Almanac

Viewpoint - October 13, 2010

Editorial endorsements

Menlo Park City Council

During the next four years, the Menlo Park City Council will make decisions that will shape the city's future for years to come. Here are the high points:

After they explain it to residents, council members will need to sell the already controversial downtown visioning plan to merchants and property owners; continue the major effort to reduce the local impact of the high-speed rail project; balance the budget without raising the utility tax; adopt a hard line on staff salary and pension increases; and oversee planning upgrades in the industrial M-2 zone, as well as oversee the Menlo Gateway project if voters approve it.

This is an agenda that cries out for a council that is up to speed and ready to go to work immediately to bring these high-profile tasks to fruition. In our view, no matter how tempting it might be, this is not the time to take a broom to City Hall. Mayor Rich Cline and council member Heyward Robinson have spent hundreds of hours with these issues and many others. While we have serious questions for both men, we respect their dedication and believe both are sincere in wanting to do the best they can for Menlo Park.

As chair of the Peninsula Cities Consortium for high-speed rail, Mr. Cline is playing a major leadership role in making sure that the rail authority understands the needs of Menlo Park, Atherton and Palo Alto as they make final plans for the project.

And just as critical, in our mind, is the role Mr. Cline and Mr. Robinson must play as the downtown visioning plan works its way through the public approval process later this year and early next year. True leadership will be needed to wade through the thicket of opposition from downtown merchants and property owners who believe they will suffer with the changes suggested in the plan.

It will also take delicate negotiations to resolve differences of neighbors and some residential property owners about the vision for El Camino Real, which hopefully will spell the end of the abandoned car dealerships south of Middle Avenue.

Our third choice was the most difficult, but we believe Peter Ohtaki, now chairman of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District board, has the business and budgeting skills that are badly needed on the council. With the unfortunate departure of John Boyle, who decided not to seek re-election, the council lost a perspective that we believe will be filled by Mr. Ohtaki.

Our endorsements should not reflect badly on Kirsten Keith and Chuck Bernstein, who we rate as highly qualified, although we gave the edge to the incumbents. We urge them, as well as Russell Peterson, to stay active in city affairs and consider another run for the council.

Measure L, the pension initiative

The current down economy has intensified interest in the often bloated salaries and pensions received by public employees, including in Menlo Park, where residents gathered more than 3,000 signatures to put a pension reform measure on the ballot.

Measure L would increase the retirement age from 55 to 60 for new rank and file employees (not police officers) and reduce the pension calculator from 2.7 to 2 percent per year for each year worked up to 30 years. Measure L also would restrict pension increases by the council without a vote of the people.

As we have said here before, Measure L does not change benefits of current workers or of current or newly hired police officers. It only will apply to new non-police employees, so it will not have a significant impact on the city's budget for years.

But like its proponents, we agree that Measure L sends a message to other communities and to the public employee unions that enough is enough. Local governments need to pay reasonable wages and pensions and remain competitive with private industry. But long ago private employers gave up defined benefits and converted to defined-contribution — such as 401(k) — plans, which are managed by the workers. In addition, many small communities have discovered that they cannot sustain their current salary and pension commitments without drastic budget overhauls.

Ultimately, the problem must be solved at the state level, but for now, vote for Measure L. It is a good start.

Measure T, the Menlo Gateway project

The Almanac supports this massive office and hotel project that will be built on the city's eastern border by David Bohannon, a local resident whose family has owned the property for several generations.

Detractors have trotted out a slew of environmental arguments, but the same could be said for any project of this size. Two intersections, Marsh and Willow roads at Middlefield, are expected to experience the most impact from the project, but downtown streets will be relatively unaffected. It is also expected that tenants in the buildings will provide shuttle service from Caltrain to the offices.

Mr. Bohannon has done a good job in minimizing the project's impact, including making a substantial effort to reduce greenhouse gases and make a commitment to build the offices and the hotel to the highest green building specifications.

The timing is uncertain, but when built-out, Menlo Gateway will contribute millions of dollars to the city in one-time fees. The hotel is expected to add $1.5 million a year in transit occupancy tax revenue. And the Belle Haven community has given strong endorsement to the project, in the hope that many of construction and other jobs will go to local residents.

Certainly Measure T, one of the largest projects in the city's history, has its drawbacks. But in our opinion, on balance, Menlo Gateway is a good deal for the city, and deserves a Yes vote.

