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Menlo Park: Lots of business on Planning Commission, council agendas

Original post made on Dec 9, 2013

Some Menlo Park city officials are cramming before the holidays, with a series of meetings scheduled during the next couple weeks. This week, the Planning Commission has a light agenda, while the City Council faces a lengthy one.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, December 9, 2013, 10:04 AM

Comments (23)

Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 9, 2013 at 10:50 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"The new designs are part of Menlo Park's attempt to rebrand itself with a more modern image."

Modern image = not a village anymore.


Posted by Gern, a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Dec 9, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Peter Carpenter, Champion of Fiscal Conservatism and Slayer of Unions, appears to condone the spending of $30K (and counting) on the design of a new city logo so long as it advances his anti-village campaign. Will we end up with a "modern" tree when all is said and done?! Why, oh why, are we wasting such a sum of money on something so trivial, and how many tens of thousands of dollars more will we squander updating all the affected city property with the new logo, assuming one is selected? Seems we could create a $1,000 scholarship contest for local middle and high school art students and arrive at a perfectly acceptable replacement, if one is truly needed.

Gern


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 9, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Not condoning the expenditure - just noting "Menlo Park's attempt to rebrand itself with a more modern image."


Gern has some great ideas as how it could have been done less expensively but, like many such ideas, they come after the horse has gotten out of the barn.


Posted by WhoRUpeople, a resident of another community
on Dec 9, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Is it too late to submit alternative logos. I was thinking just a small tree with 3 tee pees around it and the border around them being a moat with a couple of gators swimming around. tag line, "our village, our view, and we enjoy it". Kidding aside, I do think Gern's idea about the scholarship contest would have been a really cool way to have gone. THis day and age $1000 wouldn't go too far, but $5000 would likely have attracted some excellent young talent. Having been involved in rebranding projects with my employer, I can attest to the fact that it will cost more in the long run to launch whatever finally is approved. Its amazing all of the things that have to be redone, replaced, repainted, etc. One doesn't realize how far reaching it can be until you get in to it.


Posted by Dagwood, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 9, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Speaking for myself I think we have a good looking logo - eg it looks great inside the Arrillaga gym, and we are proud of our oaks. Sounds like a lame piece of consulting advice. How about just developing the city instead of 'branding'? Perhaps the design options will look good, we can see - But this has the potential for easy ridicule, if that's what city staff is looking for. Reminds me of the Specific Plan consultants who suggested removal of a nice set of trees on Santa Cruz Ave. Those who forget the past...


Posted by council watcher, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 9, 2013 at 1:34 pm

Did anyone know that the city was looking for a new logo? Having been involved with rebranding several different companies, I'd guess they were only considering the most expensive vendors. Given that the city is not a for-profit enterprise, an organization such as Taproot might design the logo for free. Though I like the scholarship incentive idea.

I also notice we seemed to have acquired a city mascot, Nutty, complete with expensive costume. I don't remember that being announced to the public either. And for obvious reasons, Nutty is not the best name for anyone's mascot, unless you're aiming for self-parody.

By the way, I think our tree logo is way better than Palo Alto's tree logo. It's got kind of an art deco thing going for it. But I would change the font, which looks dated to me.


Posted by small town character, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Dec 9, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Whether anyone likes it or not, and that includes Peter C, the specific plan visioning process identified that the vast majority of residents want the character of Menlo Park to be that of a small town or village. Menlo Park is of course a suburb, but the residents and businesses clearly don't want the Menlo Park character to become urban.

It's disappointing that Peter C keeps insisting that the SP process was the final word on anything related to development on ECR and downtown in MP but persists on ignoring the above fact about the visioning process. Get over it, Peter. It's what the participants said they want.


Posted by Old MP, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 9, 2013 at 1:52 pm

MP does not have to be urban. But the idea that it is a village or small town has long passed. MP is a small city of 32,000 residents.

Another near-by city to look at is Los Altos, population 29,000. Their downtown area is quaint and has back lot parking like MP. But down on ECR, there are larger buildings, etc.


Posted by whatever, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 9, 2013 at 1:52 pm

This is what you can get when you offer cash for a city logo contest. Amarillo's recent contest for a city logo.
Web Link

For all the Amarillo logo contest results - results at end of the article.
Web Link

Enjoy.


Posted by council watcher, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 9, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Sounds as though we don't all agree on village character? At the many meetings I attended, seemed as though everyone got it.

Village character doesn't necessarily mean blink-and-you'll-miss-it tiny. In fact, you need to have a critical mass of people for any real character to evolve. Village character, to those of us who actually participated in the sessions, meant walkable. It meant wide sidewalks, lots of retail, outdoor dining (Borrone++), and respectful traffic.

To me, Paris has village character, though it's a bit bigger than Menlo Park. And there are Manhattan neighborhoods that have village character. Village character serves individual residents and visitors, not corporate entities. There's one Eiffel Tower in Paris, and it's a major tourist draw, but that doesn't mean the city leaders are going to allow every aspiring billionaire to erect a competing tower.

