News

Arrillaga withdraws offer to help Menlo Park build new library

An offer by local philanthropist and billionaire developer John Arrillaga to help the city of Menlo Park build a new main library has been rescinded, according to a statement from the city on Monday evening (Oct. 1).

Arrillaga made the offer in July 2017. He had agreed to fund the project's costs after the first $20 million. He later made clear that the offer would not extend to soft costs, which the city estimated to be an additional $10 million.

The developer was the chief donor for the projects to build the Arrillaga Family Recreation Center, the Arrillaga Family Gymnasium and the Arrillaga Family Gymnastics Center in Menlo Park's Civic Center.

His offer to provide the bulk of funding and to help build a new main library has carried some controversy, partly because of the strings attached to the offer. The offer applied only to the main library at the city's Burgess Park campus, and not to a library in the Belle Haven neighborhood.

City Manager Alex McIntyre said he had suggested that Arrillaga's donation be used to help cover costs of building a Belle Haven library, which was higher on the city's list of priorities.

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Another condition of Arrillaga's offer: The city had to come up with the first $20 million, and fast.

The city statement said that Arrillaga's anticipated timeline was for construction of the new library to begin in 2020. (Arrillaga's specific timeline expectations had not been disclosed publicly by the city until this announcement.)

But the offer has been withdrawn because "efforts to build consensus in project scope and site have delayed that timeline," according to the statement.

"I think it was pretty clear that we as a city haven't been able to reach a consensus on the main library for all sorts of reasons," said Menlo Park Mayor Peter Ohtaki. "One of the biggest is the cost. ... I think we were hearing clearly from our residents that the city has more pressing priorities, such as the Belle Haven library."

During discussions with the City Council, McIntyre had hinted that the matter was urgent, and that it was by no means a done deal, but efforts to streamline the public outreach process came across as heavy-handed. A public survey to gauge interest in a bond measure to raise taxpayer funds for the project was criticized for appearing to ask leading questions. Survey results indicated that when Menlo Park voters were asked whether they would support a $50 million, 30-year bond measure "to replace the aging Menlo Park and Belle Haven library system with 21st century libraries," only 61 percent said they would definitely or probably support it. A bond measure would need the support of two-thirds of voters to pass.

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Later, a series of three public meetings held in December, January and February to select the site for a new library were dismissed by some for not engaging in the broader, more basic question of whether a new library is needed at all, and if so, where the project should fall on the city's priority list.

McIntyre said in a written statement, "The loss of Mr. Arrillaga’s generous contribution to the new main library project delays this project until a new funding source can be identified."

According to Ohtaki, making improvements to the main library will likely still remain on the city's to-do list, but will probably be pushed back to a 10-year timeline. "I think this effectively moves the main library to the back burner," he said.

Initial cost estimates from consultants to build a 44,000-square-foot library from March 2017 came in at around $45 million.

After the city received Arrillaga's offer last year, the council authorized staff to expedite the process. In October 2017 the council approved the creation of a $1 million fund to begin the public outreach process for the proposed main library, which included hiring a new full-time assistant to work on the project.

Funds were also used to make improvements at the existing Belle Haven Library and start early assessments to evaluate what might be needed at a new library in that neighborhood.

As discussions on a new main library progressed, Arrillaga's offer, staff reported, extended to include the costs of underground parking and a new City Council Chambers or large public meeting area – bringing cost estimates for the project up to about $58 million.

As the city explored whether to rebuild the library at its current site or move it closer to Laurel Street, staff explored the options of other uses as part of a new library structure, acknowledging that nowadays, many libraries serve not just as receptacles for books and media, but as community meeting spaces. The city briefly considered building a new child care center to replace the existing Menlo Children's Center as part of the project, but the idea was opposed by a number of parents.

Staff also discussed the possibility of including affordable housing as part of the project – if not as part of a new library structure itself, then as a development consideration near Alma Street if the council agreed to tear down the old library and build a new one on Laurel Street. The concept of affordable housing on the Burgess campus has been supported by the Housing Leadership Council of San Mateo County.

In May, the discussion was put on pause. And in August, a discussion on the project was postponed after a Brown Act violation characterized as "inadvertent" occurred.

