UPDATE: MP council member recall effort still anonymous; intentions, credibility questioned Around Town, posted by Editor, The Almanac Online, on Oct 26, 2007 at 8:01 pm
Whoever is behind the supposed effort to oust Menlo Park City Council members Kelly Fergusson, Richard Cline and Heyward Robinson is remaining anonymous, raising questions whether a recall effort advertised on a new Web site is legitimate.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, October 26, 2007, 5:58 PM
Posted by Steve, a resident of the Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park neighborhood, on Oct 26, 2007 at 8:01 pm
Thank you for writing this article Mr. Brown.
RecallFergie.com is my website. It is my vehicle to attempt to recall three members of the city council.
I suppose I ended up being some kind of leader by initiating a concrete effort. On three different days, Menlo Park has voiced its opposition to this give-free-money-away scheme. I want to gather those who are not turning a blind eye to do something about it.
The city council was elected to represent us, the residents of Menlo Park. If they ignore us and choose to give our money to a few individuals engaged in private enterprise, then they are unfit for office.
In your article, you write that Mr. Boyle finds that the giving away of tax funds does not warrant a recall. To that, sir, I would like to ask what will warrant a recall?
The city council is not charged with engagning in private enterprise yet it insists on investing in a company and investing in real estate on questionable terms. The city council is not charged with loaning out or GIVING out our money yet it insists on doing those very things.
Recall that the first meeting with this proposal was made at the very last minute and held at an inconvenient time. Rather hasty.
I have been reading these articles off and on and I must say that there seems to be a lot of confusion. I myself will not be able to monitor these articles and follow up to questions and in some cases outright lies. I will put a FAQ section on my website, Web Link where I will explain to those who are sitting on the fence what the city council is actually doing.
While I am not alone in my disappointment and anger with the decision that this city council is making, I am going out on a limb and will gather others to join.
I have explained to Mr. Brown why I choose to remain anonymous for now. This is a small town where the "wrong" action will have consequences (especially in business).
4,000 people is not a problem. A lot of people are outraged. Finding enough to sign the petition with their names is another issue.
Are we legitimate? Yep.
Does it matter that residents who don't mind giving our money away are concentrating on the anonymous issue only and not on the greater issue? No.
Does the blurring of civic duty and private enterprise warrant a recall? Yes.
Will any question of legitimacy or anonymity hinder the TRUE reason why I am spending my money on this? No.
I will have some of this incorporated in the website Web Link
Readers, if you have questions or if you want to volunteer in this EARLY STAGE RECALL EFFORT, contact us.
I wish I could address the questions or blind accusations that might follow but I have limited time and don't really monitor these things.
Posted by Mark Drury, a resident of the Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks neighborhood, on Oct 26, 2007 at 10:58 pm
Say what you wish about your reasons for remaining anonymous, "Steve" -- you still look like a craven hunting your white whale if you won't rally your volunteers using your real name. I do not support the Park Theater Folly, but nor would I sign aboard your ship of fools without a captain willing to show his face abovedeck.
Stupid cliches aside, the more honorable course would have been to contact Fergusson, Cline, and Robinson directly to first voice your concerns. Have you done that? Everything I've heard about these people -- and my own experience with Cline and Robinson during their campaigns for city council -- suggests they are nothing if not approachable. In the time you spent registering a domain, cobbling together your website and your wufoo.com form, and planning your recall you could have visited all three council members in person to air your grievances.
Seriously, grow up and actually speak with people. This anonymous internet jockeying serves no one, and I can think of few things we need less in Menlo Park right now than a divisive recall. Regards,
Posted by xyzzy, a resident of the Menlo Park: Sharon Heights neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2007 at 12:46 am
Mr. Drury, I thank you for injecting a note of calm and objectivity to this discussion. I do agree that a recall effort would seem to be more than overkill for a single bad decision. Recalls should be for demonstrable incompetence, corruption, etc. However, there is quite a bit of anger out there and it is because there is little evidence that Mayor actually listened to the citizens of the town as she and some of her council colleagues promised during their campaigns. We have absolutely no idea what she is thinking, and how in creation this move will benefit the city. This controversy is not evenly split, it would appear not inaccurate to say that most people are against it. Yet the Mayor persists.
Posted by Joanna, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2007 at 12:32 pm
The dictionary defines unfit as " not meant or adapted for a given purpose; inappropriate; below the required standard; unqualified"
The dictionary defines prudence as "provident care in the management of resources"
xyzzy, you brought up a good point about what constitutes the grounds for a recall.
The Duncan handout scheme will cost Menlo Park perhaps $millions over the long run.
If handing out money (or even considering it and going forward) is not grounds for a recall then what is? What crosses the line?
It seems to me that the Mayor and the other two are doing this unilaterally because not a single resident supports the scheme. I mean, who does?
