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Incumbent MP council members win re-election

Original post made on Nov 5, 2008

Menlo Park city council candidates Andy Cohen and Kelly Fergusson (right) with support from Portola Valley Mayor Maryann Moise Derwin (left) and Ms. Fergusson's daughter, Grace, celebrate at the Oasis restaurant in Menlo Park on Tuesday night. Photo by Veronica Weber/The Almanac.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, November 4, 2008, 11:15 PM

Comments (23)

Posted by A Bright, Sun-Shiny Day Today!, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 5, 2008 at 7:31 am

ANOTHER defeat for Winkler, Duboc and Jellins!!!
Way to go, MP voters!

Posted by Congrats to Andy and Kelly, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Nov 5, 2008 at 9:25 am

Still wondering WHO voted for Rick? Don't remember such a got-nothing/done-nothing candidate since Christina Angell-Atchison rode around town in the old firetruck burning through $100k on her way to defeat.

Posted by Sam, a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Nov 5, 2008 at 11:25 am

Thanks Rick for your "throwing your hat into the ring", you still had 4,000 plus voters that voted for you and not one of the incumbents, even after starting so late, being out spent, and not having a big party endorse you! Great job! We know it's tough to go public in this town, because you have to bear the wrath of idiots like the above two "citizens". Thanks for bringing up some very important issues, we hope the current council has heard you!

Posted by it is a shame, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 5, 2008 at 12:28 pm

It is a shame that Fergusson was re-elected. How stupid.

Posted by Rich Cline, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Nov 5, 2008 at 12:38 pm

I want to take a moment to congratulate Ms. Fergusson and Mr. Cohen. You have worked hard these past four years on behalf of Menlo Park and you have been rehired to continue your work. That is to be commended. I look forward to working with you both on critical city issues.

Mr. Ciardella, thank you for entering this race and injecting it with new ideas and putting items on the forefront that need to be addressed quickly. You are someone who is to be respected for your years of service to our community and you have always been gracious and thoughtful. It is not easy to run against incumbents and your courage to do so is admirable.

I, for one, have heard you and I hope to achieve the progress you look for in our downtown visioning.

Posted by Incumbents rule!, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Nov 5, 2008 at 2:14 pm

"You still had 4,000 plus voters that voted for you and not one of the incumbents..." Every voter in Menlo Park had two votes, so it's likely that the people who supported Rick also voted for Kelly or Andy.

When the dust clears, we'll see who the big spender was. That big ad in the Almanac, the stickers, the signs, and the mailing no doubt put Rick over the top.

Rich, I think you are a terrific and very classy guy, but I have a hard time seeing that Rick brought anything to the party other than his old boys' club pedigree and a lot of hand-wringing. He did not earn a place on the council; the voters got this one right.

Posted by Emu, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Nov 5, 2008 at 2:53 pm

Rick would have brought new life into the old-boys-club Menlo Council. It is unfortunate that he didn't win. I guess we have more of the same style ruling to look forward to.

The voters got this one wrong.

Posted by Classy Rich, a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Nov 5, 2008 at 4:39 pm

Thank you classy Rich Cline, very nice posting, we need more of this, and less of "Incumbents rule!" boy, or gal.(please, please go away) Rick is a very smart guy, it would be great to tap his knowledge on open space planning, and land surveying. I don't know if Rick was much of a "political candidate", but he is definitely a bright guy that could help us beautify this town.

Posted by voter, a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Nov 5, 2008 at 9:22 pm

If Rick Ciardella wants to help beautify our town with his knowledge of open space planning, that would be wonderful!

I was taken aback when I learend that he had not participated in a single El Camino/downtown visioning session. I attended several of those meetings, and was very impressed by the suggestions offered by my fellow residents. I can't understand why someone of his talent and experience would be so reluctant to share his skills with the rest of us. Doesn't sound like someone who should be on our council, since that is a job that requires a lot of self-sacrifice!

