Pool of Menlo council candidates grows by one Menlo Park, posted by Editor, The Almanac Online, on Jun 27, 2012 at 12:28 pm
Three candidates for the two seats open on the Menlo Park City Council means it's starting to look like a race after all. Menlo Park firefighter Dave Bragg, a former Marine who also runs a construction company in his off-duty hours, intends to run.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, June 26, 2012, 2:03 PM
Posted by Bob, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, on Jun 27, 2012 at 3:54 pm
City Council commitments take a fair amount of time. If Mr. Bragg is a firefighter, part-time construction company man, I presume a husband and father, when will he have time to fulfill his city obligations?
I'm sure he is also a member of IAFF, the fire union. The local fire chapter spent more than $50,000 in the last fire district election to support Mr. Silano. One can only guess how much they will be involved in this election.
Posted by Free Advice, a resident of the Menlo Park: The Willows neighborhood, on Jun 27, 2012 at 7:43 pm
Let's hope Mr. Bragg begins attending every city council meeting so he can get a taste of the long, boring hours of listening to staff and the public. It's not all about making easy decisions. Maybe he'll be enthralled with the topics and the whining from the public. Who knows. Let's hope he has some connections in town who can give him a reality check on the responsibilities of the job. It's no picnic. Since he moved to Menlo Park in 1998, has he been active in the community? Has he served on any commissions? Has he rolled up his sleeves and helped out with any of the controversial issues facing Menlo Park?
He seems to have a full life and one wonders how he will also find time to be on the council.
It's better to elect people who understand the challenges, the most recent vision, the players, and the values of the community.
Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of the Menlo Park: other neighborhood, on Jun 27, 2012 at 7:45 pm
"We need someone who will STAND UP to unions. This is the same as Fergusson."
Why do you think he's running Joanna? The unions are afraid they're gong to lose Kelly on the council as her ethics, or lack thereof, have ticked off a lot of voters. You can bet they'll be supplying him with a lot of money.
Interesting thing is his business is no longer located in Menlo Park. Where does he live?
Posted by Bob, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, on Jun 28, 2012 at 8:03 am
Knowing that fire fighters work a different type of schedule, what will Mr. Bragg do when a council meeting or other obligation conflicts with his work schedule? As I understand it, city council members have several obligations outside of regular meetings.
"Come on Peter...I always wonder if you believe the stuff you write. If people who support you actually knew the truth I am pretty sure they would be done with you too...
Like Mike said..To Bart and Peter...you are the enemy and the firefighters just won this battle. Turn in your badges and go away for a long long time...
just because Peter is the self appointed s#@t disturber doesn't mean you are getting the full story. I you are really interested in what is going on with the firefighters please contact our Association President or VP."
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of the Atherton: Lindenwood neighborhood, on Jun 29, 2012 at 8:39 am Peter Carpenter is a member (registered user) of Almanac Online
I am actually quite proud that the firefighters' union leaders consider "Peter is the self appointed s#@t disturber" simply because I was the one that stopped their gravy train.
While I have great respect for the individual firefighters and their professionalism the individuals who led the union during my tenure were irresponsible and greedy - and I understand that it really upsets them when I tell it like it is.
Posted by free advice, a resident of the Menlo Park: The Willows neighborhood, on Jun 29, 2012 at 5:29 pm
At least 34yr. old David Bragg didn't contribute to Yes on Prop 8. I checked. His support of the ballot does seem out of sync with the values of Menlo Park. The number of people and the amounts contributed to No on 8 out number the supporters by a huge percentage.
Does anyone think that Mr. Bragg has been encouraged to run by the Tea Party movement? I does seem odd that someone with no political experience in Menlo Park would pop up in a presidential election year.
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of the Atherton: Lindenwood neighborhood, on Jul 2, 2012 at 1:45 pm Peter Carpenter is a member (registered user) of Almanac Online
I was wrong!!
I spent over an hour this morning with Dave Bragg discussing his candidacy for the Menlo Park City Council. Dave is a local businessman, community volunteer, combat veteran, Menlo Park resident and a MPFPD firefighter. I was pleasantly surprised by Dave's views and background - not at all what I expected.
I believe that Dave could well be an excellent council member and I have encouraged him to make his positions on key issues facing Menlo Park known to others.
Posted by community, a resident of the Menlo Park: other neighborhood, on Jul 3, 2012 at 12:43 pm
Peter, we believe you also have a sincere desire to serve the community, as does Mr. Bragg. You are both clearly very interested in Menlo Park politics, but we've never seen you speak at a council meeting. We appreciate that you register and login before making criticism, but this is not the same as coming to council chambers, standing a few feet from the dais, and looking these volunteer council members in the eyes.