Atherton City Council

When they are seated, the three winning candidates for Atherton City Council will face the huge job of hiring a new city manager and city attorney who can bring in a workable budget, provide a clear direction for city staff members, and work to resolve several legal matters that continue to attract far too much attention.

Of the four candidates running, we endorse incumbents Jerry Carlson and Jim Dobbie and newcomer Bill Widmer, a high-tech business executive who has wide experience in working at the top of large companies and who has volunteered on the budget and audit committees.

All three have deep business backgrounds, skills that are sorely needed as the town attempts to prepare a break-even budget. And all agree that employee compensation must be controlled to balance the budget. Mr. Carlson said he is ready to look at all options to bring down the cost of police services, including outsourcing or sharing coverage with other communities. And he agrees that any change must be approved by the city's residents. Mr. Dobbie said he has identified several town positions that could be eliminated, but added such a move would have to be taken with care.

In addition to his business skills, Mr. Widmer promises to push hard to make the council's business much more transparent, including digitizing many public records and streaming video of council meetings on the Web. He also suggests that council meetings be shortened and held on Tuesday and Thursday if necessary.

All the candidates have major concerns about the high-speed rail project and would only support building a new town hall if it was primarily paid for with private donations.

Atherton desperately needs experienced council members to lead it out of the current leadership crisis. Jerry Carlson, Jim Dobbie and Bill Widmer are the most qualified candidates in this race.

Menlo Park City School District

Three of four candidates stand out in the race to fill three slots on the Menlo Park City School District board . Laura Linkletter Rich, Joan Lambert and Terry Thygesen would bring a wealth of skills to the board, skills that are sorely needed as the district embarks on a major renovation and rebuild of Hillview Middle, the largest of its four schools. Ana Uribe-Ruiz also filed in this race.

The K-8 district continues to achieve high test scores and parents and residents of the district consistently approve parcel taxes and bond issues to help the schools keep pace with growing enrollment.

Already a legend in the district, Ms. Linkletter Rich is in the running for her fourth four-year term, even though her children left the schools long ago. First elected in 1998, she has served on PTAs, site councils, and school board associations, and is the voluntary website designer for the district and two of its schools She was a trustee when class-size reduction was implemented, when the academic program was redesigned at Hillview and when Superintendent Ken Ranella was hired.

With one child each in elementary, middle and high school, Joan Lambert still had time to work on the Measure C parcel tax campaign and now serves on the board of the district's education foundation. Saying the district does a good job preparing students to be critical thinkers and good citizens, she believes more could be done to teach students research skills and how to write more coherently and effectively. A former practicing attorney, Ms. Lambert said her legal skills and training in mediation will be an asset during negotiations with the unions.

Terry Thygesen is no stranger to the board, having served two terms from 2000 to 2008. Her focus this time around is to "improve educational equity" for all students. The district has made progress in closing the achievement gap for special education students, and now needs to focus on students from diverse socio-economic backgrounds.

With her finance and planning background, Ms. Thygesen helped develop the district's long-range plan that helped the district build up its financial reserves. She also supports the drive to bring technology to the district, but says such services don't replace "the need for live interaction."

The Almanac endorses Ms. Rich, Ms. Lambert and Ms. Thygesen for the Menlo Park City School District board of trustees.

Los Lomitas School District

Although its students finished with the highest test scores in the state, earlier this year the K-8 Las Lomitas School District had to struggle with teachers to reach a new contract, and its small class size could be threatened by lower funding and growing enrollment in the years ahead.

Four well-qualified candidates are in the running for three seats on the Las Lomitas school board and the top three finishers will play a key role in sorting out these issues in the four years ahead, which likely will include voting to place a parcel tax on an upcoming ballot.

The Almanac endorses Jay Siegel, Mark Reinstra and Ann Jaquith in this race, which will bring a nearly complete slate of new faces to the board.

Mr. Siegel is an incumbent but was appointed to the board less than a year ago to fill the term of David Baillard, who resigned. Besides his board experience, Mr. Siegel has served on the board of the education foundation and has volunteered at Las Lomitas School and has a daughter at La Entrada middle school.

Mr. Siegel believes his experience in financial research and economic forecasting will help as the board takes on the upcoming financial challenges. He said he would increase communication with residents and families about the district's financial issues, and help negotiate "a fair and just contract" with teachers that would not increase the district's deficit. He does support a new parcel tax, although no decision has been made to put it on the ballot next year.