Posted by Thank You Rick C.!, a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Nov 6, 2008 at 9:08 am

I guess being the Chairman of the MP Chamber of Commerce, doing pro bono landscape design for MA High School, volunteering on ReBuilding Together, Chair of the Connoisseur's Market Place, serving on the Business Round Table, serving on the MP Environmental Beautification Commission, which was responsible for the design oversight of the Downtown Redeveloment project, participating in the Willow Road landscape median project, and Street Tree master plan, Chairing the EBC and overseeing improvements to Willow Oaks, Fremont, Kelly and Nealon Parks........I guess this isn't enough for you guys??? Just because YOU attended "several of those meetings", you think he needed to be there? Give me a break! Rick did all of the above, and much more, AND he has a job, unlike you. Please stop trying to throw rocks, while living in a glass house. You, and the likes of you, could never measure up to this guy's service to our town. I even find it difficult for most of the council to measure up to what Rick has done!

Posted by grateful, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Nov 6, 2008 at 10:09 am

I am thankful that we had 3 decent candidates and that none of them resorted to throwing dirt around or overplayed their history. Wish I could say the same for certain supporters, including the one who just posted a number of things that were long in the past.
It is a little ironic for anyone, including a candidate, to be so critical of the visioning and planning process but not to participate. Many who do hold jobs and have kids at home did. The hard work lies ahead and I hope that all 3 candidates and their supporters will actively participate.

Posted by Lonnie, a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Nov 6, 2008 at 10:16 am

The Menlo way is to study, study study. So, attending meetings is a safe way to feel like one is really participating. Mr. Ciardella actually works to get ideas implemented. What a refreshing approach. The list of his contributions to the city is impressive and makes me wonder how Mr. Cohen got elected 4 years ago when he had never attended one council meeting or sat on even one commission or worked on even one council campaign. I heard he was bored and looking for friends. He certainly found friends.

Had Mr. Ciardella been elected, we might have experienced progress on the council rather than the delaying tactics that Mr. Cohen and Ms. Fergusson favor. Their style is to adhere to safe political pandering to a powerful insider group that wants everything to stay the same. They also practice a form of spend and waste government.

If we consider the way Fergusson got the city to join a lawsuit involving the EIR on the high speed rail project without any council discussion, we have a worrisome situation for the next four years with these two council members back in power.

Posted by Infuriated, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Nov 7, 2008 at 9:16 am

As soon as victories were announced on Tuesday, I totally could not see why these candidates were re-elected. Other than revamping Menlo to be the place that attracts new-comers for its corporate developments, raising property taxes for everyone, and building low-income housing in the eastern vicinity of Menlo Park instead of the West, I don't see what these people have done for the city. I think we need change in Menlo Park, and regardless of others perspective on Rick, I think we needed someone who isn't egregious.

Posted by truth, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Nov 7, 2008 at 9:43 am

You readers all getting this stuff from the previous two posters? Do you see how harsh and critical and cruel they seem? They praise "their own" and ignore the conflict of interest of "their own" and they just continue to divide and insult. This is why Rick lost, because his crew is just so frightening to most of us in the city, that if they had a majority or even close as they did with Winkler et al, they would just give us all the finger again and move on like we did not exist.

Good job Menlo Park.

Mr. Cline, your post is part of the reason I voted for you.

Posted by Bobbie, a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Nov 7, 2008 at 12:47 pm

Martin, Morris, Katie or Patti (Truth) - please stop the banter against Rick. He's a very good CONTRIBUTOR to Menlo Park. I am a supporter of Rick, and I don't think people think of me as "frightening".(I've never met Winkler or Duboc or whomever, at any of the meetings or rally's) I would just like things "fixed". I think 99% of MP residents think that El Camino Real is a problem and we also need to focus on our budgeting process. These were the two biggest issues Rick discussed during the campaign. In addition, most of us don't even care "who" is at the helm of this ship, just someone fix this blight!

Posted by voter, a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Nov 7, 2008 at 1:11 pm

Rick did discuss El Camino, but admitted that he had not been involved at all in the process, no matter what he may have done for the city 20 years ago, and he also said that he agreed with the approach the current council was taking. Would he do anything differently? He didn't make one single suggestion for changing the current process at all!

Phase 2 of the El Camino project is going into high gear. I understand that John Boyle has tried to slow it down, but the other members of the council are determined to keep it moving at a fast pace, as fast as they can while still obtaining public input. Menlo Parkis not a dictatorship (a dictatorship would be much more efficient but probably not so popular, as some previous council members learned.)

