Posted by Bob, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, on May 1, 2012 at 4:32 pm
@ Funny Funny -- interesting that Virginia would mix herself in with all the Democrats when she touts herself a loyal Republican. But she was endorsed by the labor union when she ran for office, and it spent more than $50,000 to get her and Rob Silano on the fire board. Rob switched his party affiliation to get the labor endorsement.
I'm sure both of them have already set their eyes on higher offices.
Posted by Actions Speak Louder Than Words, a resident of the Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks neighborhood, on May 1, 2012 at 9:14 pm
Bob & Funny Funny:
If anyone is has her eyes set on higher office, it's Kirsten Keith, who is a blindly ambitious politician. She has been on the MP City Council for just over a year and mayor for three months, and she's already running for the Bd of Supervisors?!? No one should cast stones at Kiraly. Actions speak louder than words, and Keith's actions are loud and clear-- "I care about my political career more than Menlo Park." I'm sure Kiraly will at least finish her four-year term on the fire board, which is more than I can say for Keith, although she may not have a choice but to finish her first, and hopefully, her last term on the MP City Council when she loses her race for supervisor. We know where her heart lies, and it's NOT with Menlo Park.
Also, get your facts straight. The firefighters union did NOT spend $50,000 on Kiraly. Rob Silano's picture was plastered all over their mailers, and they paid for huge banners to get him elected. Kiraly refused to take union money, and she was not in any of their mailers.
Unions have endorsed Republican candidates, especially in nonpartisan races, so don't generalize unions don't endorse Republicans. Kiraly's position on pension reform was more well-known than any of the other fire board candidates and is even more well-known than the current roster of candidates for the board of supervisors, especially Keith's, who only endorsed Measure L when it was clear that it was going on the ballot-- a last minute endorsement. Keith has no principles whatsoever, except when it comes to getting herself elected and climbing the political career ladder.
Posted by Funny Funny, a resident of the Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park neighborhood, on May 1, 2012 at 10:13 pm
Now that's funny, defending Kiraly's endorsement by attacking Keith's credentials.
Kiraly endorsed a candidate, Masur, who has never served on any City Council, or on any Planning Commission. Masur came in third place in a school board race in Redwood City last year. Kiraly is clearly trying to buddy up to County powers to gain a shot at higher office.
Below is Keith's Menlo Park and County public service resume, as found on her website.
She served six years on the Planning Commission, chaired it and has done an exemplary job as Mayor to date. She enjoys the support of every Menlo Park Planning Commissioner, and three current Council members. Even Kelly Fergusson refused to do what Kiraly did in providing Masur an endorsement.
2012-2012 : Service League of San Mateo County, Finance Committee, Board Member
2011-2012 : CORA - Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse, Advisory Board Member
2011-2012 : JobTrain, Technical Advisory Committee Member
2010-2012 : Menlo Park City Council, Mayor 2012
2009-2012 : Haven House, Legal Services Volunteer
2004-2010 : Menlo Park Planning Commission, Chair 2007
2004-2005 : Laurel School PTO, Financial Secretary
2003-2006 : National Women’s Political Caucus of San Mateo County, President 2004
2003-2004 : AYSO, Region 109, Menlo Park & Atherton, Soccer Coach
2003-2004 : Menlo Park Housing Commission, Commissioner
2003-2004 : Emerge Political Training Leadership Program for Democratic Women, Graduate
2002-2005 : League of Women Voters of South San Mateo County, Board Member
2002-2003 : San Mateo County Citizens Academy, Graduate
2001-2006 : San Mateo County Bar Association, Committee Delegate
2001-2003 : Menlo Park Community Mediation Services Committee, Member
2000-2004 : San Mateo County Democratic Central Committee, Alternate for Assemblymember Simitian
1998-2001 : San Mateo County battered women’s service agency Sor Juana Inez, Board Member
1998-1999 : San Mateo County Prenatal to Three, Adopt-A-Family Program Member
1997-2012 : San Mateo County Legal Aid Society, Fundraising Committee Member
1996-2004 : San Mateo County Commission on the Status of Women, Commissioner, President 2000-2002
1993-1995 : Fair Oaks Community Center, International Institute, Immigrant Rights Volunteer
1992-1993 : San Mateo County Legal Aid Society, Law Clerk
Posted by Actions Speak Louder Than Words, a resident of the Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks neighborhood, on May 1, 2012 at 11:02 pm
Last I checked, Kiraly isn't running for higher office. Keith is. No one is attacking Keith's credentials, but I am stating the obvious... that Keith is running for higher office. Kiraly is not a candidate, so I'm not sure how you are concluding that she is "buddying up to County powers to gain a shot at higher office." I guess, you would conclude that because that's exactly what your candidate, Keith, has been doing all along-- running for higher office and using Menlo Park City Council as a stepping stone. Again, actions speak louder than words, and Keith's actions are loud and clear.
