Letter: Avoid state mandates; become a charter cityAn inspiring example of the power of local involvement took place at the Menlo Park Steering Committee meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 12. A large crowd — maybe 100 people — showed up to protest the rezoning of lovely Sharon Park for high-density housing. The Steering Committee took note, and voted on the spot to remove the park from the potential new housing sites.
This was an encouraging victory for Menlo Park residents. Residents concerned about new high-density housing and the impacts on our city should keep showing up at Steering Committee, Planning Commission and City Council meetings, to remind our officials that this is our city and we don't want it overbuilt or otherwise negatively impacted.
But our city is also being handed coercive mandates from the state and regional governmental entities such as ABAG. Luckily, there is a way to win back our local control, and that is by becoming a charter city. Such a charter can trump what other agencies might want to impose on us regarding matters of local concern.
Interested residents should flood the City Council with phone calls, emails, letters, and in-person public comments at City Council meetings, requesting that Menlo Park become a charter city. Let's keep our momentum going and preserve not only our parks, but our schools, our livability and our small-town charm.
Menlo Park downtown