Oh, by the way "Mark," there is nothing divisive about suggesting a recall. Divisive would suggest that there is a faction supporting the Duncan handout. Also, I don't remember reading that Steve never talked to the Mayor or those other two. I didn't read it here or on his website. Lastly, your puerile account of how he put his site together speaks volumes about how you operate and does not contribute to the discussion. Please stay on topic.
I don't think there is any other way. Right now, I can't think of any other method of letting them know that unilateral decisions about handouts is unacceptable. What sticks? What tells them that you're serious?
Posted by Angie, a resident of the Menlo Park: Felton Gables neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2007 at 1:33 pm
Well said, joanne. Like many others, I am outraged but afraid to speak up in person, as we see here, there are many freaks came out already when "Steve" posted his website. For those, politic is a full time game, never was there a focus on the issues.
Posted by Mark Drury, a resident of the Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks neighborhood, on Oct 30, 2007 at 1:33 pm
"Oh, by the way 'Mark,' there is nothing divisive about suggesting a recall. Divisive would suggest that there is a faction supporting the Duncan handout."
I appreciate your zeal, Joanna, but you need to logically and emotionally separate the Park Theater Folly from the recall you and your merry band are championing. While you may be correct that few people support the city's acquisition of the Park Theater, I guarantee you there is no such consensus around a recall effort, which is generally a costly and, yes, divisive affair at any level of government.
It's a shame "Steve" didn't begin with a simple petition drive (online or otherwise), one stating opposition to the Park Theater deal, as I'm sure the response would have been more favorable. But in looking at the latest incarnation of the recallfergie.com website, with the image of the youth pondering the recall question (is she old enough to vote?), I'm suddenly convinced the whole effort is the work of one or more overachieving high school civics students, and I'm embarrassed to have been roped in by their online hijinks, so I'll quietly bow out of the discussion now. Regards,
Posted by Joanna, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, on Oct 30, 2007 at 3:48 pm
Mark wrote: "I guarantee you there is no such consensus around a recall effort..."
Mark, with respect, I have to disagree. You can't speak for everyone just like I can't speak for everyone. The more people I talk to, the more I find that they are disenfranchised. Don't forget, the online world here is much much smaller than the offline Menlo Park I know and live in.
If anything is divisive, it is the decision of the mayor and crew to give the Duncan plan any air time. Why? Count on one finger those who support it.
I remember when I first heard of this theater issue. The mayor said one of the reasons she is unilaterally going for it is because Duncan was the only one, "to step up." Hahahahaha.
I don't see a petition circulating (I've asked around) and I doubt it would do any good. It would only put down in writing how Menlo Park feels about it. It will get ignored just like the verbal consensus was. I support the recall for a couple of reasons. One, the mayor's reason, because no one else stepped up, and two, if spending our money without our consent is not a reason to do this, then I would love to see what is. A recall seems like a logical step. While I'm not the only one, I'm glad someone is doing
Hate dong this...
You seem pretty sure about a lot of things here... first that the I or the "protest" is illogical and emotional (you are in no position to say anything about that, my friend!!!), secondly you are sure about a "support the handout" consensus, and thirdly you are positive of the group behind www.recallfergie.com recall site. Ages of pictures?? Come on now!!! What you are doing is going off topic. Stop making a fool of yourself. I think Menlo Park is smarter than that. If you can be so sure of these things (right), then as a fortune teller, picture the masses cheering Duncan with a ticker tape parade as he uses Menlo Park money to make his private dance studio out of the Park, and shut everyone else out. Picture the masses also thanking FRC with a ticker tape parade for ignoring them and spending freely. Anyway, go!!! No more off topic stuff, m'kay?
There is a meeting tonight. I'm working tonight so I can't be there. Anyone going?
Posted by Angie, a resident of the Menlo Park: Felton Gables neighborhood, on Oct 30, 2007 at 8:51 pm
When I put the UUT and Park Theater issues together, I really feel that there is something seriously wrong with our local government. Our city obtained our money by mis-informing the citizens about the budget and now plan to mis-spend the ill-gotten funds on a mis-conceived project of with no public benefit.
Remember the council except Boyle refused to lower tax rate of the UUT until a good citizen sponsored a survey and let people vent about how the UUT came to pass. He received pretty harsh words here for his act. But some how, the four council members backed down and set the UUT rate at 1%. Who should we thank? Certainly not the business community which has never come out for anything of importance to the larger community. Henceforth, I am not going to entertain anyone who has no focus on city issues and displays traits of a paranoid personality.
Some of those folks are here, on this forum, bashing me, Joanna and Steve, hiding behind aliases.
Posted by going to the dogs, a resident of the Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks neighborhood, on Oct 31, 2007 at 2:47 pm
You should watch the webcast of last nite's council mtg., where Fergie and Robbie cut off Rec. Comm. chairman Maurano from reading into the record the commission opposition to the Park theatre proposal. Downright rude and uncouth! Start the recall petition!