I wouldn't take Kelly Fergusson's endorsement if she gave it to me-- how embarrassing! How do you know that Masur even asked for Fergusson's endorsement? I wouldn't touch Fergusson with a ten-foot pole! Masur would have been smart not to ask for Fergusson's endorsement. So... what does that say about Keith, "earning" the endorsement of someone (Fergusson) who has, by all appearance, a very low standard of ethics based on her appearance of impropriety in violating the Brown Act when Keith first came onto the Council. Maybe, Keith and Fergusson were in cahoots all along, but we'll never really know the full story. Like sticks with like.
Posted by Actions Speak Louder Than Words, a resident of the Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks neighborhood, on May 1, 2012 at 11:31 pm
"Broad support in Menlo Park" isn't enough for a countywide election for the board of supervisors. Keith doesn't have this, so you have to wonder about her "credentials."
And, why would you expect Kiraly to support Keith after what happened with Kiraly's campaign sign and Keith's husband's cell phone being found next to it? Kiraly must think that Masur has a much higher standard of ethics and integrity, something I think is important in our elected officials. I'd trust Kiraly and Masur any day over Fergusson and Keith! Fergusson-Keith... Ouch!
Posted by Bob, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, on May 2, 2012 at 12:07 am
@Actions -- whether or not Ms. Keith has support for a county level position is not as relevant as the fact that she has only be on city council for a year. That doesn't say much for her commitment to this office. It can definitely be perceived as a stepping stone.
As for Ms. Kiraly, while she may not have accepted any money from the union in her election, she didn't shy away from or reject the endorsement. In fact the unions top the list of her endorsements on her website which listed the FF union (both Menlo Park and local 2400) and San Mateo County Labor Council -- Web Link
While the union may not have sent any material on her behalf, her name did appear on candidate material as being endorsed by them. It appears that there is some affiliation between Ms. Kiraly and the unions. This doesn't bode well given the demands of the FF union.
(Don't get me started on Mr. Silano, everyone knows he is a dupe for the union.)
Posted by Actions Speak Louder Than Words, a resident of the Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks neighborhood, on May 2, 2012 at 12:35 am
Bob: Agree with you about Silano! But, don't judge Kiraly too soon. What you conveniently left out was the fact that at the very top of her endorsement list (from info from the link you provided) is the Measure L leadership team. She was the only candidate to have received all their endorsements. So, you're right... these actions speak-- her endorsement from the leadership team of Measure L and the fact that she didn't take union money.
We know that Keith and Woodell endorsed and supported Silano during the fire board race, as did Fergusson. Talk about questionable company.
Posted by Fan of Virginia, a resident of the Menlo Park: Sharon Heights neighborhood, on May 2, 2012 at 6:47 am
I will bring a Virginia Chang Kiraly for Fire Board lawn sign (that is if Chuck Bernstein will loan it to me) for the husband of one of the candidates for the Board of Supervisors to play with during the Candidates' forum this Thursday night. I wouldn't count on Bernstein being able to put that sign back together.
Posted by Funny Funny, a resident of the Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park neighborhood, on May 2, 2012 at 7:33 am
There were six candidates other than Keith in the race Kiraly could have chosen to endorse and she picked Masur. Actions do speak louder than words.