"I respect his decision," said Councilwoman Kirsten Keith, who, along with Councilman Rich Cline, was on the City Council subcommittee tasked with communicating with Arrillaga on the project. "(Arrillaga) made a generous offer ... . There aren't other cities that get opportunities like that."

A discussion of future improvements to the city's libraries is likely to be postponed until January, when the council develops its annual work plan.

Meanwhile, as staff reported with some urgency, construction costs continue to escalate.

Another concern, voiced previously by Menlo Park Library Foundation President Monica Corman, has been that it will be much harder for the foundation to raise funds for a library renovation or reconstruction project if Arrillaga's offer is withdrawn.

Still, Ohtaki said, "I think it is appropriate that we take our time and do this right."

Belle Haven Library

The city's efforts to move forward with plans to build a new Belle Haven Library are unaffected.

There is also a possibility that the $1 million the city has set aside to work on library improvements could be redirected to the Belle Haven Library, Ohtaki said. He and Keith said the council is scheduled to discuss a recently completed needs assessment and decide whether to move forward with a space needs assessment for that library at its next meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 9.

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Arrillaga withdraws offer to help Menlo Park build new library

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Tue, Oct 2, 2018, 9:11 am

An offer by local philanthropist and billionaire developer John Arrillaga to help the city of Menlo Park build a new main library has been rescinded, according to a statement from the city on Monday evening (Oct. 1).

Arrillaga made the offer in July 2017. He had agreed to fund the project's costs after the first $20 million. He later made clear that the offer would not extend to soft costs, which the city estimated to be an additional $10 million.

The developer was the chief donor for the projects to build the Arrillaga Family Recreation Center, the Arrillaga Family Gymnasium and the Arrillaga Family Gymnastics Center in Menlo Park's Civic Center.

His offer to provide the bulk of funding and to help build a new main library has carried some controversy, partly because of the strings attached to the offer. The offer applied only to the main library at the city's Burgess Park campus, and not to a library in the Belle Haven neighborhood.

City Manager Alex McIntyre said he had suggested that Arrillaga's donation be used to help cover costs of building a Belle Haven library, which was higher on the city's list of priorities.

Another condition of Arrillaga's offer: The city had to come up with the first $20 million, and fast.

The city statement said that Arrillaga's anticipated timeline was for construction of the new library to begin in 2020. (Arrillaga's specific timeline expectations had not been disclosed publicly by the city until this announcement.)

But the offer has been withdrawn because "efforts to build consensus in project scope and site have delayed that timeline," according to the statement.

"I think it was pretty clear that we as a city haven't been able to reach a consensus on the main library for all sorts of reasons," said Menlo Park Mayor Peter Ohtaki. "One of the biggest is the cost. ... I think we were hearing clearly from our residents that the city has more pressing priorities, such as the Belle Haven library."

During discussions with the City Council, McIntyre had hinted that the matter was urgent, and that it was by no means a done deal, but efforts to streamline the public outreach process came across as heavy-handed. A public survey to gauge interest in a bond measure to raise taxpayer funds for the project was criticized for appearing to ask leading questions. Survey results indicated that when Menlo Park voters were asked whether they would support a $50 million, 30-year bond measure "to replace the aging Menlo Park and Belle Haven library system with 21st century libraries," only 61 percent said they would definitely or probably support it. A bond measure would need the support of two-thirds of voters to pass.

Later, a series of three public meetings held in December, January and February to select the site for a new library were dismissed by some for not engaging in the broader, more basic question of whether a new library is needed at all, and if so, where the project should fall on the city's priority list.

McIntyre said in a written statement, "The loss of Mr. Arrillaga’s generous contribution to the new main library project delays this project until a new funding source can be identified."

According to Ohtaki, making improvements to the main library will likely still remain on the city's to-do list, but will probably be pushed back to a 10-year timeline. "I think this effectively moves the main library to the back burner," he said.

Initial cost estimates from consultants to build a 44,000-square-foot library from March 2017 came in at around $45 million.

After the city received Arrillaga's offer last year, the council authorized staff to expedite the process. In October 2017 the council approved the creation of a $1 million fund to begin the public outreach process for the proposed main library, which included hiring a new full-time assistant to work on the project.

