News - September 8, 2010

Briefs: Caltrain weighs fare hikes; worries about service cuts

Although weekend Caltrain service recently escaped the budget ax, at a public hearing on Sept. 2 the rail agency proposed a mix of fare increases and other service cuts.

Caltrain said options under consideration include raising fares by 25 cents, and stopping early morning weekday service. Caltrain is considering cutting service from 4 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. on selected lines.

According to the rail agency, it's facing an almost $30 million budget deficit by next fiscal year, which starts July 1, 2011.

"These will be the good old days compared to what we will face in July," Executive Director Michael Scanlon said in a press release.

"We are talking about no special service, no weekend service, no late night service, no midday service and no service to Gilroy," he said. "We are only putting off for a matter of months the day of reckoning."

About 1,500 people submitted comments about cost-saving measures, with most in favor of increasing fares instead of service cuts, Caltrain said in a press release.

Chamber hosts mixer, candidates forum

September is off to a busy start for the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce. First up: a mixer at Left Bank Restaurant on Wednesday, Sept. 15, running from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Next, the Chamber will host a City Council candidates forum on Wednesday, Sept. 29, in the council chambers at City Hall. The forum starts at 7 p.m. Each candidate may make introductory and closing statements, and field moderated questions from the audience.

Rail meetings open to public

Menlo Park Mayor Rich Cline announced that the city's high-speed rail subcommittee has decided to open its monthly meeting to the public, starting Aug. 30. Mr. Cline serves on the subcommittee with Councilwoman Kelly Fergusson.

Held on the last Monday of each month, the meeting runs from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Conference Room on the first floor of City Hall.

Two named to commission

Without discussion, the City Council appointed Jean Baronas and Kathy Schrenk to the Environmental Quality Commission, which advises the council on matters pertaining to heritage trees, recycling, pollution, and other environmental concerns.

Councilman Andy Cohen nominated Ms. Schrenk, while Councilwoman Kelly Fergusson suggested Jean Baronas. Councilman John Boyle's nominee, Roger Thompson, was left without a spot since there were only two vacancies. The new commissioners will serve until April 2014.

Council takes holiday

It's a four-day weekend for the Menlo Park city council. The Sept. 7 meeting has been cancelled. They will next meet on Tuesday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m. in City Hall.


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