News

Menlo Park Mayor Betsy Nash aims to tackle traffic, housing issues if reelected

Menlo Park Mayor Betsy Nash by the Council Chambers in Menlo Park on Jan. 12, 2022. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Menlo Park Mayor Betsy Nash has pulled papers to run for reelection in District 4, facing challenger Peter Ohtaki in Menlo Park's first contested City Council race of the year.

"I love District 4, I love Menlo Park, and I decided to run for a second term so that I can continue to address the challenges facing Menlo Park," Nash said.

Nash was elected to the City Council in 2018 and is currently serving a term as mayor after a unanimous vote from the council. She represents District 4 neighborhoods, which include downtown, Allied Arts and a southern segment of El Camino Real. She got her start in city politics by advocating for installing sidewalks along Santa Cruz Avenue and served as a member of the Bicycle Commission and the Complete Streets Commission.

Nash believes that the major issues facing Menlo Park are land use, transportation and climate change, and she says that she looks forward to confronting those issues if elected for a second term.

She said that housing is a major concern in Menlo Park, as is planning how to address state requirements for housing development at varying levels of affordability. She said she looks forward to addressing several new developments, including SRI Parkline and the U.S. Geological Survey campus.

Help sustain the local news you depend on.

Your contribution matters. Become a member today.

Join

"I want to maintain Menlo Park's character as a place where we all can live side by side and call this place home: teachers, first responders, shop owners and shop clerks, municipal workers and our young people, the next generation," Nash said. "We need to be able to address how do we grow in our city. That's it, it's not a choice, whether or not we grow, it's how. It's a choice of how do we grow."

Nash said she always wants to address traffic congestion in Menlo Park.

"As I talk to people, as people reach out to me, one of the biggest issues is traffic, traffic enforcement, safe streets," Nash said.

Nash says that Menlo Park's transportation staff is looking into ways to calm traffic, and that in June the city was able to fund three new patrol officers for traffic enforcement.

Nash is also hoping to stay on the council to address climate change. She said that while Menlo Park has more work to do to combat the effects of climate change, she is proud of what the city has done so far. Nash named the city's voluntary electrification program as a point of pride in her time on the council.

"I'm very proud of our climate plan and our city's goals, and we need to be putting action behind it," Nash said.

Other points of pride for Nash are the appointment of longtime city staffer Justin Murphy as city manager and Nira Doherty as the city attorney, as well as the stability and finances of the city throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nash says that one of her favorite parts of being in office is the ability to assist the community face-to-face with their problems, and that there can never be too much community outreach.

"Working with our residents and making a difference, trying to learn more about everybody's values and everybody's situations, just for District 4 and citywide, has just been a fabulous experience, and I enjoy talking with people. I encourage them to reach out to me."

Three incumbents are up for reelection this November, with Cecilia Taylor and Drew Combs currently running unopposed for their seats in District 1 and District 2, respectively. Aug. 12 marks the last day for candidates to file papers to enter the race.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox in our Express newsletter.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox in our Express newsletter.

Cameron Rebosio
 
Cameron Rebosio joined the Almanac in 2022 as the Menlo Park reporter. She previously wrote for the Daily Californian and the Palo Alto Weekly. Read more >>

Follow AlmanacNews.com and The Almanac on Twitter @almanacnews, Facebook and on Instagram @almanacnews for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Your support is vital to us continuing to bring you city government news. Become a member today.

Menlo Park Mayor Betsy Nash aims to tackle traffic, housing issues if reelected

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Thu, Aug 11, 2022, 1:29 pm

Menlo Park Mayor Betsy Nash has pulled papers to run for reelection in District 4, facing challenger Peter Ohtaki in Menlo Park's first contested City Council race of the year.

"I love District 4, I love Menlo Park, and I decided to run for a second term so that I can continue to address the challenges facing Menlo Park," Nash said.

Nash was elected to the City Council in 2018 and is currently serving a term as mayor after a unanimous vote from the council. She represents District 4 neighborhoods, which include downtown, Allied Arts and a southern segment of El Camino Real. She got her start in city politics by advocating for installing sidewalks along Santa Cruz Avenue and served as a member of the Bicycle Commission and the Complete Streets Commission.

Nash believes that the major issues facing Menlo Park are land use, transportation and climate change, and she says that she looks forward to confronting those issues if elected for a second term.

She said that housing is a major concern in Menlo Park, as is planning how to address state requirements for housing development at varying levels of affordability. She said she looks forward to addressing several new developments, including SRI Parkline and the U.S. Geological Survey campus.

"I want to maintain Menlo Park's character as a place where we all can live side by side and call this place home: teachers, first responders, shop owners and shop clerks, municipal workers and our young people, the next generation," Nash said. "We need to be able to address how do we grow in our city. That's it, it's not a choice, whether or not we grow, it's how. It's a choice of how do we grow."

Nash said she always wants to address traffic congestion in Menlo Park.