Funds were also used to make improvements at the existing Belle Haven Library and start early assessments to evaluate what might be needed at a new library in that neighborhood.

As discussions on a new main library progressed, Arrillaga's offer, staff reported, extended to include the costs of underground parking and a new City Council Chambers or large public meeting area – bringing cost estimates for the project up to about $58 million.

As the city explored whether to rebuild the library at its current site or move it closer to Laurel Street, staff explored the options of other uses as part of a new library structure, acknowledging that nowadays, many libraries serve not just as receptacles for books and media, but as community meeting spaces. The city briefly considered building a new child care center to replace the existing Menlo Children's Center as part of the project, but the idea was opposed by a number of parents.

Staff also discussed the possibility of including affordable housing as part of the project – if not as part of a new library structure itself, then as a development consideration near Alma Street if the council agreed to tear down the old library and build a new one on Laurel Street. The concept of affordable housing on the Burgess campus has been supported by the Housing Leadership Council of San Mateo County.

In May, the discussion was put on pause. And in August, a discussion on the project was postponed after a Brown Act violation characterized as "inadvertent" occurred.

"I respect his decision," said Councilwoman Kirsten Keith, who, along with Councilman Rich Cline, was on the City Council subcommittee tasked with communicating with Arrillaga on the project. "(Arrillaga) made a generous offer ... . There aren't other cities that get opportunities like that."

A discussion of future improvements to the city's libraries is likely to be postponed until January, when the council develops its annual work plan.

Meanwhile, as staff reported with some urgency, construction costs continue to escalate.

Another concern, voiced previously by Menlo Park Library Foundation President Monica Corman, has been that it will be much harder for the foundation to raise funds for a library renovation or reconstruction project if Arrillaga's offer is withdrawn.

Still, Ohtaki said, "I think it is appropriate that we take our time and do this right."

Belle Haven Library

The city's efforts to move forward with plans to build a new Belle Haven Library are unaffected.

There is also a possibility that the $1 million the city has set aside to work on library improvements could be redirected to the Belle Haven Library, Ohtaki said. He and Keith said the council is scheduled to discuss a recently completed needs assessment and decide whether to move forward with a space needs assessment for that library at its next meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 9.

Comments

Brian
Registered user
Menlo Park: The Willows
on Oct 2, 2018 at 9:16 am
Brian, Menlo Park: The Willows
Registered user
on Oct 2, 2018 at 9:16 am

I can not say this upsets me, the last thing we needed was another building with his name on it. Maybe the City Council will give up the idea of rebuilding the downtown library and instead focus on building a real library in Belle Haven.


MP citizen
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 2, 2018 at 9:35 am
MP citizen, Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 2, 2018 at 9:35 am

Here is what I do not understand, it is simple, when someone offers you a gift, you say thank you. Name or no name on a building, this is a generous offer that Arrilliga has decided to give. There is so much gridlock in the council, nothing gets done. Everything is postponed, they are all so political and scared. We are the only downtown on the peninsula that has 3 rugs stores, 3 donation stores and no real vibrancy or forward thinking into making things great. I do not blame Mr. Arrilliga and understand why he is done with this. Wake up Menlo Park, the whole area has changed. But we look like the downtown of 1975. When you are willing to donate 60 million, then you can donate it anywhere you want. For now, say thank you


Details
Menlo Park: other
on Oct 2, 2018 at 9:44 am
Details, Menlo Park: other
on Oct 2, 2018 at 9:44 am

Arrillaga offered 20 million. Taxpayers would have had to kick in 20 to 30 million additional dollars.


Resident
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Oct 2, 2018 at 10:25 am
Resident, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Oct 2, 2018 at 10:25 am

" The city briefly considered building a new child care center to replace the current Menlo Children's Center as part of the project, but the idea was opposed by a number of parents."

Good to see something that could've helped a large number of families be stopped because it was opposed by a "number" of parents.


Stu Soffer
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Oct 2, 2018 at 10:39 am
Stu Soffer, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Oct 2, 2018 at 10:39 am

Today, Menlo Park administration is in disarray.


