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Voter Guide: Two versus one in MP race

Original post made on Oct 26, 2008

Three candidates -- two incumbents and a challenger -- are running for two, four-year terms on the Menlo Park City Council. Although the campaign is low on candidates, the city's political camps will still face off on Nov. 4.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Saturday, October 25, 2008, 11:46 PM

Comments (18)

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Posted by don't add to divisiveness
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 26, 2008 at 1:10 pm

Almanac - I am disappointed that you state there is a 4-person majority on the council at this time. This points to a divide that I don't think is valid these days. From my perspective, the council is back to a composition that many of us expect and respect: a group of 5 people who have different ideas and approaches. Sometimes 3, 4, or 5 of them vote the same way but "the majority" is not always the same individuals, as in the past.

In fact, I am pleased that I have to ask "who voted which way" now when I hear that a council majority made a particular decision. Better decisions come when there are numerous perspectives and discussion.


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Posted by MP Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 26, 2008 at 9:36 pm

Why didn't Richard Ciardella put his education in his ballot statement?


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Posted by William Myers
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 27, 2008 at 10:35 am

I don't know what council meeting "Don't add to divisiveness" has been attending, but there most certainly is a divide within this council. I believe the typical voting results are 4 to 1.
John Boyle is definitely the odd man out, not that I believe it is correct, but he does disagree with many of the current council's position. He is, and has been, a fiscal conservative that wants results.

For "MP Voter", I'm not sure why Rick neglected to add his education in the ballot statement, it should have been added, it certainly is impressive. He has used this education to create a small company that does wonderful work.


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Posted by council watcher
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 27, 2008 at 10:42 am

If John Boyle wants to be portrayed as a "fiscal conservative that wants results" then how on earth can he justify his support for Prop 1A, a fantasy project with no hard numbers backing it up? In his previous life, I suspect he would have read the HSR marketing materials and tossed the packet in the nearest recycling bin. Clearly, he has evaluated the tradeoff between fiscal prudence and political positioning and decided that the latter serves his career interests better.


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Posted by council watcher
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 27, 2008 at 10:44 am

P.S. Cal Poly Pomona is a fine third tier school. It's not exactly Stanford or Dartmouth!


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Posted by don't add to divisiveness
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 27, 2008 at 1:46 pm

I believe Andy Cohen also is a fiscal conservative; he has generally voted conservatively about financial issues. As I said, I generally have to ask who comprised a "majority vote". But you're right - if it's 4 to 1, the 1 is usually John Boyle. I attribute differences more to the fact that he's a Republican.

Again, the Almanac takes a simplistic view about positions on growth described as pro- or anti- . It would be much more accurate to describe differences as being whether development is planned or laissez faire.


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Posted by old-timer
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Oct 27, 2008 at 3:00 pm

Agree with you, don't add. Besides, what does "growth" mean? Does it mean lining El Camino with high-rise buildings? I would hope that any serious candidate would be opposed to that! Does it mean supporting local businesses and increasing sales tax revenues? All candidates should be in favor of that!

Taking a big picture perspective on what is best for Menlo Park can't really be divided into a growth/no-growth issue. Most people want our city to be better tomorrow than it is today, but we have different views on how to get there.

Of the current council members, I believe that both Rich and Andy in particular are trying to stay middle-of-the-road. Talking about "camps" makes for juicy journalism, but I think most of us who actually live here prefer that our city not be politically bifurcated. The two vs one issue in this race should refer to the fact that we have two very qualified and experienced candidates running against someone who doesn't seem very aware of what's going on in the city.


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Posted by William Myers
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 27, 2008 at 4:10 pm

I think "Council Watcher" missed the Harvard part of Rich Ciardella's resume. He also still is on the job, and was not asked to leave.......:)


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Posted by the nth degree
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Oct 27, 2008 at 4:57 pm

Not all Harvard degrees are hard to come by or prestigious. The degree that Ciardella obtained is available to anyone with minimal credentials and a checkbook, similar to the Continuing Studies degrees that Stanford offers. Nothing wrong with it, of course, but in the scheme of things it doesn't compare very well to a PhD or JD from Stanford.


