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Fergusson leads in MP election fundraising

Original post made on Oct 29, 2008

Kelly Fergusson has opened a wide lead in both fundraising and spending in the race for two seats on the Menlo Park City Council.


Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, October 28, 2008, 3:12 PM

Comments (53)

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Posted by Roger
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Oct 29, 2008 at 12:25 pm

That SEIU donation to Kelly Ferguson is interesting, in light of their contracts being negotiated. Who is going to make sure the Union requests for higher wages and pensions don't get "out of control"? I'm surprised The Almanac has not looked at this?


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Posted by EPM
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 29, 2008 at 1:45 pm

The "pay-off" happened last night. Ms. Fergusson, after receiving a $1,000 donation on October 3rd from the SEIU Local 421 PAC, located in Sacramento, CA, voted in favor of an additional 2% to be added to the previously scheduled pay increase for Menlo Park city employees.

If not illegal, it was certainly inappropriate for Ms. Fegusson to have participated in this vote. The $1000 from the SEIU was in addition to $1,400 in donations from other unions. How can a person with a Phd from Stanford NOT see this as inappropriate? Would it be difficult to take one baby step further and call it a bribe?


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Posted by EPM
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 29, 2008 at 1:56 pm

Another comment on Ms. Fergusson's collection of donations.

48% of her cash donations have come from outside Menlo Park. This is TWICE the percent of donations for the other two candidates that have come from outside Menlo Park.

Hey! I'm mature enough to know that money is money. And politicians do not have a strong record of concern about where it comes from. But this is a small city election. Why is it necessary to get over $8,600 from outside our city. That's about 75% of the TOTALS collected by each of the other candidates.

Sorry. But that begs the question of just who's interest will Ms. Fergusson be representing in the city council.


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Posted by Roger
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Oct 29, 2008 at 2:14 pm

I did not know this? Why doesn't anyone pay attention to this stuff? We need to make this type of information public. The Union pensions are KILLING California, and will soon be eating away at our own city's budget, if it hasn't already. I wish I could retire at age 50 and collect my salary! Atrocious!


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Posted by follow the money
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 29, 2008 at 2:21 pm

Nice try, but almost 100% of Rick's donations have come from developers and real estate interests. Obviously, if he were to be elected, he would be morally required to recuse himself from any and all development discussions.


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Posted by Wide Angle
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 29, 2008 at 3:10 pm

The issue of Union Influence is not the same as that of land owners. Land owners (some like the word developer because it sounds bad) don't have the same grip on candidates, in most cases don't have a fraction of the money or organizing either. The Unions have huge bank accounts and pre-paid organizers to assure they will get bigger bennies year after year. Read the paper, Ms. Follow The Money. Can you spell Vallejo? Or Oakland? Or State of California? Towns aren't going to go bankrupt from some housing development or office building!


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Posted by Derelict
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 29, 2008 at 3:26 pm

Are we going to hear old world fear mongering about "developer influence"? No project is getting through the city's process without being good stuff, not now, not last year. Aren't we tired of vacant lots? We blew the Derry project, its frozen, missed the window to get something built. Other land owners are going to sit tight because Menlo Park doesn't want them to build. Does anyone think Morris Brown is going to bring us new buildings and bring in restaurants and residents and the new (full rate) taxes that come with them?


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Posted by Nice Try
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Oct 29, 2008 at 3:49 pm

"Follow The Money", you must be for Ferguson, you're really bad at math. I know Schlein is a VC @ $2,500.00, and Lohmann is in Finance @ $250.00, so my quick math would say that your "100% of Rick's donations have come from developers" comment, is overinflated, AGAIN, and that's only with a quick take at 2 donors. Also, since when did becoming a Realtor, meant you were a developer? Funny spin you "no growthers" and The Almanac puts on things.


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Posted by Mad as hell
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 29, 2008 at 5:11 pm

Fergusson is not voting in the best interests of Menlo Park. All the outside money she is getting; all the union money she is getting. And, then, low and behold! She votes for a raise for employees who are members of a union that just gave her $1,000!

I've heard she is running for higher office in a couple of years. So, so long Menlo Park! She doesn't care whether our city is fiscally in trouble. Typical political hack.


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Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Oct 29, 2008 at 9:08 pm

Boyle took $50K from developers and a lot of that money was from developers with projects in the queue. All you sloppy conservative, rich West Menlo monkeys can lie to yourselves, but we know Rick is another in a long line of sell outs. The dispicable thing about Boyle and his boys is that he has yet to reject one project in his tenure. Developers aren't all bad, but politicians who try to claim undue influence but yet are the most egregious violators of the very same conduct they purport to reject, need to go.