Train Fan
another community
on Oct 2, 2018 at 11:00 am
Train Fan, another community
on Oct 2, 2018 at 11:00 am

Son: "Look dad! I'm buying a new car, with almost half of it paid for by a rich friend of mine!"

Dad: "Where will you get the other half of the money? You don't have that much cash in your bank account. And you already have a reasonably attractive, functional car, already."

Son: "I'm getting a loan. I have to jump on that generous offer! And my current car needs a tuneup, which is such a BORING way to spend money! I'd rather have a new car."

Dad: "Wait...so, you'll take on debt with interest, to acquire something even though you already owned a nice, functionally equivalent version. I understand the appeal of acquiring something at almost half-price, but you'd be acquiring something you don't need and are taking on debt and interest in the process. Not a good deal for you, despite the generous offer."

Son: "But...but...SHINY!!!!"

Dad: "Sigh..."



Days later...

Son: "My friend rescinded his offer because I was taking too long. I'm disappointed!"

Dad: "Consider yourself lucky."


Brian
Registered user
Menlo Park: The Willows
on Oct 2, 2018 at 11:22 am
Brian, Menlo Park: The Willows
Registered user
on Oct 2, 2018 at 11:22 am

MP Citizens,
I disagree, when someone offers you something with strings attached you do not have to take it and say thank you. In this case we didn't need a new library, we don't need to spend 20-30 million of taxpayer money on something that is not needed. If he wanted to give something useful he would fund the library in Belle Haven but I guess that is not as prestigious. I hope the Council decides to spend money on that instead.


50 Ways to Say Goodbye
Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 2, 2018 at 12:12 pm
50 Ways to Say Goodbye, Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 2, 2018 at 12:12 pm

Train Fan could not have put it in simpler, easy to understand terms. Thank you Train Fan.


Joseph E. Davis
Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 2, 2018 at 12:18 pm
Joseph E. Davis, Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 2, 2018 at 12:18 pm

Thankfully Menlo Park has avoided a tremendous waste of money and time, although naturally that's despite the efforts of the City Council.


Let's Say Thank You
another community
on Oct 2, 2018 at 12:35 pm
Let's Say Thank You, another community
on Oct 2, 2018 at 12:35 pm

Perhaps a plaque should be erected to thank Mr. Arrillaga for having saved Menlo Park and its taxpayers tens of millions of dollars in unnecessary expense for the library. It was very generous him to withdraw and we should offer him something nice in exchange.

Folks in Palo Alto are still celebrating the demise of his giant 27 University plan to build huge office towers he would donate to Stanford and an unnecessary theater.

In fact, Arrillaga could go to cities all over, offer to donate part of the costs for unwanted projects, and then get a monument to him erected each time he yanks the money away. This would cost him next to nothing and create many grateful communities.

Just saying ...


common sense
Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 2, 2018 at 12:35 pm
common sense, Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 2, 2018 at 12:35 pm

My grandchildren live in Menlo Park and were so looking forward to a new library. The present one is very old and inadequate. If you polled the young families who use the library, they would use it more often if it was larger and more up to date. Most other cities are rebuilding their libraries and Menlo Park is the only one that wants to continue the antiquarian ways. Good grief---you all missed an amazing gift because of pride and envy.


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Atherton: Lindenwood
on Oct 2, 2018 at 12:56 pm
Peter Carpenter, Atherton: Lindenwood
Registered user
on Oct 2, 2018 at 12:56 pm

" Good grief---you all missed an amazing gift because of pride and envy."

No, they missed it because of an ingrained inability to make decisions.


Mark Dinan
Registered user
another community
on Oct 2, 2018 at 1:18 pm
Mark Dinan, another community
Registered user
on Oct 2, 2018 at 1:18 pm

East Palo Alto is looking for funding for a new library. I am sure we would be happy to take $20 Million for a new library. Would love to have an Arrillaga center in EPA!


Brian
Registered user
Menlo Park: The Willows
on Oct 2, 2018 at 1:20 pm
Brian, Menlo Park: The Willows
Registered user
on Oct 2, 2018 at 1:20 pm

What we missed building was an unneeded and very expensive, to tax payers, monument to the Arrillaga family. We have enough of those. If they had wanted to do something nice for the community they would have made the offer for the Belle Haven library.


