By proactively agreeing to place the issue on the November ballot, the council is breaking a recurring pattern in Menlo Park of protracted analysis while attempting to gauge the majority opinion. The council also made a choice that costs the taxpayers far less than holding a special election next year.
Instead, the city is admirably assuming leadership by taking a positive step that accelerates delivery of the project's benefits for us all. This approach allows the city to frame a constructive debate that will further educate and allow for meaningful engagement with the entire community. This will pay dividends long after November.
The council's vote also demonstrates that it recognizes the importance of this project to our community. Menlo Gateway will deliver beautifully designed, energy-efficient buildings that will revitalize an underutilized area east of Marsh Road and the Bayshore Freeway. The significant guaranteed annual revenue, associated economic activity, and job creation benefits are sorely needed.
With backing from the majority of Menlo Park residents — many of whom voiced support at the council meetings — approval of the ballot measure will be the final endorsement.
Thank you to the City Council for coming together on this critical project and getting behind this opportunity to improve the community for us all.
Robert W. Carter is board chairman of the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce.