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Update: Menlo police officers, sergeants agree to renegotiate contracts

Original post made on Jun 3, 2009

Menlo Park police officers and sergeants have agreed to scale back or defer scheduled pay raises, City Manager Glen Rojas announced at a City Council meeting Tuesday, June 2.


Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, June 3, 2009, 2:13 PM

Comments (59)

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Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 3, 2009 at 3:11 pm

Glen Rojas, making over $250k a year in salary and bonuses, could learn a few things from the police.


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Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jun 3, 2009 at 9:06 pm

Joanna - Deferred bonuses for all city management staff so that amount is wrong.


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Posted by Unions Don't Work
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Jun 4, 2009 at 12:18 pm

Name one successful company, and/or government, with a strong union, that is successful.
The answer: Zero.
This cat and mouse game with the SEIU will continue until we shut down government entirely, which looks like we're on the road to do in the state of California. Everyone talks about corporate greed, when as taxpayers we have been fleeced and refleeced year after year by the state's unions. Very sad time for California, and America.


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Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jun 4, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Successful government? Are you kidding me?

The past 60 years the US has grown into a power unlike anything the world has seen. Success is right in front of you.

Are you going to start your rant about how efficient China is now?

Please try to stay in your ballpark.

This topic is entirely bigger than unions and Menlo Park and police.

Ridiculous.


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Posted by And There In LIes The Problem
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Jun 5, 2009 at 9:10 am

Individuals like our friend "Truth" continue to believe that it is government that has developed the US into "a power". THAT is the problem, and it will continue to be a problem as long as the government outspends itself, and demands additional taxes, or "wealth reallocation". Private industry is what got the U.S. to this point. The innovation, the ingenuity, the hardwork etc. of everyone (immigrants included) is the reason for our success.
Government continually gets in the way with regulation upon regulation, taxes and more taxes, handouts to individuals that take advantage of our system, handouts to foreign governments that do not support our ideals. Sorry "DaTruth" our government is NOT successful, please pick up the front page of the WS Journal, or listen to something other than MSNBC.


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Posted by Agreed
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 5, 2009 at 9:56 am

And There In Lies The Problem:
"Private industry is what got the U.S. to this point."

Yep, you're absolutely right: from Enron to Countrywide to Citigroup to GM and Chrylser - they're EXACTLY why we're in the worst economic crisis since the Depression.

Thanks for pointing that out!


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Posted by Sorry "Agree"
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 5, 2009 at 4:03 pm

GM = Government forced upon regulations and Unions.
Chrysler = Government forced upon regulations and Unions.
Countrywide = Barney Frank, Christopher Dodd's policies to allow everyone to buy a house.
Enron = Corporate greed to the worst extent, the company is done, gone, and over with now, as it should be...........that's what you call a Free Capitalistic Society. Any private industry run like Enron, should be finished, and they eventually are finished. You don't need government to do that. But I guess you DO need government for trillion dollar deficeits, Katrina clean up disasters, crazy work programs, I mean bailouts, etc. Government is NOT the answer. Do the math!!!


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Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jun 5, 2009 at 4:35 pm

Repubs vs. Dems...free maket vs. unions...developer vs. residentialists...boring...boring...boring...


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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 5, 2009 at 5:11 pm

The $10.4 million in salaries and benefits works out to more than $217,000 per person. There is something wrong with this picture. Private companies are cutting salaries by 10%, giving no raises, and "sharing the pain." Why is it that only public employees seem to be exempt from this downturn in the economy?


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Posted by Hank Lawrence
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 6, 2009 at 7:12 am

Public employees are exempt from the downturn because in 2006 Heyward Robinson and Richard Cline met in closed session in a City Building with the SEIU. I attempted to gain entrance to that meeting but was banned by the SEIU. That is where, behind closed doors ,Heyward Robinson and Richard Cline made their Faustian pact to support the SEIU in its demands. Shortly after the meeting the SEIU endorsed Richard Cline and Heyward Robinson.

Come election time the SEIU walked the streets of Menlo Park handing out election material that basically lied about Lee Duboc, Mickie Winkler and Nicholas Jellins, painting them as iniquitous villains out to destroy the quality of life of Menlo Park.

So what happened under Lee Duboc, Mickie Winkler and Nicholas Jellins? Well we got the new Safeway Complex on ECR and the Rosewood Hotel. Both properties are generating substantial tax revenues for the City of Menlo Park. They also dramatically improved the City's landscape.

What did we get with Heyward Robinson and Richard Cline. Well we got the UUT where millions of dollars were extracted from the residents. And what happened with this money? It was given to the SEIU in the form of egregious pay raises and benefits that are 43% higher than what people in comparable positions make in the private sector.

Heyward Robinson and Richard Cline have enabled a Union Kleptocracy at the expense of Menlo Park residents. What are the residents of Menlo Park are going to do about it? Well if you want higher taxes and continued urban blight on El Camino Real you should vote for Heyward Robinson and Richard Cline in 2010. If you want to eradicate the urban blight, increase tax revenues to Menlo Park, have smart developement that improves the quality of life for Menlo Park residents, and bring Menlo Park City employees pay and benfits in-line with the private sector then you are going to have to vote for two people who are not in the Union's pocket. The choice is yours.

If Menlo Park residents want to liberaste the City from the destructive alliance of the "Union Stooge" councilmen and the SEIU then you must become engaged in the political process and informed what is happening in your city. So when the SEIU and its far left confederates put out their ridiculous and mendacious election material you will throw it in the trash and vote for the people not endorsed by the SEIU.