That's no gift
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Oct 2, 2018 at 1:52 pm
That's no gift, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Oct 2, 2018 at 1:52 pm

Absolutely nothing was preventing the "philanthropist and billionaire" from donating the money to the City for the library. That is if he really wanted to donate the money, no strings attached. He's a business man first who wanted to make a "deal" - which in the past included exemptions on his Menlo Park development projects. In fact Arrillaga could have donated the $20 million to the city to be used for Library services, if he felt that was a good philanthropic cause. But that's not his priority. Instead he took his $20 Million "gift" back because the City wouldn't meet his demands this time. Good riddance to the trojan horse.


resident
Menlo Park: other
on Oct 2, 2018 at 4:37 pm
resident, Menlo Park: other
on Oct 2, 2018 at 4:37 pm

Really lame that Mr. Arrillaga does not want his name associated with the Belle Haven Library


Steve
Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Oct 2, 2018 at 5:13 pm
Steve, Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Oct 2, 2018 at 5:13 pm

To everyone judging Arrillaga. Any of you ready to ready to put your money where your mouth is?

No takers? That's what I thought.


Downtowner
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 2, 2018 at 5:31 pm
Downtowner, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 2, 2018 at 5:31 pm

I don't understand this:
"My grandchildren live in Menlo Park and were so looking forward to a new library. The present one is very old and inadequate. "
I don't see the MP library the same way you do. It has computers, wifi, the same book search system other libraries use. I've never been unable to find space at a table. MP schools have libraries too. Were you hoping for a snack/coffee bar?
You could always invite them to use your Atherton library.


MP Staff
Menlo Park: other
on Oct 2, 2018 at 6:08 pm
MP Staff, Menlo Park: other
on Oct 2, 2018 at 6:08 pm

Stu, it's not the administration, it's the council. Peter is right and there is an ingrained inability to make tough decisions by the council, been this way for YEARS. They are too busy peddling pet projects, traveling to other countries or riding on Facebook's coattails.


Amy
Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Oct 2, 2018 at 6:10 pm
Amy, Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Oct 2, 2018 at 6:10 pm

It's a great lesson for kids to learn that function over debt can be the very best, most economically fiscal, decision for an individual, a family, or a town. Even when it isn't the sexiest option. I'm glad it's not happening, though it was nice of the Arrillagas to offer and there seems no need to be mean. This town, in my opinion, should get back to focusing on how to keep its lower-salaried workers around by providing some housing they can afford. A restaurant worker, a garbage person, fireperson or police officer, or even a librarian or teacher, who aren't exhausted from either a long commute or late nights worrying about bills, might also appeal to people's grandchildren--perhaps even to their deepest values.


Disappointed but not surprised
Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 2, 2018 at 8:01 pm
Disappointed but not surprised, Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 2, 2018 at 8:01 pm

The fact is that there wasn't much public support for this project. Yes, the council did not act on it, but part of that is likely because of the lack of public support. There was more support for the Belle Haven Library, but that's not what the donation was for. It was for a specific project in a specific timeline and there wasn't enough enthusiasm for it, mainly given the amount of money that would still need to be fronted after Arrillaga's donation was factored in.

Even looking at the comments here, the most popular opinion seems to be that a new library wasn't needed. So there's really not much surprise here.


Sad
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 2, 2018 at 8:34 pm
Sad, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 2, 2018 at 8:34 pm

Mr. Arillaga was willing to donate up to $40 million, according to the Mercury News.


Steve
Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Oct 2, 2018 at 9:10 pm
Steve, Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Oct 2, 2018 at 9:10 pm

It would be more accurate to say that “over 61 percent” of the residents wanted this library. I don’t parse this as “wasn’t much public support” or “only 61%” or “nothing to see here, move on”. But somehow the city council managed to dither, delay, append, and dilute, and also violate the Brown act, to fritter away $40 million that we’ll never see again. Mr. Arillaga is under no obligation to explain his motivations, but the council has also probably spoiled any possibility of future philanthropy. I thought they were elected to represent the 61% not the 39%. I hope the upcoming election brings a wind of change.