Kiraly supported measure L. That must have been tough for her to do with all her Republican friends running the campaign. But since then she has taken unions endorsements, trumpeted them, and has supported union candidates over pension reform candidates.
In the Supervisor race she could have chosen Slocum or Cohen who list pension reform on their campaign websites as issues. But she didn't. Actions speak louder than words. LIke stick with likes.
Posted by Funny Funny, a resident of the Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park neighborhood, on May 2, 2012 at 7:53 am
2010 Kiraly supports Measure L, popular in Menlo Park and amongst her friends on Republican Central Committee.
2011 Kiraly runs for Fire Board.
2011 Kiraly applies for union endorsements.
2011 Kiraly is interviewed and conducts private discussions with unions.
2011 Kiraly is granted unions endorsements despite her measure L backing and appears in union literature. Union endorsement listed in her literature and website.
2012 Kiraly chooses to support Masur for Supervisor, over three candidates who support pension reform, Cohen, Slocum ad Keith. Masur has never served on any City Council or Planning Commission and came in third place in a recent Redwood City School Board race but has the backing of all the Unions in San Mateo County.
Posted by Fan of Virginia, a resident of the Menlo Park: Sharon Heights neighborhood, on May 2, 2012 at 8:01 am
It looks like Ms. Kiraly also endorsed Carlos Romero, the only non-party affiliated person in the Supervisor's race. Apparently, he is the only candidate who has actually imposed a contract (along with other EPA Council members) when he was Mayor in 2011. The terms were (quoted from the Merc): "...'last, best and final' offer that removes extra holiday pay in exchange for a straight salary increase that still leaves the public safety employees with an overall two-percent pay cut." He is the only candidate who has actually made tough decisions re financial sustainability of his city's own police department, as seen here:
Ms. Kiraly probably knows that the election is going to a run-off. I think it speaks volumes about who she DOES NOT endorse.
To Bob: Ms. Kiraly did not take union money. The money they spent was on Rob Silano alone, as could be seen from their mailers. She was not on union mailers. Please get your facts straight before making accusations that only reflect poorly upon yourself.
Posted by Do Your Homework, a resident of the Portola Valley: Westridge neighborhood, on May 2, 2012 at 8:07 am
Do your homework... Kiraly did endorse another candidate-- Carlos Romero, as shown in a previous posting:
Posted by update, a resident of another community, on Apr 23, 2012 at 12:20 am
<Ms. Kiraly has also endorsed Carlos Romero. Web Link.>
Carlos Romero is the only non-party affiliated person in the Supervisor's race. Apparently, he is the only candidate who has actually imposed a contract (along with other EPA Council members) when he was Mayor in 2011. The terms were (quoted from the Merc): "...'last, best and final' offer that removes extra holiday pay in exchange for a straight salary increase that still leaves the public safety employees with an overall two-percent pay cut." He is the only candidate who has actually made tough decisions re financial sustainability of his city's own police department. In fact, take a look at this youtube video of Mr. Romero talking about the contract imposition: Web Link.
Pension reform is an issue on his website. Where's Keith's stance on it? Take a look at what Mr. Romero has to say (Web Link):
Advocate for Pension Reform
The possibility looms that after November, there could be a member of the Board of Supervisors who will be receiving a six figure retirement check from the County in addition to their $117,000 Supervisor salary. Will an elected official, who now so richly benefits from the County’s broken pension system, be able to objectively reform it? Maybe. However, we cannot afford to take a chance. I will fight for reform that ensures a sound and fair financial future for both our County employees and our residents.
Indisputably, we are facing a significant unfunded pension liability problem in this County. But let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water. Solving this complex problem will require that all parties negotiate in good faith and trust that each party’s positions will be handled respectfully. If we cannot reach a solution with all stakeholders at the table, the County faces a massive financial threat that will jeopardize all the County services we receive.
County employees deserve fair compensation and retirement benefits. They should also bear some responsibility for their continued financial security.