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Posted by Big Daddy
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jun 6, 2009 at 11:29 am

Hank Lawrence either believes that our memory goes back only to what we had for dinner last night, or suffers from an ideology-induced amnesia that causes him to make chopped liver out of reality.

Winkler, Jellins and Duboc all supported the UUT. They are on the record as supporters. Check it out. By the time Cline and Robinson were on the council, replacing Winkler and Duboc, the tax had already been approved by voters.

His rant is also littered with absurd claims and suppositions. Mr. Lawrence, tell us: When you gave Heyward that big bear hug before he stepped "behind closed doors" to talk to the SEIU, did you pin an electronic bug to his coat? Is that how you know he and Cline made this momentous Faustian pact with the union that you speak of with such conviction? My, how you go on.

And tell us, Hank, what did Saints Duboc, Winkler and Jellins do to thwart the "Union Kleptocracy" during their tenure on the council? Salaries, benefits and pensions continued to rise during those years, but was there any resistance to the increases by your heroes?

Once again, we're subjected to the powerful and obnoxious odor of mendacity. Smells a little like chopped liver.


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Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jun 6, 2009 at 11:35 am

Hank:

If you have roof of this closed door agreement I would like to see it. If you do have proof, I have substantial issues with it. If you do not have proof, and you are making false ethical accusations, then I hope you have the fortitude to admit that.

Safeway came in under a council I supported before your precious Duboc Winkler disaster. I have records to prove it and I have friends on the neighborhood committee who made it happen without council help, who can back me up on that. It was a multi-year process.

I hope you have the fortitude to admit that you are lying.

I have records from the first meeting this council voted on the UUT and I have it on video with Cline and Cohen pushing for no tax and your precious Boyle voting for 1%.

I hope you have the fortitude to admit that.

Winkler and Duboc divided this community through mean spirited emails and unproven accusations against employees of the city. I have those emails and will print them here if I must.

Winkler and Duboc postponed raises for police and we lost 30% of our police force, there was great mismanagement and my community in Belle Haven suffered the consequences. The raises given by this council were a result of the past council sitting on its hands, talking bit and making no decisions.

The hotel on Sand Hill came to the city before your council was on the dais -- Jellins the exception. I have the agenda to prove it.

The bigger point here is this folks. The city is built and created over many council tenures and they all share blame and credit for what happens. But the way a council manages a city is just as important to me. I was very disappointed with the divisive politics of Hank's council members. I believe this council has had its share of mistakes, but we are much more civil with people like Hank deeply in the minority.

Hank, again, run if you think your ideas are mainstream and can help. But mean letters and caustic meandering notes referencing Atlas Shrugged is just ridiculous. Most of us got over that phase in our second year in college.

I suppose you view Gibboney and the Almanac as your own Ellsworth Toohey?

Sad.



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Posted by A Potential Stooge-in-Training
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 6, 2009 at 3:29 pm

Hank, a couple of questions:

1) When did you become the offical apologist/re-writer of history for Winkler/Duboc/Jellins?
2) Do you need to take a class or something to qualify for the job? (Maybe Dick Cheney is offering an introductory course or two online?)
3) How much does the job pay?
4) Do you need an assistant?

You know, it's a tough economy out there - so it's either this or cleaning out the inlet pipe at the GW Bush Wastewater Treatment Plant in San Fran (yea, I know, it's a tough choice!)


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Posted by Hank Lawrence
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 7, 2009 at 8:45 am

Truth is anything but. Truth is so apoplectic when anyone challenges the far left's disastrous policies that his/her judgment is affected to the point where he/she can no longer engage in rational discourse. Truth claims to have records to back him/her up; but unfortunately for truth so does the City of Menlo Park. These records are on-line and reveal Truth to be less that forthcoming with the truth. Truth's main concern is that the far left who are currently running the City Council, will like Icarus, metaphorically speaking, will crash into the sea. Please refer to the following minutes on the dates I reference below at the following web site: Web Link.

Fact # 1. The Safeway project was voted on by the City Council on November 8, 2005. This project was in the works for years with many community workshops. Both Safeway and the residents had reached a détente and the project was set for a final vote. Before the final vote was taken Fergusson & Cohen introduced a substitute motion that would have substantially altered the use permit. This substitute motion was voted down by 3-2 with Jellins, Winkler, and Duboc voting against the substitute motion and Cohen and Fergusson voting for it. A senior Safeway executive was at the meeting and walked out when Fergusson & Cohen introduced the substitute motion. Had there been one more Slocum disciple on the city council, the Fergusson/Cohen substitute motion would most likely have passed and Safeway would have most likely walked away from the project. The end result would have been no urban renewal for the Safeway. Fergusson, having been rebuked on her alternative motion did not want to go on the record as voting against the Safeway project and in the final tally voted for it along with Jellins, Winkler, and Duboc. Cohen abstained. Candace Hathaway, a Safeway Consultant, deserves a great deal a credit for making the Safeway project a reality. Every Menlo Park resident owes her a debt of gratitude.

Fact # 2. During the entire history of the Rosewood project there was no significant support from the "left" and much vehement opposition. The Rosewood project was voted on by the City Council on June 13, 2006. I attended that meeting. This is the famous "Runaway Councilman" meeting where Andy Cohen, in a fit of pique stormed off the Dais and went home. He abandoned his duties as a City Council member. Fortunately, the City attorney Bill McClure prevailed upon Kelly Fergusson to go to Andy's home and retrieve the Runaway Councilman. Ms. Fergusson had to recuse herself from the vote because her husband worked for Stanford. The vote was 3-1 with Jellins, Winkler, and Duboc voting for the Rosewood Hotel project and Andy Cohen voting against it.