In two years I will publish every vote and back up all of this with pure facts. We need to find new candidates unconnected with this group of vicious richies.

Vote for incumbents, the argument to unseat is weak at best.


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Posted by andy supporter
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Oct 30, 2008 at 5:41 am

Everyone should note that Judge Andy Cohen did not take money from any union that was to have contract negotiations with the City. I note he is being left out of this discussion, which is as it should be.

Those who think Fergusson is being influenced by union money, and she may well be, can do one of two things. You can vote for Rick, who without a doubt is in the pocket of the Chamber of Commerce and land developers. Rick represents the worst possible choice. He along with Boyle will seek to appease all the land owners and developers.

Or you can just vote once. That is don't vote for two candidates, but only cast one vote and cast that for Judge Cohen.

Now what does all this mean. Well if Judge Cohen gets the most votes in the next election, it will be he that would most likely be in line to again serve as mayor, not Fergusson.

The comment above from "wide angle"

"Towns aren't going to go bankrupt from some housing development or office building!"

represents the worst kind of thinking. Developers are greedy and just want to feather their own nests. They don't care about the quality of life in Menlo Park, just let them build higher and denser and they will take the money in truck loads to the bank. A vote for Rick is the worst possible choice. I'm casting one vote only and that is for Judge Andy Cohen.


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Posted by observer
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 30, 2008 at 8:50 am

andy supporter, I am with you. I already voted and cast a single vote for Andy. He is a highly principled and honorable member of the council who said at the beginning of the campaign that he would not accept donations from anyone who was likely to appear before the council. Andy has no higher political aspirations; he wants only to serve Menlo Park and its residents. He has worked to bring opposite sides together, which is what Menlo Park needs, and always tried to be fair and even-handed.

Although the article indicated that Rick had raised the least money to date, I bet that in the final tally he will have raised the most. He took out a half page ad in the Almanac this week, thousands of dollars there, and the stickers on each copy of the paper probably set him back a few thousand more. There are some deep-pocketed backers whose names won't be public until after the election, but I think we can all guess what sort of names those will be.


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Posted by Ciardella Supporter
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Oct 30, 2008 at 9:42 am

Wow, you Andy supporters are really angry. You guys are so angry that I bet you're going to make absolutely, positively SURE that our abandon car lots, vacant buildings and blight continue. It's a great strategy, keep that blight current, and people will not come. It works, keep it up! Thank you for being model citizens, and your continued support of having a prosperous community. I am so glad you guys are retired, and have extra time to devote to increasing the blight!
P.S. "EX-Judge Andy Cohen"


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Posted by EPM
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 30, 2008 at 10:26 am

Dear Andy Supporter,

Have you ever heard of the AFL-CIO? It's the national association of most unions. Is it too dificult to imagine that the member unions within the AFL-CIO don't coordinate their efforts. All the donations for Mr. Cohen and Ms. Fergusson came from AFL-CIO unions. They are very smart, professional organizers. As a registered Democrat I'm well aware of their organizing power in elections. I'd expect they'd be talking to each other. I'd be disappointed in them if they were not. That's their job.

If you take the time to look at Mr. Cohen's campaign contribution filings you'll see that he's received $100 MORE money than Ms. Fergusson has from unions ($2,500 vs. $2,400). So since his total cash contributions are much less than Ms. Fergusson, the union contributions compose a greater percentage of his total contributions. Does that surpise you? And since the unions that gave to Mr. Cohen are virtually the same as though that gave to Ms. Fergusson, do you think their motives were different? And do you think that it might be possible that since the police unions have not shown up yet in the campaign reports that they were smart enough to not be so blatant. By the way, Mr. Cohen also voted last Tueday evening for the extra 2% bonus for the TEMPORARY workers in the Menlo Park work force. So do you think the folks in the unions that donated $2,500 to Mr. Cohen are also shouting "Mission Accomplised"?

It will be interesting to see the final campaign reports that are filed after the election is over. I can assure you that I'll not be the only one that will be looking at the final reports.

Again, I'd point to the intelligence of both Mr. Cohen and Ms. Fergusson. They have both completed a challenging path of education to complete prestigious degrees. They have also had careers that exposed them to how the world works. They are neither naive nor stupid. They clearly understood the magnitude of the funds received from unions is at least questionable if not inappropriate. It doesn't take a great deal of imagination to make a connection that their is the "appearance" of impropriety. And now, so soon after receiving these funds, participating in a vote that gave a "bonus" pay increase, above and beyond the increase that was already planned.... please. It's like calling the voters stupid.