Serving as a commissioner provides an opportunity for residents to learn about Robert's Rules of Order, the Brown Act, as well as the give-and-take of open government. Unlike the excitement of a political campaign, the process of serving on a commission or council can be quite tedious. We appreciate Mr. Bragg's desire to servie, and hope he will apply for a commission, or speak up at a council meeting on an agent item of interest.
Posted by volunteer, a resident of the Menlo Park: Belle Haven neighborhood, on Jul 4, 2012 at 11:05 am
Community isn't running for council. But as far as I can tell, Bragg has never served on a commission, hasn't spoken at a council meeting (has he ever attended one?), and hasn't written a letter to the council. He's a firefighter and he runs a business and has a family. Is he really going to have the time and energy to devote to being on the council? If he's got so many great ideas for the city, how come he's been so quiet until now?
You do have to wonder what's behind this candidacy.
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of the Atherton: Lindenwood neighborhood, on Jul 4, 2012 at 12:26 pm Peter Carpenter is a member (registered user) of Almanac Online
In my experience individuals with strong ties to the community and without political aspirations can bring both a breath of fresh air and much needed new perspective to councils dominated by career politicians.
Dave Bragg has long time business ties to MP, a history of community (not political) volunteering, is a decade long first responder in the community and a combat veteran - all perspectives that would be a welcome addition to the MP council.
Posted by volunteer, a resident of the Menlo Park: Belle Haven neighborhood, on Jul 4, 2012 at 10:11 pm
Seriously, Peter? Career politicians? As far as I know, there are no politicians on any Menlo Park commissions. Rather, there are people with a variety of backgrounds who are volunteering their time and energy on behalf of the community. They are trying to represent the collective interests of all residents, not pander to special interests.
If it's important that a council member be a "breath of fresh air," and ignorance of council processes is no barrier to serving, why not just choose members at random from among Menlo Park voters? Now, that would be fair, and we'd certainly get a range of perspectives.
"His main argument against Measure L, which applies to new hires, is that it won't change the city's budget for about 15 years. "If we have to make a budget change, I want to make decisions that change the budget today, not 15 years from now," he said"
Anyone can read the smart voter and compare it to Bragg's "reasons". He obviously has tried to memorize the smart voter guide opposition statement, and is mixing up 14 years and 15 years. Someone has been tutoring the guy on what to say, it seems.
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of the Atherton: Lindenwood neighborhood, on Jul 5, 2012 at 6:56 am Peter Carpenter is a member (registered user) of Almanac Online
Volunteer could certainly choose council members by random selection from the population but then you would not get any combat veterans (sadly less han 1% of MP population), few business people, and no one with extensive emergency response experience. As for 'ignorance of council procedures' (like illegal lobbying for election as Mayor?) it would be refreshing to see someone with a sense of military discipline on the dias.
As for Bragg and Measure L - read the whole article -" He voted against Measure L, but said he was "100 percent on board" with some type of reform to public pay and benefits".
His main opposition is that "Measure L does nothing to reduce current expenditures sinced it would only apply to future hires. Savings would not begin to accrue for fourteen years; the full benefit would take thirty of more" AND that it did not apply to ALL MP employees. I agree on both counts.
Posted by Measure L, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, on Jul 5, 2012 at 8:30 am
Peter read the anti-measure L ballot statement. It also 100% was on board with pension reform as well. You just backed the union position on the ballot statement. Every union opposing pension reform measures on ballots all over the country claim what Bragg has said. "We support reform but it needs to come through negotiation. Savings can be achieve now as opposed to later." Did you ask Bragg what type of pension reform he supports right now?
Presumptively Bragg was encouraged to run by the fire fighter union (public employee) union whom he counts as one of his only supporters besides you and the Pop Warner president and the Little League president, BECAUSE he is a veteran and Firefighter who will wrap the anti-measure L ballot statement in those attributes. It worked with you. It will probably work with others.
After all, it only took an hour for him to convince you to the extent you actually have now gone on record as supporting the mantra of public employee unions everywhere who argue against pension reform ballot initiatives.
Posted by Measure L, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, on Jul 5, 2012 at 8:39 am
Actually, the rest of Mr. Bragg's arguments against Measure L are identical those contained the anti-meaure L ballot statement signed by Fergusson, one of the other candidate for Menlo Park City Council:
"Measure L does not address rapidly escalating police salaries and benefits."
"Measure L does nothing to reduce current expenditures sinced it would only apply to future hires. Savings would not begin to accrue for fourteen years; the full benefit would take thirty of more. (tiny.cc/190cs). In contrast, City Council's solution created immediate savings: it requires all non-safety employees to share health care costs and, if contribution levels rise, pension costs increase."
Posted by Dave Bragg- Business Owner/City Council Candidate, a resident of the Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle neighborhood, on Jul 5, 2012 at 9:20 am
Just to clarify a few of my positions, and briefly why I am running......
