Park Theatre backlash: Web site threatens recall against Fergusson, Cline and Robinson Menlo Park, posted by Editor, The Almanac Online, on Oct 25, 2007 at 5:21 pm
A newly created Web site states that a recall effort is in the works against Menlo Park City Council members Kelly Fergusson, Richard Cline and Heyward Robinson -- the three council members who voted in favor of a controversial plan to use taxpayer dollars to buy the Park Theatre in a plan that will benefit a private business.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, October 25, 2007, 11:41 AM
Posted by Morris Brown, a resident of the Menlo Park: Park Forest neighborhood, on Oct 25, 2007 at 5:21 pm
To the sponsor(s) of the Recallfergie.com website.
A recall petition is a serious but legitimate part of the democratic process in California. However, just posting an anonymous sponsored website claiming to start a recall is not legitimate, and should not be condoned nor supported.
When the Derry referendum was initiated, five well known citizens of Menlo Park published our notice to initiate the process in a paid ad in the Almanac. At the bottom of the ad were the names of the five citizens taking responsibility for the ad and the referendum effort.
You simply start a $10.00 website and ask for support from the citizens of Menlo Park. Who are you? Until you come out and disclose yourselves not a single resident should take you seriously, much less sign up to help in the recall effort.
Just to be clear, I have not to date, been a supporter for saving the Park Theater.
Posted by TakingACloserLook, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, on Oct 25, 2007 at 8:44 pm
Take a closer look at the different threads in this forum about the movie theater issue and concentrate on just all the "outraged"-type posts - mainly by "Joanne," plus an assortment of by others with a variety of anonymous names attached - and you'll notice that they all seem rather similar in both tone and style.
Thus, my bet would be that they're all coming from the same person and it is likley that that same person is the one who put up the website (which, by the way, isn't much of a website at all - in fact, it's just a single webpage - lending further credence to my one-person effort theory).
And given the "Recall Fergie" name, this ceratinly seems to be an effort squarely aimed at our Mayor, with the other two council members likley just along for the ride.
I'd also like to kindly suggest to The Almanac that they give no more mention of this effort (and certainly NOT run an actual story in the hard-copy paper on it) until that person/person(s) comes out of hiding and has more to say than just two sentences on a webpage (or just gives anonymous rantings on a forum board). Thanks.
Posted by TakingACloserLook2, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, on Oct 26, 2007 at 12:45 pm
WOW, "Joanne", a WHOLE one-sentence update to the webpage with today's date attached. Might that just be in response to my posting last night??? (Naugh, mere coincidence - rrriiigggghhhttttt!)
And interesting "Joanne" that you didn't say that you've already volunteered for this effort through that webpage. If you really were different from the "organizers," you, of all people, I would have expected to have been the first to proudly proclaim having signed up for duty. (Just a mere oversight on your part? - rrriiiiggghhhtttt again!)
Now I'd REALLY be surprised if there's more than even just one person behind this!
Good luck gathering those volunteers - I dare say you're going to need it!
Posted by Steve Schmidt, a resident of the Menlo Park: The Willows neighborhood, on Oct 26, 2007 at 1:13 pm
While I don't think that anyone is holding his or her breath over the revelation of those responsible for the recall rumor, it would be interesting to see who the "volunteers" might be. Another reason to go to the Farmer's Market? I think that a recall over any issue of anyone who is up for re-election within a year is pointless.
I agree with Morris Brown's comments on this subject: The posting of anonymous opinions has taken a destructive turn that does nothing for the faint hopes for greater political harmony in Menlo Park. Maybe we should return to writing letters to the editor. Say what you believe; sign your name and wait for phone calls or the responses in next week's Almanac. Be willing to suffer the consequences, whatever they might be.
Posted by Joanne, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, on Oct 26, 2007 at 4:21 pm
While I haven't yet received a reply to my inquiry, I don't see what the problem is. I think this is a touchy thing. There are crazies (ahem... look above your post) here who might just come to your door if they don't like you or if they are threatened by your intelligence or wealth or opinions. I didn't give my address to the website and while I've committed to give a small amount of money for flyers (that's what I asked for) I haven't yet.
You say pointless? I work hard for my money and I ain't giving it to Duncan or anyone. As ridiculous as it is, I'd rather have two more city managers than give $500k to some guy.
I don't know about you, but like others here think, I don't like it. You can sit and take it. I won't.
Posted by whatever..., a resident of the Menlo Park: Fair Oaks neighborhood, on Oct 26, 2007 at 10:50 pm
"Takeacloserlook", you should not limit yourself to canvassing reading opinion on just these forums. Plenty of folks in the offline world, in face to face messaging think this deal is a terrible idea. Unless you totally wallow in nostalgia about your tender years spent at the Park, there is NO way this deal makes ANY sense.
Posted by think, a resident of the Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks neighborhood, on Oct 26, 2007 at 11:19 pm
Trying to stop the City from subsidizing a venture, like the Park Theater, by trying to start a Recall is really missing the target.
To begin with, at this stage, only investigating the possibility for a Park deal has been authorized by council. Clearly Mayor Fergusson is leading the charge, I wouldn't think you have any chance of getting her to back down.
Boyle and Cohen are not supporting the effort. The effort should be directed at Robinson and Cline. Cline in this forum made clear he was not voting for the project, but only to look further.
The correct approach would be to write letters (plenty have in the City's e-mail log), call then and give them your opinion. Use the appropriate method for getting Robinson and Cline to vote no when it comes back to council You only need one of their votes to kill all of this.
If indeed a deal does pass council then take the legal route, file a law suit or maybe run a referendum. Referendums seem to work in Menlo Park.
A recall is not the proper vehicle. Those who are out to scalp Fergusson will no doubt accomplish that in the next election anyway if the council doesn't come to its senses; I sense almost no support among the voters for spending money to support a private dance studio.
Of course, the last council essentially gave away the community Burgess pool which cost eight million, to a private group for 5 years. Our elected officials really make poor decisions at times.
Posted by Steve, a resident of the Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2007 at 8:51 pm
@Think-- Thank you for your comments. I agree with some of your points and disagree with others.
I believe you are correct when you suggest that the Mayor will "[not] back down."
From everyone that I have polled, from my entire block, from the board members of a certain company that I am on, from every public letter/email to the city, to everything that I have read here and elsewhere...
*****NO ONE SUPPORTS THIS DEAL*****
(Well except for Duncan, the Mayor, the two City Council members and the theater owner of course.)
*Despite* all of this, the Mayor and her two colleagues *still* continue to consider this dubious deal.
Autonomous mayors and council members are considered ousted mayors and council members in my book.
I remember the pool debacle. What did voters do about it? What kind of message did the voters send to that administration and the administrations to follow?
I established the RECALL FERGIE Web Link website and movement to consolidate and organize angered residents who want to do somehing. We could have chosen to wait. We could have sent letters and emails into an abyss (most of us have). We could have voiced our opinions (most of us have).
Some may not like this vehicle but from the response I am getting this is a viable endeavor. No, the Mayor and the two council members have not yet given our money away. By gaining volunteers now at this stage, we are basically going to unleash the effort in full force when needed. Like I mentioned in the website Web Link the papers have not yet been pulled.
One last thing, you mentioned that our elected officials make poor decisions at times. Yes, they do indeed. But not at my expense if I can help it.
Again, thank you for your comments "think"... I will incorporate some of the topics you have brought up in the website.