Tonight: Council candidates forum in Menlo Park


Candidates for the Menlo Park City Council will answer questions at a forum at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 29, at the council chambers in the Menlo Park Civic Center.

The forum is sponsored by the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce and the South San Mateo County League of Women Voters.

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Posted by Limousine Liberal
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Sep 29, 2010 at 1:38 pm

I am so glad that the League of Women Voters in non-partisan. The fact that they endorse liberal propositions over 90% of the time is a mere coincidence. And the fact that the preponderance of their political registrations are Democrat is a coincidence too. I am so glad they can maintain their objectivity.

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Posted by mary gilles
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 29, 2010 at 9:18 pm

Fantastic forum tonight. Those who missed should make it a priority to watch when available. In my book, Peter Ohtaki wins big. The man is focused on the right priorities: budget, pension reform and blight on El Camino. If the council can fix these 3 items in the next four years, they will be heroes. Kirsten Keith states a solution to budget issues is raising the Utility Use Tax. OMG! She loses big in my book. How any candidate can propose taxing the residents and businesses when city government personnel budget is what is stripping our financial resources is beyond me. Ohtaki, Bernstein and Peterson are clearly fiscal conservatives and this is what we need. Incumbents speak political rhetoric as usual. Vote them out.

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Posted by Outside Looking In
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 30, 2010 at 12:32 am

1 of 2 posts

Hands down, Ohtaki was the winner tonight! Bernstein was a close second!

Synopsis of the debate:

1) Ohtaki was clearly the expert on finances and disaster preparedness. He was articulate, calm, and factual. He understands setting priorities, instead of "micromanaging the size of a lawn." He is the only candidate with financial expertise and disaster preparedness and relief experience.

2) Bernstein was very passionate. He has a high level of integrity and a strong moral compass. His presence was definitely felt, and he seemed to channel the outrage people have toward politicians who do things to fulfill their political ambitions.

3) Keith is like a mini-Kelly Fergusson. Mary Gilles hit the nail on the head about the ridiculous solution of raising the UUT to pay City personnel! The UUT was already controversial enough and should not be used to sustain an unsustainable budget. At least, she was honest, but still... caveat emptor!

4) Peterson was entertaining but is not serious candidate in my book. He gave big kudos to Ohtaki when he emphasized the need to prioritize issues and focus on them.

5) Cline & Robinson, aka Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, couldn't really name any achievements "their" Councils could be proud of. In fact, Robinson admitted that Cline's Council would have to "take credit" for the success of previous Councils, such as the development of the Rosewood Hotel. Wow! I guess, that goes to show you they really didn't do much in four years. Measure T is on the ballot, but Mr. Bohannon's project is still not done!

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Posted by Outside Looking In
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 30, 2010 at 12:33 am

2 of 2 posts

Empty promises by the incumbents--

Four years ago, one of Cline's priorities was to "end slate politics" and to "restore honest and open government": Web Link. Looking back on the last four years, 2/3 of Cline's priorities were not done. He has engaged in "slate politics" to the max-- just look at all the 4-1 and 3-2 votes over the last four years!

As for open and honest government... remember the time Cline violated the Brown by calling an illegal, closed, and unnoticed meeting of the Peninsula Cities Consortium (PCC) with the CA High Speed Rail Authority as noted in early July. This Brown Act violation is a result two possible situations: 1) Cline knowing violated the Brown and thought it would be easier to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission, and/or 2) Cline did not understand the Brown Act, although I’m sure he, like all elected officials, received Brown Act training. Whatever the scenario is, Cline is unqualified to be on the Council and certainly does NOT deserve another four years!
Where does one begin with Robinson? Besides serious anger management issues, I don’t know what other thing he’s been known for during his time on the Council, except believing that he would actually be elected to a regional seat on the MTC. HA! He lost because he reputation on a regional level is horrible. He is viewed by council lmembers of other City Councils as a crazy person!

However, let’s get down to his priorities from 2006… he wanted to “invigorate Menlo Park’s economy.” (Web Link) Taking credit for another Council’s work does not fulfill this priority! Besides endorsing Measure T, what exactly has he done to “invigorate Menlo Park’s economy?” Under “Mayor Robinson,” Sun Microsystems/Oracle left Menlo Park. To not know about this and then be reactive because of burdensome regulations is not “invigorating Menlo Park’s economy.” The list goes on and on.

Peter Ohtaki is the only candidate with financial expertise and experience in balancing a government budget. He is also the only candidate who is qualified and trained to put together a real disaster preparedness plan and deal with disasters.

Bottom line… vote for Ohtaki and Bernstein. Don’t know who #3 is, but it probably shouldn’t be anyone who is line with Kelly Fergusson, otherwise, you will have more dysfuncationality on the Council. Perhaps, voters should write-in their own names-- anyone would be better than the incumbents, for sure!

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