Fact # 3. The UUT was recommended for passage by the Fergusson, Cohen, Jellins, Winkler, and Duboc Council in the Autumn of 2006 upon the recommendation of City staff. The City's auditor had presented his report to the City Staff on October 6, 2006- over 3 months after the close of the 2005-2006 fiscal year. The report stated that instead of an $800,000 deficit that there would be a $3,700,000 surplus. The City staff deliberately concealed the magnitude of the shift in this report from the Council and reported that there would be a "modest" surplus. Well $3,700,000 may be modest for George Soros; but for the average Menlo Park resident that would be considered to be quite generous. With this critical information being withheld by the City Staff from the public until after the election the UUT passed by 5420 to 5353 or a mere 67 votes or 0.62%. It is reasonable to assume had the City Staff released the actual budget surplus numbers in the October 6,2006 report prior to the election that the UUT would have been defeated.

Many people erroneously believe that the UUT measure in the November 7 2006 election made the tax mandatory. The measure allowed the City Council the discretion to impose a UUT if it were needed. It still had to be voted upon by the City Council. Until the City Council voted positively on the UUT there could be no UUT levied upon the residents. The UUT was voted on by the City Council on June 19, 2007. Contrary to Truth's false claims that Robinson, and Cline were against the UUT they voted for it. Don't take my word, and don't take Truth's word. Just go to the Council link above and read the minutes for the June 19, 2007 Meeting.

Fact # 4. There was a departure in the ranks of Menlo Park Police Officers and there were three primary reasons for them leaving. These are 1) Disaffection within the ranks with former Police Chief Chris Boyd; 2) The officers were divided upon who should become the next Police Chief. The two camps were the Bruce Goitia camp and Terri Molakides camp. When Bruce Goitia was chosen for the Police Chief position many of the officers in the Molakides camp chose either to retire or find other jobs. 3) Some police officers left because of the money.

Fact # 5. When Lee Duboc ran for her first term she met with the SEIU. They made some reasonable requests but they also made some improper ones. A Tiger does not change its stripes and neither does the SEIU. If the SEIU had nothing to hide why was I banned from attending the interviews with Heyward Robinson, Richard Cline, and Vice Bressler? Could it be that the SEIU did not want me listening to their "requests" to the prospective council members and the prospective council members answers that might possibly reflect their willingness to subordinate the interests of the residents of Menlo Park to those of the SEIU? No, the SEIU would not do that. Remember, this is the same SEIU that was investigated by the Labor Department for criminal embezzlement and racketeering.

Conclusion. These delusional revisionists claim they have films, minutes, etc. I have pointed you to where you can find the facts. Many projects do take years and can span more than one city council. But at the end of the day it is the City Council that votes on the project is the one that determines the project's fate. Previous councils cannot vote on them. I hope this clears things up.

Menlo Park cannot withstand much more urban decay and blight. On November 2, 2010 you can rejuvenate the City by voting for the candidates who will run against Heyward Robinson and Richard Cline. Heyward, in spite of his anger management issues and Richard in spite of his indecisiveness are nice guys. But we need council members with a vision who can act upon that vision is a timely manner. We can not continue to have analysis paralysis on the Council. It is time for fresh blood.


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Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jun 7, 2009 at 9:48 am

Here is the vote info from June 19th, 2007.

M/S Cline/Boyle to set the UUT at 0% for one year. Motion fails 2-3-0 with Mayor Fergusson, Vice Mayor Cohen, and Robinson opposing.
M/S Boyle/Robinson to set the UTT at 1%.

it is in the report. Hank just backs up my point.

There is not a financial audit committee or something created by this council to correct the misinformation cycles.

Duboc was endorsed by the SEIU back in 2002. Everyone meets with the SEIU. Lee desperately wanted to win so she sold out to her own views, if you take her as a hard core right winger like yourself.

Remember this folks, projects are kept alive and moving through councils. The final vote is most often already set up for success or failure as a result of past councils. Hank's rant overlooks this fact even when he knows it.

The police explanation by Hank is just ridiculous. How is it that all of those leadership issues are solved? it was about money, period. And the past council took an ideological stance rather than represent the city first not their own views.

This is what the current does very well. Represent the city first.

Hank, why does it take someone like me to get you to report the truth?

Safeway is the best example. Look what you wrote in your first post. The truth is this, that neighborhood and those folks didn't need any council to help them. By the time it came to council it was ready to go.

I will summarize again. Hank wants to drive a wedge in the community again. He and his folks thrive on division. The fact is that he wants to spin the truth into snippets of blame and credit to fit his needs.

Every point he makes has mold on it. It is an old rotting position based upon false info.

Safeway was an eight year project. No council should be waiving to fans in parades for that one.

Rosewood came in before Hank's twosome ever say on the dais.

The UUT was vote to zero by the same folks Hank claims voted to increase it. Even Boyle voted for 1%. See above.

Deboc took the SEIU endorsement proudly in 2002.

The police force is fully staffed and crime is down dramatically in our city. Taliban gang bust in EPA huge for me and my family.

We finally have a council putting a long-term plan together for our business community and for the downtown area (which I don't use because I cannot get there on shuttles).

