Menlo Park has had a Sister City program for many years. In fact, its relationship with Galway, Ireland, can be traced back for nearly 150 years. In more recent times, another city was added as a Menlo Park sister city, it being Bizan, Japan. For the last several years, exchange students from both Menlo Park and Bizen have been traveling to each other's city on alternate years. Two other cities have gone dormant, with little to no activity since their creation. Those cities are located in India and in China. It may be well to terminate those relationships as it appears there is little interest by either city to participate in the program.
A few years ago, for unknown reasons, the City Council voted unanimously to terminate and stop the Sister City Committee. All seven of its members were removed from the committee. This occurred at the end of 2018. In 2019, 2020 and 2021 the program went to sleep. The hope was a group of citizens would form a nonprofit organization to carry on the tasks formerly handled by the committee. It is anticipated that a $10,000 gift will be provided to this unknown group of citizens to help jump-start a new program. How they will spend it is unknown. What oversight there will be is unknown. What accountability is unknown. More questions than answers. Maybe the staff report will address these concerns, or maybe not.
Oak Grove Avenue, Menlo Park