Pool political rally turns into shouting match: POST YOUR COMMENTS HERE
Original post made by Richard Hine on Oct 21, 2006
Organized by supporters of council candidates John Boyle, Lee Duboc and Mickie Winkler -- who form the "majority" camp -- the rally was sparked by a flier recently mailed to residents by the San Mateo County Central Labor Council that attacked the "majority" for making the decision.
To see the story, click here:
Post your comments on the rally, the shouting match, and the related issues by clicking on the "Add a comment" link below.
on Oct 24, 2006 at 7:52 am
SLATE WHISPERING CAMPAIGN IS FALSE: SHEEPER 5-YR POOL CONTRACT NOT SUBJECT TO CITY COUNCIL POLITICAL DISCRETION.(Council elected this November will be not be the future council that re-negotiates the contract.)
There is no truth to the rumour that Burgess Pool Operator Tim Sheeper is vulnerable to arbitrarily losing his 5-year contract, or that opponents of the Duboc, Winkler slate have said or printed they would try to revoke the contract.
Tim Sheeper is under a 5-year contract with Menlo Park that can only be terminated for breach of terms. Arbitrary termination is not under the discretion of council. No council opponent could prematurely terminate the binding contract, nor have they said or printed that they would try.
Opposition criticism in the community stems from these facts:
The brand new taxpayer-funded $6.8M swimming facility was given to Mr. Sheeper, rent-free and without a competitive bidding process.
The deal was inked hurriedly after a short 4-week process, arguably before the business case was fully known or properly vetted by the community.
Finally, the 5-year contract with Tim Sheeper will expire *AFTER* the 4-year terms of council members elected in November, hence the issue is completely irrelevant to the November election.
By all accounts, Tim Sheeper is doing a good job and runs a good program. His management is not at issue.
on Oct 24, 2006 at 9:09 am
Richard Hine is a registered user.
Here is a related post in Town Square: Web Link
on Oct 24, 2006 at 8:23 pm
DISGUISING ISSUES: TRICK OR TREAT?
The backers of the slate are lumping together city employees, union endorsements, the local swim program, and the opposing candidates. Toss in large doses of hysteria and a measure of vitriol. Whip it all up to confuse voters and there you have it: an indigestible mess!
The slate's PR operation is manufacturing a pool issue where there is none. The only relevant issue is that of sound governance: Menlo Park's interests are best served when competitive bidding occurs. Candidates Bressler, Robinson, and Cline have repeatedly expressed admiration for the pool program. They do, however, reject the no-bid process the City Council majority engaged in which awarded operation of a new $7 million taxpayer-funded facility without the benefit of open bidding.
In a slate-generated press release and in a new, desperate mailer, Candidate Duboc gratuitously attacks labor unions (which opposed the private pool deal) and says: "The real issue is who the voters are going to trust to stand up to these powerful special interests..." Who are those evil-doer "special interests?" They represent our city employees, people we trust with the care of our public assets and even our children! Why the slate candidates are vilifying a city employees' union is mystifying. Ms. Duboc was herself endorsed by the very union she now reviles, along with candidate Mickie Winkler, when they first ran for Council 4 years ago.
Notably, neither Candidate Robinson nor Candidate Cline, whom the SEIU endorsed this time around, has received any money from the union.
Conversely, the Winkler-Duboc-Boyle slate is gleefully amassing enormous donations from property developers and the real estate community. At a time when Menlo Park is re-zoning land feverishly, the objectivity of candidates now accepting thousands of dollars from those who will most benefit from future council decisions about development is a legitimate concern. One must echo Ms. Duboc's prescient words: who are the voters "going to trust to stand up to these powerful special interests," i.e. the developers, property management companies, and out-of-area realtor PACs that have funneled many thousands of dollars into the slate's campaign.