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Park fund shouldn't pay for Measure J

Original post made by Renee Batti, news editor of The Almanac, on Feb 7, 2007

The following letter by Brielle Johnck was published in the Almanac's Feb. 7 print edition:

The $8,000 cost of putting Measure J on the ballot last November will be charged to the Bayfront Park sinking fund, set up in 1987 by the members of the South County Garbage District, which includes Menlo Park, Atherton, Belmont, East Palo Alto, Redwood City, San Carlos, Woodside and several unincorporated areas.
I believe Measure J was the stalking horse for the council campaigns of Mickie Winkler, Lee Duboc and John Boyle and not a genuine test of the residents' opinions about the development of Bayfront Park.
It was a stretch to believe that the previous council majority would, with a straight face, ask the voters to approve a plan for sports fields that would cost at a minimum $17 million at a time when residents were told the city was suffering from a $1.9 million budget deficit. If Measure K (the utility tax) costs are to be paid from the general fund, why is the Bayfront Park sinking fund being charged for Measure J?
My suggestion is that the bill from San Mateo County for $8,000 be sent to the Winkler/Duboc/Boyle Political Action Committee for payment. The sinking fund, which was set up for the park's maintenance, has already been charged for the feasibility report about play fields at Bayfront Park.
Did the candidates believe that Measure J would pull together large numbers of parents and the election would be theirs? If so, they gambled and they lost. While Menlo Park residents do understand the value of children playing soccer, baseball and football, they also understand that a hilly passive recreation park overlooking the bay is Menlo Park's treasure that deserves to be protected, just as it is and just as the 1976 council designed.
Brielle Johnck
Central Avenue, Menlo Park

Comments (3)

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Posted by Carol
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Feb 7, 2007 at 4:39 pm

In a just world, the Winkler/Duboc campaign would be required to pay the $8,000, given that the ballot measure was a shameless campaign strategy of the then-council majority's devising. But so much for a just world -- we have the law to answer to.

But Brielle is right about not taking the money from the maintenance fund. Who made such an appalling decision? Someone who is still trying to undermine the public's determination to keep the park in open space with no commercial use?

Like this comment
Posted by Elizabeth Lasensky
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 8, 2007 at 12:51 pm

There were also consultants who were paid to come up with plans for the sports complex, which in turn were used to justify and support the ballot measure. If these expenses were charged to the Bayfront Park Maintenance fund, they were incorrectly charged. They too should be paid by the Winkler/Duboc campaign.

Like this comment
Posted by Chris M
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 9, 2007 at 9:35 am

I concur with the previous posts.

Raiding Bayfront Park's piggy-bank for Duboc and Winkler's political gain - to support their candidacies for MP City Council - appears to be dubiously ethical, although probably legal.

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