With a doctorate in education from Stanford and a master's from Harvard, Ms. Jaquith has a background that is superb for a position on the board. She is a former middle school teacher and an assistant elementary and middle school assistant principal. With two children in district schools, she has spent time on the Las Lomitas site council, and has been a classroom volunteer and an AYSO coach and referee.

She said the district can "strengthen how our schools support the development of our teachers," and she would like to see more emphasis in the classroom focused on performance assessments and assignments that require students to "think deeply."

Candidate Mark Reinstra is a parent who is active in the education foundation and as a volunteer in the classroom. He sees finances as the main challenge facing the district in the coming years, and believes a combination of a new parcel tax and spending cuts will be needed in the years ahead.

He said the tension created during contract talks with the teachers during the last school year is a concern, adding that the difficulties facing the district can best be addressed "if we are all pulling together."

The Almanac endorses Mr. Siegel, Ms. Jaquith and Mr. Reinstra for the three open seats on the Las Lomitas School Board.

14th Congressional District

Rep. Anna Eshoo, sworn into her first term in 1993, has gone on to become a key player in Washington while she continues to provide excellent service to her constituents. We endorse her candidacy and fully expect she will be returned to Congress.

Over the past year Ms. Eshoo has done a lot to keep the district informed about major national issues. She held phone-in town hall meetings about President Obama's health care bill, and lately has been monitoring federal involvement in the high-speed rail project.

She sits on major congressional committees, including the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, and is a senior member of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet and the Subcommittee on Health.

In our view, Rep. Eshoo is doing an excellent job of playing a major role in setting national policy, and serving local residents. We endorse Anna Eshoo for the 14th Congressional District.

The 21st Assembly District

Our choice in this race to fill Assembly seat held by Ira Ruskin is Rich Gordon, who has served 12 years as a county supervisor and has a superb track record as an able legislator. His main opponent, Atherton businessman Greg Conlon, has served eight years on the Public Utilities Commission and ran unsuccessfully for state treasurer in 2002 and U.S. Congress in 2008.

We believe Mr. Gordon is far more qualified than Mr. Conlon to join the state Legislature, which sorely needs members who have the skills necessary to end the gridlock in Sacramento. Over the years, Mr. Gordon has proven that he can bring opposing sides together and accomplish legislative goals that some thought impossible. He has also served two years as president of the state Association of Counties, where colleagues from both parties have endorsed his candidacy.

Rich Gordon has union support but backs reform of public employee pensions and supports repealing the two-third requirement for approving the state's budget. He also supports backing off term limits and tightening the initiative process that takes away responsibility from the Legislature.

We recommend Rich Gordon for state Assembly.

San Mateo County supervisor

Former County Sheriff Don Horsley and coastsider April Vargas are in a runoff for county supervisor and present an interesting contrast between a consummate insider and an environmentalist and small business owner who came in second in the primary.

The Almanac endorsed Mr. Horsley in that race, and we are doing so again, although Ms. Vargas is running a strong, grass-roots campaign that we expect will attract support despite her small constituency on the coastside. It has been 40 years since a coastside candidate has won a board seat.

The key issues in this race are the county's overblown budget, which supervisors had to balance using $90 million in reserves this year. Neither candidate identified $90 million in budget savings — the expected deficit in 2014 if current trends continue.

Mr. Horsley's suggestions included cuts in public safety and health care, and a plan to consolidate county fire-fighting agencies and save about $8 million.

Ms. Vargas agreed with the firefighting cuts, and said she would raise the retirement age for county workers and increase their contributions to health care and pensions, as well as cap pension benefits for the highest wage earners. She also said the county has too many managers, averaging one for every 5.6 employees, compared to about nine in other nearby counties.

Mr. Horsley's many years of experience in county government, along with his service on the Sequoia Health Care District board, gives him the nod in this race. We support Don Horsley for county supervisor.

County treasurer-tax collector

In the race for treasurer-tax collector, we endorse entrepreneur and community college board member Dave Mandelkern, who is in a runoff with Sandie Arnott, the deputy county treasurer.

The treasurer oversees a portfolio of about $2.4 billion, which is made up of deposits from county agencies and school districts. Former treasurer Lee Buffington, whose investments in Lehman Brothers cost the county $155 million in September 2008, resulted in losses of $6.5 million at the local high school district and $2.5 million for the Menlo Park City School District.

A major issue in the race is how the county can avoid repeating this scenario. Both candidates say they support tighter investment policies, adding that they will seek outside advice in investing the 20 percent of the portfolio not required to be in government securities.

