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City to spend $900,000 on 'vision' study

Original post made on Dec 24, 2008

The status of Menlo Park's budget projections is uncertain, but that didn't stop the City Council from deciding unanimously to authorize $933,950 for the consulting firm Perkins+Will to carry out "phase two" of the El Camino Real / downtown "visioning" study.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, December 24, 2008, 8:23 AM

Comments (12)

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Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Dec 24, 2008 at 10:04 am

Wasn't the vision part in the first phase? Aren't we moving with planning in this one?

And what does 'vision' mean in the headline? Should we say, Sean Howell, 'reporter'...?

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Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of another community
on Dec 24, 2008 at 4:23 pm

I don't know if our enlightened city leaders realize this, but we are entering the Greater Depression. How about we save on the vision and keep this money to ensure people in Menlo Park are able to eat next year?

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Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 27, 2008 at 10:07 pm

This is a complete waste of taxpayer funds. How many "vision" studies do we need and when are we going to start acting on them?

There seems to be no accountability.

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Posted by wants a plan
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Dec 28, 2008 at 10:02 am

We need a plan for El Camino and Downtown. This is once in a generation opportunity, and I'm glad the council supports creating it. Prior councils did not, despite recommendations from staff. Creating a plan is much better than ad hoc development that does not conform with current rules. This process should either modify the rules or uphold them. In any event, there should be more clarity about what is allowed.
We need to hold the council to an efficient and inclusive process that results in a concrete plan that supports renewal by the time the economy and available credit start improving. Let's support this important step.

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Posted by LOL
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 28, 2008 at 8:44 pm

Wow...a million bucks to come up with a vision? A vision? I mean I could see if they were making concrete plans, starting work, and actually doing something...but a vision??? I don't ever want to hear another complaint again about the cops or firemen making too much money, and I certainly never want to hear about MP's budget woes, or any more parcel taxes, etc...really...$900,000.00??? I am sure a group of concerned citizens would do this for free... [portion removed due to disrespectful comment]. I like the comment about we committed to this and we are going to see it through. Yes...fiscal suicide demands commitment. Well I must say that we elect these folks, so in the end we are getting what we deserve. Well, I am going to get my violin and start playing as our city burns.

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Posted by some facts
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 28, 2008 at 10:50 pm

I also think 900K dollars is too much to spend, but it is not for just a vision. This is supposed to be for a completed "specific plan" for the Downtown area. Basically a mini-General Plan. This requires CEQA environmental report (EIR) and other technical documents. These will account for around 1/2 the total cost.

Certainly all this needs to be be by professionals. The developers are looking for more density, which they don't deserve. Thus far the process has been severely flawed and if the City doesn't get its act together soon, this effort will be just like other efforts -- City Center Design -- Smart Growth etc., which were just throwing money down "rat holes"

I'm not optimistic -- If I were on Council I would have voted no on tis proposal.

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Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Dec 28, 2008 at 11:16 pm

I disagree whole heartedly with the above two comments.

Voting no is just a cowardly way for someone without a vote to whine. Is that all you have? A no vote? Not another idea, not another alternative? Just a no vote. Thankfully you are not up there.

LOL is just clueless. A specific plan has been completed by most of the neighboring cities and they take years and they cost money.

Do your homework or just be another shrill voice in a city that is far too full of whiners. Let's move on and finally get a plan.

Severely flawed is the latest derision. Compared to what in this city, my friend? To Santa Cruz street furniture? To Derry? To Bayfront fields? To what successful model do you compare?

This forum is seriously flawed.

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Posted by Bigger Truth
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 29, 2008 at 8:05 am

"This forum is seriously flawed." -Truth

Come on, Truth, aren't they all? Just like human beings ...

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Posted by LOL
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 29, 2008 at 8:21 am

If I am clueless and flawed, enlighten me. I am not closed minded, and if someone could articulate why we need to spend a cool mil on a plan, I might change my mind. Some facts pointed out some things that were of interest...I just still think a million dollars for a plan is out of this world. Maybe that is what plans cost? If so, no wonder we are headed into the financial abyss. Past behavior is a great indicator of future behavior, and in Menlo Park, that means make room on the shelf...another expensive study is coming and will need space.

And truth...calling me clueless, saying a no vote is cowardly, and bashing any opinion other than your own, is no way to win over converts or convince anyone of anything. This city is divided enough by close minded camps that will never budge, admit a point from the other side, and border on fanatic.

I was only pointing out the absurdity of a city that is eternally crying poor mouth, raising fees, etc. but throws money away like crazy. This forum is not flawed...differing opinions are ok. If you don't like to hear something other than what you think, don't read them. I enjoy them...and yes, even the ones that I disagree with...sometimes they cement my thoughts that the other write is a dim wit, and other times I actually learn something. Ok...I need some coffee now. Have a good day.

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Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Dec 29, 2008 at 3:23 pm

LOL, point taken. Sorry for the blatant overreaction.

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Posted by LOL
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 29, 2008 at 6:54 pm

And kudos to you for being reasonable Truth...I can be overzealous in my opinion at times myself, but it is refreshing to see that we can disagree and keep a civil discourse. In my opinion if more people did this, we would be in a much better spot as a country. At the end of the day, we both want what is best for the city. Differing on how to get there should not tear us apart. A happy, prosperous New Year to you and yours Truth.

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Posted by Pilar
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Dec 31, 2008 at 1:59 pm

What's this? Respect for dissenting opinions on an online forumn?

Thanks, truth and LOL, you have restored my faith in humanity.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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