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Posted by land owner
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 30, 2008 at 10:27 am

i believe Andy Cohen is a well principled person but you have to note how much influence his "kitchen cabinet", including Morris Brown, have in the halls of City Hall. The Ciy Staff panders to this group out of fear of being called out in public hearings, blogs, etc.


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Posted by interesting
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 30, 2008 at 11:32 am

How would land owner know this stuff unless he was just a bit more than a land owner?

The case has obviously been made that our local leaders have potential interest conflicts and we need to keep a close eye on them, but respect them.

Gosh, after all the drivel vitriolic drivel above, we are back where we started.

This is so Menlo Park.


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Posted by Long-time resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 30, 2008 at 12:29 pm

One of the things that makes the union contributions so problematic is that ALL labor negotiations go on behind closed doors. We the people do not see the "fruits" of the discussions/negotiations/closed door votes until the employee contracts are fully born and ready to be voted on. THAT is what makes the union money so different from all other money obtained by our elected officials.

We have to have people negotiating for our City who have no "dog in the hunt". We all know what is going on and the long-term implications of defined benefit pensions for people at younger and younger ages. Right now, the taxpayers will be supporting retired government workers for decades when they are no longer working for us. The system cannot keep this up. We need our leaders to be able to say, "enough is enough."


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Posted by Long-time resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 30, 2008 at 12:29 pm

One of the things that makes the union contributions so problematic is that ALL labor negotiations go on behind closed doors. We the people do not see the "fruits" of the discussions/negotiations/closed door votes until the employee contracts are fully born and ready to be voted on. THAT is what makes the union money so different from all other money obtained by our elected officials.

We have to have people negotiating for our City who have no "dog in the hunt". We all know what is going on and the long-term implications of defined benefit pensions for people at younger and younger ages. Right now, the taxpayers will be supporting retired government workers for decades when they are no longer working for us. The system cannot keep this up. We need our leaders to be able to say, "enough is enough."


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Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Oct 30, 2008 at 12:46 pm

And the comment above shows the true lack of understanding.

Union negotations are never public in any city anywhere. To blame this council for that is a joke. Boyle flaps abouts it to keep his base happy, but even in the position he is in, he does nothing because the issue is bigger than Menlo Park.

Just ignorant stuff.

I am glad we pay our police well. I am aware that Winkler and her band also gave unions raises before she decided against it. It is just foolish to buy into the slop Gilles and Winkler and Duboc are throwing out here just because they lost so bad two years ago.

And let's again try to keep some kind of reality here. Should I demand that developers reveal their plans for Menlo Park to the entire public before going through the process and then tell us all exactly what their profit will be on the deal? Is that something we should do? Do you think developers want to be forced to tell us all exactly how much money they plan to make?

Boyle never brings that up. Ciardella is so wishy washy he couldn't take a stand if the election depended upon it. Oh, it does.

But the other big special interest here is development.

Wake up and smell what you are shoveling. If you want reform, then reform it all. If you want your red-state politics protected, that is fine, but it really lacks authenticity here doesn't it?


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Posted by One Hand Clapping
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Oct 30, 2008 at 12:49 pm

Wow, our city officials sure are cheap! If all it takes is a lousy $1K campaign donation to buy the ex-mayor, I'm surprised we don't all own a pet councilman.


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Posted by Robert
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Oct 30, 2008 at 3:21 pm

I am trying to find the coorelation between Unions and Developers. Let's see, the Unions over inflate, and "fight for" all types of benefits and outlandish "extras" for employees, that in all likelihood, do not deserve them, or if it were in the private sector, would never be able to receive those wages and benefits. The "developers" OWN this land, outright, and in most cases already have been zoned commercial, but every person that lives in MP, has the opportunity to comment on the site, put together a petition to protest the site, and basically make it really, really hard for someone that again OWNS this property, to build on this site.

"Truth" you are missing the point about what America is all about. Who cares what the developers make? They can make as much as they want, or what the market can bear. You should have NO control over this. If you want control over this, move to some other country that supports Socialism. This is ridiculous!
By The Way: Boyle voted AGAINST the Unions suggested salary increase, just this past Tuesday.


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Posted by greed 101
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Oct 30, 2008 at 4:04 pm

If people should be allowed to do whatever they want with their property, let the victors enjoy their spoils, then let's just get rid of the city government because it serves no purpose.

You people who whine about employees getting raises are the same ones who would wail loudly if the cops or librarians quit to take better paying jobs. You can always find something to complain about. Personally, I think our city workers are underpaid, given that they have to deal with residents like some of the posters on this board.