Mr. Mandelkern knows the financial markets, having worked as an entrepreneur for many years. He suggests the county should pool its assets with a larger fund to lower transaction costs and gain access to fund-management software.

The Almanac supports Dave Mandelkern for country treasurer-tax collector.

Comments

Posted by Grateful, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 12, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Thank you for your thoughtful assessment of the many local candidates and issues on the ballot. I appreciate the Almanac taking the time to vet the candidates in particular since there is so much mud slinging on this online forum that can give a reader the wrong impression.

The downtown and El Camino plan is the most important issue to me, too, and I'm grateful the Almanac realizes it is. Everyone wants the end of blight along ECR and this plan, in whatever form it ends up, will make that happen. I thank Rich Cline and Heyward Robinson and the rest of the city council for putting in place a community driven process to make this happen back in 2007. It's taking a long term view and respecting community input from all places that this visioning process represents. I respect that and want leaders like that to remain on council.

I know there will be posts lambasting my (shockingly) positive opinion, but I really appreciate the work they have both done so far and want to see it continued rather than pressing the restart button and just hoping we get something on El Camino someday. Change takes a long time in Menlo Park due to the spirited community we live in, and maybe that's good. But don't let this measured progress imply none has been made. This plan is the work of more than three years and thousands of community inputs. Let's see it through by supporting these candidates.

Thank you, Almanac, for recognizing the importance of this issue for the future of Menlo Park. I agree with your endorsements for Menlo Park candidates.


Posted by Michael G. Stogner, a resident of another community
on Oct 12, 2010 at 7:35 pm

"Mr. Horsley's many years of experience in county government, along with his service on the Sequoia Health Care District board, gives him the nod in this race. We support Don Horsley for county supervisor."

I just want to point out that Don Horsley is the president of Sequoia Health Care District. He ran for that position knowing that 2 Grand Jury Reports had recommended it stop receiving the Tax Payer taxes since it sold the Hospital. The reports also stated that the Grant-Making District should dissolve.

Jack Hickey has asked me to join him for the sole purpose of implementing the Garnd Jury recommendations. I have joined him for that purpose. The Tax Payers are the victim.


Posted by confusing, a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Oct 12, 2010 at 8:05 pm

So here the is the Almanac (I'm assuming Mr. Gibboney made these decisions), endorsing Mayor Cline and Heyward Robinson and advising they be returned for another term. He also implies he would have endorsed Boyle for another term, if he had decided to run.

Yet he endorses Measure L, the pension reform issue. The only reason for L, is because this council made the decision in 2007 to yield to the unions and incur this impossible pension benefit package.

This council has refused to recognize the budget deficits must be curtailed. This council hired the present City Manager and even gave him a raise and a one year extension. There are no other parties responsible except them.

So why in the world should they be returned to office? The Almanac's reasoning simply makes no sense.

Reality is simply being ignored here, and quite frankly the Almanac's endorsements for council should be ignored.

He is right on Measure L.

Since Bohannon is generously paying the Almanac for weekly advertisements for his project, his endorsement of Measure T would seem biased.


Posted by Hank Lawrence, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Oct 13, 2010 at 6:16 am

What do the League of Women Voters, the SEIU, Move-on.org and Gail Slocum all have in common. They want the Unions to dominate the California political landscape. And why is that? It is because the once worthy Democratic Party has veered so far to the left that it needs the Unions to prop it up. So the Unions through forced contributions from its members support the far left elements of the Democratic Party. These contributions go to candidates who are committed to giving the unions egregious pensions and benefits at the expense of the common folk.

Meanwhile responsible Democrat Chuck Bernstein is viciously attacked in blast e-mails from Gail Slocum as receiving support from the Tea Party- which is not true, she knows it is not true, and yet she sends these e-mails anyway.

Until the Democratic Party stages a coup against the far left elements within its own party and promote responsible people like Chuck Bernstein, it will continue to be marginalized. It has already started in the rest of the country and sooner or later will come to California.

This will be evidenced in the mid term elections where the House of Representatives will go to the GOP and Nancy Pelosi will face a serious challenge from Steny Hoyer (D-MD) just to be House Minority Leader.

In the Senate the Democrats will most likely maintain a two vote advantage (3 if you count the President of the Senate as a tie breaker).

California is headed to financial ruin and all the Democrats can do is fiddle while Sacramento burns.