That is all irrelevant to the logo. No one moves here for the logo. No one really cares except for the city employees, and it's a feel good move for them.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 9, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

CW- sounds like for you a village is whatever you want it to be.. That is very convenient but certainly explains why some people's idea of village got lost along the way.

And things like retail don't come because you think that retail would be nice but because there are customers. And customers bring traffic ala University avenue. And retail won't come if you eliminate traffic in order to widen the sidewalks.

You need to start thinking like a potential new MP business rather than as the defender of days past.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 9, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Correction:
Retail won't come if you eliminate PARKING in order to widen the sidewalks.


Posted by designers wanted, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 9, 2013 at 3:22 pm

I hope the city opens up the logo redesign process to the general public. I expect local firms would want to submit designs simply for bragging rights. Also, I really hope the original design is one of the options.


Posted by Look at shiny object, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 9, 2013 at 3:25 pm

While looking at the shiny object of a new logo did anyone notice the giveaway to city workers in exchange for "Concessions by the AFSCME four hours less for floating paid holidays" Really that's the best the city could get out of AFSCME. Time to get a new council.


Posted by council watcher, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 9, 2013 at 6:00 pm

Wrong again, Peter. Look at the comprehensive document the city released at the end of the public visioning process, the one that listed "village character" as top priority. It's full of drawings of pedestrian-friendly spaces and retail.

Not just my definition of village, but a vision shared by most who came to the input sessions.

I never said that anyone else in Menlo Park wanted our city to look like Paris. Some may, some may not. But my point was that you can create village character in small towns...and in large cities.

The residents want the village character. I don't think someone who lives in another town has any right to dictate our preferences to us.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 9, 2013 at 6:09 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"I don't think someone who lives in another town has any right to dictate our preferences to us."

Sorry, but my First Amendment rights trump your selfish preferences. And I probably spend more money in Menlo Park than you do and have three times been elected by your fellow citizens to serve on your Fire Board.

"The residents want the village character. " Some residents want what you describe and others have different idea of what exactly village character means. That is why there is a planning commission and a city council. And my experience as a Planning Commissioner trumps your unknown expertise on the planning process and how conflicting views have to be harmonized in order to produce a final plan.



Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 9, 2013 at 6:44 pm

"Village Character" is a subjective, nonsense phrase. Cities and planning departments operate using OBJECTIVE criteria. I have repeatedly challenged someone to provide an objective definition of "village character" and have yet to hear anything but a bunch of squishy subjective descriptions. My sense is it is because it means different things to different people which just confirms it is totally subjective.

It's time for our city to enter the 21st century. Our 60's logo is dated. I don't think it's worth $30k to design a new one, but a new one wouldn't hurt. I like the $5k contest idea. It's worked well in other areas.


Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 9, 2013 at 6:47 pm

Look:

you're quite right. one wonders if the council timed things so this ridiculous issue would come out at the same time to distract voters from the fact we're getting screwed again.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 9, 2013 at 7:23 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

As posted elsewhere in this Forum, I recently spent 10 days in an English village. Very quiet, narrow roads, no sidewalks, no high speed internet, no schools, no doctors, no hospital, no grocery store. no post office, no bank, etc..

And homes for sale if anyone wants to live in a real village.


Posted by whatever, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 10, 2013 at 11:38 am

Peter said -
"Sorry, but my First Amendment rights trump your selfish preferences. And I probably spend more money in Menlo Park than you do and have three times been elected by your fellow citizens to serve on your Fire Board."

Peter, all that huffing and strutting can't be good for you, it certainly isn't for all us serfs.

It sounds like you want the city logo to include you as the baronial Cheshire cat on one of the tree limbs smiling down on all those villagers less enlightened than you.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 10, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.


Based on this topic perhaps the words "By Anonymous" should be incorporated as the city's motto since MP residents clearly are afraid to us their own names.

P.S. In a REAL village everyone knows everyone else's names - it is hard to do that MP since it seems so few people have real names.


Posted by Moe, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 10, 2013 at 5:52 pm

Our current logo is clearly representing an Oak which is THE tree contributing much to the character of Menlo Park.
It is simple, has strength and does not need to be replaced simply because it has been around for 60 years.
While some of the proposed new logos may be artistically attractive I can not see the strength of the Menlo Oak in any of them.
Please keep a good thing going or at least consider keeping the old logo as a serious option in chosing our future logo.
Let's focus our energies to create a new image for Menlo Park on attractive, physical development of Menlo Park rather than a fancy - artistic logo.


Posted by Menloshopper, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 11, 2013 at 8:31 am

City Council did their best to keep from embarrassing staff with a clear rejection of alternative logos on Tuesday night. So thanks to them for some good sense and cutting our losses. One wonders whose idea this was, it shows such poor judgment. Apparently the logo project was buried in earlier budgets and perhaps not noticed by Council. The discussion topic was especially pathetic given the earlier appearance by our police chief describing recent shootings in east Menlo Park.


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