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Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Oct 30, 2008 at 4:04 pm

No Mr. Palin, you are missing the point.

Unions provide benefits and employees with rights they would have never had if left to the devices of corporate entities. Corporations serve shareholders so the two are not mutually beneficial. Keep costs down and commodotize employees and shareholders win.

Developers cross this path when it comes to our politics my friend.

If you are so short sighted as to not see a conflict of interest when a council member accepts thousands of dollars from a corporate for profit entity looking for approvals from that same council member, then I am wasting my time here. You should run for office and we will all show you how we feel democratically.

Unions are not for profit no matter how many movies you watch.

They stand up for people who take out the trash and mow lawns. People who work hard and have no real ability to barter for improvements. If you are against that, you are against most of what America stands for.


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Posted by Robert
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Oct 30, 2008 at 4:35 pm

Hey TRUTH, "Unions provide benefits and employees......", if the employees don't like it, then perhaps they should CHOOSE to do something else? Maybe retool themselves and CHOOSE a different career? Why is the taxpayer required to boost someone's compensation and benefits, artificially?

If you don't think "Unions are for profit......", then why are some of their officials some of the highest "non-profit" officials paid?

Employees ALWAYS have the CHOICE to go somewhere else, THAT is the beauty of a Free Market Economy. Again, it's not MY job to make sure they are getting what they think they should be getting, it's THEIRS.


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Posted by Minnie Wages
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Oct 30, 2008 at 4:38 pm

Do you like weekends? Thank the unions. Opposed to child labor? Thank the unions. Opposed to dangerous sweatshops? Do you use sick leave? Do you think business would offer any of these things to employees if they hadn't organized and fought for them?

I'm appalled that the idea of people banding together to improve their working conditions, wages and benefits is being villified in this way.

I assume it's the greedy corporate overlords who are so vehemently against any of the peons of the community striving to make a living wage.

I'm not in a union, and I'm not a CEO with an 8-figure annual salary, either.


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Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Oct 30, 2008 at 4:55 pm

Mr. Palin, to continue to try to explain the great value of the unions over the past century is to waste time. You have no interest in finding a new way to view something, you are poisoned with anti-union and probably anti-democrat sentiment so why have this discussion?

As for our city, I understand the necessary concern about conflicts of interest and I agree with those concerns. The sheer fact that unions are the only source of that conflict is misleading. Developers are the other major political funding group and they outspend unions in funding by many multiples.

And if you know a little about our great city, you will also know that the same names of people who claim to only be in real estate, throw their money and effort into developer funded candidates to benefit the same purpose. Only David Bohannon and Roxy Rapp gave money to Boyle's challengers.

Mr. Boyle is anti-union and he has an axe to grind because his outsourcing ideology caused him great pain during his run for council. He talked as if he was beyond reproach, yet accepted $50K in developer money from the same companies who's projects he later enthusiastically ratified.

That, my friend, is a massive conflict of interest. And since he is the principal backer of Mr. Ciardella, has lost my vote for Ciardella.


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Posted by Robert
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Oct 30, 2008 at 11:47 pm

$1.25 Million spent by the Teachers Union to defeat Proposition 8. Unbelieveable. All the hardships that our schools are experiencing right now, and THIS is where one of your wonderful Unions spends it's money. I won't even start on tenures. And "Minnie Wages", are you stuck in a time warp??? Everything you have mentioned was granted 20, 40, 60+ years ago! Unions are outdated, that's why we have OSHA! If they were a good thing, city employee pensions wouldn't be strapping small cities like MP, U.S. Steel would still be making steel, U.S. Autoworkers wouldn't be paying $1,000.00 per car, before a car has even started on the assembly line.
Our Unions have become legalized Marxism that no one wants to talk about for fear of not being elected. Mark my word, someone will wake up in MP, but it will be too late by then to fix this overinflated craziness!
P.S. "Truth" be "truth"ful, Ciardella would never had have your vote, at least be honest on these blogs!
P.S.S. Developers = Jobs and money for the city, whereas Unions = Major costs for the city, this is very easy math for any one of any party to understand.


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Posted by i'm with truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 31, 2008 at 8:34 am

Robert, were you really writing the above at 3 am?

If developers bring only good and no bad, how come every city has ordinances restricting their behavior? Fact is that developers will do whatever makes them the most money, whether or not it's in the best interests of the community. And their thoughtless greed can have a permanent negative impact, especially when land is as expensive as it is now. A developer's greed can cost a city big bucks in perpetuity.