It is time for the residents of Menlo Park to wake up. Do you want the incumbents who have accomplished nothing except putting Menlo Park in a financial hole and doing nothing about the blight on El Camino Real or do you want a moderate team of One Democrat, One Republican, and One Independent to dig Menlo Park out of the whole created by the incumbent candidates and revitalize El Camino Real?

The clock is ticking with only 20 days to go. I urge all voters to save the city and vote for responsibility over cronyism and competence over ineptness. Please vote for Peter Ohtaki, Chuck Bernstein, and Russ Peterson so that Menlo Park can reverse its downward spiral and once again become a vibrant community.


Posted by Leslie, a resident of Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Oct 13, 2010 at 11:59 am

Unclear how The Almanac mssed the opportunity to take a stand on County of San Mateo Measure U.

Passage of measure U would allow the San Mateo County charter to be amended to define the filling of vacancies on the Board of Supervisors (people who manage our taxpayer dollars in the form of over $6 Billion annually) by election or appointment. The County sorely needs this change to poke a hole into the biosphere our Board of Supervisors has adopted, and allow the fresh air of democracy to flow into the insular atmoshphere our Board of Supervisors has acquired. I think our local voters should have better reporting, better analysis and endorsement, of this important and timely measure, particularly after the behaviour of the current Board of Supervisors in resepct to the recommendations the County Charter Review Committee.


Posted by Michael G. Stogner, a resident of another community
on Oct 13, 2010 at 12:37 pm

Leslie,

I'm not sure of the $6 Billion annually, The BOS just approved $1.82 Billion. I agree passage of measure U is important to San Mateo County. If it does not pass and Don Horsley loses to April Vargas, It would be possible for the Service League of San Mateo County to appoint Don Horsley to replace Mark Church's seat for District 1.


Web Link


Posted by Ed, a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 13, 2010 at 1:29 pm

Leslie and Michael
You are both perfectly on point--this has been an endless game of political musical chairs--played out in full view of the public to keep the voters too dizzy to notice who is hiding in plain sight. Even the press has become hypnotized by this ritual dance that circles round and round the public trough.


Posted by Ed, a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 13, 2010 at 1:29 pm

Leslie and Michael
You are both perfectly on point--this has been an endless game of political musical chairs--played out in full view of the public to keep the voters too dizzy to notice who is hiding in plain sight. Even the press has become hypnotized by this ritual dance that circles round and round the public trough.


Posted by Voice of Reason, a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Oct 13, 2010 at 2:43 pm

The Almanac's Council picks supports experienced voices of reason on the Council, and the best of the field.

The Editorial's first reason was, rightly, High Speed Rail. There is nothing that would do more to harm Menlo Park than an elevated 4-track sound generator like this. Cline and Robinson have worked hard and effectively with other mid-Peninsula leaders to seek getting it undergrounded. Decisions on it will come up very soon, and we can't afford to lose our clout on that now with a Council full of new members who will fact a steep learning curve on a wide range of complex issues and who don't have the regional contacts and respect already established that we need.

Second was El Camino/downtown, again rightly a major focus. All this hoopla over Measure L and Measure T are really misplaced. Everyone running supports 2@60, and the voters will already have decided by the time the new Council is seated. All but two running support Measure T, but it too will already be decided as of November 2.

Ohtaki is a reasonable third choice for the exact reasons the Almanac gives - the Council should have a voice similar to John Boyle's up there. Ohtaki is also really smart, has some experience from the Fire Board, and brings CFO level of financial expertise (even deeper knowledge there than Boyle's actually). He also has a very calm and respectful demeanor -- unlike Bernstein. And, unlike Keith, he is decisive and not a "politician" that wants to please everyone.

Great work, Almanac. Thanks for keeping the big picture and the real issues for the next 4 years front and center.



Posted by Check the facts Hank, a resident of Atherton: other
on Oct 13, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Hey Hank - Before you go accusing and finding "boogeymen," kindly check your facts.

I looked on line and found that the San Mateo County Chapter of the Tea Party (whose site is called MyLiberty), did indeed endorse in this Council race.

Their three recommended candidates for Menlo Park City Council are Bernstein, Peterson (a former Republican), and Phtaki (a Republican).

(And the County's Tea Party chapter also endorsed all the Republican candidates for statewide office.)

Meanwhile, the Almanac story noted that the Unions (San Mateo County Labor Council) did not endorse anyone in the Council race. I suspect they are unhappy to see that everyone running supports 2@60 and didn't like that the Council imposed that and much more last spring after negotiations reached loggerheads.

