The three incumbents running for Menlo Park City Council appear tired. Reflecting on the incumbents collectively, they haven't done anything remarkable to warrant collective re-election. Indeed, Measure M serves as a fig leaf for the incumbents, a smokescreen obscuring the quality of their individual merits and contributions the past four years. Personnel foibles like the termination of Teacher Michelle, the Naked Police Officer on Duty, the addition of an assistant to the City Manager (who already has two Assistant City Managers). System breakdowns like being blindsided by the recent departure of a key sales tax contributor causing a loss of $1Million a year. Housing element update; General Plan update. None of this is under discussion.
But the candidate alternatives aren't collectively compelling either. So it's the poker hand of Menlo Park - we need to pass some cards and hold some.
The easy decision for me is to dispense with the candidates from Oak Court - the Bermuda Triangle of Menlo Park where credibility is lost below the waves of the O'Connor Tract Water District. These are diversions that aren't helping the city or the council.
My first choice is Planning Commissioner Drew Combs. I've known Drew since March when we both participated in the MP Citizens' Police Academy. Sitting next to each other one night, we introduced each other, and I immediate silently earmarked him for council. Undergrad Columbia University, Harvard Law School - arguably the best academic credentials on council. He will bring new life to a tired council, be a bridge to communities and a healer post-Measure M, wherever that goes.
Reelect Rich Cline and Peter Ohtaki. Usually when one desires to punish council members you remove them from office. In Rich's case the punishment is to serve a third term. You asked for it, big guy.
If you want some more fresh ideas, consider Kristen Duresiti in lieu of Cline or Ohtaki.
There you have it: Combs, Cline and Ohtaki. New ideas and skills bracketed by stability.