I propose we start by looking at the following approaches:
* Increasing the share of new employee contributions toward their retirement;
* Modifying existing retirement terms through negotiations with unions where equitable and constitutional;
* Sharing the increased administrative cost of retirement contributions with employees;
* Promoting hybrid plans with some form of defined contribution features; and,
* Capping retirement income at 60 or 70 percent of the employee’s compensation.
Ms. Keith's comments on finances taken from her website-- four short sentences:
<Our County is in financial trouble, with a significant structural budget deficit. The County continues to use reserves to balance the budget and spending outpaces revenues as the recession continues. The deficit is 77 million dollars for fiscal year 2013. If no action to cut spending is taken by the Board, the deficit will increase to 149 million dollars in fiscal year 2017.>
DUH! Light on finances, light on the issues, and light on substance-- that would sum up Ms. Keith's candidacy for me.
Given the number of candidates in this race, Ms. Kiraly knows that the election is probably going to a run-off. I think it speaks volumes about who she DOES NOT endorse, a person such as Keith. That pretty much says it all!
Ms. Kiraly is a known Republican and was the foreperson the Grand Jury that authored the report on pension reform. Why would it be tough for her to support Measure L? The only Republican of the three gentlemen heading up Measure L is Roy Sardina. That means 2/3 of them were NOT Republican. Measure L truly had broad support in Menlo Park.
Do your homework, Funny Funny, because your misstatements and half-truths are not funny!
Posted by Funny Funny, a resident of the Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park neighborhood, on May 2, 2012 at 8:31 am
Funny how no one is explaining how Kiraly reached the decision to support Masur.
Do Your Homework makes misstatements, not Funny. Funny never said the Measure L Pension Reform Committee was all Republican. Funny did say it was popular in Menlo Park and also amongst Kiraly's friend on Republican Central Committee.
Do Your Homework calls Keith light on finances. Masur's website doesn't even have an issues page that addresses county finances. Masur does have one paragraph:
"And, in these difficult economic times where our County faces tremendous financial challenges, we must strive to balance budgets – while protecting vital County services, like law enforcement, public health, parks and programs for our seniors, children and families from harmful cuts."
Kiraly must have found that in depth analysis important in making her endorsement decision.
Funny didn't know Kiraly split endorsement between Romero and Masur. Another great indication of Kiraly's leadership abilities.
How did Kiraly choose to endorse Romero? If Masur endorsement is any indication, probably should look to see who else in Menlo Park/Atherton endorsed Romero? One of the these people probably told Kiraly to endorse Romero.
Jerry Carlson, Councilmember, Atherton
Steve Schmidt, Former Mayor, Menlo Park City Council, 1994-2002
Mary Jo Borak, Former Mayor, Menlo Park
Jack Morris, Former Mayor, Menlo Park
Virginia Chang Kiraly, Menlo Park Fire Protection Board
Posted by Do Your Homework, a resident of the Portola Valley: Westridge neighborhood, on May 2, 2012 at 9:27 am
You must have a very short memory. Here's your quote, from a previous post, about Kiraly's Republican friends running the Measure L campaign:
"Kiraly supported measure L. That must have been tough for her to do with all her Republican friends running the campaign."
You're starting to sound like Keith's husband, John Woodell. Can't make up your mind whether you said something or not, or in the case of Kiraly's campaign sign, whether you yanked it out of Bernstein's yard or not. Besides, your quote doesn't make sense, since Kiraly is a Republican and served as foreperson of the Grand Jury that issued the report on pension reform. Of course, she would support Measure L... and your point is???
This supervisor's campaign is not about Kiraly. It's about who is best qualified to serve the almost three-quarters of a million people in San Mateo County. In my book, Keith doesn't cut it and will not get my vote.
Posted by Do Your Homework, a resident of the Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks neighborhood, on May 2, 2012 at 9:56 am
Does that mean that Fergusson also made her part of this supervisors' race when she endorsed Keith? Voters should take notice! If Fergusson is representative of "the right reasons" in Menlo Park to vote for Keith, then voters beware! Fergusson-Keith??? Enough said!
Quit making Kiraly out to be a candidate. She is not! Maybe, you're trying to use Kiraly to hide the fact that Keith is just a lousy candidate to represent all of San Mateo County, as reflected in Fergusson's endorsement of her.