But perhaps you don't want to be bothered with those facts...


Posted by confusing, a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Oct 13, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Again why return the incumbents when they have made time after time lousy decisions. They hired this city manager, from a So. California "hell bent for growth" City. He has carried through on this kind of agenda. However, he works for the council, and they just don't ever say no. Ultimately it is council not the City Manager to blame for our deficit budgets and poor fiscal decisions.

The chief reason why pension benefits were raised was to appease the unions, and the leader of that was Kelly Fergusson, who was and still is completely beholden to the unions. She continues to support her decision by opposing Measure L. Robinson has continually been in lock step with Fergusson and he needs to be replaced. Note he doesn't endorse Measure L.

Furthermore, to give credit to Robinson for HSR is really not accurate. He still wants HSR, just as he wants Measure T, with his proposed tennis courts on top of the 140 foot high buildings.

Just remember Robinson got on council because he was Fergusson's campaign manager 6 years ago and she then supported him fully 4 years ago. They so often vote as a team such that on virtually every issue, there are 2 votes you can count on being identical.

Replacing Cline is much more of a difficult choice. He has been a real leader on HSR and is the ONLY person on council who really understand what is going on with that obnoxious project.

Boyle is gone; probably because he couldn't win with his pro HSR position at any cost to the city. Good riddance in my opinion.

So we need plenty of new faces. Keep Cline if you want, but Robinson must go and we need much new leadership. The Almanac is off base here.


Posted by serial voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 13, 2010 at 3:29 pm

"I looked on line and found that the San Mateo County Chapter of the Tea Party (whose site is called MyLiberty), did indeed endorse in this Council race."

Certain people are spewing this garbage everywhere. Dirty politics at its finest.

When I do a search of Tea Party San Mateo County I find

Web Link

(they aren't endorsing anyone)

and

Web Link

(19 members! ditto on the endorsements)

I also searched and found the MyLiberty site: Web Link

They come across as a little, well, out there, don't they? In fact, I almost wonder if some of the Cline/Robinson folks put this site together as a way to slam opposing candidates? But no, I think Cline and Robinson are just incompetent, not evil!

Meanwhile, to those of you who like to spread the vile: beware,some of it may end up sticking to you.


Posted by Patti Fry, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 13, 2010 at 3:56 pm

Dear Editor –
You really missed an outstanding candidate for Menlo Park's City Council – Chuck Bernstein. He is one of the most capable and knowledgeable candidates I've known in many years. Uniquely, he brings experience as a member of numerous state, regional, and local committees and commissions (including Menlo Park's Budget Advisory Committee, Residential Review and Child Care task forces), a deep understanding and working knowledge of city budgeting processes, and many years as a consultant creating successful business plans, and as a business owner providing services while balancing budgets and managing personnel issues. As a result, he can hit the ground running in service of our town.

Chuck's support spans the community because of his emphasis on fiscal responsibility through controlling costs and increasing revenue, not taxes, as well as his tireless efforts to preserve and improve Menlo Park's small town character.

I have had the pleasure of working with him over the past decade or so, and can attest that he is an action-oriented, thought-provoking, creative, witty, honest and hard-working team player. Our Council and our community would be extremely fortunate to have his common sense executive leadership. He has my vote.


Posted by serial fact checker, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 15, 2010 at 5:34 pm

Dear Serial Voter

The MyLibertySanMateoCounty site has been around for over a year and they have a Board listed on the site that does not in any way resemble Gail Slocum. It and other Tea Party Patriot sites say "if you live in San Mateo COunty, MyLiberty is your 9/12 Project and Tea Party Patriot group."

MyLibertySan Mateo is doing phonebanking and Get Out the Vote activities now, and they already endorsed for a lot of races all up and down the ticket. Yes - they are very conservative -- and it's scary that there is an active consituency in our area like this that endorsed Bernstein, Ohtaki and Peterson in our council race.

This is not some sort of made up "front group" for some Menlo Park interests. Just ask Don Horsly... He got endorsed too.

Get the facts! Get your heads out of the sand...


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 15, 2010 at 11:33 pm

Serial Voter states:"and it's scary that there is an active consituency in our area like this that endorsed ....."

What is scary is that any voter relies on endorsements rather than making an independent judgement as to who are the best qualified candidates. Typically candidates don't get to pick their endorsers so why blame the candidates if someone you don't like endorses them? Sounds like guilt by involuntary association.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


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