http://almanacnews.com/print/story/print/2012/01/25/menlo-briefs-flood-park-rda-on-council-agenda


Almanac

News - January 25, 2012

Menlo Briefs: Flood Park, RDA on council agenda

by Sandy Brundage

Sandwiched between the City Council's scheduled consideration of how to adapt to losing the city's redevelopment agency and the proposed contract for the new city manager is another topic that's preoccupied city officials for months — what to do about Flood Park.

The 21-acre park on Bay Road currently belongs to San Mateo County, which tried to give it to Menlo Park as a cost-saving measure. The city, however, can't quite decide whether to accept.

The proposal on the table entails the city paying the county $150,000 for one year in exchange for exclusive rights to earn money from the baseball field. The county would still be responsible for park maintenance and operation, estimated to cost $60,000 after the city's payment.

Options the city wants to explore, according to the staff report, include leasing up to a quarter of the park land. Entities that have expressed interest at community meetings include a private school and sports teams.

The regular council meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at the Civic Center at 701 Laurel St.

Downtown forum

The Menlo Park Presbyterian Church hosts a forum on Thursday, Jan. 26, on Menlo Park and El Camino Real: Past, Present, and Future.

It includes opening remarks by Mayor Kirsten Keith, and presentations on incorporating health initiatives and green transportation programs into the development of a "grand boulevard" along El Camino Real.

Go to greenbelt.org and click on the events calendar to RSVP. The forum runs from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at 700 Santa Cruz Ave.

Kepler's transition

After Clark Kepler announced his retirement from day-to-day operations at Kepler's Books in Menlo Park, the eight-member team steering the local landmark's transition into a new era surfaced: Clark Kepler; Praveen Madan, a partner of Booksmith and Berkeley Arts and Letters; former mayor Gail Slocum; publisher Steve Piersanti; investor Robert Kyle; Kepler's Chief Financial Officer Mitch Slomiak; Director of Community Relations Jean Forstner; and public relations consultant Patrick Corman.

As the Almanac reported on Jan. 10, the team is putting together a business plan that may blend a nonprofit arts and event space with a for-profit bookstore. Further details will be released as the team finalizes negotiations with future partners.

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