"As I talk to people, as people reach out to me, one of the biggest issues is traffic, traffic enforcement, safe streets," Nash said.

Nash says that Menlo Park's transportation staff is looking into ways to calm traffic, and that in June the city was able to fund three new patrol officers for traffic enforcement.

Nash is also hoping to stay on the council to address climate change. She said that while Menlo Park has more work to do to combat the effects of climate change, she is proud of what the city has done so far. Nash named the city's voluntary electrification program as a point of pride in her time on the council.

"I'm very proud of our climate plan and our city's goals, and we need to be putting action behind it," Nash said.

Other points of pride for Nash are the appointment of longtime city staffer Justin Murphy as city manager and Nira Doherty as the city attorney, as well as the stability and finances of the city throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nash says that one of her favorite parts of being in office is the ability to assist the community face-to-face with their problems, and that there can never be too much community outreach.

"Working with our residents and making a difference, trying to learn more about everybody's values and everybody's situations, just for District 4 and citywide, has just been a fabulous experience, and I enjoy talking with people. I encourage them to reach out to me."

Three incumbents are up for reelection this November, with Cecilia Taylor and Drew Combs currently running unopposed for their seats in District 1 and District 2, respectively. Aug. 12 marks the last day for candidates to file papers to enter the race.

Comments

MP Resident
Registered user
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 11, 2022 at 8:21 pm
MP Resident, Menlo Park: Downtown
Registered user
on Aug 11, 2022 at 8:21 pm

Voluntary electrification program?

95% electric conversion by 2030 can't happen voluntarily. The city would have to ban new permits for gas furnaces, even as replacements. Calling this voluntary is false.


Adina
Registered user
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 11, 2022 at 11:42 pm
Adina, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
Registered user
on Aug 11, 2022 at 11:42 pm

There are some great new incentives from the federal bill that just passed the Senate that will make electrification easier.


MenloVoter.
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Aug 12, 2022 at 7:07 am
MenloVoter., Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Aug 12, 2022 at 7:07 am

MP Resident:

You're right, total electrification isn't possible for a number of reasons. As you put it, it will only happen if people are forced into it. The virtue signalers like Nash will make it mandatory so they can "save the world", even though they say it will be "voluntary".


MP Father
Registered user
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 12, 2022 at 4:18 pm
MP Father, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
Registered user
on Aug 12, 2022 at 4:18 pm

Thank you Peter Ohtaki for entering the race and attempting to bring greater collaboration and balance to the City Council as well as to better stabilize our city management.

We need your help to have City Council listen to and work with its constituents and employees.


Brian
Registered user
Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 16, 2022 at 8:37 pm
Brian, Menlo Park: The Willows
Registered user
on Aug 16, 2022 at 8:37 pm

The last thing we need is the city forcing residents to convert to electrical. First off, as I have said before, PG&E electricity has been responsible for more pollution and greenhouse gasses than any other form of energy in use. The fires that PG&E electrical transmission systems have started in the last 10 years have burned millions of acres, put thousand and thousands of tons of pollution in the skies (remember the orange day a couple years ago?) not to mentions destroyed thousands of houses and killed a lot of people. So forcing people to electrical is not going to help the environment until PG&E fixes their problems.

They have a plan to fix the transmissions problems and of course they expect rate payers to foot the bill, this means more huge rate hikes making moving to electricity even more expensive to everybody. They their is the cost of mew appliances, rewiring older homes and probably having to upgrade electrical panels, more money out of our pockets.

No thank you. If the council really wants to encourage the move to electrical start with this:
Remove permit fees for solar installations and car chargers.
offer incentives for changing out gas appliances for electrical (not forcing, encouraging)
Start a fund to pay for housing upgrades (Wiring and panels) for older homes and low income homeowners.

That is how they can start. Forcing conversion is not the way to make this happen. I guess this is another good reason to support Peter


Menlo Voter.
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Aug 17, 2022 at 7:04 pm
Menlo Voter., Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Aug 17, 2022 at 7:04 pm

Here we are again. Another flex alert has gone out with PG&E begging people to use less power between 4 pm and 9 pm. Yet another sign that the existing grid CANNOT handle the load in excess of what it is carrying now. Yet the true believers, "save the world" folks will force people into all electric, or even try to entice them with subsidies. All to put EVEN MORE DEMAND on a system that can't handle it. Why? To try to "save the world" by reducing the carbon emissions of MP. The reduction of which will have no effect on the world's CO2 levels. It's time to vote these people out of office and elect people that will do something about actually running the city and not "saving the world".


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Post a comment

In order to encourage respectful and thoughtful discussion, commenting on stories is available to those who are registered users. If you are already a registered user and the commenting form is not below, you need to log in. If you are not registered, you can do so here.

Please make sure your comments are truthful, on-topic and do not disrespect another poster. Don't be snarky or belittling. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

See our announcement about requiring registration for commenting.