Four candidates are running for three seats on the Menlo Park City Council on the Nov. 8 ballot, but thanks to district elections, only one incumbent is facing a challenger. Here's a roundup of who is campaigning.
Council member Cecilia Taylor is running unopposed for reelection in District 1. Taylor was elected in 2018 to represent the Belle Haven neighborhood, where she is a third-generation resident.
Taylor has promised to hold a monthly town hall meeting as well as send out a newsletter to keep residents informed in her campaign statement.
Council member Drew Combs is running unopposed for reelection to the District 2 seat, encompassing the Flood Triangle and Suburban Park neighborhoods. Combs has a law degree from Harvard University and had served on the Menlo Park Bicycle Commission and the Planning Commission, as well as volunteering as a tutor at the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Peninsula.
In his campaign statement, he promises to put residents first, and states his pride for restoring full funding to the police department and bringing back city programs such as gymnastics and the summer concert series.
Mayor Betsy Nash is running for District 4 against former council member Peter Ohtaki. Nash was elected to the City Council in 2018 and is currently serving as mayor after a unanimous vote from the council. District 4 neighborhoods include downtown, Allied Arts and a southern segment of El Camino Real.
She has served as a member of the Bicycle Commission and the Complete Streets Commission, and has said that she hopes to face issues of traffic congestion, housing and climate change in Menlo Park if elected. Nash also states that she has enjoyed working closely with residents and plans to continue, according to her candidate statement.
Ohtaki has served on the board of directors of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District and was elected to two terms on the Menlo Park City Council starting in 2010 and ending in 2018, including two stints as mayor.
Since leaving the council, Ohtaki has been a member of the San Mateo County Transit Authority Citizens Advisory Committee. Ohtaki has vowed to oppose Senate Bill 9, the so-called duplex law, to lobby for federal infrastructure funding and to reopen programs that were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in his candidate statement.