Not to say that developers are evil. Just that it's their job to push for the most they can get, and it's the government's job to push back. If the government just rolls over, or if the moneyed class is the government, then you have oligarchy. I'd rather pretend, at least for a while, that we are still living in a democracy.


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Posted by Minnie Wages
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Oct 31, 2008 at 1:28 pm

The American auto industry's problem is unions? Get real. Consumers didn't abandon Detroit because the cars and trucks were too expensive, but because they are lousy.

There's nothing Marxist about people wanting to get the best salaries and benefits for themselves that they possibly can. That's capitalism.


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Posted by Robert
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Oct 31, 2008 at 2:50 pm

I guess we have a major difference in opinons, to me:

"....because they were lousy." Has lots to do with the company's paying too much for their labor, and now they do not have the money to put toward R&D. If they did, we would think certainly by NOW they'd have their act together, and build better cars. It's been since the early 80's when Japan etc., started kicking our butts.

"...best salaries and benefits..." True, however to overinflate the cost of that labor force, just because the "big bad company execs are taking advantage of us", does not work. If these individuals do not like that particular job, they need to leave, or again, retool and get a job making more money. Our own city employees, are good people, bright people, deserving of a high salary people, however............why should we be paying salaries "forever", once they retire, for these people?? That's just crazy. I'm struggling to find anyone in the valley that offers this type of compensation to their employees. The Unions are to blame for this.

Unions just don't work, again we have OSHA.


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Posted by stick to facts
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Oct 31, 2008 at 4:55 pm

There is too much innuendo and not enough facts. Neither Cohen nor Fergusson have said that they intend to return outsourced functions to be staffed by city union employees. If you know this, prove it!
Cohen has not accepted any money from the unions of city employees (police and SEIU). Both seem to respect the fact that the employees provide services our community expects, and they have to compete for quality employees with pay and benefits just as private companies must.


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Posted by integrity rules
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Oct 31, 2008 at 5:16 pm

This thread has gotten somewhat off topic. Both Kelly and Andy have gotten support from a broad swath of the community, a few organizations (such as the unions) but mostly from residents of Menlo Park. I would hope that anyone who runs for council isn't so lacking in integrity as to be willing to sell her/his soul for $1000 contribution! Andy, in particular, would never have served so many years as judge if he were so easily bribed.

The unions donate money to candidates they believe to be open-minded and fair. Unions have been donating to local campaigns for years, and if there were any evidence that their contributions led to corruption, I am sure our hometown sleuths would have uncovered and publicized it. Instead, all we have is innuendo from a former mayor who should be ashamed of herself for spreading unfounded rumors. Stupid me, I voted for her too.

We got four mailings from Rick today at my house, sent first class. Wonder who is financing him?


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Posted by No Way
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Nov 1, 2008 at 10:01 am

Being very familiar with Rick's campaign, I question YOUR integrity, "Integrity Rules", Rick only did ONE mailing, not four, ONE. Stick to the facts, please do not lie. Thank you.


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Posted by integrity matters
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Nov 1, 2008 at 11:26 am

Perhaps Integrity Rules was referencing 4 separate postcards?
Please explain how it's ok for Rick to violate rules about mailings. These are supposed to show an address so it's clear who sent them. As I understand it, there are state rules requiring this. We don't need scofflaws. Integrity does matter.


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Posted by integrity rules
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Nov 1, 2008 at 12:34 pm

Yes, there were four identical postcards. With at least one grammatical error that I spotted, so at least I don't think he's using professional campaign managers, as his predecessors did. The cards do not have an FPPC number or show who paid for them.

Similarly, his Almanac front page sticker does not indicate that it's a paid ad, so a casual observer might think the Almanac endorsed Rick, which is not the case. Compare to the McKeithen sticker on the Weekly that clearly states that it is an ad.


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Posted by EPM
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 1, 2008 at 2:07 pm

It's interesting how this string of posts has waundered around the basic facts of the source of contributions for the three current candidates. The forms filed by each of the candidates provides the details if anyone whishes to read them, as I have.

We've got the claim that going back to the last election councilmember Boyle recived $50,000 for developers. Wow! I'm impressed he could muster that much financial support. But the occupation of each contributor is available on the forms (along with the name, address and amount donated). So if you have the facts, I'm sure the other posters would be interested in seeing them. Was evry contributor listed as a "developer". It's also interedting that since Mr. Boyle has been on the city council there has been no opportunity for him to take a contrary vote on any developments. So the return on those contributions have been ZERO. But the return on the SEIU union contribution has been fantastic. They got an annual return of 25 times the $1,000 they gave. And that gift will keep on giving as future pay increases are built on a large base.

