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Kirsten Keith says so long to Menlo Park

Original post made by BigBobSmith on Feb 4, 2012

Check out the bottom of the candidate roster below

Web Link

Looks like Mrs. Keith has had enough of the dreary life of a councilperson and is setting off for Redwood City. Campaign signs county wide better start hiding in fear.

Web Link

Comments (19)

Posted by Dirty Politics, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 4, 2012 at 5:36 pm

The above declaration was no doubt posted by one of Mayor Keith's opponents or their supporters. There is a very small circle of people county wide who would have known to look for this new information about her candidacy. The posting reflects poorly on the field. Mayor Keith has just as much, if not more experience than the other candidates in the Supervisor race. Given that it's a paid position at the County level, it's hard to hold it against her that she would be interested in the job. The truth is that there will be those who want to attack Mayor Keith, because she has not bowed to any special interest or group, but that is precisely the type of leadership we need at the County.

Posted by dirty minds, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 4, 2012 at 8:42 pm

How is pointing out that Keith is running for a county job an "attack" and what is being held against her?

I have nothing against her, but she's only been in office two months, much of that time during winter break, so no council meetings. It's a little premature to judge results, but allowing Facebook to steamroll our city does not constitute leadership. And honestly, I don't think she's even been around long enough to have enemies.

By the way, you cannot compare her experience to that of Carlos Romero, a community leader for decades. Not to say she wouldn't make a great supervisor, but she is simply not as qualifed as he is.

Posted by fact check, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 4, 2012 at 10:29 pm

Dirty Minds has council candidates confused with the fire board. Virginia Chang Kiraly has only been in office for two months, and she's not running for anything else.

You cannot compare any candidate's experience to that of Carlos Romero because he has not put any information online: Web Link

Carlos Romero has been in office exactly two years longer that Keith. David Woods has been in office six years longer that Romero: Web Link

Posted by MP voter, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 5, 2012 at 7:26 am

Dirty Minds said, "By the way, you cannot compare her (Kirsten Keith) experience to that of Carlos Romero, a community leader for decades. Not to say she wouldn't make a great supervisor, but she is simply not as qualifed as he is."

If you want county wide rent control, vote for Carlos.

He vigorously defended East Palo Alto's rent control program. He voted as a member of the East Palo Alto City Council to expand and increase 'relocation assistance' to tenants who were evicted even if they stopped paying their rent. He voted on this ordinance just two months ago. "The council removed the maximum amount per unit and increased the relocation fee to $7,500 for tenants who rented fewer than two years and to $10,000 for those who rented two years or longer." per SJ Mercury article. Even if the tenants stopped paying rent.

There have been many economic studies by reputable professors which have conclusively proved that rent control ultimately reduces the quantity and quality of affordable housing units. People like Romero don't seem to understand basic economics. Price and wage controls lead to catastrophic unintended consequences, which ultimately reduces the quality of life for everyone. Ask anyone who lived in Soviet Russia or communist East Germany.

San Jose Mercury article:
Web Link

Romero would be a disaster as a supervisor on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors.

Besides, I don't trust career politicians who proudly wear pony tails.

Posted by Dirty Politics, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 5, 2012 at 8:11 am

I don't think it's necessary to beat up Carlos Romero for the original post by Big Bob Smith. It's too obviously a planted last sentence, to blame him, in the third post by Dirty Minds. The first post was a smear. The second is blame game, offering up a lamb.

Posted by Dirty minds, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 5, 2012 at 8:00 pm

I know both Kirsten and Virginia personally, and I have not confused them. Kirsten has been mayor for only two months. True, she was on the council starting in late 2010, and on the planning commission before that. But as far as I know, her experience is limited to Menlo Park city government. Virginia (since someone else brought her up; I didn't) has much more breadth of experience.

I admire both women and their contributions. I wonder if the people attacking them have ever served their communities at all, much less run for public office.

I also admire Carlos, and a smear based solely on his rent control stance is misguided. I agree that rent control is problematic, but that does not detract from the fact that he is brilliant and has a vast amount of experience, albeit mostly in one community. So I stand by my original comments.

Posts like some of those above only deter talented people from volunteering to run, and that is sad.

Posted by math, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 6, 2012 at 4:38 am

Experience, especially as defined by anonymous posters, is only one factor, but math also plays a role. The supervisor elected in 2012 will most likely hold the seat until they term out in 2024. BigBobSmith should consider that Keith would need to run for a second term in 2014, a third term in 2018, and a fourth term in 2022... to be on council when the seat opens up again in 2024.

Posted by Outside Looking In, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 6, 2012 at 7:18 am


one term is four years-- not two. Therefore, the first term would be from 2012-2016, the second from 2016-2020, the third from 2020-2024. Supervisors are termed out after three terms-- not four.

The question really isn't about time. It's obvious that Ms. Keith is looking only at her own blind political ambition, instead of what's best for her community. Barely on the council for a year and barely mayor for 2 months-- yikes! Voters should look at the County Bd of Supes position as a job to represent the voters and community. Supes are paid a six-figure salary w/benefits, so we voters should approach this election as if we were "hiring" someone. Looking at the overall make-up of the board, for me, I would want someone w/a fincl background/understanding so that the county budget will be scrutinized and/or validated; someone who has real and long-time public office experience to understand and tackle problems (not taking credit for everything, like Ms. Keith has done w/"bringing Facebook to Menlo Park!"); and someone who brings a diverse perspective. There are other things to look at, but these would be my top three "employee" criteria. I don't think Ms. Keith meets any of them.

Besides, given her track record for wanting to "get ahead" so quickly, I wouldn't hold her to the 12 years. She would put herself before her constituents.

