News

Menlo Park: Potential candidates now six

 

Another Menlo Park resident on record as opposing high-speed rail has pulled papers to run for City Council. Russell Peterson joins five other potential candidates, although none has yet filed papers to become official candidates.

Mr. Peterson and a Menlo Park business filed a lawsuit in 2009 against the California High-Speed Rail Authority and the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, asking San Mateo County Superior Court to stop the project until Union Pacific, which retains the right to veto any intercity passenger service other than Caltrain along the corridor, consented to the development. The court dismissed the lawsuit on June 22.

Council incumbents Rich Cline and Heyward Robinson, along with Menlo Park Fire Protection Board President Peter Ohtaki, and Menlo Park residents Chuck Bernstein and Mike Brady have also taken out papers. Interestingly, Mr. Brady was one of the attorneys representing Mr. Peterson in the high-speed rail lawsuit.

The deadline for filing is Aug. 6, but may be extended to Aug. 11 if Councilman John Boyle does not reconsider his decision to retire from the council at the end of his term.

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 3, 2010 at 8:02 pm

What's involved in a recall election of a sitting council person?


Like this comment
Posted by Rose Gutshall
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Aug 3, 2010 at 8:25 pm

This is shaping up like 2002- Bernstein/Brady/Peterson are definitely the underwhelming Speer/Halleck/Stein slate. The only question is whether Ohtaki will have any company- what are you guys waiting for?


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 3, 2010 at 8:52 pm

What do the voters want in the upcoming electin?

Let me provide my personal preferences in order to get the discussion going:

1 - committed to open and transparent government and pledged not to use closed sessions except when absolutely necessary (as opposed to using closed sessions whenever permitted).

2 - independent as demonstrated by neither seeking nor accepting support from anyone who is not a registered voter in their jurisdiction, which means accepting neither money or endorsements from unions, developers, business organization or civic groups.

3 - committed to acting in the best interest of the citizens of their jurisdiction rather than to further their own agenda or the agenda of some outside group.

4 - committed to working with their fellow council members to find the best solution for their jurisdiction without personal attacks or animosity.

5 - committed to having a balanced budget without recourse to reserves or accounting tricks.

6 - open to considering any opportunity for significant costs savings such as outsourcing of specific services.


Like this comment
Posted by Out of the Money
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 3, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Incumbent Slocumites, Cline and Robinson will have a tough time come November with looming tax revenue shortfalls, spotlighting them with open wallet attitudes towards labor demands and outside consultants (esp. Downtown/ECR $1.3 MM clueless Hired Gun planners).
Boyle saw the handwriting on the wall, maybe you all should step aside and let more experienced business people take your seat at the dais. Thanks for your 4 years of public service, but these difficult times demand council members who have little tolerance for political fools like Fergusson, and the "nice old man but kind of losing it" Cohen.
This November will be a Business Decision to regain some sanity to our local government leadership.


Like this comment
Posted by Just Wondering
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 4, 2010 at 6:11 am

Peter

Stop posting the exact same stuff multiple times!
[Portion removed. Please discuss the topic and avoid attacking other posters.]


Like this comment
Posted by I want the best
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Aug 4, 2010 at 8:12 am

Gail Slocum for City Council. She will make the other communities "Green" with envy.


Like this comment
Posted by looking on
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 4, 2010 at 11:48 am

It is hard to understand just where council persons stand on being "green"

They all say they advocate green policies, but then they take actions that are hardly advancing the "green" agenda.

The Bohannon project is certainly a prime example. Cline and Robinson voted for the project, claiming is was green. They come to this conclusion since Bohannon made a big deal of agreeing to LEED standards. But the Leed standard he agreed to are 2008 standards, and the project won't be built for many years into the future, when newer and more strict standards are sure to be instituted.

The planning commission approved with conditions that a 50% reduction in traffic be instituted. Council approved with a 17% reduction, and 10% of that reduction was due to a "reexamination" of what the study had produced. Net only a 7 percent reduction. Boy is that being green!

Since the project is so auto centric and most of the pollution comes from autos, how can it be claimed to be green.

So Cline and Robinson, while claiming to the green community to be on their side, are in reality taking just the opposite approach when they have a chance to vote.

Since Slocum has been mentioned. She, who claims to be an icon of the Green Movement, supported the project, for reason that are hard to fathom. She voted years ago against the Sun Micro project.

Kelly Fergusson's position in all of this just plain crazy.


Like this comment
Posted by Oh No!
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Aug 4, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Russ Peterson, a resident of Felton Gables who has been an opponent of both High Speed Rail and Caltrain.

Is there a candidate who is for something, rather than simply being opposed to one or several major issues? Who is not against the train, Bohannon developments, the downtown renovation, the parking garage, housing, Dumbarton Rail, El Camino Real revitalization, Safe Routes To School, grade separations of train tracks or commercial development of blighted sites on North El Camino Real?

Menlo Park has become the City of Maybe and then followed by NO! But that is a 2 to 3 year process. In that time, babies are born, they've learned to walk and talk; marriages have ended and grandparents have died; jobs have been lost and houses have been bought and sold.

