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Why I Voted For The Derry Project AND Support the Referendum

Original post made by Kelly Fergusson, Menlo Park: The Willows, on Oct 27, 2006

Letter from Kelly Fergusson, Vice Mayor, Menlo Park

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Posted by Gern Blanston
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Oct 27, 2006 at 2:01 pm

With all due respect, Kelly, your position appears untenable. The only way you can support both the Derry project as approved by the City Council *and* the follow-on referendum effort is if you had some revelation after voting in favor of the project, and that does not appear to be the case. All feelings for the work of the O'Brien Group and the Derry family aside, the project was either fair to Menlo Park in terms of negotiated benefit or it was not, and no matter how much you argued for the public good before the vote, your final "Yes" was a definitive nod to the fairness of the project. To me, at least, there is no middle ground.

Now, that said, I do appreciate your efforts to garner the negotiated public benefit before the vote, and I know that you actually care about the concerns of Menlo Park residents, and place those concerns on par with, if not above, the desires of developers (unlike the current council majority, which doesn't give a damn about resident concerns, if the process leading to the approval of the 110 and 175 Linfield project is any indication). I just hope you and Andy Cohen are joined on the council by anyone other than Winkler and Duboc after November 7th.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 30, 2006 at 12:27 am

I must agree with Gern.

I actually took the time to watch the webcast of the final negotiating session that you referred to. I heard you say it was a great project and I heard you ask for two specific mitigations.

1) A request that the developer ammend the landscape design to incorporate your favorite tree, the Red Oak, rather the the trees the planning department had approved. A concession that was granted.

2) A request that the developer somehow take part in reopenning the Park Theater, a property he does not control. A concession that was not supported by a majority of council.

I did not hear you propose any mitigations for traffic, school enrollment, height, density, or any of the other things that petitioners later expressed concerns about.

At a later council meeting, I heard Morris Brown thank you for helping organize the petition drive, provide the names of likely supporters and provide guidance on how to run it. I also heard that you provided the signature gatherers with a letter signed as Vice Mayor encouraging people to sign the petition.

Like the project or not - I do not think that this is any way for an elected official to behave.

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Posted by resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 30, 2006 at 10:47 pm

This sounds like highly unethical behaviour.

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Posted by mptaxpayer
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Nov 8, 2006 at 12:07 pm

Just curious, how much is your vote going to cost to get the project through now?