Posted by Fan of Virginia, a resident of the Menlo Park: Sharon Heights neighborhood, on May 2, 2012 at 10:11 am
If these private discussions were so “private,” how would you know what she talked about with the union? How would you know what kind of questions were asked during the fire board candidates’ interviews? During her fire board campaign, Kiraly was very frank about pension reform and mentioned that she told the firefighter union the same thing, as reported in a competing newspaper.
Re Kiraly’s endorsement of Masur, all I can say is that Masur, at least has served almost two terms-- that’s eight years-- in her elected office. Keith barely served a year in her FIRST TERM (and barely one month as mayor) before deciding to try to fulfill her political ambition. At least, Masur has completed a job she was elected to do-- she’s almost completing her SECOND term. Keith has not! Perhaps Kiraly endorsed Masur because she actually has the principles to do her job and do it well. Masur served on the San Mateo County School Boards Association and is its immediate past president.
That’s probably why Masur has many people from the education community supporting her as well as Dave Pine! Keith has very few countywide colleagues supporting her. As you reminded us, Funny Funny, she has “broad support in Menlo Park to run for Supervisor.” While I’m a supporter of district elections for the supervisors race, thankfully, this is particular election is a countywide election because we really get to vet the candidates who should NOT be representing us, such as Keith.
You mention that Kiraly could have supported Slocum and Cohen. Have you ever thought that being the only woman (in the fire board’s 96-year history!) and person of color on the fire board that Kiraly thinks that more diversity on the Board of Supervisors is needed? That could be ONE reason she endorsed both Masur and Romero. But, let’s not speculate. I can see why Kiraly would not endorse Keith after Kiraly’s campaign sign shenaningans allegedly at the hands of Keith’s husband Mr. John Woodell. Maybe, like Jackie Speier, Kiraly is saying that diversity on the Board, given ceteris paribus qualifications is a good thing-- one woman and one person of color. Not bad choices, if this election goes into a run-off between two candidates.
Posted by Hmmm, a resident of another community, on May 2, 2012 at 10:19 am
Mr. Romero is a smartypants & we're lucky to have him. He's well-educated, hardworking & deep-thinking. I wondered when commenters here if/would finally mention him. He's not a snob & relates well to people from all backgrounds. Frankly, I'd hate to lose him to the County, but a Hmmm's gotta do what a Hmmm's gotta do.
Posted by Do Your Homework, a resident of the Portola Valley: Westridge neighborhood, on May 2, 2012 at 10:24 am
How would I know why Kiraly endorsed Masur? I'm not Kiraly.
Again, Kiraly is not a candidate in this race. I have to wonder why you keep bringing her in and deflecting scrutiny to Keith. Why do you keep defending Keith? Are you her husband? If so, I can understand why you would defend Keith and be so vicious toward Kiraly. Leave Kiraly out of this and focus on the issues that have been placed on Keith.
Posted by Funny Funny, a resident of the Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park neighborhood, on May 2, 2012 at 10:53 am
Pointing out Kiraly endorsed Masur is vicious? Pointing out union support of Masur is vicious? Pointing out endorsement of Masur was made over other candidates supportive of pension reform is vicious? Asking why is vicious? Since when is asking why vicious?
Posted by Disillusioned, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, on May 2, 2012 at 11:43 am
It does seem a bit tangential to talk about Ms. Chang Kiraly's endorsement of Masur, but I have to say learning of it has affected my opinion of her. I voted for her in her last race. I won't be voting for her the next time she runs.
Posted by Do Your Homework, a resident of the Portola Valley: Westridge neighborhood, on May 2, 2012 at 12:29 pm
Bottom line is that Keith is a lousy candidate to represent three-quarters of a million in San Mateo County. Her lack of commitment to fulfill even one term on the Menlo Park City Council says a lot about her ambition and very little about her character and commitment made to the Menlo Park community. Hopefully, tomorrow night, she will be able to talk more substantively about the significant issues the county is facing, but I doubt it. Again, short on substance, short on the issues, and I will include short on commitment.