Posted by EnoughAlreadyDick!, a resident of the Menlo Park: Sharon Heights neighborhood, on Nov 6, 2006 at 3:09 pm
Hey, Dick, try responding to this - here's the story about the absolutely shameful "pool rally" that you yourself participated in as reported in the San Jose Mercury News, followed by Mr. Cline's insightful comments on it. Note the one phrase in the news story:
"shouted down by some of the INCUMBENTS and their supporters"
Is that who we WANT running this city - incumbents that SHOUT DOWN others???
No, Dick, you'd better face it - your bums are being thrown out tomorrow!
Uncivil civic race (10/22/06)
Amid a high-stakes City Council campaign in Menlo Park, the veneer of political civility disappeared for a few moments at a rally Thursday.
A shouting match broke out. Insults were hurled. Fingers were pointed. Just another day in American democracy.
Tension is thick in Menlo Park these days because there's a possibility that the pro-growth council majority might lose power. Lee Duboc, Mickie Winkler and Nicholas Jellins have enjoyed control the past four years. But now Jellins has decided not to seek another term, and Duboc and Winkler are running with transportation commissioner John Boyle.
If just one of a trio of challengers -- Rich Cline, Heyward Robinson and Vince Bressler -- is elected, it could shift the balance of power and mark a new day in Menlo Park. Cline and Robinson both are endorsed by the Service Employees International Union.
Which brings us to Thursday's rally, called to decry a union mailer opposing Duboc and Winkler. Things degenerated after a member of the public who opposes the Duboc-Winkler-Boyle slate tried to speak and was shouted down by some of the incumbents and their supporters.
The unidentified woman was ordered to shut up and leave before she asserted herself and said, ``I am a citizen of Menlo Park. You can't tell me where to be.''
Suffice to say, the rally backfired.
Save Our Pool? More like Save Our City...
posted by Rich Cline, a resident of the Central Menlo Park neighborhood, on Oct 20, 2006 at 3:12 pm
I attended the Save the Pool Rally yesterday. I wanted to listen to what folks had to say on the topic, and I felt that it was important for a city council candidate to respect all opinions and represent. Aside from the fact that no one candidate for council has publicly threatened the Menlo Swim program -- a claim set forth by many slate supporters -- the fact that residents were gathering to voice concern seemed valid.
Needless to say, this event kind of took a different turn. I wouldn't say this was planned, but the end result was an embarrassing collage of anger, finger pointing and shouting matches. Unfortunately there were several children in attendance who were able to see first-hand how not to handle a disagreement. Some of the children even played a hand in the ridiculousness.
I did not plan to speak -- but when I was asked by my slate opponents to answer questions relating to the pool, the unions and child care, I respectfully obliged. I am not sure if anyone heard my answers over the shouting but I tried. If you wish to know my position on these issues, please visit my website at Web Link.
During my Q&A session I had sitting council members shouting accusations, deriding me and cutting me off Ö yes, just like our current city council meetings. We all witnessed one slate supporter walk up and bump one of the challengers and shout in his face.
The big point here is that at no time did any of the three host slate candidates try to regain control of the event or try to restore civility. All three encouraged the racous behavior.
I asked some of the attendees several times to calm down, stop shouting and just ask the questions, which I was willing to answer. Some folks did settle down, and I thank them for that, others just couldn't get past themselves.
This event was like a small representation of what is wrong with our city right now. There is much resentment and lots of anger. It seems Menlo Park is now more about the politics than the issues, and that is sad. I reiterate what I have said throughout this campaign. When an organization or a community is suffering from dissention, low morale and lack of unity, who do you blame? Do you blame the people in the organization or community?
No. You blame leadership. Good leaders stand up and take responsibility and work to find common ground. Leaders don't polarize for personal gain, and they donít relish in unprofessional shouting matches as the slate did yesterday.
The fact is Menlo Park is listing like a wounded ship. Our rudder is broken and our captain and crew are blaming us.
It is time for new leadership.
We can shout if we want to, that is our right. But we can also express ourselves quietly and with dignity when we vote for our next city council.