I posted earlier that Mr. Cohen has received $2,500 from unions. That's 18% of his total. A total of 26% of his contributions came from persons or organizations outside Menlo Park.

Ms. Fergusson received $2,400 from unions. A total of 47.7% of her contributions came from persons or organizations outside Menlo Park. Since she received the most money of any of the candidates that adds up to $8,620 from outside Menlo Park. That's nearly the total amounts (to-date) reported by each of the other candidates. If you look at the names and addresses of this outside money you'd find an interesting correllation. It would seem that as she goes around the Bay Area representing Menlo Park on the many political committees and commissions, she drags a contribution bag with her.

Mr. Ciardella did receive his largest contribution ($2,500) from Mr. Ted Schlein. Mr. Schlein is a venture capitalist. That's a title held by a significant number of Menlo Park citizens, but I don't see the connection with "developer" as claimed in an earlier post.

The total contributions for each candidate that come from people with Menlo Park addresses comes out as follows:
Ciardella $7,880
Cohen $10,013
Fergusson $9,460

Under this definition, the difference between the candidates is not very large. That makes it a realtive point of interest when you see that Ms. Fergusson nearly doubled her money through contributions from outside the city. What's the story? Is she totally focused on Menlo Park?

The final reports will be filed after the elections are over. then we'll see


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Posted by yes let's see
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Nov 1, 2008 at 3:02 pm

Do bear in mind that Cohen did not accept any contributions from unions representing city employees.

I believe that current Council votes regarding union contracts have been unanimous. So much for your theory about who is influenced by whom.
You conveniently do not mention property owners such as Crittendon (owns Park Theater) who donated to Ciardella. What should we think about that in the midst of a campaign that says "hurry up" development on El Camino?


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Posted by Let's look again
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 1, 2008 at 3:18 pm

"It's also interedting that since Mr. Boyle has been on the city council there has been no opportunity for him to take a contrary vote on any developments."

Simply not true. He has been the contrary vote on many issues, including a number that have been related to development. His stance has been that developers need to make a profit and that the city should not stand in the way of their plans.


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Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Nov 1, 2008 at 4:39 pm

December 2006, Summerhill Homes at 75 Willow (reaffirmed with a yes)
1906 El Camino Avenue, Medical Offices (yes)
321 Middlefield Road, (yes)
Dumbarton Station Area Study (committing the city to 2200 homes)(yes)
Habitat Homes in Belle Haven (opposed by Belle Haven) yes

He reaffirmed the Housing Element commiting Menlo Park to more than 1800 homes in six years.

He approved high speed rail, which is essentially going to develop a half dozen cities between LA and SF (this is a developer's wet dream) with no business plan, no financial plan and no idea as to how Menlo Park will avoid having homes and businesses purged.

He has never voted against a development project.

He even overruled residential appeals when neighbors (numbering in the dozens) petitioned to uphold bigger home developments.

Not a single vote in two years.

Facts are facts folks. And Rick is Boyle's boy. Avoid packing a council with the same trigger fingers of Winkler and Duboc.


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Posted by wide angle
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Nov 1, 2008 at 6:07 pm


"truth"....Yikes, you have some correct info, and some wild imagination mixed in. The e virulent imagination does not help your town or your candidate(s). I had to check (big fun on Saturday, Thanks) but here's some data from info available on City website:
- the Dumbarton Station Area Plan did not commit Menlo Park to ANY homes. You confuse "possible" with "will" - its also "possible" the land will sit idle for eternity. Any project needs to be publicly vetted, as I suspect you know.
- Habitat homes in Belle Haven were NOT opposed by "Belle Haven" - there was no such consensus on Sevier, what street are you on? Do some local residents have concerns? Yes. Do some local residents support it? Yes. See testimony.
- Boyle never voted against any development project? Try again. The Fergusson proposed subsidy of the Park Theater was voted against by Boyle, despite the fact that one of his bigger contributors (the current owner, Crittendon) wanted the subsidy to happen. And he opposed (1-4) letting the developer/owner of a property in the middle of our industrial zone get a variance to put a child care center in the midst of multiple, existing businesses who regularly handle dangerous materials.
- Boyle has tried to support projects that were publicly vetted - if you ended up the minority objecting, slinging lies is a way uncool whine.
Sorry, you probably mean well, but your new name is "hubris". Look it up.


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Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Nov 1, 2008 at 11:19 pm

Ah yes, the "possibly" votes.

Possibly 2200 homes but not sure? So why vote for it if we aren't protected?

