"I'm grateful," Mr. Ohtaki said on election night. "It'll be important to bring the city back together."
As of Nov. 10, the election count was Mr. Ohtaki, 3,698; Ms. Keith, 3,212; and Mr. Cline, 3,037.
Among the challengers, the vote count was: Planning Commissioner Drew Combs, 2,737; former council member Kelly Fergusson, 2,469; and Kristin Duriseti, a member of the city's Environmental Quality Commission, 2,369.
"Of course, I'm disappointed," Ms. Duriseti said, "and I wish that I had been more effective at achieving my goal to inform voters about what I and the other candidates would do moving forward, not only with respect to Measure M and the sorely needed changes to the specific plan, but also regarding other important issues facing Menlo Park, like the general plan update and managing our water resources."
She added that she hopes the council doesn't interpret the election results as acceptance of the two current mixed-use proposals from Greenheart and Stanford, and that they "work diligently to respond to the legitimate concerns of residents."
With traffic as a key concern, Ms. Duriseti said providing local housing options for employees working at those two sites is the only way she sees to mitigate the impact. "Fortunately, because of the nature of the two developers, this is a synergistic possibility, provided that the council negotiates the appropriate conditions for project approval."
Mr. Combs laughed as he described walking to more than 4,000 homes in Menlo Park to leave a personalized, handwritten note for the registered voters at each address. "You think it's a little quaint city until you walk it," he said. "Then it seems a lot more massive."
He wasn't sure what he would have done differently, saying that to some degree his failing was not getting more people excited about his candidacy. Although he wanted to win — "very much so" — Mr. Combs said he wasn't completely disappointed in the outcome.
"There were lots of residents that I connected with and that saw me as someone who would be a good leader in the community. That's humbling and something that I'm very proud of."
Will he run again? Maybe. He and wife Alexa would like to start a family soon, and he doesn't think that running again is something he has to do. "(But) I certainly wouldn't close the door to a future run."
This story contains 453 words.
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