim Sheeper is providing a service. He does not have an equity interest in the pool. He is not using the pool for his personal benefit. He is operating the pool primarily for the benefit of Menlo Park residents. So if you want to charge him rent he will do a pass through and on top of the $400,000 savings the pool users will pay increased fees to pay for the rent. Then the City can use that money to give SEIU employees even more generous benefits.

Posted by Same ol, Same ol', a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jun 3, 2010 at 10:56 am

"and on top of the $400,000 savings..." There you go again, Hank. It's a figment of your imagination, Hank. No evidence of it, Hank. If there is, cough it up.

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