Some of the projects he's overseen since he started working with the city: bringing the Off the Grid food truck market to Menlo Park, supporting the new hotel at 1400 El Camino Real, seeing the opening of the British Bankers Club, and instituting the "Wine Walk," a fundraiser for local schools that gathers local winemakers at downtown businesses to offer tastings.
His last day with Menlo Park is scheduled for April 26, with plans to begin work in Paso Robles, located north of San Luis Obispo on the Central Coast, on May 7.
"It's going to be really exciting working in a full-service city," he said, noting that his new position will allow him "the opportunity to work in service areas I don't work in as much now."
Whoever his successor is, he said, will face challenges in both of the areas he works with. On the housing front, he said, the biggest challenge will be to continue to "find strategies and partners to build more affordable housing in Menlo Park."
On the economic development side: "The economy is going gangbusters right now," he said, "so it's just hoping the city can take full advantage of the opportunities while the economy is good before the inevitable downturn."
Those opportunities he defined as ones that can enhance the quality of life for residents or increase revenue for the city.
One project he's interested in but won't be seeing through now that he's leaving is how the city might pursue building a downtown parking garage. (The City Council in January named a downtown parking structure as one of its top priorities to work on this year.)
"The reality is that parking garages are going to be very expensive. One of the more practical approaches, he said, would be to "come up with a public-private partnership."
"Obviously, that work I will only get to start," he said. "Hopefully I can start it in the right direction."
He said he's done a lot of public outreach and hopes the affordable housing advocates who spoke in favor of building affordable housing as part of a new library will also push for affordable housing as part of a proposed downtown parking structure.
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