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Posted by William Myers
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 27, 2008 at 9:34 pm

Ciardella still works, has applied his knowledge to his practice, and developed a very fine business. Cohen no longer practices, and Ferguson does not work either. I wonder why? I don't think we want information like this going public, it wouldn't fair well with these two.


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Posted by nth degree
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Oct 27, 2008 at 9:50 pm

I think you mean "fare." Andy is retired after an illustrious career and Kelly is an executive in a local company.

Rick seems like a nice enough fellow, but so's my mow/blow/go guy.


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Posted by William Myers
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Oct 28, 2008 at 9:05 am

He's a landscape architect Mr. Nth Degree, good try on attempting to downgrade his position. He has developed open space projects all over the world, including MP. He currently is working on one in Big Sur. Andy was ASKED to leave, and Kelly is NOT an executive in a local company. If either one of these statements are false, prove it.


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Posted by William Myers, a.k.?
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 28, 2008 at 9:28 am

That you, Karl Rove?


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Posted by stop the smears
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Oct 28, 2008 at 9:31 am

Mr. Myers, making up things to smear respectable people who want to serve our community has no place in Menlo Park.

Andy Cohen did retire after a well-respected career as an attorney and judge.
Kelly Fergusson IS an executive locally, but it's for a major international company - Siemens. Her job is Business Development Manager, Siemens Building Technologies, Energy and Environment.
For the "proof", see a recent flyer, that I easily found through google search, for a recent event where she participated professionally: Web Link

BTW - I do respect Rick Ciardella's experience and credentials and find no reason to diminish them even though I support the re-election of the incumbents Cohen and Fergusson.


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Posted by Just Wondering
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Oct 28, 2008 at 4:20 pm

I thought in this age of "Palin Power", you need "diminished credentials" to get you elected :)


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Posted by Sally
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Oct 29, 2008 at 9:57 am

Yea, just think he could have been a "Community Organizer"! God help us all!


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Posted by A Stanford/Harvard graduate, current Menlo Park resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Nov 5, 2008 at 3:23 pm

Ah yes. The ubiquitious slap of lack of credentials from people who look in the clear rear view mirror and arm chair quarterback purposefully without regard to what the issues at hand are. It is always safe to attack the character not the substance. Typical. Who the hell cares about the pedigrees of individuals. This snob factor or elitism will always rear its ugly head and be perpetuated by individuals who think they know better. Especially in this bastion of what I call my city. If that were the case and you know more, throw your name in the hat, run for office, and let others be the judges of your platform and see how well you perform. Easier said than done isn't it. I have met people from Stanford and Dartmouth or other so called Ivy League schools during my limited lifetime and while applaudable that they were fortunate enough to attend a "first" tiered school, I walk away thinking to myself, please tell me that they are not that dumb? I have met people from state schools that do laps around some Ivy Leaguers. People who are not only book smart but also real world in your face I am hungry street smart. You can have your Ivy League education. I will take street smart with the ability to ask the right questions any day. Stanford, Dartmouth, MIT, please...book smart maybe but try to solve real world issues and they would rather stay in their vacuum of life and pretend to be important...because they went to Stanford. Get off your high horse and make a difference instead of knocking people who are at the very least trying.

Rick put his name out there and knows what it takes to make it in this economy and environment. Save your education credentials for your obituary.


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Posted by disgusted
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Nov 5, 2008 at 4:55 pm

You midget-minds who suggest that the "better" the degree, the better the degree-holder will perform in the public service realm and the workplace would do well to consider questions regarding WHY some very intelligent and motivated people don't go to a first- or second-tier school, and WHY some utter simpletons and mediocrities end up in first-tier schools. (Look no further than the White House.)

The suggestion that someone without a prestigious degree isn't capable of honorable service to his/her community, and couldn't possibly possess good critical thinking skills, is odious in the extreme. If those of you who posted such sentiments above have prestigious degrees, you've just given damning evidence against your case. Maybe you should enroll in your local community college for an evening class on democratic principles. But first you'd better sign up for a critical thinking course. You'll need it.


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