Menlo Voter.
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Oct 2, 2018 at 9:14 pm
Menlo Voter., Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Oct 2, 2018 at 9:14 pm

It's hardly a "gift" when we have to cough up $20 million the get the "gift".

I can do without that kind of "gift".


Steve
Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Oct 4, 2018 at 9:41 am
Steve, Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Oct 4, 2018 at 9:41 am

Perhaps Mr. Arrillaga doesn’t want to force us to accept his largesse, and wants to only build libraries where people value them. I thought Menlo Park was such a community. At least, 61% of it values libraries, according to the poll. I don’t really get why this causes us to pre-emptively bail out when we’re just 5% away.

We are going to have to build a new library eventually. We had a chance to get $40 million off the price. So perhaps in 2028, we will have to foot the entire bill of $80 million.

I see a very simply story here. From the start, we were given the terms of Mr. Arrillaga’s offer. They included acting quickly. The city council acted slowly. And then Kirsten Keith violated the Brown act, due to which Bill McClure advised us to delay the library even further. I personally feel Mr. Arrillaga has been treated rather shabbily, and thus withdrew his offer. Ms. Keith has put the final nail in the coffin, through her reckless law flouting. Am I demonizing someone I've never met... these are simply the facts.

I further don’t understand the animosity towards someone who has offered our community a chance to save $40 million. We already accepted a Recreation Center and a Gymnastics Center from Mr. Arrillaga. Do the negative commenters avoid using those facilities? Perhaps he simply wanted to see the completed result in his lifetime, but with the current city council, who take it upon themselves to represent the 39% and not the 61%, I wonder if I will see a new library Menlo Park can be proud of in my lifetime!


Brian
Registered user
Menlo Park: The Willows
on Oct 4, 2018 at 10:21 am
Brian, Menlo Park: The Willows
Registered user
on Oct 4, 2018 at 10:21 am

"Perhaps Mr. Arrillaga doesn’t want to force us to accept his largesse, and wants to only build libraries where people value them"

If that were true he would have offered to pay for a library in Belle Haven where they have been asking for one for years and would truly value it, but he did not. What he offered Menlo Park as a portion of the cost of a new down town library to bear his name. It would cost the tax payers another 20 million to get that built. Happy he withdrew his offer and I do not feel bad for him in the least. He has done well enough from his development projects in Menlo Park that no one should feel bad for him.


Cmon
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 5, 2018 at 4:47 am
Cmon, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 5, 2018 at 4:47 am

It continues to astound, and disappoint, me that so many from our town can disrespect the generosity here. Yes, he is a businessman and there may be considerations associated with a donation ( as a suspect there often are in the broader philanthropy world), but he made a very generous offer. At a minimum, folks should express their appreciation for the offer, which could have gone to a lot of towns, I suspect. Recall the “controversy” around the new gym? It was then and is now a huge asset for MP. Even if the underlying deals might have been different, they both represented offers that few can, or will, make. The regular cynicism we see often in this forum is one of the reasons MP is struggling to move forward in the way many would like. After a while, a reputation develops which discourages interest and investment from those willing to bet on our future.


new guy
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 5, 2018 at 8:37 am
new guy, Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 5, 2018 at 8:37 am

"We meed a NEW library." said no one. (be honest)

One less thing for our overly worked, understaffed city to deal with. One less thing for our current/future counsel to take credit for. One less, "let's build housing above... insert any new building here ..."

I thank Mr,. Arrillaga for the offer and for withdrawing this from consideration.

For those upset somehow about not getting a shiny new library, please put forth your own dollars, I am sure MP city counsel would welcome your donation.


Stu Soffer
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Oct 5, 2018 at 9:35 am
Stu Soffer, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Oct 5, 2018 at 9:35 am

Let’s remember that our rec center was a Measure T project, an omnibus plan of rec projects throughout the city, including the pool and rec center.
Bonds and funds released in three tranches. We are taxed to repay those bonds every year.
I have asked the city multiple times for an accounting of how each tranche was spent. With no response.

Arrillaga came in a bit late to the party on the rec center. While his name is on it, residents’ money is in it as well, without our names.



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