Hank, you need to truthful here. I will track your posts and set the record straight.

If you look at your first post and your last, you will see how much I improved your writing. And you still need help with facts, but I guess that may be a lost cause.

You are welcome.








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Posted by Hank Lawrence
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 7, 2009 at 10:17 am

Truth,

Who are you? Do you really live in Menlo Park? Why don't you have the courage to reveal your identity? All I can tell about you is that you have really drunk Gail's Kool Aid. But I really do appreciate you helping me with my writing skills.


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Posted by Go Hank Go!
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jun 7, 2009 at 10:15 pm

I have never met Hank Lawrence, I don't even know what he looks like, but I will say what he states is at least 100% factual. He is very specific, dates, detail and all. In fact, most of the things he says, don't even require his opinion, they are in fact, TRUTH. This other individual who is so vehement with his opinions, never seems to have the detail, particularly of the very important information, like the actual decision. I dont care what happened leading up to the decision, or all the political rhetoric, I just want to know the decision. Mr. Lawrence is right, the SEIU has torn our budget apart, destroyed some decent reputations of council people, and continue to have a strangle hold of our decision makers. Wouldn't it be nice if we could make honest, constructive, well thought out decisions, without this bunch around??! C'mon "Truth" knock it off, [portion removed; see terms of use].


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Posted by Vavia
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 8, 2009 at 10:22 am

Yes, Hank, please go. Go very, very far.


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Posted by Kevin
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Jun 8, 2009 at 11:10 am

I just ignore what "truth" says. She always says the same stuff... nothing.

Hank, I appreciate your input and find it valuable.

I also think it is sad that in tight times like these, the council decided to give bonuses to people, like Glen, who make way too much for what they do.

It is like the city and the unions don't care that people are losing their jobs.

Who knew that working for the city can make you rich? Do kids tell their parents that they want to work for the city when they grow up? Maybe they should.

I hope the city takes the responsible approach and lower some of these high salaries and lay off a few non-essentials.


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Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jun 8, 2009 at 11:52 am

You can ignore the truth all you want, Kevin. It works for Hank.

Check the records on the bonuses and report back to us. I think you will find your request has already been acted upon.

This is the joke of a forum like this. Hard core right wingers rant all day with half information.

Those guys are out to kill all development.

Those people are out to give away all our money to unions.

Those folks are dumb and lack information or integrity.

If this town is so bad, then leave. Go move to Simi Valley.

I happen to think this town has been very well managed and I think most of the council (all councils) have the right intentions.

You don't. Fine. But don't get all snarky because you don't agree with me.

Get real and get informed and get involved.

I corrected Hank and I will correct him again if he has to continue down the path of misrepresentation.

I couldn't care less what the unions think about people and their jobs. I don't even know what that statement means. Blame unions because Google laid off a few hundred people?

If you looked beyond your ideology you would be able to form much more honest opinions about what is going on in Menlo Park.

That is it.




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Posted by Emma Rouault
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 8, 2009 at 1:46 pm

I admire Truth's clarity and adherence to facts. Hank presents his information in a forceful manner, but as Truth as pointed out, there is more "truthiness" than fact in what Hank says.

The current council is making mistakes, but that's inevitable. Considering what is happening beyond their control -- the economy -- they are doing a pretty good job, all five of them. Between 2002 and 2006 it was painful to go to a council meeting, to observe the council majority repeatedly ignore the best interests of our city, to adhere to their own short-term, self-serving agenda. Now we have a forward-thinking council that is making progress and moving ahead even in this wretched time when so many are unemployed and city revenues are stagnant.

The unions are an issue, but not ours alone. All over California, cities are dealing with out-of-control pensions, with thousands of former city employees taking in over $100k/year for the rest of their lives, even if they have other jobs. It's ignorant to blame our city council for union problems. Note that the police ARE rethinking their contract, proof that our council and staff are proactively working to contain costs.

Hank is not a dumb guy, but he needs to move beyond his obsession with Gail Slocum and koolaid. My finger-to-the-wind assessment indicates that the majority of Menlo Park residents are satisfied with the current council. To use a single brush stroke and paint us all as brainwashed or commies (!) is just pathetic.


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Posted by And It Continues
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jun 8, 2009 at 2:05 pm

Emma and Truth, I respect your posts, but there is never any quantitative detail that makes sense, it's always general history in your blogs. The problem is not that the current council makes mistakes, the problem is that the current council does not make any decisions to warrant any mistakes OR successes! It's just constant, "everything should remain the same".
There are never any tough decisions being made, the list is a mile long. If I picked up a copy of the Almanac 5 years ago, the same issues challenging the council would be there today. We want some action on: El Camino, Menlo Childcare, the budget, better negotiations with the unions, all of the development opportunites(and that list is REALLY long), plus I am sick and tired of looking at our business sector falling apart. The empty stores have been there long before this downturn in the economy. What has this council done, EXACTLY. I don't want to hear about what the state of California is, or is not, doing.
I am not satified with the way Menlo Park looks right now, I'm not satisfied with decreasing our rainy day fund, which OTHER councils contributed toward, I would like some tough decisions made, and some action. This is not a right wing rant, it's a moderate fella wanting more for his hard earned tax dollars!


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Posted by A Potential Stooge-in-Training
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 8, 2009 at 2:29 pm

Wow, Hank, in following up with my previous post about a potential new career for me, perhaps serving as your apprentice (if, of course, I would be deemed so worthy by yourself):

It appears that you get paid by the word. Do you, like, get a bonus for repeated use of certain key words and phrases (like "drink the kool-aid") and use of those big $10 words (like "mendacious")?