By the way, I see that some of you are confusing "obtaining public input" with "wasting time and money on consultant studies." Although money has been spent on consultants, they have not been idly wasting time on research. Instead, their sole role has been to facilitate public input and to distill it into a workable plan. Someone has to take ownership of that piece of the project. (I think staff should do it, but somehow they never seem to have the time or energy to handle these tasks).

No one in Menlo Park, certainly no one on council, wants to see El Camino remain in its current condition. If someone could wave a wand and make it look like main street in Santa Cruz or Burlingame or one of many other cities, I am sure the council would have done that years ago. Public process is never that easy.

I think Rick knew he didn't have a chance, and it was brave of him to run. There are still many opportunities for him to contribute to the development of El Camino as a vibrant main street for Menlo Park. Since he doesn't have to attend council meetings every Tuesday night, he should have plenty of spare time and energy to help out.

Posted by truth, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Nov 7, 2008 at 1:43 pm

I have nothing against Rick as I have said. I took issue with the vicious comments and precluded my post. And I am not one of the insiders you mention.

Posted by Stop The Madness, a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Nov 7, 2008 at 10:17 pm

Martin Morris, Katie or Patti (Truth) Please stop the madness, 6+ years for the Park Theater, approximately 2 years for the car dealerships, working on 1 year for the "world famous" Tesla Motors and it's hundreds of cars being sold......actually "0", almost 2 years now for our lost opportunity in The Derry Project. Time is not on your side, the voters will remember Rick's campaign. We don't care what meeting he did, or did not attend, or what committee was formed or what survey was run or what consultant was will continue to be delayed and bantered about. Similar to the curb cut issue at Oak Knoll, as long as the council says "no growth, and keep delaying the process, and appealing the process", you will get a response from the citizens of Menlo Park. Do you REALLY want that? If not, get to work.

Posted by truth, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Nov 7, 2008 at 11:07 pm

The country is blue and so is Menlo Park. Get over it.

Posted by Stop The Madness, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Nov 9, 2008 at 4:30 pm

So much for a bi-partisan election in little MP. I'm glad we have Obama, but I don't think President O would put up with the lack of creativity and effort toward a blighted downtown, and lack of focus on a budget that will soon be spinning out of control. Looks like President O knows how to deal with Unions, I wonder if our council knows how to do that??? Doubtful.

Posted by think about it, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Nov 9, 2008 at 9:59 pm

Non-partisan. Not bi-partisan. The city is running a huge surplus. Is that an "out of control" budget? Then let's continue operating out of control!

If you think city employees are overpaid, why not get a job working for the city? Oh, never mind, you probably don't have the patience or brains to deal with some of the nastier residents -- the people like you! I think they deserve every penny they get, and if I were on council, I would have given them a bigger raise.

At least Rick Ciardella had the guts to run, whereas most of you whiners have never even volunteered to serve on a task force, much less a commission or council seat. It's so easy to flop in front of your computer and make snide comments about the people who put in the time and effort. Maybe YOU'RE the problem!

Posted by Stop The Madness, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Nov 10, 2008 at 12:01 am

That's how we thought you'd respond. Same ol', same ol'. I'm thinking about putting together a task force that creates a commission that will study the consultants that survey the commissions. El Camino Real.........ugliest strip of property in California, in one of the most expensive spots to live in California. Thank you No Growthers.

FYI - I am in finance, the city's books are much more complicated than the rag Almanac reports, and our fantastic vice-mayor reports. Things will get very interesting during the next 2 years. MP is in trouble, and you don't even know it.

Posted by think about it, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Nov 10, 2008 at 8:41 am

That's how governments operate, Stop. People work together. Cooperate. If you want hegemony, there are plenty of places that you can move, none of them quite as pleasant as Menlo Park.

Remind me again: who is the "no growther" that wants El Camino to stay the way it is? Please, we're all tired of innuendo. Time to name names!

There are plenty of savvy Stanford, Harvard, Wharton MBAs in town; we have one on the council too. Sounds as though you're smarter than the rest though, so why don't YOU volunteer your expertise? Oh? More fun to make snide comments from the sedentary side of the computer?

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