News


Menlo Park elections update: Eight candidates qualify to run for council

All but one potential candidate filed papers and qualified

Menlo Park is expected to have a full roster of candidates running in its inaugural year of district-based elections.

As of 5:50 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 10, after the 5 p.m. deadline to submit the required paperwork to run for a City Council seat, of the nine potential candidates who pulled papers to run, all but one had submitted candidate paperwork and qualified to run for office.

They are:

● District 1, which includes Belle Haven and the rest of Menlo Park east of U.S. 101: Cecilia Taylor, Mike Dunn and George Yang.

Taylor ran for City Council in 2016 and lost. Since then, she has founded Belle Haven Action, a nonprofit that is focused on improving quality of life in the neighborhood.

Dunn is an apparent newcomer to Menlo Park's civic scene.

Yang is a current member of the city's Sister City Committee. In 2012, he ran as a Republican for the state Assembly District 24 seat, losing to incumbent Rich Gordon.

● District 2, which includes the Willows, Flood Triangle and Suburban Park neighborhoods: Drew Combs and Kirsten Keith.

Combs is a member of the city's Planning Commission and works at Facebook.

Keith is a current member of the City Council. She was first elected in 2010.

● District 4, which includes the downtown and Allied Arts neighborhoods: Ron Shepherd, Betsy Nash, and Peter Ohtaki.

Shepherd is a member of the city's Finance & Audit Committee, and served four terms on the West Bay Sanitary District board starting in 2000.

Nash is a member of the city's Complete Streets Commission.

Ohtaki is a current member of the City Council, and is serving as mayor this year. He was first elected in 2010.

Rachel Horst, a current member of the city's Housing Commission, pulled papers to run for District 4, but didn't file them.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated from its original posting.

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Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Mike Dunn?
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 10, 2018 at 4:58 pm

Isn't Mike Dunn running in District 1?


Like this comment
Posted by Kate Bradshaw - Almanac Reporter
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Aug 10, 2018 at 5:05 pm

Kate Bradshaw - Almanac Reporter is a registered user.

Hi Mike Dunn? -- I thought I'd included his name in the list. I apologize for the oversight. It's been added to the story. Thanks for the catch.


32 people like this
Posted by Keith’s ballot statement
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 12, 2018 at 7:38 am

Kirsten Keith’s ballot statement has everyone watching this election laughing.

She claims to have protected the Willows from cut through traffic? - when her response as Mayor was so apathetic and delayed (she actually once, after residents begged for help, put the item near midnight on a City Council election and then left the meeting early without hearing it, to catch a plane for a political junket to the heaven knows where) - that it took a large group of residents organizing and gathering hundreds of signatures to get her to address an obvious problem.
IN FACT as Mayor Kirsten voted against addressing Willows Cut Through Traffic it’s own Council Goal, and only joined her Council in doing anything when residents organized! Let’s not even address how her decisions contributed to the cut through problem in the first place!

And then there is Kirsten’s curious claim to want to protect residents from the negative effect of office development near the Bay. The truth is Kirsten has voted to approve and up zone millions of square feet of office development along the Bay. No one can recall her ever voting against such a proposal during her eights years on Council. In fact as Mayor, an editorial was written in a local paper calling her out by name for her for conduct around such proposals.

Rather than defend her actual record and vision, if she had one, Kirsten’s ballot statement is a lesson in campaign fiction and quite the gamble on her part. In a district election neighbors should be ble to tell each other the truth, the district is so small. And hundreds of those neighbors already know the truth.


Like this comment
Posted by neighbor
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 12, 2018 at 1:15 pm

We watched council, especially Keith, take immediate action. We see the "no through traffic" and "no right turn" signs. We experience the dramatic change every day. Neighbors already know this to be the truth.

The phrase "large-scale office development on the bayshore" can only be referring to Facebook. Combs can't vote on anything related to Facebook.


