To the members of the Parks and Recreation Commission:
I want to take this opportunity to explain my comments during commission reports at last Tuesday's council meeting.
First, I want to apologize to Chairman Maurano, members of the commission, and the residents of Menlo Park for my comments during her presentation. I served with Paula on the Parks Commission and have the utmost respect for her and the other commissioners. I should have allowed her to complete her presentation without interruption. I will attempt exercise more restraint in the future.
I also apologize for any disrespect shown by me for the legitimate concern of these citizens of Menlo Park about the potential Park Theater agreement.
The council was obviously caught off-guard by the Commission's report. In the future, I suggest that you provide the city manager and/or Mayor with notice that the commission intends to make a presentation. Knowing ahead of time that reports are coming enhances our absorption of the information and assists the Mayor in managing the agenda. Distributing advance copies of your remarks and/or presentations will also help in communicating the commission's views.
I am not in position to address the specifics of your report or motions. There does appear to be some misunderstanding of the terms of the proposal that appeared in the October 2, 2007 staff report. Those terms were put forth by the projects developer, Mr. Andy Duncan. They are not set in stone. Councilmember Cline and I were appointed to negotiate these terms with Mr. Duncan, and these negotiations are ongoing. Many aspects of the potential deal are unresolved, and few if any of the details are known publicly or were known by the Park & Recreation commission when it passed its recent motions.
I hope that an agreement can be reached that will provide significant benefits to the the city's residents. I ask for patience from the commission, my fellow council members, and other Menlo Park residents while we continue negotiations. If the negotiations are successful, we will present the agreement to the council and public for their review and comment.
Heyward Robinson, Ph.D.
Menlo Park City Council Member