Is it hard coming up with the false names and associated stories you post to make it appear that there are many people out there that support your positions and methods wholeheartly (like "Go! Hank! Go!" and "And It Continues" above)?

I breathelessly await your response!


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Posted by Emma Rouault
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 8, 2009 at 3:20 pm

What quantitative details do you need? Note the article that began this thread: the city has managed to negotiate with the police to save $140k. That's the kind of quantitative data I like to see, but one that Hank will choose to overlook because it doesn't support his koolaid + evil-councilmembers theories.

Most of Hank's "facts" are distortions of the truth. Andy Cohen, for example, always supported the Rosewood, but if you take one vote out of context, it may appear otherwise. Hank's "fact" 3 is easy to refute: Nicholas Jellins did so himself in October 2006. See Web Link

I knew there was a surplus and so did many others!

I actually talked to Lee after her SEIU interview in 2002. I have spoken to other candidates after their interviews. I don't know that the unions make "improper" requests. Self-serving, of course, but I think it's reasonable for them to ask questions to determine whom they want to support. If I were an SEIU member, I wouldn't want Hank in that meeting either - imagine how my words might be distorted!

I don't like the unions and don't think they belong in Menlo Park, but it's not very useful to write them off as criminals. We have to live with them and make progress where we can. Baby steps.

Some of you seem to forget that we do not have a professional city council. The five members receive a few hundred dollars a month and some benefits. Essentially they are volunteers who get a modest honorarium. We are truly lucky to have five smart, capable people on our council right now (that hasn't always been the case) who are working pretty much for free.

Progress in five years? Well, if you have kids who play soccer, you've seen it at Lyle, Burgess, and other local fields. Kelly will have turf and lights soon. We have a new pool (well, it's sort of ours). We'll have new gyms soon. And there is real progress occurring on the El Camino front (there was nothing like the current effort five years ago -- that council didn't like to plan for the future). A few great new restaurants have opened in the Santa Cruz/El Camino downtown area.

I am not a pollyanna and I wish everything moved a lot faster. But let's not discount the fact that improvements have occurred and more are on the way.


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Posted by And It Continues
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jun 8, 2009 at 4:14 pm

I'll try to look at things a little more positive in the future Emma, and I do appreciate your comments. However, with a city our size, with the number of city employees, commissioners and council people, one would think we'd be able to get things done much faster, and efficiently??? In addition, the money this city has is a real asset, along with the brain power. We should be able to make much faster decisions, all be it, some of them being tough. The constant delay after delay, and study this, study that, has driven me crazy. Our town has a reputation for being very difficult to deal with, and somewhat "out of touch" with regard to being a service for the community. I heard the other day that the town wanted to charge the Otter Run folks $1,600 for the use of barriers and police presence. I think that is outrageous. The school is trying to raise money, and it had never been charged before??? What the heck is going on? I did hear that they may delay that cost this year, but next year may be a different deal. I just wish we'd start acting like a community, make some decisions faster and stop wasting time and tax payer's money.


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Posted by Hank Lawrence
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 8, 2009 at 9:38 pm

You have to love the left. The City gives the Sergeants an $860K raise when most other cities are holding the line and then they praise the city when the get back less than 1/6th of what they gave away in the first place. I can remember when Heyward said on camera at a City Council Meeting "Chief Goitia are the worth it and Chief Goitia said 'Absolutely' and that was good enough for me". Heyward is one adroit negotiator. Had Heyward conducted an arms length negotiation the pay raise would have been substantially less and there would have been no need for a giveback. The $140K giveback only ratifies how bad the negotiation was in the first place.

And we all hear how Andy Cohen loved the Rosewood hotel. Well if he loved it so much he would have voted for it rather than storm off the dais like a petulant child only to have the City Attorney have Kelly retrieve the "Runaway Councilman" so he could vote No. It is unbelievable how the far left makes excuses for Andy's truculent behavior. I have news for you lefties Andy voted against the Rosewood Hotel. Try to remember that and quit whining and making excuses for him.

The SEIU's closed-door meeting is an indication of deal making of the worst kind. Remember, the SEIU was investigated by the Labor Department for criminal embezzlement and racketeering. Can anyone give a good reason why would should attribute altruistic motives to these unsavory characters? I was admonished that I "should not write them off as criminals". Well if they engage in criminal behavior should I call them "Pillars of the Community"?

Nicholas Jellins, believing there was a $1.3Million surplus, endorsed the UUT on October 26, 2006. However the October 6, 2006 Auditor's report indicated there was a $3.7M surplus. So why did the City staff misrepresent the surplus to be less than one-third of what it actually was? So the question is would Nicholas Jellins endorsed the UUT if he were told the truth about the surplus being $3.7 Million? Well let's explore this further.

Suppose Mr. Jellins were to make an offer for a nice town home in Sharon Heights overlooking the golf course for $1.3 Million. The buyer agrees to sell and when the papers are presented to Mr. Jellins he sees that the price is $3.7 Million instead. Do you think he would go through with the purchase if the appraisal showed that the town home was only worth $1.3 Million? Of course he would. He is just dying to fork over his hard earned money for a town home overpriced by a factor of 3.

Now the far left will complain that is an unfair comparison. And if you think the way they do it is unfair. You see the far left believes that the $3.7 Million is the City's money and not the residents'. Furthermore, they believe that it is only the City's money until it can disburse it to the well deserving SEIU. Many of the people on the far left have the self-righteous belief that the City is entitled to all the money you earn and it will decide how much you can have back to live on.