Referenda, law suits, delay, and blight. And for this, we continue to pay high property taxes.


Like this comment
Posted by James Madison
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 4, 2010 at 12:40 pm

Those who post would demonstrate their self assurance and faith in participatory democracy by using their true names.


Like this comment
Posted by Kelly Brennan
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 4, 2010 at 4:31 pm

I will miss John Boyle as the voice of reason.

Peter Carpenter's list of what one should look for in prospective candidates should include "superior critical thinking skills" as a necessary attribute!


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 4, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Kelly - good suggestion; here is the new list:

1 - committed to open and transparent government and pledged not to use closed sessions except when absolutely necessary (as opposed to using closed sessions whenever permitted).

2 - independent as demonstrated by neither seeking nor accepting support from anyone who is not a registered voter in their jurisdiction, which means accepting neither money or endorsements from unions, developers, business organization or civic groups.

3 - committed to acting in the best interest of the citizens of their jurisdiction rather than to further their own agenda or the agenda of some outside group.

4 - committed to working with their fellow council members to find the best solution for their jurisdiction without personal attacks or animosity.

5 - committed to having a balanced budget without recourse to reserves or accounting tricks.

6 - open to considering any opportunity for significant costs savings such as outsourcing of specific services.

7 - Superior critical thinking skills.


Like this comment
Posted by looking on
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 4, 2010 at 5:27 pm

adding to above post.

8. Not taking advice for non residents of Menlo Park.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 4, 2010 at 5:38 pm

Looking on states:"8. Not taking advice for non residents of Menlo Park."
I suspect that he meant 'Not taking advice FROM non residents of Menlo Park'. To which I would respond that it is unfortunate that Looking On feels that all the wisdom in the world already resides in Menlo Park and that he doesn't need any advice from "outsiders". Wow, just think of all wisdom of the ages from the Greeks, the Europeans, the Chinese, the Founding Fathers, etc., that Looking On is fully prepared to ignore. Perhaps Looking On has inadvertently put his finger on one of the reasons for the current council's inability to make good decisions.

Clearly Looking On's rule 8 violates rule 7 - Superior critical thinking skills.

Superior critical thinking skills would require that the candidate consider advice from anyone and be prepared to accept or reject that advice based on its merits rather than its birthplace.


Like this comment
Posted by James
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Aug 4, 2010 at 6:17 pm

Maybe in the near future Menlo Park will change how other communities view our city. We are seen as having either the most or one of the most dysfunctional city councils on the Peninsula by other cities.

Hopefully, the citizens will rally behind candidates that put the interest of this community first and aren't swayed by outside interest groups. It's time to be smart in our thinking and our decisions including our financial future.

The time to change the perception of our city is now!


Like this comment
Posted by Just Wondering
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 4, 2010 at 6:43 pm

So, Peter, you're now on a par with "the Greeks, the Europeans, the Chinese, the Founding Fathers" in giving sage advice?

Thanks, but I think I'll put more faith in what my next fortune cookie tells me instead!


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 4, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Just wandering, as usual completely missing the point and only interested in making an attack. Do you have anything of value to add to the discussion? Didn't think so.


Like this comment
Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Aug 4, 2010 at 7:26 pm

James -

I think Atherton's Town Council has a slight lead at this point.


Like this comment
Posted by Loraine Borger
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 4, 2010 at 9:39 pm

Brady and Peterson's whole reason for being seems to be anti-HSR, but if they were elected to the Menlo council, they couldn't vote on anything HSR related. What's the point? I've heard speculation that they and Chuck taking out papers are just to shame more realistic candidates (Stu?) into running- any chance that's true?


Like this comment
Posted by Maria Flaherty
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Aug 5, 2010 at 3:39 am

I will miss John Boyle as the voice of reason.


Like this comment
Posted by Hank Lawrence
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Aug 5, 2010 at 6:33 am

Not only is John Boyle the sole voice of reason on the CC he has a very perceptive and analytical mind. He does not assume he knows everything and asks probing questions to get a full understanding of the sitation at hand before forming an opinion. John Boyle is the master of socratic inquiry. John Boyle is also the only current City Council member with both common sense and business acumen. He has no hidden agenda. He just wants to serve the people of Menlo Park.

I will miss John greatly. He was one of the best city council members to ever serve Menlo Park and we should all be grateful for his service to the community.


Like this comment
Posted by James
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Aug 5, 2010 at 7:21 am

To POGO -- In this case I wouldn't want to hold either the number 1 or 2 spot regardless. Maybe it's a competition between the City and the Town, but either way the residents are the real losers.


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmmm
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 5, 2010 at 6:12 pm

Having John Boyle sitting on City Council was refreshing and he always had something constructive and productive to say, he will be sorely missed! Thank you John for your service and dedication to our city.


Like this comment
Posted by Andrew Stern
a resident of another community
on Aug 6, 2010 at 7:09 am

Please vote for Heyward Robinson and Richard Cline. They have been very kind to the Menlo Park City employees.


Like this comment
Posted by morris brown
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Aug 9, 2010 at 10:47 pm

At 5:15 today Monday, 8/9/2010, Kirsten Keith joined in the party by taking out papers to run for council.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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