Possibly a 23 foot burm right through Menlo Park with the high speed rail. Possibly a $100B budget for a dream train with no business plan.

Possibly is not nearly good enough.

Your tired lies are too much.

Belle Haven will formerly oppose the Habitat project before end of year and I urge you to attend one homeowner's association meeting (I live here so I should know).

The Park was a development project? Maybe I am wrong but I thought that was a misguided attempt by councilmembers to get the city to buy it. If it was, then you have one. Congrats.

Boyle opposed a child center in Belle Haven. Thanks for bringing that up. What a joke. I live down here and because he wants to save the area for more development with his funders (Tarleton) he votes to kick out local child care. And the lawsuit that followed by his developer buddies to kill the child care? Failed.

At least Andy and Kelly had our backs.

He opposed a majority of parents from the MPCC who begged to keep the center the way it is.

He does oppose ideas just not development ideas.

Anyone reading this can do the research too and find your vague history rewrite. And when they do, they won't vote for Rick either. Or Boyle in two years.

And he took money from Matteson (with a pending project) and O'Brien (Derry guys) without even considering the conflict of interest. Andy wants to fix both types of stuff by reforming our election process.

So, to wrap this up back to the topic.

He has a major conflict just as big as any union support. He supports Rick. Doesn't mean he is a bad person, just means you union haters need to get your head on right.


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Posted by Follow the Money
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 2, 2008 at 9:12 am

- Boyle didn't take money from O'Brien/Derry. Get your facts straight.

- Boyle did get campaign support from Matteson two years ago. There have been exactly zero votes by the MP city council on Matteson projects since then.

- Fergusson, Cohen, Robinson, & Cline got massive support in the form of donations, campaign mailers, and walking precincts from various unions representing or tied to city employees. Since then, the MP city council has voted to give massive raises to virutally all city employees, in some cases (like last week's vote on SEIU represented temp workers) multiple raises.

All paid for with your taxes from an unsustainable budget.

Go back to the subject of this original article. The incumbents are outspending Ciardella by a wide margin in this election. Funding for all those fancy four-color brochures and mailers is coming from unions and out-of-town groups more interested in their behind-closed-door personal agendas than the future of Menlo Park.


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Posted by yes let's see
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Nov 2, 2008 at 9:23 am

I look forward to a thorough analysis of all the campaign contributions once the final campaign reports are filed. January I think will be the time. Then we all can more easily discuss facts.
FTM - Please share with us who the out-of-town GROUPS are that concern you. Relatives and personal friends who do not have a financial stake in Menlo Park do not bother me. It does bother me when a candidate accepts money from individuals and groups who do have such a stake - such as Crittendon (you keep ignoring this) and the city employee's union.
Cohen has accepted neither sort of funding. He even obtained the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors endorsement but refused to take their money (thousands in past elections).


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Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Nov 2, 2008 at 2:39 pm

The Boyle Winkler Duboc campaign took OBrien money. You are now crossing the line of credibility. I can prove it. Just ask for records from the city. First year, our city had a $3M surplus. This year looks to be another surplus. Next year, who knows.

What is unsustainable about a surplus.

You call me hubrid, I just call you a spin machine. You must work for Fox.


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Posted by More Truth
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 2, 2008 at 7:18 pm


Rick is a REPUBLICAN.

Apparently when asked (such as today at the Farmer's market), he refuses to say what his party affiliation is. This is public record, and there are supporters who think he's a Democrat and who he's allowed to continue to think this. (He could have easily cleared this up...it's not as if there aren't many other Republicans around here!)
I think it's illuminating that he refuses to disclose his party.

Yes, this is a "non-partisan" race, and yes, many of Kelly and Andy's supporters are Republicans, too. This is not meant to disparage Republicans, but I must wonder...why wouldn't Rick just tell the truth?



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Posted by good memory
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Nov 2, 2008 at 8:04 pm

Rick is certainly Boyle's choice.

Not only did Boyle take Derry funds he took funds from Crittenden, and Sand Hill Development, who owes and want to develop 1300 El Camino (old Cadillac site).

During the campaign, Boyle, Windkler and DuBoc used the Derry Project as their poster child and what they wanted for Menlo Park.

Only Boyle survived, but not by much (104 votes?).

Rich has no experience really and has not been endorsed by any of the papers, unless you count the new rag , The Daily Post.

Let us stay the course. Keep Andy and Kelly on council

Let us keep Boyle in our minds for next election; he doesn't deserve to be re-elected.