This is why you have to vote out Heyward Robinson and Richard Cline and vote for two council members who believe that the money the City has fiduciary custody of really belongs to the residents. We want Council members who are loyal to the residents and understand that City Employees are there to serve the residents of Menlo Park. We want Council members who give City employees salaries and benefits commensurate to what the private sector gets and not 43% more. We want City Council members who are motivated by a sense of service rather than using the Dais as a springboard for higher office. Heyward Robinson and Kelly Fergusson are motivated by higher office. At least Andy Cohen and Richard Cline aren't. I will have to give them that. But neither Heyward Robinson, Kelly Fergusson, Richard Cline, nor Andy Cohen are serving the residents well. John Boyle is the only council member with a shred of common sense.


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Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jun 8, 2009 at 11:09 pm

Same boring stuff. What other comparable cities held the line in the last contract negotiations with the police? None.

I can't even decipher the ramblings about city money and Jellins and our money and lefties and vote em out and I love Boyle...

Keep going Hank and you will prove my point about your blatant lack of credibility.


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Posted by Alice B. Toklas
a resident of another community
on Jun 9, 2009 at 7:48 am

Of course you cannot decipher Mr. Lawrence's Blogs. Now I warned you about eating too many of my brownies. They can affect your cognitive abilities. Try staying off them for a couple of weeks and then perhaps the fog will lift from your head and you may experience an occasional lucid moment.


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Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jun 9, 2009 at 8:12 am

I get it. I am a hippie and I eat funny brownies because I am not a raging righty or libertarian.

Boring.


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Posted by G.S.
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jun 9, 2009 at 8:37 am

My Kool Aid is far more powerful than Alice's Brownies. And it doesn't give you the "munchies" either.


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Posted by Tony (where's my Penny Pincher) McMills
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 10, 2009 at 8:11 am

You people watch too much "Cable News" stink.


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Posted by Long Time Resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 10, 2009 at 3:41 pm

The problem remains that the union benefits are seriously unsustainable. The SEIU and the police and fire unions are the primary reason our city, county and state are in trouble. Bankruptcy is where all these governments are heading.

That route will force union members to accept wages similar to the private sector and retire in their mid sixties rather than their mid fifties.

It is common knowledge that our current council majority are strongly backed by the unions with campaign contributions, precinct walking and hit pieces on opponents. The union received a utility tax for their trouble that covers all their benefits.

Some of these blogs were undoubtedly written by union people.

Duboc, Winkler and Jellins were not well liked by the unions, in fact the SEIU almost struck in 2006. Because the unions were not allowed to take over the pool that year they successfully campaigned against those council members.

These union members are not residents of Menlo Park.


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Posted by Thanks "Long Time"
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Jun 10, 2009 at 4:49 pm

And there you have it, spoken very matter of fact, without ridiculous rhetoric, political grandstanding, or inflammatory remarks. Thank you "Long Time Resident". The sooner everyone starts to understand the math, the sooner everyone would understand our problems. Because math can be a confusing shell game, and because most people are not trained in the complexities of government budgeting and financing, we find ourselves mired in information that we don't understand, or we care to understand. As you so eloquently state: "That route will force union members to accept wages similar to he private sector...." - we should only hope! This would clean up majority of our mess! Thanks for your blog!


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Posted by Ken
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Jun 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm

"And there you have it, spoken very matter of fact, without ridiculous rhetoric, political grandstanding, or inflammatory remarks." (From above comment)

Can the above quote possibly be a reference to remarks like, "The union received a utility tax for their trouble that covers all their benefits." And, "Some of these blogs were undoubtedly written by union people." And, "These union members are not residents of Menlo Park."

The utility tax was passed to support the union? But why did Jellins, Duboc and Winkler support the tax, if they and the unions were such enemies? And I love the way the poster KNOWS that the union members are not residents of Menlo Park, and that some of the comments were "undoubtedly" written by union people. What nonsense.


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Posted by Michael Savage, Jr.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 10, 2009 at 6:47 pm

The "union" people being referred to are all city workers: the guy cutting the grass in the park, the receptionist at city hall, the library clerk, the childcare worker, the gymnastics instructor - yep, all just a bunch of blood-sucking vermin from out-of-state (probably illegals, to boot) trying to steal money out of our pocketbooks! They should all be deported back to wherever they come from, along with their goon henchmen like the Mayor! Take them all to Gitmo, I say - Dick Cheney is waiting, with a smile on his face!


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Posted by Hank Lawrence
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 10, 2009 at 10:20 pm

Fact # 1: Duboc, Winkler, and Jellins supported the UUT because the City staff misrepresented the surplus as being $1.3 Million rather than $3.7 Million.

Fact # 2: Lee Duboc went back to Council after the seating of the new council to ask them not to invoke the UUT once she found out the truth regarding the surplus which conveniently wasn't revealed to the public until after the election

Fact #3. Once Heyward Robinson and Richard Cline joined the Council, there were 4 City Council members endorsed and supported by Gail Slocum. Each one of these members had Slocum's re-election army behind them. These Slocum disciples did not even think about punishing those City staff members who deliberately misled the previous City Council.

Fact #4. The Slocum Council approved egregious pay raises and benefits to the SEIU after the UUT was passed.