26 people like this
Posted by Keith’s ballot statement
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 12, 2018 at 1:33 pm

No one’s buying it “neighbor”. Too many residents were involved in the process to buy what your selling in that ridiculous ballot statement. Welcome to District Elections, where neighbors tell neighbors the truth.


9 people like this
Posted by The Best
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 13, 2018 at 11:24 am

The Trump of Menlo Park


2 people like this
Posted by Lynne Bramlett
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 14, 2018 at 8:23 am

Lynne Bramlett is a registered user.

Are the campaign statements available online? Or do we need to go to the City Clerk's office to see them? The FPPC's website, Web Link directs us to the City Clerk but I'm hoping they are also online. On a related note, the FTTP website allows online searching for Form 700s Web Link and its fact sheet on Gifts & Travel for Local Officials might also be a useful resource as this topic is likely to come up (again) during the campaign period. Web Link


1 person likes this
Posted by Lynne Bramlett
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 14, 2018 at 9:47 am

Lynne Bramlett is a registered user.

As the posts mostly pertain to District 2, here is the link to Drew Combs's campaign website Web Link and the one for Kirstin Keith.Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by neighbor
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 14, 2018 at 9:59 am

I was surprised to read that Keith's response was "apathetic and delayed," and that she "left the meeting early without hearing" the item on "no through traffic" signs.

From the video of that meeting (Web Link), we learn that Keith pushed to add this to the agenda as an emergency item, and that she did hear the item and was present for most of that discussion and public comment.

From Twitter, we can see that Keith left the meeting to attend a National League of Cities conference. Among other topics, she tweeted about removing barriers for minority owned businesses (Web Link), being proactive in solving racial equity issues (Web Link) and infrastructure for high walkability and bikeability (Web Link).


10 people like this
Posted by Record REview
a resident of another community
on Aug 14, 2018 at 10:36 am

I watched the City Council meeting you attached with the link, "neighbor".

Keith left the October 14th meeting early to catch a plane, while the "no through traffic" sign issue was being discussed with City staff and Council. She didn't participate in the full hearing.

That Keith went to go hob nob and network with other electeds at the National League of Cities Conference isn't an excuse to leave a City Council meeting during such an important issue to the residents in her district. It appears pretty similar to Keith missing the City Council meeting to go on a junket to China when Facebooks's new development was on the agenda. Keith has excuses. They are just bad. And who paid for that trip to the National League of Cities? Did taxpayers?

It has to be said, you have remarkable knowledge of Kirsten Keith's twitter feed, "neighbor".

What happened here should be obvious to residents in the district. Everyone who gathered signatures or signed a petition will know what it took to get Kirsten to pay attention and put this on the agenda. It's tough to dispute.


Like this comment
Posted by neighbor
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 14, 2018 at 11:48 am

@Record_Review, I have no remarkable knowledge. I just looked for her tweets the days following that meeting (Web Link). It is unfortunate that some residents don't want Menlo Park to be a city where we share ideas and draw inspiration from what other cities are doing.


2 people like this
Posted by Lynne Bramlett
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 14, 2018 at 12:57 pm

Lynne Bramlett is a registered user.

I've just learned that here is the link to the candidate's statements: Web Link. Click on their names to pull them up.


Like this comment
Posted by neighbor
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 14, 2018 at 3:00 pm

"Everyone who gathered signatures or signed a petition will know what it took..."

Yes, and now those people have realized relief from cut-through traffic. The idea Keith wasn't pushing for this is absurd.


7 people like this
Posted by Dubitande
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 14, 2018 at 4:38 pm

Kirsten’s priority is herself and primping for her dubious career.

Don’t be an enabler.


Like this comment
Posted by what we?
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Aug 14, 2018 at 7:39 pm

On his website (Web Link), Drew Combs explains, "we’ve spent much of the previous 8 years easing the development process"

What "we" is he talking about? Combs was still voting in LA County over 8 years ago. Combs only registered to vote here after being appointed to a Menlo Park commission. As the Daily Post reported, Combs was living in Santa Clara county 6 years ago, where he never registered to vote.


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