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Posted by Bobbie
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Nov 2, 2008 at 9:40 pm

"Truth" you either need to get a job, or do something constructive. Every comment you make on this Blog is a shot against someone "in the Boyle Camp" or the Duboc/Winkler/Boyle Camp". Get a life. Rick is his own man, I don't care if he's a Communist, he'd be great for Menlo Park. If you spoke "the truth" maybe your comments would at the very least be somewhat informative, but you can't help yourself to ridicule and bring down those that volunteer their time, and their hard work to make Menlo Park a nice place to live. So far, the Derry Project is STILL a vacant lot, so far Crittenden's property is still a building with gang tags. So, WHO exactly are the council people that should not be re-elected? Please do something constructive and stop commenting on this blog!! Oh, before you stop, please list at least ONE name of someone that is a Republican working on Andy or Kelly's campaign..........answer "0".


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Posted by disgusted
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Nov 2, 2008 at 10:02 pm

"I don't care if he's a Communist, he'd be great for Menlo Park." Communist, eh?

I love all the hyperbole. "Great," based on what? That he would "do something" about El Camino? Like what? Insist that Stanford build retail on their property? Force private owners to remodel their aging buildings? Why not expect council members to leap tall buildings too?!?

The Derry delay isn't the fault of the current council. You can blame that fiasco on a prior council that didn't believe in setting limits on developers, and on a developer who doesn't have a strong enough balance sheet to obtain credit for an overblown project.

I am impressed with the progress our current council has made on El Camino. At the candidates' forum, Rick said he agreed with the work to date and didn't mention one single change he would make!

By the way, Bobbie, don't know who gave you the background on all the people working for Andy or Kelly, but I happen to know of at least 2 who are registered Republicans. Not that it matters in a non-partisan race.


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Posted by Bobbie
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Nov 3, 2008 at 9:03 am

"Disgusted/Truth", name one bit of progress on El Camino Real? No, not the Safeway, Andy and Kelly had nothing to do with it, it is in the public record. AND, save this question, because I'll be asking it 2 years from now, 4 years from now, 6 years from now......we'll be looking at the same unsightly sights! Delays will catch up to you folks, "normal people" are starting to understand your methodology of delaying progress. It's just a matter of time.


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Posted by normal person
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Nov 3, 2008 at 9:21 am

I decided to check the public record as you suggested. Here's what the city website says: "The project received the required City Council approvals in late 2005." So Kelly and Andy did have something to do with it.

Don't you think the economy has something to do with project delays? Even the approved Beltramo project hasn't progressed. The approved medical office building on El Camino at Watkins is proceeding, and there is another one coming through the process where Gaylord's was. I just heard that Pendleton is coming to the building at El Camino and Cambridge; Tesla Motors will soon be joined by ZAP. I guess none of this is "progress" to you.

And did you know that most of the property owners still get rent on the vacant lots so they don't have a great incentive to do anything while the economy is bad?

Most of us normal people like planned change, not "anything goes". There is nothing to stop projects that comply with current rules.


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Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Nov 3, 2008 at 10:43 am

I voted for three new council members two years ago because when they came into my neighborhood and met with me and my neighbors, they pledged to put a plan in place to get our city back on track. Two of those council members won. I see a plan in the making for our downtown, I see a biz dev plan just revealed by Dave Johnson, I see our community finally trying to get out in front of politics and start charting our course. That is what I wanted. This blue and red and union and developer stuff is not my major concern. I don't care what party you represent. I care about having people run my city who put the city ahead of slate voting and party BS. I know for a fact the two that won two years ago have fulfilled that pledge.

You want building to make you feel better, move to a city. I want a vision for our city. And Winkler and Duboc had none. They toiled with their own group and voted us further away from a plan.

Now you want to blame that incredible lack of leadership under Winkler and Duboc on this council?

You cannot.

And contrary to popular belief, I do respect Mr. Boyle for his time. I don't like that he and you Boyle brigaders try to manipulate his voting record. He has been the most inflexible vote on council for the last two years.

That is the TRUTH. Sorry if it hurts.


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Posted by WhoRuPeople
a resident of another community
on Nov 3, 2008 at 2:31 pm

pull up the armored cars and get out the cash bags--the tax revenues are pouring in from Tesla sales, ZAP is right behind, and heck yes, we'll all be buying wool shirts at the new Pendleton store on El Camino. Recession! What recession? Not in MP, we've gone green to make green--oh, by the way, stay out of my back yard! Corporation money, Bad, Union giveaways, Good!


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Posted by 2Shay
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Nov 3, 2008 at 4:44 pm

Now THAT was funny! Nice job "WhoRuPeople"!!


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