Prediction: Unless the City employees pay and benefits are brought into line soon the City of Menlo Park will go bankrupt within 10 years.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 11, 2009 at 5:43 am

Working for the city should NOT make you rich. Period!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hank Lawrence
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 11, 2009 at 7:56 am

The SEIU representing almost one-third of the San Diego County work force says it has made "extraordinary" progress with the county in recent days toward forging a new contract that would incorporate pay and benefit cuts that the county wants in the coming fiscal year.

Members of the Local 721 of the Service Employees International Union and county negotiators are scheduled to meet again on June 25 and hope to emerge with a framework to take them a new contract, a SEIU representative said.

"We're not standing there with our hand out, stomping our feet," she said. "We recognize these are extraordinary times that call for extraordinary measures."

However, Nelson and other union negotiators said the union recoiled at the 25 percent pay and benefit cuts they said county negotiators sought. Supervisors control $727 million this fiscal year, a number that is projected to fall to $627 in the coming fiscal year.

"We're more than willing" to take the 10 percent pay and benefit cuts the county is asking, said Barbara Cayon, a nurse and also a member of the bargaining team.

"Our No. 1 priority is serving the public," said Tracie Morales, an SEIU spokeswoman. "We're here for people in this economic thunderstorm. That's the meaning of public service to us."

The City of Menlo Park needs to immediately enter into re-negotiations with the SEIU Chapter representing Menlo Park. A 15% reduction in pay and benefits should be implemented.


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Posted by Give me a HUMUNGOUS break!
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 11, 2009 at 9:38 am

Lawrence:
"Fact # 1: Duboc, Winkler, and Jellins supported the UUT because the City staff misrepresented the surplus as being $1.3 Million rather than $3.7 Million."

When The Emperor Jellins would say "jump," David Boesch always said "how high?" Any and all misrepresentations being done (UUT, pool, golf course, childcare, etc, etc, etc) was at the direction of Jellins, Winkler and Duboc (OK, maybe not Duboc - she was just a "how high"-er like Boesch).


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Posted by Hank Lawrence
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 11, 2009 at 11:28 am

Fact 1: The City Staff deliberately misrepresented the surplus so they could inveigle the City Council into supporting the UUT.

Fact #2: The golf course (built on top of a garbage dump) would have generated significant money for the City and would have been a resplendent addition. Golf Courses are beautiful. But the lefties would rather look at dog excrement on the trail then the lush beautiful greens.

Fact # 3: Tim Sheeper's excellent management of the pool has resulted in superior service and market rates with a substantial savings to the City. Now remember lefties the City owns the pool, not Tim Sheeper.

Fact # 4: The Taj Majal Child care center proposed by the Schmidt Council would have taken away from open greenspace, was a Jackson Pollack architectural nightmare, had seven kitchens, and would have cost more than $7 Million. This was supposed to by a childcare center; not a culinary academy.

The far left councils don't care how much of the residents money they spend as long as it makes the SEIU happy and supports their hobbies even when it is not in the residents' best interests.


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Posted by give it a rest
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 11, 2009 at 12:55 pm

I am tired of reading personal attacks, insinuation of sinister motives, selective representation of history ESPECIALLY when purporting to present "facts".


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Give me a HUMUNGOUS break!
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 11, 2009 at 9:23 pm

Ever notice how lies always take much longer to explain than the truth?


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Posted by Arthur Schopenhauer
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 12, 2009 at 6:41 am

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.

The irresponsible left in collaboration with the corrupt unions have engaged in the first and second stages. The third stage of truth is dawning upon us. It is we, the residents, who will reject their mendacity and duplicity and reclaim our city for ourselves.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity". He described perfectly the Far left in Menlo Park and the Unions.


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Posted by Nice Arthur!
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 12, 2009 at 11:07 am

Arthur speaks the truth! I find it odd that any time someone talks about unions being a positive influence on our society, that there are NEVER any numbers attributed to their "great successes"?? The only numbers that I have witnessed, with regard to unions, are the ones coming from the people that pay the taxes that pay the overinflated salaries and benefits. In addition, HISTORY is starting to capture these numbers. If you are for unions, and you believe they have a place in our society, how 'bout researching how much unions have helped our steel, textile and auto industries? I guess they can't stop there, so let's start going after entire states, like the state of California. There is NO WAY, on God's green earth, that ANYONE should be permitted to retire at age 50 with close to 90% full salary, and benefits for the rest of their life. That is outrageous, it is NOT needed, and it's robbery. In majority of the retirement cases, these individuals then go get another job, to augment this outrageous pay. This MUST stop, there is no middle ground here. I look at this as MY money being wasted, not "the tax payer's", not the "government's", it's MY money.


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Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jun 12, 2009 at 2:03 pm

Are we seriously gonna keep this going with Rush Limbaugh and his pals? This is just ridiculous repetition from the ideologues and the same three people purporting to be anything more.

Someone uses MLK quotes to support supressing the only legal organization that stood up for workers' rights?

MLK would be disgusted by your rhetoric.


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Posted by A Potential Stooge-in-Training
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 12, 2009 at 2:12 pm

Boy, Hank, using the name of an obscure 19th century philosopher as a pseudonym - I am so impressed!
Does that work with the ladies as well?

And using the follow-up penned as "Nice Arthur!" - brillant, only surpassed by your earlier entry penned as "Go Hank, Go!".
How DO you come up with this stuff?