This is a fantastic community on the verge of many positive improvements. Our family is deeply involved here in many activities from sports, to parks, to dining, to shopping, to business and I am very interested in getting involved in Shaping Menlo Park's Future.
I am in support of the new downtown plan. This will improve our community on a number of levels.
One of my biggest areas of focus will be on attracting more small business to our downtown. Our City has already brought in Facebook. Hopefully this will entice others to start small businesses in our community. My biggest backers surprisingly are business people in the community not the unions. The tough part about that is most business owners do not want to identify themselves for fear of repercussions. During my campaign I will be focusing on reaching out to the businesses in our community to figure how best I can serve them if elected.
And for the record the Firefighter Association had no idea I was running until they saw it in the paper. There is a good chance they will be endorsing me at their next meeting, because I work with these guys. But I have told them that I do not want any financial support of my campaign. Also for clarification Menlo Park Fire Protection District has its own Governing Body and its own budget separate from The City of Menlo Park.
The question about Measure L. There is no question with a 75% approval our citizens want pension reform. I voted no because I didn't think it went far enough.
There are many issues that I feel strongly about and can't wait to share them. Soon I will put together a website that reveals all of that. But for now if you have any questions you can email me and we can set up a face to face. My calendar is filling up rapidly for meetings but I will make time for you. Or if you prefer the anonymous postings here then please consider posting answerable questions and do it respectfully, and I will attempt to respond.
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of the Atherton: Lindenwood neighborhood, on Jul 5, 2012 at 9:38 am Peter Carpenter is a member (registered user) of Almanac Online
Measure L - You are not paying attention - I stated:
"Measure L does nothing to reduce current expenditures sinced it would only apply to future hires. Savings would not begin to accrue for fourteen years; the full benefit would take thirty of more" AND that it did not apply to ALL MP employees. I agree on both counts.
That was NOT the unions' position by any means.
And how in the world do you appropriate for yourself the name Measure L? A bit presumptuous.
Posted by Dave Bragg- Business Owner/City Council Candidate, a resident of the Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle neighborhood, on Jul 5, 2012 at 10:20 am
You seem to have a lot of questions. I would love to sit down with you to discuss firstname.lastname@example.org.
I feel you would be pleasantly surprised about my positions on all of the above matters.
Here are a couple answers to above....
Q about will firefighters send mailers?: At this point they will not be sending mailers for me that I am aware of. Why would they? City Council has no say over FD issues in Menlo Park?
Q any firefighters running my campaign?: At this point the only people involved in my campaign are family.
Q How do I feel about others creating mailers?: If the unions spend money on mailers for me that is completely out of my control. I plan to have enough financial support from others to get my message out.
I do have a couple questions for you.....
1. What is you involvement with Measure L?
2. Assuming you are a voter in Menlo Park, and you are intimately involved in pension reform. How best can I represent your beliefs on City Council? and are there any other issues that are near and dear to you?
Posted by volunteer, a resident of the Menlo Park: Belle Haven neighborhood, on Jul 5, 2012 at 11:21 am
"Q How do I feel about others creating mailers?: If the unions spend money on mailers for me that is completely out of my control."
That response is either naive or disingenuous. All candidates are invited to union interviews. If they give the responses the union prefers, the union supports them. It is 100% within an individual candidate's control.
Thank you for posting on here.
P.S. to Peter: the fact that so few combat veterans live in Menlo Park is actually an argument against electing one to our council. If we want to focus on representation of minority groups, there are more interesting ones we could include. Novelists, dancers, artists, for example.
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of the Atherton: Lindenwood neighborhood, on Jul 5, 2012 at 11:33 am Peter Carpenter is a member (registered user) of Almanac Online
Volunteer - how fitting that you post that comment on the day after the 4th of July - sit back and enjoy the freedoms that a very few others have fought to protect for you - and you and your elected representatives chose their battles, they didn't.
And it was you, not I, that wanted random selection. My interest is not in the representation of minority groups because those groups are minorities but rather on people with special skills and values which are essential to good government and, sadly, all too rare in a random sample.
Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiņa, a resident of the Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park neighborhood, on Jul 5, 2012 at 12:31 pm Roy Thiele-Sardiņa is a member (registered user) of Almanac Online
I am not sure who you are (anonymous posting really are cowqardly), but PLEASE stop using that alias. If you are not Henry Riggs(Co-Chairman), Ned Moritz (Treasurer), or me(Co-Chairman) please refrain from insinuating you speak for Measure L (Citizens for Responsible Pension Reform).
We will be asking ALL the candidates their thoughts on pension reform and will be publishing their responses. In the meantime please pick another alais to "hide" behind.
Co-Chairman of Citizens for Responsible Pension Reform (Measure L)