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Thank you Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce

Original post made by Political Observer, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park, on Aug 11, 2008

Who knows what in the world they were thinking, but assuming the candidate doesn't withdraw, it seems like the local Chamber of Commerce has done Menlo Park a favor whether the Chamber realizes it or not.

Having a candidate so obviously from the Chamber leadership will give voters a real chance to vote on what the Chamber has been advocating. Normally the chamber and its members keep more distance from the council race than this and probably for good and time tested reasons. Candidates are more commonly fielded in the Jellins/Duboc/Winkler/Boyle cast who may be very friendly to them but still a few steps and points of connection removed. This will give MP a chance to focus more directly on things the Chamber and its members have been promoting: zoning changes and liberalized building regulations favorable to themselves, city assistance with parking with inadequate business contribution, discouraging and advocating against businesses and opportunities that would bring more livelihood to Menlo Park because they are perceived as competitive or threatening to local merchants, and a host of other things.

The dynamics of the situation should make it interesting for the rest of the council too. Given the math, at least one council member will be re elected and more likely two. You would think the incumbents will draw distinctions from the Chamber candidate, and perhaps become less enamored with some Chamber perpectives along the way too. And for other moderate council members like Cline and Robinson, if the challenger goes down to defeat, that would not leave a good sense the Chamber's position has sufficient following in MP in the end.

All in all, not a bad setting to help Menlo Park actually move forward post-election.

Comments (3)

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Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 12, 2008 at 10:11 am

Is Rick Ciardella pro-Menlo Park or anti-Menlo Park?

What is his position on bringing in new businesses like BevMo to liven up Menlo Park? Does he want to "protect" some businesses by rejecting new ideas or not?

Like this comment
Posted by Blanca Rojas
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Aug 14, 2008 at 10:45 am

Yeah, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that anyone one who's running for council is going to profess to being "Pro-Menlo Park," whatever that means.

If you're anti-Menlo Park, what does that mean? You're pro-Palo Alto? You want to annex the city to Atherton? You want to see the quality of life nosedive?

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Posted by Bill
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 23, 2008 at 1:10 pm

I met Rick the other day, and was quite impressed. He has been the Chamber of Commerce Chair, and is a landscape architect. He really has some great ideas for open space, and creating a very vibrant downtown retail atmosphere. He sounded like he'd be willing to listen to any idea of how to create this type of town. He did say that he was not interested in the "big box" type merchants like WalMart, K-Mart etc., but we should listen to smaller, more boutique type merchants like BevMo, or WholeFoods. So again, sounds like he is willing to listen, but it has to be good for the city, and the city has to reap the benefits of the tax dollar derived from a new merchant, and we can't have too many of one merchant. Again, nice guy, very bright, I'll vote for him.

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