Posted by IN THE KNOW, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Feb 6, 2012 at 7:26 am

Kirsten is preparing for Anna Eshoo's seat. Ms. Eshoo is 69 years old and will be nearly 70 years old when the new District 4 Supervisor takes his/her seat. If Kirsten is elected to the Board of Supervisors and fills 3 terms then she will be in a good position to take over after Eshoo retires. Anna Eshoo was the Sam Mateo County District 4 Supervisor from 1982 until 1992 when she became a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Kirsten Keith's real ambition is to be elected to Congress succeeding Anna Eshoo for the 14th CD. But she has competition. There is no doubt that Gail Slocum will also be running for Congress once her daughter graduates College and Eshoo vacates her seat.

It should be a real cat fight between Slocum and Keith. Both are very ambitious and have an unquenchable thirst for power. But as far as political acumen is concerned it is no contest. Slocum will run circles around Keith. [Portion removed. Keep comments focused on the candidate.]

Posted by over the hill, a resident of another community
on Feb 6, 2012 at 11:39 am

I hope a person of color/minority is elected to the board of supervisors. They need to have at least one board member of color.

Posted by IN THE KNOW, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Feb 6, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Nicholas Jellins would be an excellent addition to the Board of Supervisors. He is smart, well educated, assiduous, and has a great sense of fairness. He is also blind to partisan politics which earned him the emnity of the far left elements of the San MAteo County Democratic Party including a former Menlo Park mayor and current member of the California Bar who is actively involved in Menlo Park politics and saving bookstores.

Nicholas Jellins, a graduate of the prestigious University of Virginia Law School, was mayor of Menlo Park 3 times, and always worked for the interests of the people he served rather than engage in political pandering. He would also make a great Congressman when the time comes.

Posted by over the hill, a resident of another community
on Feb 6, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Rose Jacob Gibson is really the story here. She will be very hard to replace! And, I don't think another WASP should be her replacement.

Posted by what we need, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 6, 2012 at 5:30 pm

We really need someone as a supervisor who will represent the interests of south san mateo county. No one does right now.

Posted by MP voter, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 6, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Nicholas Jellins was a the most divisive person on the Menlo Park City council in 40 years. He generated more angst than anyone. People have long memories about him. What a terrible idea.

Posted by IN THE KNOW, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Feb 8, 2012 at 6:53 am

Nicholas Jellins is a bright accomplished man who in 2002 was a key part of a grass roots effort to overthrow the Slocum Machine which dominated the Menlo Park political landscape for 10 years.

The Slocum Machine detered growth with a complex maze of zoning regulations that caused tax revenues to the City treasury to decline. When the Slocum Machine was dispatched in 2002 the Jellins-Winkler-Duboc led city council seized the opportunity to get the Rosewood Hotel and Resort approved which has added significantly to the City Treasury bottom line.

Many on the left saw Jellins as being fractious because he thwarted their plans to chase development out of Menlo Park. He did not tolerate meanderings very well and kept the council meetings on track to minimize 1 AM CC meeting conclusions due largely in part to the senseless blatherings of Heyward Robinson and Kelly Fergusson.

The CC sure could have used U.S. Senate Rule 22.

Many of Jellins accomplishments include:

1989 - 1992 California Young Lawyers Association, Director

1996 - 2000 San Mateo County Democratic Central Committee, Member

1996 - 1998 City of Menlo Park Planning Commission, Member

1998 - 2006 City of Menlo Park City Council, Councilmember

2003 - 2004 San Mateo County Criminal Justice Council, Chairman

2004 - 2005 League of California Cities, President (Peninsula Division)

2000 - 2001 City of Menlo Park, Mayor

2002 - 2003 City of Menlo Park, Mayor

2005 - 2006 City of Menlo Park, Mayor

2006 Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce Golden Acorn Award, Recipient

Posted by IN THE KNOW, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Feb 8, 2012 at 7:03 am


It was only the senseless blatherings of Kelly Fergusson. Heyward came on council after Mr. Jellins stepped down. Mr. Jellins, in accordance with tradition, decided not to run for a third term.

But for those of you who witnessed Heyward's numerous senseless attacks on John Boyle without any provocation whatsoever can understand why the the people of Menlo Park voted out Gail's prodigy after only one term.

Posted by my two cents, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 8, 2012 at 7:06 am

There seems to be a sense that this supervisor's seat must be filled by a replacement who is black. Thus Jellin's name arises, even though he along with DuBoc and Winkler were chased out of City politics (Jellin's didn't even have the courage to seek re-election)

Gibson's tenure has been a disaster. She was promoted by Gail Slocum, which was another of Slocum's major disasters. ( I bring this up because Slocum will be promoting Fergusson for a third term this fall -- some candidates just don't know when they are finished)

In any case, let Jellins and his perhaps handful of supporters try to get him elected. I would enjoy his humiliation when he finishes last.

Posted by IN THE KNOW, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Feb 8, 2012 at 10:10 am

To mischaracterize Mr. Jellins decision to not seek a third term as a lack of courage is disingenuous. I can only think of one person in the last 20 years whou sought a third term and that was Jack Morris. So were all those other city council members cowards too?

Mr. Jellins ran a great meeting. He was focused and to the point. He did not allow political grand standing. He just wanted to get the job done in a reasonable amount of time and he did this very well.

Some may enjoy the City Council meetings with Heyward Robinson and Kelly Fergusson engaging in self promoting blathering that went well past 1 AM in the morning but most are not.

Mr. Jellins would be a very welcome addition to the Board of Supervisors.

Posted by old timer, a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Feb 9, 2012 at 7:08 am

[Post removed; save the speculation for your creative writing class.]

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