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Posted by Once Again....
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 12, 2009 at 3:38 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names in this thread; see terms of use]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jun 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm

Read the entire post from the top and make your own opinions. This above post is almost a direct carbon copy of my post about Hank et al a week ago. No one here attacked the right first. No one here took on Lee and her friends first.

This is all a creation of Hank and the team to divide and now that they have run out of truth they are playing the poor me game.

We have serious issues that need serious people to deal with them.

This is not about unions and socialism, it is about our city and our future. And right now, if you look at the results of our budget against any city on the peninsula, you can argue that our leaders have done the best job of any.

That is a fact. But we should remain critical of this council and any moving forward. There are more hard decisions. But I believe this moderate council will make the right choices. And I know I am not alone thinking that.


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Posted by Hank Lawrence
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 13, 2009 at 7:47 am

Truth-NOT!, your caterwauling sounds like a La Traviata aria. And like la Traviata, you are a fallen women; but in a different sense. You and your other SEIU confederates cannot see that the game is over. When newspapers, the last bastion of leftist propaganda, say the pay and benefits need to be renegotiated at the statewide level it is only a matter of time before it happens at the City level. The longer the SEIU fights it, the worse it is going to be for them.

By August 2010 the State will be in such serious financial condition that the Unions will have to choose between significant layoffs or drastic reductions in pay and benefits. And with throngs of unemployed citizens waiting in the wings, eager to apply for City jobs at private sector pay and benefits, the Unions will have no negotiating power left and will fold like a bad card hand.

Heyward Robinson and Richard Cline, of course, will be given the boot for their reckless governance. The public backlash against those two for giving the Unions everything they wanted without regard for the fiscal health of Menlo Park, followed up with sham Union negotiations, will carry the day. So Truth, you can fiddle while Menlo Park is burning. Ultimately common sense will prevail and you and your ilk will be ridiculed and be left with no meaningful voice in the direction of Menlo Park. Thank God!


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Posted by A Potential Stooge-in-Training
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 13, 2009 at 6:56 pm

Brilliant, Hank, brillant!
(Perhaps you could forward that to Sarah P. - she's always looking to "borrow" material - that "thinking up stuff on your own" is not her long suit, ya know! Winking and simplistic catch phrases are her strengths, you betcha! Hey, perhaps you two should "get together"!)


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Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jun 14, 2009 at 10:14 am

We'll see if your panic is substantiated, Hank. But for now, it is just the same name calling and paranoia.

We will see. And I will be here to remind you of your poor prediction.

Trust me Hank, the world is not behind you on the union hate propaganda. Mickie is, but who cares?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by C'mon People
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jun 14, 2009 at 9:03 pm

You read these blogs and they're all about beating up poor Hank. If someone, anyone, anyone other than Hank, would read the facts and figures regarding the unions and how they are killing this state, and contributing GREATLY to it's budget woes, I don't think we'd have to read the ridiculous comments about Hank anymore. Love him, or hate him, the man is right.
Truth nor Potential Stooge will never see this, they're too busy ragging on Hank. My tax dollars are getting very, very tired of supporting costs that this state does NOT need, very, very tired. Even the SF Chronicle got it right this morning talking about the Waste Management Board @ $132K each, for...................what?! Same ol', same ol', let's spend more tax dollars for nothing gained, for zero services, or services we do not need. Unions and over paid government workers........PLEASE GO AWAY!!!


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Posted by Hamlet
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 15, 2009 at 8:35 am

Why is my comment being deleted??

I think that "truth" is Fergusson. There is no other explanation for her pro-council stance. She has to be one of them. Just a thought.

To "C'mon People":
Well said. There is so much waste in our government spending. It is an endless cycle. The voters have to do something about this.


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Posted by Hank Lawrence
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 15, 2009 at 9:48 am

I don't think Kelly Fergusson is Truth for the following reasons:

1. Kelly is not as smart as Truth

2. Kelly does not express herself as well as Truth

3. Kelly is focused on running for the Board of Supervisors when Rose Jacob Gibson's term is up. She does not have time for me. She is totally dedicated to getting elected to her next higher office.

4. If it is not about her then it does not matter.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by A Potential Stooge-in-Training
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 15, 2009 at 1:19 pm

But, Hank, I thought this was all about YOU!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hank Lawrence
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 15, 2009 at 2:52 pm

No that is the leftist philosophy. The Moderate philosophy is that it is about the residents of Menlo Park and not the Unions emptying the residents' wallets so they can live high on the hog and it is not about city council members who will always put the interests of the unions above the interests of the residents.

What a novel idea! A government that works for the people. Or as Marissa Tomei said in the film My Cousin Vinny "What a F**kin Disaster".


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Diana
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jun 15, 2009 at 3:30 pm

Kool-Aid sipping leftists ... union lacky council members ... bad council members... bad everyone except me... stupid everyone except m-zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...Can someone wake me up when Hank goes away? Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...


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Posted by Emily Litella
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 15, 2009 at 6:31 pm

Actually, Diana, Hank is leading a Ron Paul-type "Revolution" (with the catchy backwards "e" in revolution) - you know, the revolution that propelled Paul out of total obscurity into leading this great nation into Libertarian enlightenment as our new President-elect-for-life.

What? Oh, Ron didn't win the election. Got just 0.1% of the vote. Has now slid back into obscurity.

Oh. Never mind.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hank Lawrence
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 15, 2009 at 9:34 pm

Do you notice that everytime the far left is losing an argument that they change the subject? Ron Paul is relevant today as Heyward Robinson and Richard Cline will be in two years. Just an asterisk in the history of Menlo Park.


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