Mueller announces third City Council run; Carlton says she's not running | January 8, 2020 | Almanac | Almanac Online |

Almanac

News - January 8, 2020

Mueller announces third City Council run; Carlton says she's not running

by Kate Bradshaw

Two-term Menlo Park City Councilman Ray Mueller announced on Jan. 2 that he's planning to run for another council term this year.

Mueller included a long list of early endorsers in his campaign announcement, among them would-be competitor and current Councilwoman Catherine Carlton.

Carlton told The Almanac she does not plan to run for reelection because she wants more time to support her daughter, who will be entering high school soon.

She also wants to pursue her work as partner at Limitless Ventures, a firm focused on investing in companies that improve outcomes for people with addictions and support other mental and behavioral health-based initiatives.

"Ray and I have publicly agreed and disagreed," Carlton said, explaining her endorsement decision. "I generally have a lot of respect for him. He does his homework, he's thoughtful and he has really good ideas that make Menlo Park a better place. ... I think he's got more ideas left in him to help improve Menlo Park for all the people here."

She added that she plans to continue being active in the city, particularly in supporting the city's Sister Cities program and the nascent Menlo Park Public Art nonprofit, focused on expanding public art citywide.

Mueller said he's planning his campaign's first event at the end of February and wants to let people know in advance of sending out invitations.

He was first elected to the council in 2012. Since he was reelected in 2016, the city has switched from an at-large election system to a by-district one. That means that instead of seeking votes from all city residents, Mueller must win the votes of only the residents in the council district in which he resides, District 5.

Current Councilwoman Carlton also lives in District 5.

That district includes Sharon Heights, Stanford Hills, and the portion of incorporated Menlo Park north of West Menlo Park between Santa Cruz Avenue and San Francisquito Creek, with its northeastern border zigzagging from Cotton Street to Middle Avenue to San Mateo Drive.

According to demographic information about each district compiled at the time district boundaries were drawn in early 2018, District 5 had the largest population compared with other districts in the 2010 census, with 6,551 residents, but was expected to be the second-smallest based on population growth in the years since — with a net growth to only 6,633 residents — while other districts have increased in population more substantially.

It also has the highest concentration of residents who are older, wealthier and more educated than other districts in the city, according to the compiled demographic statistics, with 25% of residents being 60 years or older; 44% of households reporting incomes of $200,000 or more; and 54% of residents ages 25 and older reporting that they have a graduate degree.

In 2020, elections will be held in districts 3 and 5 to complete the transition to district elections. Elections for districts 1, 2 and 4 were held in 2018.

Mueller also lists an endorsement from Vice Mayor Drew Combs, who said in the announcement, "Ray Mueller is a collaborative and stabilizing leader on the Menlo Park City Council. With the Menlo Park City Attorney retiring this year, the City Manager expected to retire in the next two years, and the addition of a brand new council member from District 3, Ray's demonstrated experience as a pragmatic problem solver on behalf of residents, as well as his depth of knowledge, will continue to serve as an invaluable resource to the Menlo Park City Council."

Additional early supporters include former mayors and council members Gerry Andeen, Bob Burmeister, Nicholas Jellins, Chuck Kinney, Bob McNamara, Heyward Robinson, Gail Slocum and Mickie Winkler; former city manager and current Chamber of Commerce Chair Glen Rojas; seven current and former board members of the Las Lomitas School District; 11 current and former board members of the Menlo Park City School District; four board members of the Sequoia Union High School District; all five members of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors; six current and former board members of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District; numerous current and former Planning Commission members; and commissioners from the Parks & Recreation Commission, Environmental Quality Commission, and Finance & Audit Committee.

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